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BIG 4 Decision SGU Ross AUC Saba My Opinion On Which To Go To Written 10/2016

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Dr. Mike

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JUST WHAT I'VE GATHERED, THIS IS NOT FACTUAL

I am accepted at all of the Big 4. I have done a lot of research, been to info sessions, the works and heres what I've come up with. They are all very similar, but its a big decision to make, so I want to put everything I can into it. I hope this can help other students as well; remember this is only my opinion based on what I've gathered, I am sure many people will disagree with what I am saying.

All statistics at these 4 are very similar. Keep in mind a lot of stats are skewed on their websites, for example first time USMLE pass rates includes the fact that they had to take a comp exam (supposed to mimmic step 1) and pass before they can take the real exam. Some have to take an extra year to do this before they take step the first time and then are added to the "see he/she passed the first time" stats of each school. Also keep in mind the schools drop a lot of people that they don't want representing their school (mostly in the first semester). The only main difference I have found in stats is Saba has a much worse attrition rate.

So far, I am ruling out Saba because I don't like THAT small of class sizes and opportunities, the island life is also extremely limited, and I simply think they don't have as good of a reputation, curriculum, professors, etc. as at least one the other three schools. Plus, as I noted above, Saba's attrition rate is significantly higher than the other 3. Price is obviously way cheaper but I think that doesn't make up for the negatives.

I think I am ruling out Ross as well. This is more controversial. The positive is its a bit more well known than AUC and Saba (not SGU tho). One difference with Ross is that it seems to be similar class size to AUC (maybe a bit bigger) and its smaller than SGU. Negatives: I believe the quality of education is worse than SGU and possibly AUC as well, and island life seem to be worse than both AUC and SGU, so I think I would prefer one of those to Ross. Many people put AUC below Ross, but I think thats changed.

So now the big question for me: AUC or SGU.

SGU is much bigger which has two sides for me: big class sizes which I don't like, but more people in the school to know and work with, which I do like.

At AUC I like the smaller class sizes, and there are more opportunities getting to know and getting help/accommodations from professors and the administration. There are more connections at SGU but easier to make deeper connections at AUC- not everyone knows each other at SGU, where everyone does at AUC.

SGU is much more well known and has a huge alumni network (good for connections in rotations, letters of rec, residencies, interviews with docs who have only heard of SGU in the Caribbean etc.) and has many more affiliated hospitals (and a bit better hospitals imo).

SGU is more expensive than AUC by about 8-9k/year (you can fact-check the exact amount), but at this point whatever, I will make my decision on other factors.

Island life at SGU is decent, but much more remote and underdeveloped than AUC's St. Maarten. Island life in St. Marteen blows every other Caribbean schools' out of the water. It is more touristy which some might not like, but in exchange it has many more luxuries, conveniences, opportunities on the Island, much easier to get to/from etc. which I think will provide a better learning environment for me (I think I'll feel less isolated). Of course this is medical school and I don't plan on being "out and about" often, but mental/emotional state during med school is important.

Kind of silly to note and probably irrelevant, but a resident from AUC mentioned how it has the word Caribbean in it which makes it an obvious Caribbean, whereas SGU may skim by, plus there is a SGU of Medicine in England.

So far I think this is the overall tradeoff: AUC is great for smaller classes, better island living, more attention from faculty, and closer relationships. SGU is more well known, has more affiliated hospitals, and has a much larger alumni network.

I welcome and appreciate all feedback, difference opinions, thoughts, etc.

Good luck deciding! I have about a week to make mine!
 
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the argus

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You're way overthinking this dude. If you think any 1 school out of these 4 is going to give you a leg up you're kidding yourself. They are all the same. Pick the island you think you'll like living on the best and go for it. Thinking that somehow not having "caribbean" in the name of the school is important is ridiculous. Most people don't care where you went to medical school. Those that do care will know which schools are in the caribbean, regardless if it's in the name.

Saying things like this is also ridiculous,
I believe the quality of education is worse than SGU and possibly AUC as well, and island life seem to be worse than both AUC and SGU, so I think I would prefer one of those to Ross. Many people put AUC below Ross, but I think thats changed.
You believe, huh? What are your beliefs based on exactly? You realize that Ross and AUC are owned by the same company, right? And who are these "people"? What are their credentials that make them qualified to judge educational differences among caribbean medical schools?

All these schools are basically the same school, just on different islands. You've gotten enough input from the SDN community. Time to make a decision and move on. Good luck with whatever you choose!
 
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Dr. Mike

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You're way overthinking this dude. If you think any 1 school out of these 4 is going to give you a leg up you're kidding yourself. They are all the same. Pick the island you think you'll like living on the best and go for it. Thinking that somehow not having "caribbean" in the name of the school is important is ridiculous. Most people don't care where you went to medical school. Those that do care will know which schools are in the caribbean, regardless if it's in the name.

Saying things like this is also ridiculous,

You believe, huh? What are your beliefs based on exactly? You realize that Ross and AUC are owned by the same company, right? And who are these "people"? What are their credentials that make them qualified to judge educational differences among caribbean medical schools?

All these schools are basically the same school, just on different islands. You've gotten enough input from the SDN community. Time to make a decision and move on. Good luck with whatever you choose!
People are so opinionated on this site, it's pretty crazy to see.
Anyways, I agree about Caribbean in the name is rediculous, a person who went to AUC and is now in residency mentioned that so I figured I'd throw it in.
Yes it's my belief/my opinion. I clearly said how this is all based on MY research, info sessions, speaking with students, etc. it is not factual and "these people" are people who went to the school or are on the admissions staff for the school so I think they are decent sources. But jeez, this is not a research article in a medical journal making citations. This is just what I've gathered in my perspective from doing my homework. This is all how I'm thinking about MY decision.
Like I said, I've done a lot of looking into this, so I obviously know Ross and AUC are both owned by DeVry. It's under the same umbrella but each school is very different.
I have a week left to make a decision so it's nice of you, but don't worry about me, I will make my decision.
 
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mcat_taker

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People are so opinionated on this site, it's pretty crazy to see.
Anyways, I agree about Caribbean in the name is rediculous, a person who went to AUC and is now in residency mentioned that so I figured I'd throw it in.
Yes it's my belief/my opinion. I clearly said how this is all based on MY research, info sessions, speaking with students, etc. it is not factual and "these people" are people who went to the school or are on the admissions staff for the school so I think they are decent sources. But jeez, this is not a research article in a medical journal making citations. This is just what I've gathered in my perspective from doing my homework. This is all how I'm thinking about MY decision.
Like I said, I've done a lot of looking into this, so I obviously know Ross and AUC are both owned by DeVry. It's under the same umbrella but each school is very different.
I have a week left to make a decision so it's nice of you, but don't worry about me, I will make my decision.

One thing you haven't mentioned is the assessment structure. I have friends at both schools and from what I can remember SGU has just a midterm and a final whereas AUC has multiple block exams per term (but don't quote me on this). This means less examinable material on each exam, each exam is weighed less, but the exams are given at more frequent intervals. Some people may prefer one system vs. the other. I know that structure is the reason a friend of mine chose AUC over SGU, simply because he didn't want so much pressure being allocated to just a midterm and a final like they do at SGU where if you fail one exam you're pretty much screwed. He's still at AUC advancing through the basic science curriculum so maybe he made the right choice in deciding that way. Just my two cents.
 
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Dr. Mike

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One thing you haven't mentioned is the assessment structure. I have friends at both schools and from what I can remember SGU has just a midterm and a final whereas AUC has multiple block exams per term (but don't quote me on this). This means less examinable material on each exam, each exam is weighed less, but the exams are given at more frequent intervals. Some people may prefer one system vs. the other. I know that structure is the reason a friend of mine chose AUC over SGU, simply because he didn't want so much pressure being allocated to just a midterm and a final like they do at SGU where if you fail one exam you're pretty much screwed. He's still at AUC advancing through the basic science curriculum so maybe he made the right choice in deciding that way. Just my two cents.
Very good point! Thank you so much.
This is what I've understood so far but not 100% on the details so maybe someone can weigh in on this:
From what I understand, yes AUC has block exams (generally 3-4 block exams and a final) each term, Summer, Fall, Spring. 90+ Honors, 70+ pass, less than 70 fail. Also some small quizzes but not worth much.
As you said, SGU has a midterm and final. Below 75% mean you get on academic probation or dropped. Less than 70% you have to retake the course. There are other grading criteria (unified exam, practicals, quizzes etc.) but midterm and final are most of the points.
 
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muqalia

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I think you have an equal chance of matching regardless of which big three school you go to. Good luck at wherever you end up.
 
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Dr. Mike

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I think you have an equal chance of matching regardless of which big three school you go to. Good luck at wherever you end up.
Thank you! Every opinion possible is great here for those trying to figure out a similar decision. I appreciate it
 
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Thank you! Every opinion possible is great here for those trying to figure out a similar decision. I appreciate it

SGU: nicer island, more expensive, midterm and final sucks, good residency placements

AUC: nicer island, expensive living, tourist destination so distracting, also good placements, not organ based, class attendance is mandatory

Ross: island sucks, can be frugal with living and save there, organ based with good step 1 integration, class is not mandatory and recordings are available, very good placements with good connections with hospitals stateside (12k alumni in US)


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
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Dr. Mike

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Turns out SGU changed from a midterm and final to block exams (4 tests per semester and a final!)
 
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Clarus

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Turns out SGU changed from a midterm and final to block exams (4 tests per semester and a final!)

I'm liking the sound of that. I'm also interested between SGU and AUC.
 
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Dr. Mike

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I'm liking the sound of that. I'm also interested between SGU and AUC.
SGU has a program where they will pay you back for the flight and hotel if you fly out there and end up choosing it. I chose AUC and told SGU that and they said they'll fly me out there for free, no commitment. So I'm flying out tonight, be back Thursday. Happy to report my experience.
 
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Clarus

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Did SGU ask you guys for a copy of your passport for the application? That seems kinda' shady to me, doesn't it? I'm not too familiar with applying internationally because this is the first time I'm doing it. Do other schools ask for that too?
 

Dr. Mike

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Did SGU ask you guys for a copy of your passport for the application? That seems kinda' shady to me, doesn't it? I'm not too familiar with applying internationally because this is the first time I'm doing it. Do other schools ask for that too?
I can guarantee these schools are not sketchy at all. Very reputable actually and many graduates in the US. I forgot if they ask in the application, it was a while ago.
 
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Dr. Mike

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I just visited SGU. Love it there. Going to decide for sure in the next day or two. Here is the master class schedule for all terms for the SGU Fall 2016 class:
 

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Dr. Mike

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Oh and btw I ended up choosing SGU.
In person St. George's seemed a bit "cold." There were 800 people in a lecture, and just so many people in general bc of the undergrads, vet students, masters, etc. I don't like that part. I haven't been to AUC, but I know it is smaller, and would imaging a bit "warmer." In the end, I think the connections and reputation of SGU is slightly greater, so I sacrificed the smaller aspect of AUC.
 
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learner01

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Oh and btw I ended up choosing SGU.
In person St. George's seemed a bit "cold." There were 800 people in a lecture, and just so many people in general bc of the undergrads, vet students, masters, etc. I don't like that part. I haven't been to AUC, but I know it is smaller, and would imaging a bit "warmer." In the end, I think the connections and reputation of SGU is slightly greater, so I sacrificed the smaller aspect of AUC.


Congrads on your decision, Are you attending now? maybe you can share more info if you can? thanks
 

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Congrads on your decision, Are you attending now? maybe you can share more info if you can? thanks

Since you seem like you are looking around for recent information on SGU attendance or Caribbean life in general, I'll link my thread here for you. I am a recent SGU grad in my intern year, and would hesitate to recommend the Caribbean. If you are debating the life changing choice of choosing a carib school, make sure you speak with students who have finished matching, as viewpoints change significantly when you compare 1st and 2nd year students to recent grads. https://forums.studentdoctor.net/th...y-you-should-stay-away.1199038/#post-17732637
https://forums.studentdoctor.net/th...y-you-should-stay-away.1199038/#post-17732637
 
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Dr. Mike

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Congrads on your decision, Are you attending now? maybe you can share more info if you can? thanks
Yep, actually just moved in today! I don't know much yet lol but I can keep y'all updated. If you have any questions, shoot, and I'll answer (keep in mind it prob has to be questions more about the process than the actual school, except basic things of course)
 

Dr. Mike

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do you mind sharing your stats with us? I was thinking about applying but wanted to know my chances and whether they would make me take the basic sciences?
Ya no problem, 3.25O 3.35S. St. George's (and all of the big 4's) are very lenient on grades and mcat. They really want you here to give your money, and then they drop 30-60% depending on the school (when they tell you its like 15 or whatever its bs).
 
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Skip Intro

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Since I've graduated from Ross, there are 41 new medical schools in the U.S.

That's not a typo.

Of those, there are 20 new osteopathic schools and 21 (yes, 21) new M.D. granting schools.

Anyone who does not exhaust the opportunity of attending a school in the U.S. before committing to the Caribbean is not making a wise life decision. Given these newer circumstances, I know I would have.

-Skip
 
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Dr. Mike

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Since I've graduated from Ross, there are 41 new medical schools in the U.S.

That's not a typo.

Of those, there are 20 new osteopathic schools and 21 (yes, 21) new M.D. granting schools.

Anyone who does not exhaust the opportunity of attending a school in the U.S. before committing to the Caribbean is not making a wise life decision. Given these newer circumstances, I know I would have.

-Skip

I agree if you can get into us definitely do it.

You made it though right? Says attending physician
 

learner01

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Since I've graduated from Ross, there are 41 new medical schools in the U.S.

That's not a typo.

Of those, there are 20 new osteopathic schools and 21 (yes, 21) new M.D. granting schools.

Anyone who does not exhaust the opportunity of attending a school in the U.S. before committing to the Caribbean is not making a wise life decision. Given these newer circumstances, I know I would have.

-Skip


Yeah, But all these schools have the same required stats for admission so, they make no difference!
 
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medcandid90

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Since I've graduated from Ross, there are 41 new medical schools in the U.S.

That's not a typo.

Of those, there are 20 new osteopathic schools and 21 (yes, 21) new M.D. granting schools.

Anyone who does not exhaust the opportunity of attending a school in the U.S. before committing to the Caribbean is not making a wise life decision. Given these newer circumstances, I know I would have.

-Skip
Where did you attend?
 

Chianti

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I'm a Ross alum and have been an Attending for almost six years now. You made the right choice by going to SGU. Basic sciences are what you make of it. SGU has a better clinical placement setup than Ross does with more clinical centers and their students get all their cores scheduled back-to-back. I actually did not get to do Peds and OB-GYN until the middle of fourth year. Both schools are stable schools with huge numbers of alumni in the US but I would recommend SGU over Ross because of the clinical placement issue.
 
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Areuben2

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Can anyone confirm if SGU went to block exams? I am debating between Ross, SGU and AUC
 

Areuben2

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2 of those schools aren't even in the Caribbean right now. This should be an easy choice.
Thanks but did I ask if 2 of those schools were in the Caribbean? No. I asked for recommendation input based on people who have attend one of these schools. 1 of those schools isn’t in the Caribbean. AUC has 1,2,&3 semester students on the island the 4&5 are in the UK.
 
D

deleted888443

Can anyone confirm if SGU went to block exams? I am debating between Ross, SGU and AUC
I believe there are block exams for each module. I think SGU is definitely the best out of those 3 though b/c of less attrition, better support for students, and Grenada is a great island.
2 of those schools aren't even in the Caribbean right now. This should be an easy choice.
AUC term 1-3 is back on Sint Maarten now btw...
Thanks but did I ask if 2 of those schools were in the Caribbean? No. I asked for recommendation input based on people who have attend one of these schools. 1 of those schools isn’t in the Caribbean. AUC has 1,2,&3 semester students on the island the 4&5 are in the UK.
I would ignore caribpro, he isn't a Carib pro ;)
 
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Caribpro

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Thanks but did I ask if 2 of those schools were in the Caribbean? No. I asked for recommendation input based on people who have attend one of these schools.

:laugh: good luck dude. you're gonna need it!
 
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