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Anyone PLEASE-Need Info Re Accelerated MD Program

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by *SuzyQ*, Oct 8, 2000.

  1. Hello Everyone [​IMG]

    I desperately need info about this new *accelerated* MD program, I think they call it a program for Working Health Professionals offered thru Windsor in the Carib.
    Firstly, with all due respect, is this a joke?
    Is this a legitimate MD program which will eventually lead to a residency in the US?
    Does anyone have any USMLE pass rate info?
    How do Canadian students fare in the process, i.e. are they able to gain US residencies as well?
    How does this school compare with St.Georges and Ross (the latter of which now requires applicants to take the MCAT)?

    I have many, many more q's, but will wait to see the quality of responses!

    I appreciate everyone's help.
    Thank you!
     
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  3. girlMD2be

    girlMD2be Member

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    Beware of ANY programs that will allow you to use credits earned from courses in nursing, podiatry, chiropractic, etc..towards an MD degree. You will not be able to get licensed to practice medicine in the USA. I obtained my info by speaking with the folks from my home state's medical licensing board. They follow California's guidlines(as do most states) on granting licensing for graduates of foreign med schools. I was told that if a student is using credits from a non MD program towards an MD degree, they will not be granted a license. These schools will tell you anything to get you to enroll in their programs. I have no info to give about Canada since I am an American and I plan to practice here in the USA. I would stick with the established schools like SGU, AUC, ROSS, UAG, etc.. if you want to become a doc. Going the foreign route is difficult and I feel it is better to stick to programs with proven track records.
     
  4. Thanks for your down-to-earth advice.
    I was wondering also as to who is responsible for locating residencies once the student is eligible.
    Are you aware of any Carib med sch which is 100% responsible for finding their students residencies?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  5. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member

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    SuzyQ:

    I have done quite a bit of investigating into IMG graduates and residencies and so I'll give you one person's perspective.

    Basically what I have discovered is that if you want to do IM or Family Medicine, you won't really have too much difficulty finding one as long as your willing to go anywhere in the country. This is assuming that your grades are good and you have decent scores on Step 1 and ECFMG. Surgical and ER residencies are more difficult to get. Not impossible, just difficult. Anesthesia has a lot of IMGs.

    A lot of getting residencies is WHO you know. Remember, a residency is like getting a job, you are an employee and they are looking for good references. They want individuals that will work well with the ancillary staff and other physicians. During your clerkships you want to concentrate on getting to know people who can potentially help you in obtaining a residency. That is your opportunity to shine and show these people that you are good and will make a good resident. They will in turn be willing to help you out. Don't think the school will help you, they probably will not. They may have some good advice, but thats probably about it.

    Hope this helped.

    Christopher
     
  6. Hello Christopher
    Thanks for responding.
    Are you planning to attend one of the Carib med schs, or already a med student there?
    I am Canadian, and I know that will pose special visa concerns down the line, because I don't wish to return to Canada to practise.
    Are you Canadian yourself, or aware of any Canadians who are going thru this process now?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  7. Andre

    Andre Member

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    Suzy,
    Please E-mail me with your stats..
    My wife is now MS3 from Caribbean, and we are both Canucks from Ontario..
    [email protected]
     
  8. Bonjour Andr?!
    Thanks, I will be in touch.
     
  9. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member

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    Hey SuzyQ:
    I have recently applied to the International University of the Health Sciences' DLP program. I am a US citizen so unfortunately I can't help you in regards to your VISA concerns. Sounds like Andre, however, can.

    Good luck to you.

    Christopher
     
  10. Hey Christopher [​IMG]
    What made you decide on IUHS?
    What is the DLP program?
    Thanks.
     
  11. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member

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    I chose IUHS basically because my situation is such that I can only pursue my medical degree via the DLP (Distance Learning Program). I am a 35-year old PA who has a wife and a 9-month old son that prohibits my going away somewhere for 20-months until clinicals start. Additionally, I believe in the Problem Based Learning approach.

    Distance Learning is a method of education that is becoming very popular in the US. EXAMPLES: George Washington Univ., Univ. of Nebraska, NOVA/Southeastern all offer master degrees for PAs via Distance Learning and the internet. IUHS is the first medical school that I know of anywhere who has offered this type of program. Actually, there is a school in Antigua that has one as well. I believe it is six years, however. The didactic portion of this program (20-months) is delivered and taught via internet based instruction. This means you are only actually on the campus of St. Kitts for a total of approx. 4-weeks. The catch is you have to have a strong medical background in order to do this program. It is not granting advanced standing. You just have to have a good working knowledge of medicine in order to do this and expect to do well on the USMLE Step 1. After completion of the 20-months, you do clinicals in the US for the remaining 20-months.

    A lot of people are skeptical because the program is new and unproven. The charter class will be taking Step 1 in Jan/Feb 2001. I share the concern but not the skepticism. I think the school is good and is just young and will in time prove itself. AUC, SGU, Ross, etc., were all in the same boat in their beginning.

    As far as licensing is concerned, I have personally accessed many state boards of medicine and reviewed their statutes regarding educational requirements for IMGs. They all have the following common denominator...
    1) the school be listed with WHO, 2) the program must be at least 4-academic years (32-36 months)3) the graduate must be ECFMG certified. This school fits all of those requirements. There are a couple of states that specifically state that the first two years must be performed in the country in which the school is chartered. Massachusetts says this and I think California and Texas. That leaves enough states where I can live and practice medicine.

    Anyway, this is probably more info. than you were looking for. Its just that this is central in my life right now and I'm pretty excited about this possibility for me and others in the future.

    Take care and good luck.

    Chris
     
  12. Hi Chris [​IMG]

    On the contrary, I find it fascinating. I'd never even heard of DLP until you mentioned it. I'm glad I asked. No doubt internet technology is changing the world before our very eyes.
    What sort of background do you need to be accepted into the program?
    Have you completed the 4 week offsore stint yet?

    Take care.
     
  13. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member

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    I believe in order to do well in a program like this, you need to be some sort of an allied health professional, i.e., PA, Nurse Practitioner, Critical Care Nurse, etc. I do know of a nuclear med. tech who was recently accepted as well.

    The thing is, you are studying this info in your home without formal lectures. A certain knowledge base is required in order to learn and understand the information.

    As far as the 4-weeks is concerned, I have yet to be accepted to the program. I just applied a couple of weeks ago. I hear, however, that it can be completed in the last year.

    Take care.

    Chris
     
  14. Hi Chris [​IMG]

    Thanks for continuing.
    I wonder if you've checked out this site: www.aaimg.com
    What do you think of your school's listing on this site?
    Wonder also who the AAIMG is exactly, and how long they've been around.
    Ciao.
     
  15. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    Chris,

    DON'T DO IT! I don't know you, so why should I care, right?! It pains me though that, as a young man with a family, you are going to fall for such a scam!

    I don't care what the WRITTEN regulations seem to say, TALK to the people responsible for licensure on the State Boards you checked. There is more than a good chance that you will not be able to get your license. If anything, wait till the charter class takes the USMLE in jan 2001 to see the % of passing and also to see if they are going to be placed in valid rotations in the US (remember, you can't just rotate at any hospital).
     
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  17. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member

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    SuzyQ:

    I have checked out the AAIMG's website and even investigated them a bit. This is a bogus organization that is believed by many to have been started by another one of the Caribbean medical schools to self-promote themselves. I have written them, emailed them and tried to call them to no avail. I called Carson City information who told me there is no listing for the AAIMG. I also find there "Words of Wisdom" section to be a little too well tailored to fit IUHS without specfically mentioning them. It looks nice and professional but smells very bogus.

    UHS2002,

    I appreciate your concern. I did speak with someone at the Florida Board of Medicine who stated that there should not be a problem with licensure in this state. I also spoke with someone at the Pennsylvania Board (via mail actually) who also said that the program satisfies their state requirements. I have heard a lot of people say exactly what you are saying but cannot give me any specifics. Please, if you can tell me on what grounds a state (other than the ones I listed previously) can deny licensure to an IUHS graduate, I would love to know. I am serious, I am on this forum with my eyes open to get as much information as I can to make an intelligent and informed decision. I need facts, however, not speculation.
    I know have read Dr. Taylor's postings. As you know, he is affiliated with one of the residency programs in Pennsylvania. He has some very good things to say about this school and the Chancellor, Dr. Waterhouse. The posting is entitled "IUHS", and is down near the bottom. Actually, you participated in that thread. Do you think he is wrong?

    Currently, I have applied for May 2001. I will know how the charter class did on Step 1 and I can assure you if they do poorly, I probably will not go (assuming I am accepted). I will have to re-evaluate at that time.

    Tell me why you think this is a "scam". Do you think the school is intentionally misleading potential students?

    Chris
     
  18. girlMD2be

    girlMD2be Member

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    I believe that most states will only allow licensing for IMG's who have done their clinical rotations at ACGME approved sites. This is a BIG point to consider when asking foreign med schools how many clinical sites they have in the USA. How many ACGME approved clinical sites does IUHS have set up for their students to rotate through?
     
  19. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    Chris,

    Dr. Taylor was refering to IUHS PBL program, and his impression of the program was from a cousin who is attending it. He doesn't have any experience with the program's graduates because there aren't any yet! He also inquired about the DLP program, so obviously he doesn't know anything about it.

    I think PBL is a great way to learn medicine but there is an enormous difference between a PBL program and the DPL that we are discussing here. My concern is that, to begin with, you are going to be hard pressed to find any "green book" hospital that will allow you to do your 3rd and 4th year rotations there once they realize that you did your first 2 years of med school via correspondence. As it is, it is not always easy for students from off shore schools to find rotations sites. Consider also that there are plenty of IMGs who actually attended medical school in their country of origin, got pretty decent scores on their USMLE 1 and 2 and are on the internet begging for leads on residency programs. I truly believe that you are going to be at an even greater disadvantage than they are by getting your medical education through this program.

    Do I have concrete evidence that this is a scam or that you will not get your license?! No, I don't. If I did, so would the ACGME, AMA and state Medical Boards and this thing would go the way the Ross Wyoming venture did...Do I think this is an attempt by IUHS to circumvent current US regulations pertaining to medical eduction?! Yes, most definitely. Their DLP is in fact "attending" a foreign medical school on US soil. IUHS is trying to sneak by based on technicalities, as Ross tried and as St. Matthews is trying. I am positively convinced that "the powers that be" here in the US are looking into the matter and, when they are done, a lot of good people will be left with tons of debt and no degree.

    I haven't seen posted anywhere, oficially by IUHS or by any of their current students, a list of their rotation sites in the US. Yet, they should have students from their first class doing rotations right now. So, why is this list such a big mistery??? Wouldn't it stand to reason that, if the school was able to secure "green book" rotation sites for their students, they would let others know, as a way to attract more serious students into their program?!

    Furthermore, I think the analogy between some universities granting graduate degrees via distance courses and IUHS DLP doesn't hold water. Often, people need a degree just to advance in their work position, a pro-forma thing, if you will. It isn't necessarely that they will be using the skill gained through the aquisition of that degree. Promotions in the military above certain ranks work that way. You must have a degree, nobody cares if it is in physics or horticulture. The same holds true for certain gov't jobs. For these people, long distance degrees are the way to go. You find the same in nursing, where LPNs can get a BSN through correspondence courses and a few on campus stays. That is because the degree is really not adding much to what they already do.

    The first 2 years of medical school are NOT just a prep course to pass the USMLE 1. If they were then, sure, a correspondence course would suffice. As one of my professors said: "you are here so that we can mold you into physicians". Medical school goes beyond the simple memorization of facts. It is a socializing experience and an intensive training in aquiring a certain manner of approaching problem solving. It teaches you how to act and think during a medical exchange of ideas, how to relate to your colleagues. It is also an attempt, sometimes not so successfull, at screening those who have the intellectual ability for medicine but not the psychological/psychiatric balance for it (example, dear Dr. Swango). I can't begin to imagine how a long distance course can accomplish these objectives.

    Having said all that, I would also like to ask you a question:
    Why aren't you considering a US medical school, MD or DO?

     
  20. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member

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    GirlMD2Be:

    The school tells me that that their core rotations are in ACGME approved hospitals. The electives, however, do not have to be in ACGME hospitals. I, however, plan to do ALL of them in an ACGME approved hospital (if possible). Fortunately, during my experiences as a PA, I have gotten to know quite a few individuals who can help me in this regard.

    UHS 2002,

    I think your points are well taken and I really do not dispute most of them. Let me, however, address a couple of things.

    First, the charter class has not started their clerkships yet. The school states that they are affiliated with Green Book hospitals but are not publicly listing them because so many people are inquiring into the school and they do not want a surge of prospectice applicants to call and inundate these hospitals with phone calls to confirm their asscociation. The list is apparently available to serious applicants and existing students. We will see. I am obviously watching this class (and the whole program) very closely through 2 PAs that I know who are in the program. They have been in the DLP program for about 4 or 5 months.

    Secondly, as far as my analogy regarding US schools that use DLP for degrees is concerned, I was merely using that as an example of a change in times and technology. These degrees are not for show or formality only, I disagree with you on that point. Certainly some are. High schools are employing this technique as well. My sister is an educator in Massachusetts and says it is being used extensively throughout the country. The central dogma regarding the methodologies of certain processes in our lives are and will continue to change with the advancement of technology. We need to be more open to these changes. It doesn't mean we should compromise anything, just be open minded. I think the medical community on the whole has a very elitist attitutde regarding its education process which is why most have difficulty accepting this concept. They think "I was in class from 8-5 everyday for 2-years, how can someone actually learn medicine via the internet in their home? Impossible". And thus it ends before it even had a chance to develop. Which leads me to the next thing...

    I agree with you that the first two years of medical school are not a prep course for the USMLE, that is why this program is not for someone fresh out of a pre-med undergraduate program with little or no medical background. I am an individual who has been a medical professional for over 13-years. The last four have been as a PA practicing in cardiothoracic surgery. I can assure you that I know more about approaching problem solving, exchanging of medical ideas, and relating to my colleagues than most PGY1s. Believe me, I am not an arrogant individual trying to toot my horn. I know you don't know me, but that is not the kind of person I am. I am just trying to make the point that I agree with what you are saying which is why this program is for certain individuals and not for others. Additionally, most of what you are talking about is not really learned or at least appreciated by the student until the 3rd or 4th year during clerkships.

    To answer your question, I am not attempting to go that route for two reasons. First, I would have to take the MCAT. I have not had organic chemistry or physics in over 8-years. Enough said, right? Even if I WERE able to review and relearn all of that material again and manage to get decent scores on the MCAT, my family and financial obligations would preclude my moving to another state for medical school only to move again for residency. My wife is willing to sell the house and move into an apartment for residency. Asking her to do more than that is just not possible in lieu of everything that she has seen me through thus far.

    This program is my only shot at becoming a doc. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't. I do love being a PA...and please don't ask me why I didn't become a doc to begin with, that is a whole other story. I will continue to investigate this as best I can and if I find what you are saying is true, than it will end there. I may even end up waiting until the first class graduates and I see where they go, or better IF they go to a residency.

    Thanks for your input.

    Chris
     
  21. Hirurg

    Hirurg Member

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    DO NOT DO IT, PERIOD
     
  22. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member

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    A little elaboration would be nice.
     
  23. sass

    sass Junior Member

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    Suzy Q,

    I happened upon a site that might be helpful to you concerning Canadian VISA issues and residency, the site is by a Canadian who went to St Georges (from what I can tell from the web site), applied for an H1 visa and got into residency in Anesthesiology.
    The site also has general tips of USMLE, CSA etc that I found helpful.

    The address is www.doctrine.f2s.com
     
  24. mdnd

    mdnd Junior Member

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    Hey Chris
    The reason I am sending you this e-mail is because I am also seriously considering the distance learning program at IUHS. I am a non-traditional student (35 yrs old with a family), I am an RN (currently work in Neurology with expectations to be transfered to Neuro ICU next semester). I have already completed a semester of Medical School in Mexico which was a HUGE and EXPENSIVE mistake but still very strong about pursuing a MD degree. As yourself I have a family plus a skin disorder which makes it difficult to follow normal school schedules. As you can see the distant learning program sounds like it was made to fit my needs. Same as you I am extremely concerned about the right decision. In addition that I already tried an out of the county school to come back completely convinced that I should take premed courses, prepare for the MCAT and wait one and a half more years to POSSIBLY be accepted. I had already accepted my situation but then I saw your messages at SDN. Could you please share with me some information? Do you in what states we could practice if indeed we both get accepted at this school? Correct me if I am wrong but tuition is about 24000 per year? Assuming we pass the USMLE1 is it guaranteed we would do our clinical rotations at US facilities? I seems to me you are much more ahead of me in the research and would greatly appreciate any info you could share. I was already convinced that if I did not have the money to go to SGU or AUC to just go the normal process and if not just try to get a PA or NP degree. I would hate to spend more time and money.

    Thank you and look forward to hear from you.



    [This message has been edited by mdnd (edited 11-04-2000).]
     
  25. gower

    gower 1K Member

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    In my opinion, UHS2002 makes sense. There are no short cuts to a genuine medical education. What State Boards tell you may not in fact be accurate. How you ask the question is important. If you don't pose it correctly, and if someone misunderstands what information you are presenting, you may well get a standard, by the book, answer on licensing of foreign medical graduates which may not apply at all in this case.
    US medical schools do not usually accept prequisite nursing, PA, PT, etc. college science courses as meeting science admission requirements because such courses are usually NOT science major science courses. Nor do they usually accept the courses taken in those non-doctoral health professions schools as meeting admission requirements.
    And on-line courses graded by who knows who?
    Every medical school and graduate school in the US makes judgements, often from experience, on the quality of the undergrad colleges. An A is not an A everywhere. Whether fair or not, that is exactly what anyone of us would do if we were in their places.
    There is also a risk trying to pass the USMLE exams. Don't so many thinking of going abroad always ask about pass rates? And how many truly believe, or even know for sure, that the figures they are given are truthful?
    Caveat emptor. Short cuts that may lead to disaster are hard on the pocketbook, on the psyche, and represent years lost from our allotted time on Earth.
     
  26. mitskam

    mitskam New Member

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    Dear Chris:

    This is 6 years later since your post and I wonder how you did on iuhs med program. I am interested in the same. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

    Michaela


    QUOTE=CVPA]I chose IUHS basically because my situation is such that I can only pursue my medical degree via the DLP (Distance Learning Program). I am a 35-year old PA who has a wife and a 9-month old son that prohibits my going away somewhere for 20-months until clinicals start. Additionally, I believe in the Problem Based Learning approach.

    Distance Learning is a method of education that is becoming very popular in the US. EXAMPLES: George Washington Univ., Univ. of Nebraska, NOVA/Southeastern all offer master degrees for PAs via Distance Learning and the internet. IUHS is the first medical school that I know of anywhere who has offered this type of program. Actually, there is a school in Antigua that has one as well. I believe it is six years, however. The didactic portion of this program (20-months) is delivered and taught via internet based instruction. This means you are only actually on the campus of St. Kitts for a total of approx. 4-weeks. The catch is you have to have a strong medical background in order to do this program. It is not granting advanced standing. You just have to have a good working knowledge of medicine in order to do this and expect to do well on the USMLE Step 1. After completion of the 20-months, you do clinicals in the US for the remaining 20-months.

    A lot of people are skeptical because the program is new and unproven. The charter class will be taking Step 1 in Jan/Feb 2001. I share the concern but not the skepticism. I think the school is good and is just young and will in time prove itself. AUC, SGU, Ross, etc., were all in the same boat in their beginning.

    As far as licensing is concerned, I have personally accessed many state boards of medicine and reviewed their statutes regarding educational requirements for IMGs. They all have the following common denominator...
    1) the school be listed with WHO, 2) the program must be at least 4-academic years (32-36 months)3) the graduate must be ECFMG certified. This school fits all of those requirements. There are a couple of states that specifically state that the first two years must be performed in the country in which the school is chartered. Massachusetts says this and I think California and Texas. That leaves enough states where I can live and practice medicine.

    Anyway, this is probably more info. than you were looking for. Its just that this is central in my life right now and I'm pretty excited about this possibility for me and others in the future.

    Take care and good luck.

    Chris[/QUOTE]
     

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