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against overseas school?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by sumozmom, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. sumozmom

    sumozmom Senior Member
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    why are so many US MD sooooo againts the caribean or other overseas school?

    it maybe my only hope :(


    my friends got their undergrad in NY and went to Ross in Carrabean...than rotation in NY and Residancy there too. He is a Nephrologist...she a psyc. both doing rather well....
    please help me understand


    :confused:
     
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  2. Krisss17

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    Sumozmom,

    You have to do what is good for you...you will always find naysayers amongst any professional group. Consider the strife you sometimes hear between doctors and surgeons...If you want something bad enough, you need to turn a deaf ear towards those people. The thing that you will want to do is to look to see which are the best Carribbean schools (Ross I believe is one of them).

    Best of luck!
    Kris
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    sumozmom

    sumozmom Senior Member
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    thank you for your thoughtful advise...and u are correct. the only fear is that sometimes those nayers may have a point ...if ur not careful....:(
     
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  4. Catalystik

    Catalystik Platinum
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    For further detailed information, see the International Medicine Forum>Caribbean. A quick summary per one of its Moderators, PathOne:


    "1. Obviously, US citizens that wants to work in the US have the best options if they graduate from a US school.
    2. Obviously, people who decide to spend serious $$$ and spend a serious amount of time on a third world Caribbean island couldn't get into a US school, but still wants to be physicians.
    3. Since there's effectively no accreditation of Carib medical schools, the quality of both schools and students vary considerably. Some students have most, but not all, of the qualifications to attend a US school. Others couldn't even make it past secondary.
    4. I agree, that post residency, few if any care about which school you went to. However, Carib schools CAN limit your access to the most competitive residencies, and the majority can even limit which states you can get licensure in (how anybody can contemplate attending a medical school that limits where you can work is another matter, which, however, isn't applicable to Ross).
    5. Perhaps one of the biggest differences is, that if you enter a medical school in the US, your chance of graduating and getting a residency is statistically very, very high, as attrition is very low, and # of residency spots very high, compared to total output from US schools. One of the MAJOR drawbacks of Carib schools is, that there's a much higher number of people that spend quite a lot of time, and especially a lot of money, on trying to get a degree, which in the end comes to naught. Some flunk outright in school, others can't pass the USMLE, and still others can't get residency, or otherwise never get licensed. One of my big problems with Carib schools is, that to my knowledge nobody actually publish information on how many people actually make it to the other side."

    For more dialogue on the subjects broached above see: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=370746
     
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  5. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    I think the reason people are against it is because it's always a last choice. It can work out okay, but you'd rather not have to go offshore. If it is your only choice that, it can be a good option. My one fear about caribbean schools is that most tend to overaccept and expect a large amount of attrition. It would really suck to borrow for one to two years of school and then fail out, which apparently happens to lots of people there.
     
  6. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    As others have posted, one of the biggest disadvantage of the carribeans is varying degrees of quality among schools and student population. This means that you could spend thousands of dollars living in a third world country and end up with nothing. The high attrition rate is also worrisome. The carribeans are good ways for people to go if they don't get into a US school, but it is considered a school of a 'second chance'. If they are you're only chance of getting into med school, so go for it. Just be careful to go to one with a good history of sending kids back to practice as physicians.
     
  7. DrLizzie

    DrLizzie Still in the game
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    I'm agreeing with what most above posters have mentioned, and I have also been told by a physician (adcom member) that the number of applicants increases by a lot each year and there are a few new med schools being instituted, that it will be increasingly harder for FMG to gain residency spots compared to the larger number of US medical graduates. I think that it will be a lot harder than ever before for a FMG to gain acceptance to a residency spot (especially the competitive ones) due to that fact there are going to be so many more US medical graduates in the coming years.
     
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  8. Skelfie

    Skelfie Resident Absurdist
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    I admittedly don't know much of anything about Ross, etc., but I was talking recently with a guy in one of my classes who's now pursuing a Master's in biology. He told me that he applied to med schools a few years back, got waitlisted, applied to Caribbean schools and got accepted to one of them (I think it was St. George??).

    Anyway, he said that he went for one semester but then dropped out because he couldn't get enough financial aid money to pay for the rest of the year... So, he went back to the U.S. and essentially gave up on his dream of becoming a physician. :( I don't know how common/uncommon his situation is, but this seemed like a relevant spot to pass this info along. (The guy seems pretty honest and is a good student, so I don't think he was just making stuff up...)
     
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  9. SunshineNYC

    SunshineNYC SunshineNYC
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    While staying in the US might be optimal, you'll do just fine as well. Do whatever you have to do to make a life for yourself, and if it means going overseas, then just do that. If it were between an overseas school and a school in the US I'd pick one in the US because it will make your life easier, but if you do not have the option, and it's a choice of going to an overseas school or going to no school, then don't listen to what anyone says and just go for it!
     
  10. billydoc

    billydoc Senior Member
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    I doubted that this guy was talking abi=out St. George. They have Stafford loans, and U.S signature loans just like in U.S schools that covers all of the expenses. I'm afraid that the reason could be either academic performance or having a hard time adjusting to the island, or some other personal issues. I also had to withdraw from ROSS after a couple of semesters after geting pretty sick over there. But I'm not about to give up on my dream though. Also, the increase # of applicants will most likely affect true FMGs (foreign nationals requiring visa etc). It'll be harder to get in most competative residences, but 80% of US IMGs go into FP, psych, peds, ob/gyn, some in IM, but later on get into fellowships. If AOA does not expand current D.O residencies, I'm afraid that new D.O graduates could be at disadvantage as well. May be not as bad as IMGs, but when applying allo residencies
    D.O > IMG is not an absolute, It all depends on the program. The projected physician shortage will NOT be solved by expanding U.S medical schools alone. All it does is strengthens the bottleneck even more. The've got to create more residency spots and fellowships, and there is talk about it geting louder.
     
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  11. DrJD

    DrJD Junior Member
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    Are there any schools overseas, such as London, or anywhere else that are actually highly regarded in the US, maybe more so than some US schools?
     
  12. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Agree with most of what has been said in this thread. You do what you have to do. But if your goal is practicing in the US, the path with the least hurdles is to go to school in the US. Caribbean schools popped up several decades back as a cottage industry to provide second chances to folks who didn't get in anywhere stateside. As such, they will always be looked at as a last resort.

    The fact that you know a few successful people who were trained in the caribbean is not particularly evidentiary -- I suspect both these people you mention each know many dozens of their classmates who started med school with them for whom life didn't turn out so rosy. Everybody knows one person who beat the odds. But most people don't get to be that person who becomes this kind of anecdotal evidence on SDN. Hope that helps you understand.
     
  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    There are a couple of european schools that are highly regarded, and do reasonably well. In general I would doubt any US residency program is going to regard a foreign school "more highly" than a US one, though; if they are good, they will be considered equivalent.
     
  14. DrJD

    DrJD Junior Member
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    Equivalent makes sense... what are some of the names of these European schools? Anybody know?
     
  15. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV
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    LAW2DOC nothing personal but all you have to do is look at the Match list at several schools like AUC, SABA, SGU and even SJSM all these schools together have hundreds that matched into residencies last year alone, not just a few like you said, it is so sad the obvious bias some have to Caribbean route, those who take it due to many reasons may not be so unsuccessful if they work hard, I will continue to post and let you know how I do on the USMLE, I have been successful and I will work my Butt off to continue.

    Thats what I believe, those of us who study and work hard in medschool here will be the the 53% who make it and get residencies the 1st time, (53% is the 1st time match rate does not include outside the match or scramble).

    Please lets posts facts as facts and opinions as opinions and I will be a MD same as any MD......................:luck:



    ( it is well known the contempt SDN posters have for Caribbean students, why? I have no idea)
     
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  16. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    If going off shore is your ONLY option, then take it. Just be aware of the consequences of taking this path. Just because people were able to get into residency and fellowship in the past does not mean that the future will hold the same for you. Investigate and do more investigation (definitely more than reading a message board on SDN) before you spend your money and time.

    Many people could take some time and upgrade their applications (GPA, MCAT) so that they become more competitive and get into medical school here in the U.S. Graduating for any school in the United States is far, far preferable than going to the "islands".


    Absolutely agree with LAW2DOC. There are more people NOT making their dreams come true than making it. Going to the Caribbean is a very tough road with loads of uncertaintly at the end. If you (and your finances) are prepared for this, and you have no other options, then that's what you do.

    Those "Match Lists" that you mention contain mostly matches to preliminary programs. Getting into a pre-lim residency position (medicine or surgery) is not the equivalent of getting into a categorical program or finishing a program i.e. being eligible for Board certification. What worked for a graduating fourth-year in 2006 or graduate physician may not be remotely applicable for someone who has not begun medical school.

    Looking at the positions that were available in the Scramble for 2006 and who filled them, with the exception of Family Medicine (which U.S. grads have tended to avoid), there were few categorical slots. There actually were not that many Family Medicine slots in the Scramble and many programs have been cutting FM back because of lack of interest. Since there are far more U.S grads this year, I suspect that the Scramble is going to be very, very difficult for anyone (and especially tough for FMGs) since most residency programs are going deeper into their rank lists.

    As Law2Doc mentioned above, anecdoctal evidence is not hard evidence. I know that you took the caribban route but it is definitely NOT the best route for most people who wish to practice in the United States.

    The bias is not an SDN "contempt" but a fact of life. Getting back into this country to get into a categorical residency is pretty tough and quite expensive for anyone who heads to the caribbean.

    I hope it works out for you and wish you nothing but the best but "Buyer Beware" when it comes to offshore medical schools. Many people have been badly burned and wind up with an expensive M.D. that cannot be used to practice medicine. Get as much information (and NOT from the schools) that you can. It's out there. Make an informed decision before you spend thousands of dollars.
     
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  17. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV
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    The 53% is not made up it's from the 2006 NRMP results and an average of 2000 to 2006

    this is the break down of the successful matches for 2005 NRMP from them directly, these were the 1st ranked matches not made up by me:

    The 2005 results for FMG/IMG 1st ranked Matches was ( for those who matched):
    Internal Med and Peds about 68%
    Peds 64%
    Family Med 59%
    Rehab 58%
    Internal 58%
    EM 58%
    Anesthesia 57%
    OB GYN 56%
    PSYCH 52%
    Radiology 50%
    Pathology 48%
    General Surgery 40%
    Derm 38%
    Plastics 32%
    Rads Onc 30%
    and Ortho about 30%


    SO these are the hard numbers and I understand with all the myths out there it is hard to believe that FMG/IMG can even do this well, I hate to see people post there is only a small hope when the real numbers say other wise, in fact

    in 2006 even Canadians Matched at only about 61% so that says a lot since their schools are LCME

    I'm a little at a loss, are you trying to tell us that Caribbean grads get a 1st year residency then are fired? Really? I have never heard of such a thing? Please is there Data to back this up? I thought once in a program you were in the program? I find this very disturbing if true (I have never heard of this though and I know hundreds of grads my self and at least 30 in residencies now all from Caribbean schools )

    :luck:

    BTW who are these "People" is this not anecdotal itself?

    I have spent 3 years researching this and found many practicing happy doctors from these different schools ( yes anecdotal) I think it depends on the person myself, I do agree, do the research and do not believe everything posted or what the schools say know what you are getting into I did.

    I do wish I could get my my hands on the 2006 stats like this BTW good or bad I have no real agenda but the truth anyway.
     
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  18. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Um, I never said just a few people matched. I said the few anecdotal examples the prior poster mentioned did not prove his point.

    But I would look at such match lists with a grain of salt because the folks who make it to that stage at a lot of the caribbean schools represent a small fraction of the original freshman class at that med school. People decelerate, drop out, fail out, fail the boards etc, at a far higher rate than at US schools. In the US, if you get into med school, there is a better than 90% chance you will ultimately become a US licensed physician. Not really so at the caribbean schools. So you have to factor all the people that didn't get to that match stage when looking to see how "good" a match list is. If the hundreds of people that matched into residencies last year constituded less than 90% of those that started such med schools 4 years ago, it is already a dramatically inferior list to any US med school. And I'm betting it's a heck of a lot lower than 90%.

    I don't think the above constitutes "contempt" for offshore educated folks. The schools were designed to provide second chances, and my hat is off to those that can make the most of these second chances. But let's not kid ourselves that it is not a more difficult road.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    sumozmom

    sumozmom Senior Member
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    :clap:

     
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  20. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV
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    I did not want to offend but I do think there is a Bias on SDN unjustified one. People who do not get to the match stage are the ones who do not get pass Step one, most Medstudents know that once Step one is done and your in clinicals step two is there but not quite the Mountain step one was. Also Caribbean students make the mistake of not making sure clinicals are green book, Cores must be.
    To do this road you have to know how to do it and the schools mess up sometimes, no biggie you should be envolved in your education and follow the states rules for Licensure.

    Yes it's more difficult I 100% agree and not a shortcut. But sometimes may be the only way to get your shot at medschool.

    Yeah I know that US grads match at 93% 1st time then at 99.9% LOL I know thats true. I just read these posts and want to put numbers to what is said (I really want the 2006 breakdown good or Bad) because I do not feel so bad going to the Caribbean myself, yeah my feelings and I do not think it is best for a lot of people but some of the Nontrads it is our way of becoming a Doc and we are not 22..........................................


    :luck:
     
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  21. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I'm not sure why being a nontrad makes caribbean more appealing, but I certainly agree with the notion that if this is the only door left open to you then go for it. I would however suggest that if one can remedy their application for US places with an MCAT retake or a year or two of postbac/SMP studying, it might save such person a lot of hurdles down the road. Too many on SDN seem ready to pull the "second chance" caribbean trigger far too quickly, IMHO. Works out for some, not for others.

    I think you misunderstand my prior statement -- I am not talking about percentage of folks who "match" from US schools, I am talking about percentage of people who start out med school in a given year and ultimately end up US licensed physicians. In the US it is above 90%. There is negligible attrition, negligible failure along the way. Not so in many caribbean places. And it is that percentage, not the percentage of those who already successfully navigated med school and step 1 and then match, that is relevant to someone applying to a school. They want to know their odds from beginning to end, not just the odds of those who actually have made it to the end.
    Good luck to you as well. I have no doubt you will be one of those successful anecdotes bandied around a few years from now. :)
     
  22. NewHope

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  23. NewHope

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    I agree with posters here that Caribbean is the last choice. But it's appealing to many who are not looking to go into super competative specialties as afirst choice. Those who just want their MD in addition to business degrees, or allied health people looking to replace their RN, PT, PA, NP whatever with an all-mighty MD. They already know what's out there. I know a few St. George and ROSS grads who do exceptionally well. Some of them never applied in US even though had the stats. They wanted to shave off a couple years on the premed game. Like I have all pre-reqs, but US schools want me to take some of those again. My grades are alright. Also MCAT is much dreaded by many older folks, that's why Carib is a viable option. I know I can't even imagine doing more than 3 may be 4 years tops of residency past another 4 in school. If you add the premed game :eek: :eek: :eek: that's another two years in the mix. I know it sounds very superficial, but it's also practical for many who want to be docs not necessarily neurosurgeons from the soap opera, or some other crap TV medical fetish shows, IMHO.
     
  24. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    "But it's appealing to many who are not looking to go into super competative specialties as afirst choice."

    The problem with this is that the vast majority (I believe it's as high as 90%) of all med students will change their minds at least once regarding what specialty they want to go into. Just because a primary care specialty sounds fine when you are a premed picking schools doesn't mean you aren't going to find one of the more competitive specialties more interesting when you actually get to the other end of med school. So you want to keep as many doors open as you can. If someone applies to the carribean to avoid a year of courses or the need for a decent MCAT score, they may be doing themselves a big disservice when they realize they weren't as sure as they thought about what specialties interested them.
     
  25. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV
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    Thanks funny thing is I agree with a lot of the statements but it's how it's looked at and explained is where I usually have issues: My take on the Caribbean is this:

    1. Admit people that would never be admitted in the US
    2. Has competent teaching but still not as high standard as many US medschools
    3. Since people are admitted that would never be admitted in the USA then this usually explains the high attrition rates.
    4. Matching is harder for FMG's but still very possible especially for Primary care.
    5. Caribbean is after you have decided it is the best fit for you and you understand it will be harder.

    I disagree that the US students pass at 90% I have talked to many us students at different schools and all have classmates with problems, failing a course or two, not passing Step one, I think this number is Anecdotal and I would not guess at the number myself. As you noticed I have started to answer my thoughts with hard numbers from sources like the NRMP I think that is best to keep it more a discussion and less argument.

    In my opinion it will never be the best choice to go to the Caribbean over the US unless the person has understood and happy with the real problems. :luck:
     
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  26. Law2Doc

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    "I disagree that the US students pass at 90% I have talked to many us students at different schools and all have classmates with problems, failing a course or two, not passing Step one, I think this number is Anecdotal and I would not guess at the number myself. As you noticed I have started to answer my thoughts with hard numbers from sources like the NRMP I think that is best to keep it more a discussion and less argument."

    According to the AMSA magazine, The New Physician a few months ago, the average voluntary drop out rate in US allo was something like 4.5% and the fail out rate is about 1.5%. (You can fail a course in allo and not fail out -- and can often retake it over the summer and not decelerate.) That means over 90% of all US allo students will ultimately become physicians.

    According to the USMLE website, cited below, the Step 1 pass rates of first time takers of US/Can allo programs was 94%, while first time takers from non US/Can programs (i.e. foreign) was 68%.

    http://www.usmle.org/scores/2005perf.htm
     
  27. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I can't add much factually to the excellent posts by njbmd and L2D. So I'll just say that my feeling on the subject is basically this: Right now, I am finishing my first year at an American allopathic medical school. I look ahead at the rigors I still have yet to undertake on my path to becoming a physician, and it seems overwhelming sometimes. I am busting my butt here, and sometimes it's awfully hard for me to see the happy ending from my current perspective in the bottom of the trenches. But I do know that most people who start out where I am do ultimately make it, and while I may not be smarter than all of them, I'm not dumber either. If I keep working at it and do not give up, my chances of making it through and becoming a licensed American physician are very, very high.

    People who attend Caribbean schools go through a lot of the same hardships, but with much less likelihood of success at the end. I'm not saying that none of them make it, or even that a significant proportion don't make it, because I know some very successful Caribbean grads too. But for all the ones we know about who made it, there are an awful lot who paid for a year or two of med school and went home empty-handed with nothing to show for their time but thousands of dollars worth of loans. Unfortunately, I know some of those, too.

    I envision going to school in the Caribbean as being akin to going to grad school: you see half of the kids you start school with dropping by the wayside left and right during the first few years. Most grad students who make it through their quals do ultimately graduate and go on to get their PhDs. But an awful lot of them never make it to (or through) the qual stage, and they leave with a terminal MS or nothing at all. And unlike Caribbean med students, at least these grad students haven't had to take out loans to pay tuition plus living expenses; they've only "wasted" the time they spent.

    Does this make sense? Med school is really, really hard, mainly because things are coming at you so fast and furious that sometimes you have to just hold on for dear life and hope that the tidal wave bearing down on you doesn't knock you off your feet altogether. I see people post in this forum and in preallo about how hard their pre-req coursework is, but trust me when I tell you that freshman physics and sophomore organic are NOT difficult courses in comparison to medical school courses. People also mention that if they can handle working X number of hours per week, med school will be a cinch. But again, it's not the same at all. Basically, I can't even begin to fathom the idea of going through all of this only to be denied a residency in the U.S. To me, the risk is not worth it. I understand that some people do not have a choice, and in that case, yes, you go to the Caribbean, you take your chances, and you do the best you can to make it. But for someone to purposely choose that path if they DO have any option of staying stateside is sheer insanity, IMO.
     
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  28. NewHope

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    To the OP: I have to say if you do wind up going to Caribbean then at least stick with so-called "Big 4" . These are namely SGU, ROSS, AUC, SABA. All of those schools have a track record of their graduates practicing in U.S and California SMB approval. You'll still be an FMG, but at least program directors have a certain level of comfort with those schools. I know there are many more in the Caribbean: SMU, MUA, AUA with NY and then Spartan, St.James, Statia (St. Eustatius sp?) and Windsor with no State approvals I know of. But going caribbean route is hard and expensive enough. Why after all the trouble limit yourself where you can practice? Take MCAT. If you can't get in Stateside, then at least in these 4, IMO.

    Goodluck
     
  29. docolive

    docolive DOColive
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    Do a search. Go to valuemd.com. To get into reputable schools, you need to be acceptable to a US allopathic school. I am talking about REPUTABLE schools.
     
  30. Faze2

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    I have started to wonder about Carribean schools as well. people here are correct when they say that a lot of "evidence" about success from these schools is anecdotal. But there are numbers to back up some of the success stories as well. I look at it like this. Obviously a Carribean school is a last resort for me, but if comes down to being the only resort for me, I would rather take my chances to become a doctor than do anything else in the world. I know I would be one of the success stories cause I know I would one of the ones that work my a** off both in school and for studying for the USMLE. My not getting accepted to a US school would have nothing to do with my brains or capability to be a great physician, it would be my undergraduate GPA that I earned when I was 20 years old that would keep meout. But the fact that I am willing to "pay" for my mistakes, literally pay, by having to go to a Carribean school to realize my dream I think shows the dedication I have, and the sacrifices I am willing to make.
     
  31. OP
    OP
    sumozmom

    sumozmom Senior Member
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    i luv what u said...u read my heart :p
     
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  32. chintu

    chintu Senior Member
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    Some of the people on here make good points and I think QofQuimica sums it up really well by making some excellent points about carib medschools. I myself go to a US MD school and my brother just graduated from SABA (in caribbean) and is awaiting his match this year. I think it would help if I can offer some personal experiences rather than just talk about facts and statistics as well all know stats don't speak for everything. Here are some of the positive things he had to say about his experiences:
    1) He really liked small class atmosphere (i think 40 was his class size) where everyone is going through the same hardships trying to survive,most of his classmates are his good friends even now when they are in different parts of the country.
    2) He liked the fact that during his clinical years he got to travel to differnt parts of the country at various US hospitals and got to see some places he would never visit.
    3) He didn't mind being able to travel and go to beaches in st. maarten every once in a while on the islands
    4) He liked the fact that his basic sciences curriculum was set up in semester blocks of 4 mos with a 3 week vacation in between each.
    5) While the atmosphere was still competitive he was able to top out by doing as much work as I am in US school here, and I am an average student here.
    6) They had a kaplan USMLE course as part of the curriculum so they were well prepared for step I
    7) After stepI they have a lot of freedom in terms of when and where (among the affiliated hospitals) to do their clinicals, so if needed they can take a few months off after finishing a given clerkship or whatever. Makes it less intense.

    Now, here are all the negatives he had to say and endure by being a caribbean student

    1) Right after 1st semester at his school, roughly 7/40 students which included his roommate from 1st year class dropped out because they weren't cut out for the rigors and reality of medschool. Roughly 20 of those eventually passed step I and are going through match now I think. Now that is a scary feeling when you start doubting yourself on whether or not you will make it. When you are accepted to a US school at least you have the reassurance that you are there because you deserve to be there and know you can do it
    2) You know that being a carib student limits your specialty choice so right from the begininning you have to start eliminating many specialties such as surgical ones. While you may think you'd want to do primary care or something at first many people change their minds in medschool and if you end up hating primary care specialties you really have to work your butt off to try to match into one of the competitive ones without any guarantees.
    3) While he had no difficulty getting A's in his science classes there, he worked his tail off for step I, I think he took ~3.5 mos and studied around 10 +hrs/day. It all paid off in the end as he scored a 253 on his step I and 254 on stepII which he worked just as hard for. So while it maybe easy to top out at the schools over there, the only thing that matters as far as residency goes is your step scores which most of them work extremely hard for, definitely more so than most US students.
    4) After going through the residency interviews he realized how much they were discriminated against despite his 253/254 scores. He applied for IM categorical, which most US students are able to get with no trouble at their top choices for the most part. He applied to 36 programs ranging from very good ones to the low tier univ. based programs. He only got 9 interviews most of which were his safety programs, lucky he had a few of those. His best invites were univ of florida, UM KansasCity, MUSC. He got outright rejections from top places such as UNC, Duke but also from UT Memphis, Wake Forest and other middle range programs. He applied to mainly in south and some in midwest. Look at any US school matchlist and most of the people matching into IM easily get into such places and better realizing that most of these are average to below average students and not AOA with 240+ scores.
    5) While on some of his clinical rotations he was paired up with US MD students. While he felt like he knew more than a lot of them he always felt out of place and somewhat looked down upon being from caribbean and all. One of his classmate from saba was doing a surgery rotation someplace and was asked some obscure embryology question by an attending which he obviously didn't know the answer to. The attending said something like "Don't they teach that to you guys in those caribbean schools." I am not sure how I would feel if I were in his shoes. But there's a definite negativity towards them especially during rotations, perhaps not so much during residency.

    I just thought I offer some personal insights. I think many students think of caribbean as an easy backup when things don't turn out good for them in US, but very few realize the many obstacles along the way.
     
  33. NewHope

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    What I find strange is on these boards it is somehow implied that U.S medical school guarantees you a passing of the USMLE, as if it was some type of an entitlement. Most reputable caribbean schools teach USMLE oriented curriculum. And as was stated by the poster above many require or at least strongly suggest some type of a review before taking the boards. Also students are not allowed into the clinical rotations before passing step1. So if someone failed they can't just continue. Also many people here speak of the lower number of IMGs matching. The stats are not directly correlated as it would be on U.S graduates. One reason is IMGs are often taking the safety net of prematching, and not gambling on the match at all. There are many who do that. Also stats are way off because they do not distinguish between FMGs from other countries, for whom English may not be the first language, and thus multiple failures on the boards, and U.S citizens studying abroad, where passing and matching numbers are by far much higher. Of course, it's always better to study in America. But many older folks with previous health background, or career changers just want to get going, especially if prereqs are in place, but no or low MCAT. Let's say if you're pushing 40, who will care what school you went to, if you've passed all the exams, of course. Unless someone is independently wealthy it's not very feasible to be in residency for more than 3-4 years. And those are usually quite attainable IM, FP, Psych, peds, OB/GYN etc. It does change from year to year, but the shortage is out there. I'd say if you know what you want in life, and being realistic about it go for it. You're not the first, nor the last one to take this route. It's harder, but quite doable.
     
  34. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Applied to medical school (six allopathic medical schools in the U.S.) my state schools and four out of state at age 45. Accepted to all six and attended medical school on a full-ride tuition scholarship. Graduated A.O.A. (that's Alpha Omega Alpha) at age 49 and turned 50 three weeks later. Began general surgery residency at age 50 (university-based program) and now about to begin vascular fellowship. Scored high on all three steps of USMLE with no prep/review courses. It can be done at any age (I am living proof of this) and you do not have to go to the islands if you are over 40. I was well over 40 and I had been in healthcare previously (RRT or Registered Respiratory Therapist).

    You can take the time to get your application (AMCAS/ACCOMAS) competitive and you can get into medical school here in the U.S. There are no guarantees that you will pass USMLE on the first try but you get a first-class medical education from which you can enter the specialty of your choice provided you do well without uprooting your family/selling your house or living in a third world.

    I will stand by everything that I have posted in my previous posts. Going offshore is a very bad idea. Many (but not all) offshore schools are quite willing to take your money (Check out the St. Christopher demise on Google) and leave you with a degree that is useless here in the United States. Some of these schools will tell students anything to get your money and could care less if you ever end up practicing.

    There are exceptions but again, know what you are paying for and know the consequenses on the other end because you DO NOT have to go overseas if you are over 40.
     
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  35. NewHope

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    Hey njbmd! You are definitely the exception as well. You've got no arguement from me. But you really have got to be in pretty good physical shape and spirits to do it at that age. Congarats on your accomplishments. :D

     
  36. redsoxfan

    redsoxfan Senior Member
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    This is not true at all. St. George's allows u to take out $18,000/yr in Federal loans vs $38,500 if u went to school in the US. Don't be fooled. the bulk of your loans if u go abroad will be private loans!
     
  37. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    I just wanted to add that going to med school in the carribeans is like being premed in college----everyone can do it but many will fail in it's ultimate goal.

    I think most will agree that people should take US MD schools over Caribbean if given the choice (and I think US DO over IMG but that's for another thread...), and I say if the Caribbean is your ONLY choice, then go for it. It's those that have borderline stats who could wait it out a year or two whom, I think, should try for US med schools. The reason, as others have stated, is that you don't have to deal with the extra hassles of being an FMG and there is a significantly higher rate of failing out and/or not getting a residency despite all your hard work. You can either do your prep work NOW when you're a premed or do the extra legwork LATER when you're already thousands of dollars in debt, possibly with an MD degree which won't get you a residency. I'd rather do the former than the latter. Not if I had a shot at a US MD school.
     
  38. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV
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    REDSOXFAN you do understand BillyDoc already attended ROSS before and knows what he is talking about right? Also many US students take out Private loans I really do not see this as the main issue it's steering us away from the real issue and that is success.

    I think one can be successful going to the Caribbean ( I hope so I'm about to Graduate from Basic Science here) But I agree that not all be it 20%, 30% or as much as 40% To me just proves that a lot of people think they can do then for one reason or another do not do it. It would be interesting to know how many 35 year olds and older ( I'm 43) have done it? I would hope the older folk faired better.

    I have data that says (I have posted it in this thread) many are successful from the Caribbean but no argument that US students do far better.:luck:
     
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  39. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV
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    Yeah can't say much to this I do not have hard numbers on this myself, I was trying to say 90% do not pass, not meaning failed out but pass the Blocks but thats just argumentative I know on the whole the US students have been screened and are better students (I will not agree Better Doctors because some of us in the Caribbean will be good doctors) Although I'm an AMSA officer and past President of Our international chapter I know AMSA has a streak of anti Caribbean in it, I have talked to others in the org about it in the states.

    Guess it just strikes a Cord when njbmd or any other posts such a bias, I really do not think its good to generalize so much as to use St. Chris as an example, Heck it wasn't even a Caribbean school.

    njbmd has posted before that her program will never accept Caribbean Grads, And I think so what? Like we care? It's one program and it does not prove much, only that there is unfounded Bias. there are many programs that accept FMG and IMG's


    I'm not sorry I did this, I'm not sorry to say I have been successful so far but I'm sorry to read hatred and Bias as is posted at times

    njbmd there are some other things you left out about your self that matters to ADCOMS, these things are posted in the PREALLO by ADCOM committee members, Some if us are WHITE MIDDLE AGED MEN what chances do we have? I can tell you not as good as you.
     
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  40. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV
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    Again I want to say this would mean something if you really did this. If you went through and did well only not to get a residency. I'm doing this myself, I'm in the Caribbean, I have a promise of a residency now,

    But thats me and I still have to finish medschool.

    Too many on SDN want to pretend they know and they are going to save people? WHo says we need saving? The truth is that over 50% do get residencies you post like most do not, I do not have 100% proof yet but my recent research seems to point to as much as 65% end up with a residency the year of the Match and Scramble. I still do not get the arguments on this ?
    Why is it so important to put down those of us in the Caribbean?

    I do not think it is better to go to the Caribbean but also I do not think its a waste I think spending any more time with maybe 5 posters anti Caribbean is a waste of my study time

    Good Day...........................

    I will promise this though, I will keep coming back to let you know how this NOn Trad is doing coming from such a terrible place as the Caribbean, if I beat the Odds you think exist its not that much longer so I will check in. Of course you may say its all Anecdotal ....maybe if more did this then it would add up wouldn't it?
     
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  41. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Uh, I'm a white middle aged man (granted, small caps) and have had okay luck. Interviewed invites at four U.S. allopathic medical schools (including UCSF, haven't heard a decision) and have one acceptance in my pocket.

    Frankly, I think older nontrads have better luck than your average 22 year old cookie cutter. The only disadvantages we have are those of our own making (screwed up first time around, etc.).

    Nothing wrong with offshore med schools if they're your only shot, but they aren't your only shot because of your race, gender and age. Plenty of us arthritic, balding, and sunburn-prone types that have gotten in to US allopathics, thank you very much.
     
  42. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Agreed. If you think white nontrad males are at a disadvantage in this process, you are a bit off kilter. You get into US med school based on your accomplishments, numerical stats, and smashing personality, not because of race, gender or youth. Many nontrads (of all colors, sexes) are successful in landing US med school positions. There are folks in US med school in their 40s and 50s. I don't quite understand why folks keep suggesting on this thread that the caribbean is the only option for folks of a certain age. They often may be the only option for folks with transcript issues, but that is not age dependant at all.
     
  43. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    I guess you have a difficult time saying that you believe the only reason I was successful in getting into medical school was because I am female and a member of an underrepresented minority (Jamaican and British ancestery). Anyone can look at my photo on my website (URL) and see what I look like. No secrets there. ;)

    The oldest person in my medical class was a WHITE middle-aged gentleman (started at age 52). He had been accepted into two allopathic medical schools in this country. The next oldest person in my medical school class was a WHITE middle aged gentleman (age 49) had been a former college professor like myself. He too, had two acceptances in this country and didn't even think of going offshore.

    The number 2 graduate from GWU School of Medicine in 1995 was a 49-year-old WHITE male. The number 3 graduate from Georgetown medical school in 1997 was a WHITE male aged 48. It would seem that these guys didn't have to go off to the caribbean for medical school. The GT graduate was completed the SMP program before being admitted.

    To say that you had to go offshore because you are middle-aged, male and white and that was why you couldn't get into medical school is a cop out.

    I will let you in on a little secret, I sit on two admissions committee and I know the numbers. Being white, male and middle-aged is an asset if you have a competitive AMCAS application. I guess you didn't know that.
     
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  44. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Look, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you. I hope you *are* successful. I hope you kill the boards this summer and you get a good hospital to do your third year rotations and you wind up doing a great residency in the US in the specialty of your choice. I don't have any beef with you or anyone else who went to the Caribbean. But for you to come here and argue that your chances of making it are equal to those graduates who have degrees from accredited American schools is pretty silly, because it's flatly untrue. Even if you are correct that 2/3 of Caribbean grads make it, that's still way less than the 90+% of American grads who make it, and I'm not even sure that your numbers are correct. Whether you acknowledge it or not, you *are* taking the harder road by going to school in the Caribbean. That doesn't mean you can't succeed, but it will be harder than it would have been if you had attended an American school.

    As for your asking about saving people, I have no idea what you're talking about. I never said that you needed to be saved, let alone that I (or others on SDN) was the one who would save you. :confused: I also explicitly said that I know *some* Caribbean graduates do make it; I even know some who have. Why do you think I'm saying no Caribbean students make it or that I'm putting down Caribbean grads? Maybe I'm just not smart enough to get what you're saying, but half of the quoted post is grossly distorting what I said, and the other half is a complete non sequitur that makes no sense in this context at all. :confused:
     
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  45. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV
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    Look you are clearly hostile to the idea that Good Doctors can go to a Caribbean school. I have read your posts through the years and you continue to demean the Caribbean route for Medical school, using terms like "Cop Out" is just an example. It would have taken me 4 to 5 years extra at 41 years of age to gain admission into a US school If I wet that route. My family and my finances would not allow such a route, there are others just like me. I think posting that in all situations you should go to a US medical school is extremely bias. I think discounting advice from others who think there is more than one way to become a Doctor is also very bias. I want primary care it is my plan to be a Country Doc,

    Look I do not want to fight, I have a different view than you and you must understand a lot of what you post is just opinion and I can disagree and call you on it at times.
     
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  46. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV
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    Q..................Knowing some Caribbean grads, as it has been pointed out before is Anecdotal, every time I post that I know dozens successful this is what is posted to me even here in this thread, so you can post the same thing and get away with the other side....................

    I posted clear numbers from the NRMP but they get ignored in the face of biased opinion, LOL great facts cannot win when there is a clear agenda i guess.:smuggrin:

    I have never never never posted in this thread that Caribbean should be chosen over USA but it seems many here want to post that I did.........funny
     
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  47. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV
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    Yeah I expect defense of these Mods, I understand, I cannot believe you post that Middle Aged White Men would be equal to a Female Underserved Minority when interviewing.................. Please the ADCOM thread in ALLO made it clear for us. I should not even have to go into it. So my point is for some of it there are many things against someone like me in my situation, you do not know me and you do not know others who may be similar...................

    Sorry but I have very good reasons and I'm doing well so far.

    Good Luck to you:luck:
     
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  48. OP
    OP
    sumozmom

    sumozmom Senior Member
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    i am like u....:)
     
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  49. trustwomen

    trustwomen Senior Member
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    Look, you're going to do what you're going to do. You can fix/upgrade your application and stay here for medical school, or you can go to the Caribbean. It's pretty clear that you are tempted by the latter, but at least go into it with your eyes open and a clear understanding of the sacrifice involved. For myself, I chose the first route and got into my first choice school. It took me three and a half years to do so, and was well worth it. I will wind up in 150K less debt, managed to get four years' valuable work experience during the "reparatory" undergrad and further thicken my resume, and I will look spotless to residency programs all over North America. I will have NO barriers to practicing here - administrative or otherwise - in whatever specialty I'm qualified for. I also didn't have to leave my home and managed a lovely quality of life during the journey. I am loving medical school, my class is uniformly bright and cohesive, and we get a lot of support if we need it.

    Obviously, I too would recommend against going overseas. However, if you are really in a hurry for some reason, and don't mind four rough years instead of seven nice ones, go for it. Me, I'm too old to spend years in a place I don't want to be - life is too short. I found a way to have a fulfilling, enjoyable life along the way, so why should I care that I will finish residency in my late 30s? I will be able to look back on that decade, as I now look back on my 20s, as a time of learning, growing, and living the life I want - not of being unhappy where I live, stressing out, and waiting to graduate so that "my life can begin".

    I find it hard to understand why someone would choose a shorter but less pleasant route, especially at an older age; when quantity is limited, quality becomes more important. Now, if you honestly don't have the ability to get the grades & MCAT score you need to get into school here, then by all means go to the Caribbean - but know that your limited academic ability will also give you a very hard time with the med school program (not to mention the USMLE!)
     
  50. trustwomen

    trustwomen Senior Member
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    Dude, that's uncalled for and sort of offensive.

    What many people were saying is that age, race, and gender don't work against you nearly as much as you seem to think. One cannot use that as an "excuse" for not getting into (or trying to get into) a US school. Bad grades, sure. Want to be done faster, sure. But don't suggest that you automatically had to go to the Caribbean because of your age, sex, and skin colour, because that's simply incorrect. Many people that look like you get into US schools. If you are borderline on your stats, might it then factor in? Maybe. But if you have a really solid application, you will not be refused.

    From what I understand, you chose not to apply in the US because you thought it would take too long to qualify. That's a legitimate choice and more power to you. And there are many valid criticisms about how US schools admit people - focusing too much on numbers, etc... but people's chances are based mainly on their abilities and their efforts. And US schools are not that hard to get into, compared to other countries.

    It's good that you seem open to helping the OP understand the challenges Caribbean students face, and not wanting to gloss over the rough stuff. We know so little about her situation (home, work, family) and her priorities, that it's hard to give advice.
     

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