DocDrex1

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Hey Guys!

Just curious, are all FMG's equal? For example, if there were 3 FMG's with all the same USMLE scores but one from Britain, one from Israel (American MD program), and one from SGU in the Caribbean...would they all be on the same level in terms of residency selection?

I'm considering going to one of these places for medical school and I would like to work in the US. I'm also a Canadian so I would have to deal with the visa issues. Thus, I'd have the likely get the J1. Thanks for all the help guys!

Drex
 

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Hey Guys!

Just curious, are all FMG's equal? For example, if there were 3 FMG's with all the same USMLE scores but one from Britain, one from Israel (American MD program), and one from SGU in the Caribbean...would they all be on the same level in terms of residency selection?

I'm considering going to one of these places for medical school and I would like to work in the US. I'm also a Canadian so I would have to deal with the visa issues. Thus, I'd have the likely get the J1. Thanks for all the help guys!

Drex

If your goal is to work in the US, then you should do what you can to attend a US (or Canadian) med school. As for the above choices, since the latter two tend to cater to US students who didn't get into US programs, there is a stigma attached. The same stigma doesn't exist for Britain, since their programs are meant to train local physicians, not US physicians. However, the latter two reduce some of the stigma by providing US rotations, which allow residency programs some security that such folks were evaluated working in a US hospital.

So no, not all FMGs are equal. Those who got into their national medical institutions are less stigmatized than those who were US/Can students who needed to travel offshore. And those who did US rotations have benefit over those who didn't. But again, if the real goal is to end up in the US, the goal should be to make yourself competitive for US/Can schools.
 

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Hey Law2Doc,

Thanks for the reply. I know one should study in the US/Canada as a first option. However, I don't think it's always practical to wait for a US/Canadian medical acceptance. I'm quite confident that I'll be going into primary care (I know things may change during medical school, but I think it's unlikely in my case). I think international medical schools are a good route for primary care.

Sackler grads (Israel) tend to get quite good residencies from what I've seen.

I know I can get accepted to all 3 of those countries I've mentioned. I'm not sure what would be the best choice though.

Drex
 
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Hey Law2Doc,

Thanks for the reply. I know one should study in the US/Canada as a first option. However, I don't think it's always practical to wait for a US/Canadian medical acceptance. I'm quite confident that I'll be going into primary care (I know things may change during medical school, but I think it's unlikely in my case). I think international medical schools are a good route for primary care.

Sackler grads (Israel) tend to get quite good residencies from what I've seen.

I know I can get accepted to all 3 of those countries I've mentioned. I'm not sure what would be the best choice though.

Assuming you want to practice in the US or Canada in the future:
US = Canada > UK = Western Europe > Sackler (unless you want to practice in NYC in which case they're probably close to equivalent) >>>>>>Carib/Mexico/Anywhere Else
 

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Would you guys say that Technion and BGU in Israel are right with the Sackler grads? I know it's hard to categorize these schools. BGU is newer than the others. Their entrance stats are very high.

What about Ireland and Australia. Many Canadians prefer to go here. Ireland is far too expensive for me. However, Australia is much more affordable. I guess they would be classified with the same quality as the UK.

I'm thinking BGU would be the most affordable out of all though. Being a Canadian, we don't really have much access to private loans so I have to take this into account.
 

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Hey guys,

Thanks for the help so far. From my recent research, in terms of Canada, I think the best countries to study are the Commonwealth nations: Australia, Ireland, UK, New Zealand, South Africa. From what I understand, even if I do post-grad training in these countries, there is reciprocity with Canada so it's quite easy to come back to Canada to work without having to do extra training. However, this would be about at least 10 years from now and I don't want to be stuck in another country for that long. At most, I would want to spend only my med school years in another country.

I want to work in the US (better pay and more opportunities) and the only way to do that would be to do residency there. I'm not sure if they'd really distinguish between a Caribbean grad and one from the UK or Israel. If a Caribbean grad (SGU) gets 220 on step 1 and a UK grad gets 210, I guess most program directors would pick the SGU grad. I've heard that SGU really prepares their graduates well for the USMLE's so this is actually a likely scenario! The UK I believe is more clinically focused and they go less deep into the science. Any more help would be greatly appreciated. Keep it coming guys!

Drex
 

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However, I don't think it's always practical to wait for a US/Canadian medical acceptance.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. How could it be more practical to go abroad, spend more money and risk the stigma and possibility of not matching? The number of positions for FMGs will be dwindling as more US medical schools open up (but without an increase in residency positions)

I'm quite confident that I'll be going into primary care (I know things may change during medical school, but I think it's unlikely in my case).

Yeah, I was too. Famous last words.
 

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I probably should have included the remainder of the Commonwealth countries in the "UK" listing but you get the picture.

As far as the OPs comparison of UK and Carib grads goes however, a UK (and equivalent) 210 far surpasses a 220 SGU grad. Carib programs tend to teach for the test and a 220 is actually a pretty mediocre score on Step 1 for those folks. US PDs are aware of these facts and (all other things being equal which they never are) would likely take the UC London/UC Dublin/Etc grad w/ a 210 over the SGU/Ross/AUC/Etc grad w/ a 230.
 

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I didn't realize that. People (some of these are American physicians) tell me that all FMG's are equal. I know I have the stats to get into a good medical school abroad. Some people tell me to just go to the Caribbean as these graduates do 2 years of clinicals in the US whereas UK, Irish, Australian grads don't. 2 years of clinicals in the US can really help get good LOR's from physicians during clinical training. I guess there's more to it than American LOR's and USMLE scores...

So you guys say that if I get accepted to the UK, Israel, Caribbean then I should go to the UK eh?

In terms of practicality...I've been waiting already quite some time for a Canadian medical acceptance and it's just extremely competitive. Even with my very high stats, it's proving to be very hard. I'd rather move on than wait until I'm 30 to just start medical school. Medicine is long enough.
 

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"Carib schools tend to teach for the test". First, not true. Second, what's the problem with that if it is? The USMLE is supposed to be an exam that shows one has the knowledge necessary to enter residency and begin learning how to be a doctor. It doesn't test all the other components necessary in becoming a good doctor....but no medical school teaches those components. You've got it or you don't. The stigma will forever remain but in the true heart of the matter...it's without merit. Being able to get into US medical schools is mostly a matter of college performance. Many people didn't even know they wanted to go to into medicine while in college. Some people had to hold down 2 night jobs to pay for it and thus took a bit of a beating on the ole' gpa. I would rather see a hard working, compassionate and dedicated person pursuing medicince than a snot nosed brat who wants the big bucks. Residency is really where the learning begins. A 220 is a 220 on the USMLE. It doesn't matter where the knowledge was gained, it's the same test. I think this is what aggrevates US grads the most. They want to have their sense of aristocracy over FMG's/IMG's but know they took the same exam..the exact same exam. So what do they do? They refer back to performance from years earlier, or they simply make it a nationality issue. When FMG/IMG's score high...then it's just a test..and well...my grades were better in college. When a US grad scores high it's see...US grads are smarter. Getting into residency is essentially a bottle neck effect. All these factors come into play and get jostled around..but at the neck of the bottle...the USMLE becomes the ultimate filter. And that's just the way the US has set it up. It's not any FMG/IMG's fault... Saying that a certain score from one school means a different score from another is extremely idiotic. You are saying that a 220 from Jerkwater Medical School in South Dakota is not as worthy as a 210 from Harvard? You could take an autistic idiot savant, give him/her the study materials for 3 months and he/she would ace the USMLE exams. So are they fit to practice medicine? I gurantee if you took a bright pre-med college student, gave him/her Kaplan/USMLE World/ to study for 3 months...he/she could do just fine on the USMLE Step 1..showing that the first two years of medical school are pointless. I think all of you reading this know the truth...the USMLE exams do not prove whether or not someone will be a good physician. The true determinants are within ourselves...and no medical school can teach those. But nevermind the 35 year old US citizen, Peace Corps guy, UN delegate, who scored 260/265, ...he went to a Caribbean medical school.....let's take the snot nosed kid from Jerkwater SD with the 220....I mean....he had a better college gpa.
 

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I've been waiting already quite some time for a Canadian medical acceptance and it's just extremely competitive. Even with my very high stats, it's proving to be very hard. I'd rather move on than wait until I'm 30 to just start medical school. Medicine is long enough.
I think there's a difference between waiting for an acceptance and working for one. If you're not currently accepted, and you still want to go, everything you do in life should be geared towards making your story better. Work in a healthcare field, volunteer, get as much experience as you can, make it obvious that you're more than just your high stats. There are definitely great doctors that come from carribean and other lower-tier medical schools. One of the best residents I know is a SGU grad. But "life is short" isn't a good excuse to not do it right. There will be significant limitations imposed on your postgraduate choices, no matter the idealism of the poster above me. It's true that USMLE scores are the ultimate initial filter and carribbean grads can do quite well in this respect, but your training and experiences are what ultimately land you your dream spot, and there's no doubt about the fact that these applicants have a handicap.

My advice is, quit waiting and start working for the acceptance you want.
 

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IMHO, there's reputtion and there's yourself. Work on it.
 

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In terms of 'waiting', that's not what I meant. Of course I'm making my application stronger and getting a lot more health care experience. However, Canada is very competitive. I can be very happy going to a good medical school abroad. I'm not sure if I'll be happy at the Caribbean though. I'm trying to choose between the UK and Israel and I'm still seeing which is a better route. This is what I mostly what advice on. Many of you guys are residents so you would know the residency process well.

I definitely can't see myself going into one of the really competitive specialties. I have many friends who knew what they wanted before medical school and ended up in their expected specialty.
 
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"Carib schools tend to teach for the test". First, not true. Second, what's the problem with that if it is? The USMLE is supposed to be an exam that shows one has the knowledge necessary to enter residency and begin learning how to be a doctor. It doesn't test all the other components necessary in becoming a good doctor....but no medical school teaches those components. You've got it or you don't. The stigma will forever remain but in the true heart of the matter...it's without merit. Being able to get into US medical schools is mostly a matter of college performance. Many people didn't even know they wanted to go to into medicine while in college. Some people had to hold down 2 night jobs to pay for it and thus took a bit of a beating on the ole' gpa. I would rather see a hard working, compassionate and dedicated person pursuing medicince than a snot nosed brat who wants the big bucks. Residency is really where the learning begins. A 220 is a 220 on the USMLE. It doesn't matter where the knowledge was gained, it's the same test. I think this is what aggrevates US grads the most. They want to have their sense of aristocracy over FMG's/IMG's but know they took the same exam..the exact same exam. So what do they do? They refer back to performance from years earlier, or they simply make it a nationality issue. When FMG/IMG's score high...then it's just a test..and well...my grades were better in college. When a US grad scores high it's see...US grads are smarter. Getting into residency is essentially a bottle neck effect. All these factors come into play and get jostled around..but at the neck of the bottle...the USMLE becomes the ultimate filter. And that's just the way the US has set it up. It's not any FMG/IMG's fault... Saying that a certain score from one school means a different score from another is extremely idiotic. You are saying that a 220 from Jerkwater Medical School in South Dakota is not as worthy as a 210 from Harvard? You could take an autistic idiot savant, give him/her the study materials for 3 months and he/she would ace the USMLE exams. So are they fit to practice medicine? I gurantee if you took a bright pre-med college student, gave him/her Kaplan/USMLE World/ to study for 3 months...he/she could do just fine on the USMLE Step 1..showing that the first two years of medical school are pointless. I think all of you reading this know the truth...the USMLE exams do not prove whether or not someone will be a good physician. The true determinants are within ourselves...and no medical school can teach those. But nevermind the 35 year old US citizen, Peace Corps guy, UN delegate, who scored 260/265, ...he went to a Caribbean medical school.....let's take the snot nosed kid from Jerkwater SD with the 220....I mean....he had a better college gpa.
wahhh :(:(:(
 

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After reading some of these posts, I think I'm inclined to share my experience hopefully to help the OP make their decision. I am a current 4th year student at a Caribbean school who was facing a similar decision 4 years ago. I chose the caribbean route simply for what you stated earlier: it is geared to get you a residency in the US. Now we all know the "stigma" that comes along with going to a carib school so be prepared to deal with that for the rest of your life. With that being said, it is all up to you and your performance in the end no matter where you go to school. There are people are like the poster above who think people who go to off shore schools shouldn't be called "doctors" etc. In my opinion, its scary to think people like him will be/are MDs making critical decisions about their patients, when they are oblivious enough to realize how juvenile and unprofessional they sound.

I went to a good undergrad program, had an excellent GPA. I ended up at a carib school because honestly, I had one bad day my entire career. Sadly it was the day I took the MCAT. So I had to make career decisions about my future just like everyone else . So that makes me not qualified to ever become a doctor, right? Well, I refused to accept that and went on and did well in my classes, got over 250/260s in both steps (and no, we get 3-5 weeks just like everyone else to study for these things). Does that make me less knowledgeable then my counterpart US grads? I doubt it, but I guess we will find out in residency. For now at this time, am I getting the top tier interviews like the US grads with similar scores as mine? No, but I have about 30+ interviews for very competitive IM university programs, even a few Ivy leaguers. So, again, the point is, it is really up to you and your effort. Wherever you go, work hard and many doors will be open for you in the future. You just need to have really thick skin the rest of your career. Hope that helps.
 

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After reading some of these posts, I think I'm inclined to share my experience hopefully to help the OP make their decision. I am a current 4th year student at a Caribbean school who was facing a similar decision 4 years ago. I chose the caribbean route simply for what you stated earlier: it is geared to get you a residency in the US. Now we all know the "stigma" that comes along with going to a carib school so be prepared to deal with that for the rest of your life. With that being said, it is all up to you and your performance in the end no matter where you go to school. There are people are like the poster above who think people who go to off shore schools shouldn't be called "doctors" etc. In my opinion, its scary to think people like him will be/are MDs making critical decisions about their patients, when they are oblivious enough to realize how juvenile and unprofessional they sound.

I went to a good undergrad program, had an excellent GPA. I ended up at a carib school because honestly, I had one bad day my entire career. Sadly it was the day I took the MCAT. So I had to make career decisions about my future just like everyone else . So that makes me not qualified to ever become a doctor, right? Well, I refused to accept that and went on and did well in my classes, got over 250/260s in both steps (and no, we get 3-5 weeks just like everyone else to study for these things). Does that make me less knowledgeable then my counterpart US grads? I doubt it, but I guess we will find out in residency. For now at this time, am I getting the top tier interviews like the US grads with similar scores as mine? No, but I have about 30+ interviews for very competitive IM university programs, even a few Ivy leaguers. So, again, the point is, it is really up to you and your effort. Wherever you go, work hard and many doors will be open for you in the future. You just need to have really thick skin the rest of your career. Hope that helps.
Why did you elect to go carib vs. retaking MCAT?
 

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Why did you elect to go carib vs. retaking MCAT?

Really, it was just a personal decision and a gut feeling I had at the time. I did not want to wait around for a year or two with the hope of getting in, knowing how long the process of med school/residency/fellowship is. Who knows if it was the right decision, but its the path I chose and have no real regrets at least up till this point.
 

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I probably should have included the remainder of the Commonwealth countries in the "UK" listing but you get the picture.

As far as the OPs comparison of UK and Carib grads goes however, a UK (and equivalent) 210 far surpasses a 220 SGU grad. Carib programs tend to teach for the test and a 220 is actually a pretty mediocre score on Step 1 for those folks. US PDs are aware of these facts and (all other things being equal which they never are) would likely take the UC London/UC Dublin/Etc grad w/ a 210 over the SGU/Ross/AUC/Etc grad w/ a 230.

Yup, Carribean is the last place you want to go to. The Big4 schools pretty consistently crank out scores of 240+. And, Carribean schools consistently match at the lowest rates. The students are considered bottom of the barrel going into school, and what you make of yourself during school is pretty irrelevant to PDs. Youre better off going to a school that's there to educate the students of that country. Additionally, there are so many restictions, qualifications, ramifications and caveats to the 3rd and 4th year clinicals that Carribean students do within the US; its more advantageous to do clinicals in the country where the school is located than it is to try to get the 'bonus' of US Clinical Experience. (Id est... the overseas clinical experience is assumed to be better than the piecemeal USCE)
 

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Why did you elect to go carib vs. retaking MCAT?

Exactly. If he had one bad day as he claimed, wouldn't it have been easier and wiser to retake the MCAT instead of going through a career with a stigma? Makes you wonder if there's more to the story.

I give FMG's who do well on their boards a lot of credit. It's not easy. They have to work a lot harder than their US counterparts to get a fraction of the recognition. But that's the price they pay for not getting into a US school. While I think it's great that Carib schools give students a second chance, I agree that preference should be US MD > DO > FMG. Fortunately, that's how most PD's see it too. If an FMG scores an interview and I didn't, it's because they were head and shoulders way better than me and that's how it should be.
 

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bluealiendoctor,

Having read your post, I have to say you pose the same arguments that every non-traditional caribbean/FMG student who is pissed off about the system states.

The problem is this:

1) You and other students like yourself couldn't get into an American medical school. That in it self speaks volumes. So yea, I would want the person from Joe Schmoe American university over an FMG because at least that person got into a school in their own country. Who cares about the reasons....you couldn't get in.

2) You have to seperate FMG and IMG. I have a lot respect for IMG's who grew up in other countries and went to school in their own homeland before attempting to immigrate to this country. For the most part, they are coming over to give themselves and their families a better life and oppurtunities.

3)American FMG's on the other hand are usually (not always), students who screwed up in undergrad or couldnt do well on the MCAT who use a loophole in our system to get a 2nd tier education outside of our country and call themselves doctors. They write about how we should feel about their loans...they are the ones who choose to go to these overpriced, diploma mills so no, I don't feel bad for them.

4) You talk about board scores being the great equalizer but they are not. It's been discussed numerous times that they are simply a certification exam. So yea if I a med student at Harvard gets a 220 and you go to a caribbean school and get a 260, I'm still going to take the Harvard student because I know they didn't spend 2 years simply studying for the test and another 6 months waiting and studying aterwards. Most american grads spend around 3-5 weeks studying for step 1 and have a curriculum designed not to pass Step I but to teach the essentials to becoming a good physician which is far more than Step I I assure you.

If I had my way, I would let all residency spots be available to american grads and then give what remains to IMG's. FMG's would not factor into the equation.

So what exactly did you study for the first two years of medical school if you weren't studying the material for Step 1? Don't tell me that you didn't take Biochem, Genetics, Anatomy, etc. Your argument is just typical of a US grad unsuccessfully attempting to justify your education over a Carib grad. You have minimal patient contact in your first two years so just what exactly were you studying that makes you so superior? The essentials of becoming a good physician? Unfortunately, that's not what Step 1 is a test of. The good Carib schools spend every minute of their 3rd and 4th years in the US. Only the b.s. basic sciences were done out of the US. Please don't try and argue that your biochem was better. When US grads hear that an IMG did all their rotations in the US....then it becomes....oh yeah, well not at good sites.......funny, EVERY SINGLE rotation I did had US grads doing it with me..except Psych. All the other cores had US grads side by side with me. But, if their Step scores are higher than mine....they still have a better shot..explain that? As far as wanting the Harvard grad...nodody cares what you did when you were in your early twenties anymore...get over it. It's time to grow up and start behaving like a physician....Once you are in clinicals....what you did as a young, immature kid no longer matters. You chosing the Harvard grad just because you think he/she had better clinical training? You can put a turd in a $500 punchbowl....and it's still just a turd.
 

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No, your residencies show the unjustified system. Again, perhaps you didn't read....a foreign grad who does all his/her clinicals with US grads, has higer board scores, will still not get better chances than the US grad all because of an unjustified bias. People say D.O. is better than going Caribbean yet the ONLY reason one goes to D.O. school is because they couldn't get into an M.D. school. Nobody has chosen D.O. due to its 'holistic' approach in 20 years.....I know you all can clearly see the unjustice here...it's just difficult to allow someone who has out performed you do well so you gotta bring 'em down however you can. The little person who responded 'whaay' is just your typical spoiled, snot nosed kid who's daddy probably paid for everything and is only in this for the money. He/she won't ever stay bedside and ease the mind of the dying, or help an entire family deal with cancer....but hey, he/she went to a US school..so can do no wrong.
 

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I think that this argument is pretty funny. I have seen numerous residents from both US schools, US citizens from Caribbean schools, and FMGs. To be honest going to one school or another doesn't matter in terms of the type of doctor you are. Some of the worst students and residents come from US schools. If you look proportionally it is probably equal to the number of horrible FMGs as well, there are just more US grads. As someone who now works with residents it doesn't matter where you went to school, just your work ethic and intelligence. Medicine is medicine and you make what you want out of your first 2 years in med school learning the basics. After that you learn to be a doctor from real doctors. Each individual is responsible for becoming the best doctor they can be, not your school. Many arrogant, entitled, self-righteous US grads become horrible doctors due to the attitude exhibited above. Stop trying to knock down others and worry about your own success as a physician. Good luck in figuring out your career path into medicine. Your best options for success are a US school followed by those that provide US experience clinically. That is just my advice. You need to make the best decision for you though regardless of what everyone says on this forum.
 

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So what exactly did you study for the first two years of medical school if you weren't studying the material for Step 1? Don't tell me that you didn't take Biochem, Genetics, Anatomy, etc. Your argument is just typical of a US grad unsuccessfully attempting to justify your education over a Carib grad. You have minimal patient contact in your first two years so just what exactly were you studying that makes you so superior? The essentials of becoming a good physician? Unfortunately, that's not what Step 1 is a test of. The good Carib schools spend every minute of their 3rd and 4th years in the US. Only the b.s. basic sciences were done out of the US. Please don't try and argue that your biochem was better. When US grads hear that an IMG did all their rotations in the US....then it becomes....oh yeah, well not at good sites.......funny, EVERY SINGLE rotation I did had US grads doing it with me..except Psych. All the other cores had US grads side by side with me. But, if their Step scores are higher than mine....they still have a better shot..explain that? As far as wanting the Harvard grad...nodody cares what you did when you were in your early twenties anymore...get over it. It's time to grow up and start behaving like a physician....Once you are in clinicals....what you did as a young, immature kid no longer matters. You chosing the Harvard grad just because you think he/she had better clinical training? You can put a turd in a $500 punchbowl....and it's still just a turd.


For starters, its very difficult to read your posts.

I mostly agree with wagy27

I happen to be a Carribean student, and have done those BS basic sciences you speak of. We didn't do something right to get to where we are. And noone is ever forgiven for past transgressions (in this case not studying hard enough in undergrad). To think that you will be, just by passing the USMLE is myopic. Yes, I also did every one of my rotations with US students, including Psych. But, at the end of the day, even though I scored higher on one test (Step1) than they did, they scored higher than I did on their undergrad GPA, and MCAT.

About those BS basic sciences, Wagy made a valid point, and you missed the point totally. Its a bit of an exaggeration that Carribean students spend two years studying for the Step1, but point taken. Carribean students take BS classes for two years, maybe take a USMLE review course, and then take the exam after 6 months of studying. US students take M1 and M2 courses, which they dont consider BS, but rather the basis for clinical research and practice. then, in the month they have off between M2 and M3, they take the Step1. That BS basic science stuff is half of what they went to med school for, and they know it better than you.

So, what you did as a young immature kid still matters, and it always will. And just a heads up, what you do as an immature med student also matters.

This is life.
 
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howelljolly

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No, your residencies show the unjustified system. Again, perhaps you didn't read....a foreign grad who does all his/her clinicals with US grads, has higer board scores, will still not get better chances than the US grad all because of an unjustified bias. People say D.O. is better than going Caribbean yet the ONLY reason one goes to D.O. school is because they couldn't get into an M.D. school. Nobody has chosen D.O. due to its 'holistic' approach in 20 years.....I know you all can clearly see the unjustice here...it's just difficult to allow someone who has out performed you do well so you gotta bring 'em down however you can. The little person who responded 'whaay' is just your typical spoiled, snot nosed kid who's daddy probably paid for everything and is only in this for the money. He/she won't ever stay bedside and ease the mind of the dying, or help an entire family deal with cancer....but hey, he/she went to a US school..so can do no wrong.

You need to learn to write.
And where do you get your information from??? I know my fair share of people that have chosen to do for DO because of the holistic approach, and the primary care focus. I also know many that went DO because they wouldnt be able to make it into MD.... But stop talking nonsense.
 

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People say D.O. is better than going Caribbean yet the ONLY reason one goes to D.O. school is because they couldn't get into an M.D. school. Nobody has chosen D.O. due to its 'holistic' approach in 20 years.

I must be a figment of my own imagination then, since I went to an osteopathic school and never even applied MD.

:bullcrap:
 

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Guys,

Let's not bash DO's or IMG's etc. To those that think US MG's are clearly above everyone, well..that's just ridiculous. I have many friends in the Caribbean and they are fantastic students with amazing talents. They just didn't want to keep applying and reapplying in Canada (where I'm from). I know A LOT of US medical grads that are HORRIBLE in the clinic. Many are not even the best students believe it or not. They sometimes get in more easily because of the state they live in or their disadvantaged status!

My main question...Caribbean vs UK vs Israel. Which will give me the best opportunities for US residency placement. Let's keep the discussion to this!
 

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The answer to the title of this thread "Are all FMGs equal?" The answer is No.
Your other question... the answer is UK or Israel, depending on the school. There are some pros and cons to each, obviously.

As I said, look for a school which was started by/within the country where it is located, and preferably with the intention to educate its own nationals (such as Oxford or Cambridge). Second point, in doing so, it is better to give up on obtaining US clinical experience (USCE) as a clinical clerk (3rd & 4th year), then getting said experience and having it seen as sub-standard, as one would get in a Carribean school. I believe that there is at least one school in Israel which offers the option of USCE as a clinical clerk.

Look at some of the other threads on the SDN, such as the Carribean and International threads.

Yes, there are plenty of very qualified Canadian students who go overseas for med school because there simply arent enough schools in Canada... (or something like that)... and score very high on the Step1.
 
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If you're Canadian, its kinda risky to head outside of NA for school.The carms match is pretty tight for IMGs, and the US match will become less IMG friendly with more US MD/DOs. The thing I would worry about is going to UK/Isreal and finishing with a degree but no training spot, and have to pay off $250k in loans.
 

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HowelJolly - that's the type of advice I'm looking for.

JPR22 that's true. That's why I'm currently looking for countries where post-grad training is possible. The UK is in a bit of a difficult situation since it's part of the EU. That means that all EU people have a good shot at training in the UK. I'm a British citizen so I think this will help me.

I'm also looking at Australia. The post-grad situation is not as bad there. It's much easier to do post-grad training there, even for internationals. The medical schools in Australia seem better in terms of being more similar to North American medical schools (4 year graduate entry).
 

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if youre a british citizen, then you should go to a UK school, for both tuition and post grad reasons
 

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Even though I'm a UK citizen, I'd still have to pay international fees because I haven't lived there for years. Trust me, I've looked into this...there's no way around this. The fees are pretty steep, especially when it comes to the 5 and 6 year programs. The extra year or two makes the tuition very high. However, I like the UK and I've spoken to many physicians, both American and British. Both tend to agree that the British training is stronger than the American training in residency. Even most of the Canadian physicians I've talked to have mentioned how strong the British post-grad training is.
 
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From my research though, many UK medical graduates (locals) are having trouble getting post-grad training spots. A bunch of them are heading to Australia because of this. This is why I'm interested in Australia. Australia does have a huge number of medical graduates graduating in the next few years, but I still think the post-grad opportunities are better than the UK. I'm still doing research on this.

With regards to Israel, it's looking less appealing since staying in Israel is not really an option after graduating from the Israeli schools. However, I really like the schools there. They seem very strong and have quite high admissions stats. I like Sackler especially. BGU has a special International Health program that is appealing. However, I don't want to be influenced too much by this unique program because the main goal of medical school is to provide residency options. If BGU has great post-grad options, then I'd say it's an incredible school. I'm still researching whether the Israeli schools offer great opportunities.
 

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OK now that this is settled, would some kind moderator please relocate this thread to someplace else?
:uhno:
 

JPR22

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If you went to school in aus, or isreal, would you be able to return to UK for residency?
Regardless of quality of medical education, getting residency is more important. Ive seen too many canadians who went to ireland or the caribean get burned.
 

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I think it'll be hard to do a chosen specialty in the UK because of the bottleneck there right now. However, Australian grads have traditionally been favoured over others. In the past, Australian grads didn't have to take the PLAB, but now they do. Now the UK is with the EU so things are changing. However, I still think Australian grads will be given some sort of preference over many FMG's. Being a UK citizen will probably help somehow.

With regards to Israel, I only see it as an option if I want to do residency in the US which is what I would want. I like the US and I'd love to live there so the only way to do that is to do residency there.

It's a difficult decision. I probably have the most options if I study in Australia or the UK. There are LOTS of British physicians in Canada because all their training is recognized. I've also seen MANY South African physicians in Canada and their training was all recognized. Australian training is also recognized. Too bad UK/Australian training has no reciprocity with the US.

However, Israel might give me more US clinical experience and make it easier to match in the US. I'm still researching things though.
 

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I think it's easier to get 'burned' in Ireland than in Australia for instance. Ireland is part of the EU so EU students will be given preference. Since I have UK citizenship, I think I may have less problems if I studied somewhere in Europe.

I think it's much easier to get 'burned' when one studies in the Caribbean because if one doesn't match in the US, then there is no job. I don't think this is a huge problem with the 'big 4'. It is a problem with the smaller schools though. In Australia, UK, Ireland, there is no match and there are house officer positions after medical school. One can make money and plan things better. I've talked to a couple of physicians recently, and they've told me that if I get a degree from a respected country, I WILL have a job somewhere...usually at least in the country where the degree is from.
 

bluealiendoctor

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For starters, its very difficult to read your posts.

I mostly agree with wagy27

I happen to be a Carribean student, and have done those BS basic sciences you speak of. We didn't do something right to get to where we are. And noone is ever forgiven for past transgressions (in this case not studying hard enough in undergrad). To think that you will be, just by passing the USMLE is myopic. Yes, I also did every one of my rotations with US students, including Psych. But, at the end of the day, even though I scored higher on one test (Step1) than they did, they scored higher than I did on their undergrad GPA, and MCAT.

About those BS basic sciences, Wagy made a valid point, and you missed the point totally. Its a bit of an exaggeration that Carribean students spend two years studying for the Step1, but point taken. Carribean students take BS classes for two years, maybe take a USMLE review course, and then take the exam after 6 months of studying. US students take M1 and M2 courses, which they dont consider BS, but rather the basis for clinical research and practice. then, in the month they have off between M2 and M3, they take the Step1. That BS basic science stuff is half of what they went to med school for, and they know it better than you.

So, what you did as a young immature kid still matters, and it always will. And just a heads up, what you do as an immature med student also matters.

Bonadoc's post is right on. As for you howell....yeah sweet. But if you think the step 1 material is so important......then why would it be almost impossible to find a physician of 10 years sitting down and passing the exam without reviewing it? There's nothing wrong with admitting that the large majority of basic sciences consisted of memorization. And, most of that b.s. may be used by research lab techs.....but not physicians. Don't think so? Go ask any I.D. physician what medium would be best used for a particular bacteria, ask another to explain bacterial transcription/translation. Come on, let it go...it's alright. The system is what it is. Any physician will tell you how much of what is taught in basic sciences is b.s. You just haven't come along far enough to know it yet.
 

geogil

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Bonadoc's post is right on. As for you howell....yeah sweet. But if you think the step 1 material is so important......then why would it be almost impossible to find a physician of 10 years sitting down and passing the exam without reviewing it? There's nothing wrong with admitting that the large majority of basic sciences consisted of memorization. And, most of that b.s. may be used by research lab techs.....but not physicians. Don't think so? Go ask any I.D. physician what medium would be best used for a particular bacteria, ask another to explain bacterial transcription/translation. Come on, let it go...it's alright. The system is what it is. Any physician will tell you how much of what is taught in basic sciences is b.s. You just haven't come along far enough to know it yet.

Ok first things first. Your posts are hard to read because you don't punctuate them properly. Ellipses are not used in place of the traditional period.

Next, the first two years of medical school are not irrelevant. In my opinion, they are mainly for giving you context for further learning. Put another way, in large degree, these years are high priced vocabulary lessons for learning the language of medicine.

It seems that you have a huge inferiority complex regarding your carribbean medical education. If you really felt that your education was equivalent to a US allopathic education, then you wouldn't be trying so hard to justify that fact on an internet message board. Instead, the facts would speak for themselves, right?
 

howelljolly

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Bonadoc's post is right on. As for you howell....yeah sweet. But if you think the step 1 material is so important......then why would it be almost impossible to find a physician of 10 years sitting down and passing the exam without reviewing it? There's nothing wrong with admitting that the large majority of basic sciences consisted of memorization. And, most of that b.s. may be used by research lab techs.....but not physicians. Don't think so? Go ask any I.D. physician what medium would be best used for a particular bacteria, ask another to explain bacterial transcription/translation. Come on, let it go...it's alright. The system is what it is. Any physician will tell you how much of what is taught in basic sciences is b.s. You just haven't come along far enough to know it yet.

Oh bother... things like general-micro are not so important for an ID specialist who's been at it for 10 years. They are quite important for a good clinical clerk to become an outstanding intern. Because, it will help them fully understand the new literature, and be able to understand and anticipate the ever-changing management of these diseases, and include the use of new drugs that were not discussed in their MS-II pharm class.

The observation that I have to explain this to you speaks volumes.

Additionally, Why is it that 50% of Carribean students fail the Step1 on the first attempt, after studying for it exclusively for 6 months; while of the fraction of Carribean students that pass the Step1 on the first attempt, a large number do very well - above a 240 (certainly not a normal distribution overall... probably bi-modal). Whereas, something like 97% of US students pass on the first attempt, after studying for 1 month.

Oh, and the biostats and epidemiology lectures in my BS basic science have helped me look at things more critically.
 

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This Caribbean bashing is really immature. I'm very confident that many of the Caribbean grads will be far better doctors than many American grads. I can't tell you how many times I've been in a clinic and heard doctors talk how bad the American resident or clerk is. Most of the important training is in residency. This is not something that can be debated. It's simply obvious. Medical school is very basic training. I've worked with a physician who went to John's Hopkins. He was terrible with the patients. Was he technically better than the other doctors? NOT AT ALL!

The best physician I've ever worked with graduated from Edinburgh Medical School. He was amazing with his patients and his physician colleagues were amazed by his skills.
 

howelljolly

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This Caribbean bashing is really immature. I'm very confident that many of the Caribbean grads will be far better doctors than many American grads. I can't tell you how many times I've been in a clinic and heard doctors talk how bad the American resident or clerk is. Most of the important training is in residency. This is not something that can be debated. It's simply obvious. Medical school is very basic training. I've worked with a physician who went to John's Hopkins. He was terrible with the patients. Was he technically better than the other doctors? NOT AT ALL!

The best physician I've ever worked with graduated from Edinburgh Medical School. He was amazing with his patients and his physician colleagues were amazed by his skills.

Yeah like me:soexcited:
 

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Let's stick to the point. If I was to go to an International medical school, which would be the best option in terms of career opportunities? I'm a Canadian by the way. I'm just looking for advice.

I have nothing but respect for Caribbean grads that get into a residency. Many of them will make FANTASTIC physicians. I can't tell you how many of my very talented, intelligent friends are studying there! I have no doubt that they will do great things with their careers. I know this because they are extremely talented people. They will probably surpass many of the American grads in terms of career advancement. Why do Caribbean grads often feel the need to defend their education? Obviously it's because of all the Caribbean bashers out there. It simply has an effect on most humans when people continually devalue their education.

Those Caribbean grads that don't match and flunk out of medical school, well, they won't be doctors so who cares?! One of my friends went to SGU and then became a Cardiothoracic surgeon. I have a lot more admiration for his talent than the talent of someone who graduates from an American school and becomes a family doctor. Many of you American grads will be working with Caribbean grads. You may not want to admit it, but many of these Caribbean grads will be better residents than you. They will be more knowledgeable, have more stamina, better bedside manner, and may be simply more intelligent!! Many American graduates need to get off their high horse and grow up a bit.
 

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Like most things in life things will depend more on you and your performance than where you came from. Will it be extremely difficult to get into very competitive programs from a carib or foreign schools? Of course, but it was difficult for your friend to get into cardiothoracic surgery from sgu but he got it done.To make the road you take less stressfull if i were considering going overseas I would take either sackler or one of the 4 fully accredited carib schools.Both options will give you a good opportunity to take you where you want to go. This of course is only after you have exhausted time money and resources trying to get into a U.S school.
 

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1) Which school will be best for me as a Canadian citizen trying to get a US residency?
2) Which school will be best for me as a Canadian citizen trying to get a Canadian residency?

I am not sure, but think that the two questions will have different answers. I won't even attempt to answer question 2 because I don't have enough knowledge. I do practice internal medicine in the US and I think that as far as getting a US residency, it won't matter that much if you do med school at an Israeli school vs. UK vs. perhaps one of the top one or two Caribbean medical schools, PROVIDED YOU DO WELL ON THE USMLE STEP 1 AND HAVE EXCELLENT LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION AND WHAT LOOKS LIKE DECENT GRADES IN MEDICAL SCHOOL. I personally wouldn't go to any Caribbean medical school that has less than a 90% or so passing rate on USMLE Step 1...if it's less than that it's less than the vast majority of US med schools, and that means either the teaching is bad or the students are bad. Israeli schools - I've never encountered any grads from there except one friend of mine who I think went to Sackler and tried to do surgery but could only get a 1 year preliminary spot in the US, and ended up ultimately in anesthesia and is doing well. UK schools - I've met one Irish med school grad who I think was a US citizen, seemed to be a good intern and he was in emergency medicine.

I think any IMG with no US citizenship will face obstacles in getting a US residency, but if you don't mess up in medical school and your USMLE score is good, you should be able to get a spot in primary care or psych, and maybe some other fields (neurology, ER, maybe general surgery, etc.) unless the residency situation changes drastically in the US in the next 5 years. If you want to do something like dermatology or radiology or plastic surgery, I think that is not going to be possible as an IMG.

Lastly, have you looked in to applying to some US private schools that might have taken Canadians in the past? Also, have you looked at trying to get in US osteopathic medical schools, or at least asking whether they take Canadians? Any stigma associated with these is fading here in the US, and some of those schools are pretty solid, and particularly if you like primary care they tend to emphasize that. I definitely think it would be easier to get US residency coming from one of those (and having done well there) than coming from the Caribbean.
 

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So many IMGs in rad residencies....!


yes but I think they are few according to NRMP results.

I want radiology nothing else, if not in US then anywhere:)


I don't know anything about the level of the Carbb Med schools graduates US citizen or not.
but I think they have better chance than me( An US citizen all schools and medical collage finished in Saudia Arabia).
 
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There are NOT "so many IMG's doing radiology". I have never ever met even one. I'm not saying there aren't some here and there, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is very, very hard to get a radiology spot as an IMG or FMG. I know what I am talking about. I am a practicing physician in the US and I've trained and/or worked at multiple hospitals. Also, keep in mind that if you see IMG's or FMG's practicing in radiology, many of those guys are 45 or 50 years old, and they did residency 20 years ago. Radiology used to be a less competitive residency field but now in the last 5 years or so it is a very, very competitive field to get in to. Even at my school (well known US MD allopathic medical school) there were people even in the top 1/3 of the class who didn't get in to radiology...most did, but there were some who didn't.

As a non US citizen (FMG) I think it would be nearly impossible. I would certainly not count on that. If I were an FMG applying to US radiology residencies, I would certainly have a backup plan because more likely than not you will not get in, even if you do well on the USMLE. If you want radiology only, then think about applying in multiple different countries to get it. Remember that there are many, many US students with high USMLE scores and who did quite well in medical school who are applying for those same spots that you are applying for.
 
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