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A question 'bout 'da caribbean mon

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praetor

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why is it that people look down on the caribbean schools as inferior? is it because they have low standards of admission or is the medical education they give really just inferior in every way?
 

link2swim06

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It is because it is difficult to land a US residency from the Caribbean. I am guessing their "education" is equal to most US schools because a text book is a text book no matter what country you take it to. But when you combine below average students and a school that does care if you pass you have a recipe for failure.
 

FrickenhugeMD

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why is it that people look down on the caribbean schools as inferior? is it because they have low standards of admission or is the medical education they give really just inferior in every way?

yes
 

badasshairday

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Most american med students look down on carribean schools because it is a backdoor way to get into medicine. Even somebody with a 2.0 and 16 MCAT could get into some of those schools. Kind of waters down the acheivment of getting into med school when there are schools out there that let people like that in.
 

NiCad089

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A lot of people look down on Caribbean schools because they'll admit anyone. For instance, a friend of mine was failing organic chem I freshman year and was pre-med. So, he applied and was accepted to one of the caribbean medical schools with no more than a high school diploma and less than a semester of university.
 

mellsworth21

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wow I didnt know you could take organic chemistry your freshman year?
 

RySerr21

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A lot of people look down on Caribbean schools because they'll admit anyone. For instance, a friend of mine was failing organic chem I freshman year and was pre-med. So, he applied and was accepted to one of the caribbean medical schools with no more than a high school diploma and less than a semester of university.


My professor was talking to me about the types of students who he has seen over the years, specifically the ones that have gone on to apply to med school. He spoke of one student that in his opinion was simply not ready for medical school. He couldnt speak english very well, he didnt do well in his classes, wasn't motivated, etc. etc. The point of the story was that this was the only time my prof had ever written a poor letter of recommendation. Legitmately he said he wrote along the lines of "do not accept this person in to your program, he is not ready for x, y, z reasons." To his amazement, the student was still accepted to the caribbean schools (i dont know which ones).
 

Dissected

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My professor was talking to me about the types of students who he has seen over the years, specifically the ones that have gone on to apply to med school. He spoke of one student that in his opinion was simply not ready for medical school. He couldnt speak english very well, he didnt do well in his classes, wasn't motivated, etc. etc. The point of the story was that this was the only time my prof had ever written a poor letter of recommendation. Legitmately he said he wrote along the lines of "do not accept this person in to your program, he is not ready for x, y, z reasons." To his amazement, the student was still accepted to the caribbean schools (i dont know which ones).

cha-ching!
 
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GoSpursGo

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My professor was talking to me about the types of students who he has seen over the years, specifically the ones that have gone on to apply to med school. He spoke of one student that in his opinion was simply not ready for medical school. He couldnt speak english very well, he didnt do well in his classes, wasn't motivated, etc. etc. The point of the story was that this was the only time my prof had ever written a poor letter of recommendation. Legitmately he said he wrote along the lines of "do not accept this person in to your program, he is not ready for x, y, z reasons." To his amazement, the student was still accepted to the caribbean schools (i dont know which ones).

Unless x, y, or z was "he will not be able to secure a loan to pay for medical education," I'm not surprised :laugh:

Seriously, the reason Carrib schools are looked down upon goes beyond simply the fact that they'll let anyone in; the main reason they are seen as a last resort is that once you're in, they do very little to keep you there. As a for-profit institution, once they have your first semester's tuition in hand, you're pretty much on your own; beyond giving you the bare minimum required instruction, they will do essentially nothing to help you be successful. They've already resigned themselves to having really low STEP scores, so what does it matter to them if you reach the end of your first two years there without getting prepared for that exam?
 

fizzle

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They've already resigned themselves to having really low STEP scores, so what does it matter to them if you reach the end of your first two years there without getting prepared for that exam?

Ohhh, so that's why pretty much every US allo school seems to have "above average" STEP scores :eek:
 

GoSpursGo

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Ohhh, so that's why pretty much every US allo school seems to have "above average" STEP scores :eek:

Lol. And by "STEP score," I actually meant "STEP pass rate;" meaning, something like 40-60% of students in the Carrib don't even pass the darn thing, thus ending their career.
 

han14tra

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You should try to get into a US medical school first. However, if it fails time and again, go to St. George's. A physician that I know went there, and he was one of two people in the country who got a perfect score on Step 1. The school you go to doesn't make the doctor, what you put into it makes the doctor. Good luck!
 

NiCad089

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We had AP credit for Gen Chem I & II.
 

alehar

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Not all schools accept AP credit for Gen Chem I/II.

I think he was just answering how you could take Ochem I as a freshman, like in his friend's case above.
 

NiCad089

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All the schools I'm applying to said as long as I had advanced credit in chemistry, it was alright.
 

magikdoc

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Man, I feel like posting in this forum is just asking to be bashed XD

I feel like Caribbean med schools are kind of analogous to community colleges. They get you your degree, but not the recognition or prestige of graduating from an IV.

But if your dream is just to become a physician, than who cares. Just work your butt off wherever you end up.
 

Raryn

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You should try to get into a US medical school first. However, if it fails time and again, go to St. George's. A physician that I know went there, and he was one of two people in the country who got a perfect score on Step 1. The school you go to doesn't make the doctor, what you put into it makes the doctor. Good luck!

Erm, as far as I know/have read, no one has ever gotten a perfect score (300) on the step one. Ever.
 
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Gannador

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Erm, as far as I know/have read, no one has ever gotten a perfect score (300) on the step one. Ever.

Me neither. I have heard of people getting 280s though, which is essentially considered "perfect", just as a 40 on the MCAT is. It's that point where dumb luck and chance really start becoming statistically relevent.
 

FIREitUP

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there are medical schools in the Caribbean?
 

biophysicianai

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wow I didnt know you could take organic chemistry your freshman year?

Yes, you can, but it is terrible. I did it, and regret it.
 

silverlining1

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wow I didnt know you could take organic chemistry your freshman year?
At my college, the normal sequence was 2 quarters of o-chem in the first year, then another quarter sophomore year.

I think organization and logistics can vary widely across schools; I'm confused when people say "OMG I don't know when to take Physics II"... what the hell is Physics II? And the time when I, at my school, take the equivalent of this class is not necessarily the same as it is for you.
 
D

deleted74029

A lot of people look down on Caribbean schools because they'll admit anyone. For instance, a friend of mine was failing organic chem I freshman year and was pre-med. So, he applied and was accepted to one of the caribbean medical schools with no more than a high school diploma and less than a semester of university.

Did he attend?
 

NiCad089

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Did he attend?
Yeah, he just got back now and is studying for step 1 so that he can do the clinical portion of med school. It seems that the school he went to has some deal with one of the medical schools in state. So, if he passes, he will get to finish his md education here. However, I wonder if he'll be competitive for any of the top residency programs.
 

gujuDoc

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Unless x, y, or z was "he will not be able to secure a loan to pay for medical education," I'm not surprised :laugh:

Seriously, the reason Carrib schools are looked down upon goes beyond simply the fact that they'll let anyone in; the main reason they are seen as a last resort is that once you're in, they do very little to keep you there. As a for-profit institution, once they have your first semester's tuition in hand, you're pretty much on your own; beyond giving you the bare minimum required instruction, they will do essentially nothing to help you be successful. They've already resigned themselves to having really low STEP scores, so what does it matter to them if you reach the end of your first two years there without getting prepared for that exam?

This is probably the most important post of the thread in terms of answering the original poster.

I agree with everything GospursGo has said and then some.
 

trinitee22

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Here's a thought, maybe the reason why people with low MCAT scores and college GPAs get into St. George's University in Grenada is because those things are not required for entry into medical school. By the way that is not the only medical school in the Caribbean. There is also the University of the West Indies, which is a very good medical school and graduate institution in general where you go to school at either the campus in Trinidad or in Jamaica depending on what you want to specialise in. I am from the Caribbean so I know enough about this. In the Caribbean and in the British school system which is what is followed in the Caribbean, you can start medical school straight out of secondary school when you are 18 years old. For instance at the secondary school I went to you decide what field you want to study at the age of 13 then study that (in my case Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Additional Mathematics in addition to the usual English Language/Literature, French and Spanish) until you are 18 and start a medical program at a school of medicine. I had long ago decided that I wanted to get a liberal arts education in the USA so I received my undergrad education here and am now applying to medical school while people I was in class with have been doctors since they were 22.

Different strokes for different folks. In most people's eyes, St. George's may not be on the same "level" as most American schools, but by no means blanket these school and put them down. If it isn't for you then don't consider it an option. Like another poster said, med school is what you make of it. There are hundreds of thousands of doctors around the world who did not get their MDs in the USA and I suspect they are doing just fine and doing a great job of caring for people in their respective countries.
 

gujuDoc

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Here's a thought, maybe the reason why people with low MCAT scores and college GPAs get into St. George's University in Grenada is because those things are not required for entry into medical school. By the way that is not the only medical school in the Caribbean. There is also the University of the West Indies, which is a very good medical school and graduate institution in general where you go to school at either the campus in Trinidad or in Jamaica depending on what you want to specialise in. I am from the Caribbean so I know enough about this. In the Caribbean and in the British school system which is what is followed in the Caribbean, you can start medical school straight out of secondary school when you are 18 years old. For instance at the secondary school I went to you decide what field you want to study at the age of 13 then study that (in my case Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Additional Mathematics in addition to the usual English Language/Literature, French and Spanish) until you are 18 and start a medical program at a school of medicine. I had long ago decided that I wanted to get a liberal arts education in the USA so I received my undergrad education here and am now applying to medical school while people I was in class with have been doctors since they were 22.

Different strokes for different folks. In most people's eyes, St. George's may not be on the same "level" as most American schools, but by no means blanket these school and put them down. If it isn't for you then don't consider it an option. Like another poster said, med school is what you make of it. There are hundreds of thousands of doctors around the world who did not get their MDs in the USA and I suspect they are doing just fine and doing a great job of caring for people in their respective countries.

The post that I quoted was not making blanket statements.

But truth of the matter is that most people on here asking to go to island schools are not doing so because they grew up in the islands like you and plan on living in the islands. Most of them plan on coming back here and practicing. FACT: you are not coming here and practicing regardless of where you went to med school unless you pass step 1, 2, and 3 of the USMLEs and eventually board certification in your given field. 2 of the first 3 parts are usually incorporated into medical school with added time for prep, added components to help prep, some curricula cater to the boards. A foreign school is not going to do this, esp. most of the modern day carib schools that people refer to in the US i.e. Ross, AUC, Saba, SGU, etc.

FACT 2: Most US schools take the best of the best after a severe screening process i.e. tons of hoops to jump through such as MCAT, ECs, GPA in college, etc. But when you get there they will do everything to try to get you out with a degree. They will offer counseling, sometimes even allow you to repeat a course or a full year if you do poorly in a course. They want you to succeed. Most carib schools like Ross don't give 2 cents whether or not you finish and weed you out after you get in not before. Saba is one of the few I've seen which takes only a small number of students at a given time.

Fact 3: Unless you go to a school with US rotations for clinical years, you have a tough time getting residency spots in the US. So if your goal is to be a physician in the US, my advice is stay at home in the US if you can get in here.
 

Law2Doc

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Ohhh, so that's why pretty much every US allo school seems to have "above average" STEP scores :eek:

Except that pretty much all US allo schools say they are above average for US schools... It's easy to lie when the stats aren't published. This has nothing to do with the carib crowd.
 
D

deleted74029

Yeah, he just got back now and is studying for step 1 so that he can do the clinical portion of med school. It seems that the school he went to has some deal with one of the medical schools in state. So, if he passes, he will get to finish his md education here. However, I wonder if he'll be competitive for any of the top residency programs.

So he's gonna have his MD at ~23yo? (assuming he started college right after high school) I don't think thats a bad deal if he can get a good step 1 score.
 

NiCad089

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So he's gonna have his MD at ~23yo? (assuming he started college right after high school) I don't think thats a bad deal if he can get a good step 1 score.
key words being "if he can get a good step 1 score." Considering that he was failing our freshman classes, I wonder if he can. However, I wish him the best of luck since he's my best friend. But, I'm really not sure he'll pass.
 
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