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happyfunmeowmeow

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Hi,

I am a senior graduating in December 2016.

My GPA as of now is only 3.2. I also did retake a 2 science classes. I really cannot afford to spend any more time retaking classes since I am already graduating late.

I took a practice MCAT without any studying and only got a 501. I am currently studying to take my official MCAT in August and hope to do better than that.

I have shadowed 2 ER doctors (one MD and one DO).
I have lots of research background (have been publishing papers since high school).
My two letters of recommendations will be from the MD ER physician I shadowed and my research mentor/professor (who had mentored me when I was in high school and she was a phD student and now took me in as her student once she became a professor, so we have lots of history and I believe the letter will show that.). Would these two letters suffice (I know the SGU website said they require two letters and they prefer science teachers, but it turned out too late to ask my science teachers since I want to apply by September for the January semester. I was thinking, if NEEDED, I can ask my physics professor for a letter once fall semester starts back up and send it in later.).

One big downfall is I took a whole year and a half to graduate due to major change/illnesses/personal reasons. 1.) Will this affect my chances greatly?

2.) Does anyone know what MCAT score I should aim for with my GPA and my current profile?
3.) Also, do I have a good chance at getting into SGU granted I apply early enough (by late September/early October my MCAT score should be sent in and my entire application should be in by August)?
4.) And finally, if not SGU, would I have a good chance at AUC?/is AUC worth it? What carib schools should I look into if not these? I am thinking of also applying to DO schools later in the year, but I have no idea which ones I would even have a chance at yet.


Also, I know my GPA is low, but when I used to study hard, I had a much higher GPA. I got lower scores some semesters due to illnesses/personal issues.
Therefore, I am positive if I get into SGU, I can study very well and get good grades. I just need a second chance now to get into a good school and show them what I got. :)
Please let me know what you think! Any advice is much appreciated! Thanks!
 
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jih

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Agree with goro and gyngyn above.

I took a practice MCAT without any studying

Do you mean that you took an official MCAT or a practice test? If it's the former then you need to get that line of thought out of your (and whoever gave you that advice) head. Schools can see every MCAT score, and if you take that attitude to a US interview you will certainly get a rejection. Only take the MCAT if you are ready to score as high as you can, and take it seriously.

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happyfunmeowmeow

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Agree with goro and gyngyn above.



Do you mean that you took an official MCAT or a practice test? If it's the former then you need to get that line of thought out of your (and whoever gave you that advice) head. Schools can see every MCAT score, and if you take that attitude to a US interview you will certainly get a rejection. Only take the MCAT if you are ready to score as high as you can, and take it seriously.

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No, just a practice test. I wouldn't take an official MCAT without being sure I have a decent score. I took this practice test last month without any studying just to see where I am at prior to studying...and am now studying for the official MCAT.
 

happyfunmeowmeow

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You're fine for a number of DO schools.

You're fine for SGU as long as you're breathing and can write a tuition check, and ate OK with the idea of your not being a doctor while being deeply in debt.

yes, I definitely "ate OK," thanks :D

No, in all seriousness I understand how St. George works...they fail out students who have less than a 75% GPA, etc. etc.
I just need a quick in to a medical school and I'm sure I can excel from there. I understand the money issue, but I have got that covered, thanks.

I am contemplating DO schools...just am not sure yet which ones I have a chance with. I am in the process of doing my research on that and will be applying to DO schools later in the year as well.
 

ArsèneLupin

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yes, I definitely "ate OK," thanks :D

No, in all seriousness I understand how St. George works...they fail out students who have less than a 75% GPA, etc. etc.
I just need a quick in to a medical school and I'm sure I can excel from there. I understand the money issue, but I have got that covered, thanks.
.
You're partly right. SGU does accept many people and weed them out. But here are the issues

1. Academic difficulties in undergraduate don't go away because of medical school. Like a smoker's "one last cigarette" i have seen many a pre med and even med students falter in their attempt to dratically change their academic course, or think they can suddenly excel. No saying you will or wont, but empirically from a large sample size the answer is no more often times then yes

2. A quick in to medical school is poor vision. Medicine is one of many things you don't ever take a shortcut into or practice. There's a reason it takes much effort, sacrifice and time to get in to state side schools ( see #3). Magic cheat codes dont exist in real life, nor should they be expected in medicine in both training and execution of practice.


3. Off shore medical school's biggest issue are their inferior post medical school matching. From issues to limiting your specialty choice, to desired programs, to desired region of training, the outlook for graduates coming from a Caribbean medical school are unfortunately much less than their American counterparts. A graduate from a Caribbean medical school who aces their boards and school work will still be facing high obstacle odds compared to the American graduate who has average scores and grades. There is a much higher risk of not matching as well. What does this leave you with? hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and an even further uphill battle. This isn't scare tactic, its a reality for many. the SDN SOAP threads every year are filled a good number of IMG's panicking and rushing to try to match wherever God will take them.

Be smart, be patient. Let yourself time to mature to not be in such a rush. "Delay the gratification". This delay the gratification is something that will have to stick with you until you graduate from residency. Work on your application until you can matriculate to a USMD or USDO school .The future you will struggle substantially less and thank you.
 
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happyfunmeowmeow

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You're partly right. SGU does accept many people and weed them out. But here are the issues

1. Academic difficulties in undergraduate don't go away because of medical school. Like a smoker's "one last cigarette" i have seen many a pre med and even med students falter in their attempt to dratically change their academic course, or think they can suddenly excel. No saying you will or wont, but empirically from a large sample size the answer is no more often times then yes

2. A quick in to medical school is poor vision. Medicine is one of many things you don't ever take a shortcut into or practice. There's a reason it takes much effort, sacrifice and time to get in to state side schools ( see #3). Magic cheat codes dont exist in real life, nor should they be expected in medicine in both training and execution of practice.


3. Off shore medical school's biggest issue are their inferior post medical school matching. From issues to limiting your specialty choice, to desired programs, to desired region of training, the outlook for graduates coming from a Caribbean medical school are unfortunately much less than their American counterparts. A graduate from a Caribbean medical school who aces their boards and school work will still be facing high obstacle odds compared to the American graduate who has average scores and grades. There is a much higher risk of not matching as well. What does this leave you with? hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and an even further uphill battle. This isn't scare tactic, its a reality for many. the SDN SOAP threads every year are filled a good number of IMG's panicking and rushing to try to match wherever God will take them.

Be smart, be patient. Let yourself time to mature to not be in such a rush. "Delay the gratification". This delay the gratification is something that will have to stick with you until you graduate from residency. Work on your application until you can matriculate to a USMD or USDO school .The future you will struggle substantially less and thank you.





Thanks for your reply...gave me some things to think about. I just am not confident I can get into any DO schools in the US. My math and science GPA is only a 3.35. my science GPA is a 3.49 (I did poorly in calculus and statistics one semester because I was hospitalized for an illness), so it brought down my math&science GPA tremendously.
Since I have already taken a year and a half extra to graduate, I do not want to take more time retaking classes.
If I make it to a DO school in the USA, I will most probably consider that over carib, but I need to do much more research/need more information.

You seem well educated on these topics, so I have a few questions and please give me as much advice as you can.
1.) A SGU graduate who aced the USMLE and the course work will only be competing with residencies with other USA MD students, correct?
2.) Also, SGU claims to have impeccable matching rates to schools (because SGU pays schools to match their students, etc.)...so is it really true that if I do very well at SGU, that an US MD student with lower scores than me will most probably be chosen over me?
3.) I am positive I have no chance of making it to a MD school in the USA, but do you think I have a chance for DO schools? If so, what MCAT score do you think I would need?
 
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ArsèneLupin

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Thanks for your reply...gave me some things to think about. I just am not confident I can get into any DO schools in the US. My math and science GPA is only a 3.35. my science GPA is a 3.49 (I did poorly in calculus and statistics one semester because I was hospitalized for an illness), so it brought down my math&science GPA tremendously.
Since I have already taken a year and a half extra to graduate, I do not want to take more time retaking classes.
If I make it to a DO school in the USA, I will most probably consider that over carib, but I need to do much more research/need more information.

You seem well educated on these topics, so I have a few questions and please give me as much advice as you can.
1.) A SGU graduate who aced the USMLE and the course work will only be competing with residencies with other USA MD students, correct?
2.) Also, SGU claims to have impeccable matching rates to schools (because SGU pays schools to match their students, etc.)...so is it really true that if I do very well at SGU, that an US MD student with lower scores than me will most probably be chosen over me?
3.) I am positive I have no chance of making it to a MD school in the USA, but do you think I have a chance for DO schools? If so, what MCAT score do you think I would need?
1. US MD and DO students. Heres an example, the internal medicine average USMLE score is 230(which is national average overall). A US student can ball park this number 225-230 and get tons of invites places. If the IMG gets 230, you might get some interviews, but you might not and they might not be at the same places as the other students. You really have to ace the boards to overcome some of the bias thats there because of being an IMG and even then its not a straight shot answer. Specialties like Dermatology, Radiation oncology, ENT, Orthopedics, urology, neurosurgery becomes out of reach. higher, "top-ranked"/desirable programs in internal medicine, pediatrics, EM , general surgery starts to become pipe dreams

2. SGU fudges the numbers a bit when they report. Look at the entering class size number and graduating class size number. Look how many match each year. Numbers aren't adding up. What ends up happening is many of those who graduated and didnt match the first time around, end up eventually matching (hopefully) 1-few years down the line. Then SGU will add those to their matched number for that year to "buff" the records.. The second issue kinda like you brought up. Residency program directors aren't chumps. They know the Caribbean can be the bastion for people who a) didnt have the grades and scores to get into a US medical school and b) weren't patient enough to "play the game" a little longer to get to a state side school. This makes them question the workman ship and quality, which can be true or untrue, but its an added layer to the bias. The Caribbean off shore schools should be the absolute last resort for a student who has tried everything else and either a) cant improve, b) shoots them self in the foot, c) just plain unlucky. The way PD for residency programs will see applicants US Medical graduates>IMG>FMG(although some older ivory towers will see MD>DO). There are some places where SGU and other schools pay a lot of money for rotations and GME slots to help place their graduates. However, and I say this in caps and bold for emphasis and not rudeness, RESIDENCY SPECIALTY CHOICE AND PROGRAM PLACEMENT IS NOT A DECISION YOU WANT MADE FOR YOU. YOU WANT TO HAVE AS MUCH INPUT AND SAY IN THE MATTER AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE THIS AFFECTS THE FUTURE.

3.As it stands, yea your GPA hurts you for USMD chances. If you took a post-bac program or SMP for to buff up grades you could reach it. GPA is borderline for DO. I've seen students with 3.0-3.33's get into DO school. Again though, the better you can make it, the more success you'll have. On the old MCAT some DO schools took as low as a 25, but realistically the number was more 27,28(503,-505). The average overall including for MD schools was a 31ish(~509-511). As it stands now you could study your butt off for the MCAT and try to ace it, fixing some bad study habits and apply DO with a good chance of interviewing. The moral of the story is to buff up your application. Try to help your GPA. DO schools do grade replacement. Wreck the heck out of the MCAT.
 
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jih

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No, just a practice test. I wouldn't take an official MCAT without being sure I have a decent score. I took this practice test last month without any studying just to see where I am at prior to studying...and am now studying for the official MCAT.
OK then you are in great shape for DO. You should be able to score much better than a 501 once you are done studying.

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A quick in followed by a quick out. I have to be blunt here. You're not the special snowflake will be the outlier who succeeds at a Carib diploma mill. Rather, you're the mark they base their business model on.


The pool of US applicants from the Caribbean is viewed differently by Program Directors. The DDx for a Caribbean grad is pretty off-putting: bad judgment, bad advice, egotism, gullibility, overbearing parents, inability to delay gratification, IA's, legal problems, weak research skills, high risk behavior. This is not to say that all of them still have the quality that drew them into this situation. There is just no way to know which ones they are. Some PD's are in a position where they need to, or can afford to take risks too! So, some do get interviews.

Bad grades and scores are the least of the deficits from a PD's standpoint. A strong academic showing in a Caribbean medical school does not erase this stigma. It fact it increases the perception that the reason for the choice was on the above-mentioned list!

Just about everyone from a Caribbean school has one or more of these problems and PDs know it. That's why their grads are the last choice even with a high Step 1 score.

There was a time when folks whose only flaw was being a late bloomer went Carib, but those days are gone. There are a number of spots at US schools with grade replacement for these candidates.

It's likely you'll be in the bottom half or two thirds of the class that gets dismissed before Step 1. The business plan of a Carib school depends on the majority of the class not needing to be supported in clinical rotations. They literally can't place all 250+ of the starting class at clinical sites (educational malpractice, really. If this happened at a US school, they be shut down by LCME or COCA, and sued.

The Carib (and other offshore) schools have very tenuous, very expensive, very controversial relationships with a very small number of US clinical sites. You may think you can just ask to do your clinical rotations at a site near home. Nope. You may think you don't have to worry about this stuff. Wrong.

And let's say you get through med school in the Carib and get what you need out of the various clinical rotation scenarios. Then you are in the match gamble. I don't need to say a word about this - you can find everything you need to know at nrmp.org.

You really need to talk to people who made it through Carib into residency, and hear the story from them. How many people were in their class at the start, how many are in it now? How long did it take to get a residency, and how did they handle the gap year(s) and their student loans? How many residencies did they apply to, how many interviews did they get, and were any of the programs on their match list anything like what they wanted?

The point here isn't that there are successful Carib grads. The point is how many additional obstacles to success you face by going to a Carib school.

A little light reading:

https://milliondollarmistake.wordpress.com/

http://www.tameersiddiqui.com/medical-school-at-sgu


yes, I definitely "ate OK," thanks :D

No, in all seriousness I understand how St. George works...they fail out students who have less than a 75% GPA, etc. etc.
I just need a quick in to a medical school and I'm sure I can excel from there. I understand the money issue, but I have got that covered, thanks.

I am contemplating DO schools...just am not sure yet which ones I have a chance with. I am in the process of doing my research on that and will be applying to DO schools later in the year as well.
 
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jih

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A quick in followed by a quick out. I have to be blunt here. You're not the special snowflake will be the outlier who succeeds at a Carib diploma mill. Rather, you're the mark they base their business model on.


The pool of US applicants from the Caribbean is viewed differently by Program Directors. The DDx for a Caribbean grad is pretty off-putting: bad judgment, bad advice, egotism, gullibility, overbearing parents, inability to delay gratification, IA's, legal problems, weak research skills, high risk behavior. This is not to say that all of them still have the quality that drew them into this situation. There is just no way to know which ones they are. Some PD's are in a position where they need to, or can afford to take risks too! So, some do get interviews.

Bad grades and scores are the least of the deficits from a PD's standpoint. A strong academic showing in a Caribbean medical school does not erase this stigma. It fact it increases the perception that the reason for the choice was on the above-mentioned list!

Just about everyone from a Caribbean school has one or more of these problems and PDs know it. That's why their grads are the last choice even with a high Step 1 score.

There was a time when folks whose only flaw was being a late bloomer went Carib, but those days are gone. There are a number of spots at US schools with grade replacement for these candidates.

It's likely you'll be in the bottom half or two thirds of the class that gets dismissed before Step 1. The business plan of a Carib school depends on the majority of the class not needing to be supported in clinical rotations. They literally can't place all 250+ of the starting class at clinical sites (educational malpractice, really. If this happened at a US school, they be shut down by LCME or COCA, and sued.

The Carib (and other offshore) schools have very tenuous, very expensive, very controversial relationships with a very small number of US clinical sites. You may think you can just ask to do your clinical rotations at a site near home. Nope. You may think you don't have to worry about this stuff. Wrong.

And let's say you get through med school in the Carib and get what you need out of the various clinical rotation scenarios. Then you are in the match gamble. I don't need to say a word about this - you can find everything you need to know at nrmp.org.

You really need to talk to people who made it through Carib into residency, and hear the story from them. How many people were in their class at the start, how many are in it now? How long did it take to get a residency, and how did they handle the gap year(s) and their student loans? How many residencies did they apply to, how many interviews did they get, and were any of the programs on their match list anything like what they wanted?

The point here isn't that there are successful Carib grads. The point is how many additional obstacles to success you face by going to a Carib school.

A little light reading:

https://milliondollarmistake.wordpress.com/

http://www.tameersiddiqui.com/medical-school-at-sgu
For some reason I have to reread this every time you post it.

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the argus

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People argue with this joker because 1) much of what he claims is just factually incorrect, and 2) he is in no way qualified to proclaim much of what he says.

Again, he is not a physician. Never went through medical school, never did a residency, has never taken care of a single patient. For him to proclaim how US-IMGs are viewed by program directors, or to attribute a bunch of bad qualities to US-IMGs, is ridiculous. He is a PhD who is supposedly on the adcom of an osteopathic medical school. How would he have any idea about the personal qualities of caribbean medical students or how they are viewed by residency program directors?
 
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Well I interview people for an extremely competitive fellowship and I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that you would have to have glowing walk on water LORs from a strong program to get an interview here. You're not likely to get into a highly regarded program from the Caribbean without connections. The volume of applicants is far too high. We need any excuse to weed out applicants. That's just the reality.
You're all special though and will shine like a gold nugget in the steam of mediocrity though, for sure. And you'll rise to the top of the residency heap as well, no doubt.
#SpecialSnowflakesNeedNotApply


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ArsèneLupin

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How would he have any idea about the personal qualities of Caribbean medical students or how they are viewed by residency program directors?
Because the match data backs this up? Overall match data for independent applicants is from as low as 10% as successful compared to the USMD. Take a closer look at the matches from some of these places. One of a school's "2016" ortho placement came from a 2015 graduate who did a research year. Another schools GS match into a great placement came only after two prelim years. These are the special snowflakes and not the majority.
As an empiric experiment : Ask any of the newly minted MD's from state side schools how many FMG's they saw and how many IMG's they saw on the trail. Despite the sheer number of sea side school applicants I bet many state side students saw far far far less of IMGs and its an unfortunate reality. I can count on one hand how many Caribbean graduates I saw on the trail and that's with applying to two specialties throughout the spectrum and doing many interviews
 
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bedevilled ben

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Because the match data backs this up? Overall match data for independent applicants is from as low as 10% as successful compared to the USMD. Take a closer look at the matches from some of these places. One of a school's "2016" ortho placement came from a 2015 graduate who did a research year. Another schools GS match into a great placement came only after two prelim years. These are the special snowflakes and not the majority.
As an empiric experiment : Ask any of the newly minted MD's from state side schools how many FMG's they saw and how many IMG's they saw on the trail. Despite the sheer number of sea side school applicants I bet many state side students saw far far far less of IMGs and its an unfortunate reality. I can count on one hand how many Caribbean graduates I saw on the trail and that's with applying to two specialties throughout the spectrum and doing many interviews

A big problem with this is grouping all IMG or FMG's into big meaningless data blocks like "independent applicants." The quality of students from vetted versus unvetted schools is way too broad. I understand why, from an administrative standpoint, it's easier to just say "All IMG/FMG's are second-class applicants," so it's good for potential Carib students to be very aware of what they're getting themselves into.
 

ArsèneLupin

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A big problem with this is grouping all IMG or FMG's into big meaningless data blocks like "independent applicants." The quality of students from vetted versus unvetted schools is way too broad. I understand why, from an administrative standpoint, it's easier to just say "All IMG/FMG's are second-class applicants," so it's good for potential Carib students to be very aware of what they're getting themselves into.
Excellent point. the independent applicants also includes DO if im thinking right which is why the number for lets say Rads percentage is above 50% in match success
 
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gyngyn

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People argue with this joker because 1) much of what he claims is just factually incorrect, and 2) he is in no way qualified to proclaim much of what he says.

Again, he is not a physician. Never went through medical school, never did a residency, has never taken care of a single patient. For him to proclaim how US-IMGs are viewed by program directors, or to attribute a bunch of bad qualities to US-IMGs, is ridiculous. He is a PhD who is supposedly on the adcom of an osteopathic medical school. How would he have any idea about the personal qualities of caribbean medical students or how they are viewed by residency program directors?
One need not be a physician to be an expert in the field of medical school admissions or the success in the match that those students experience. This is akin to saying that only women who have had children can attend them well in labor.
 
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the argus

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Well I interview people for an extremely competitive fellowship and I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that you would have to have glowing walk on water LORs from a strong program to get an interview here. You're not likely to get into a highly regarded program from the Caribbean without connections. The volume of applicants is far too high. We need any excuse to weed out applicants. That's just the reality.
You're all special though and will shine like a gold nugget in the steam of mediocrity though, for sure. And you'll rise to the top of the residency heap as well, no doubt.
#SpecialSnowflakesNeedNotApply


--
Il Destriero
Thanks for building up a straw man and completely changing the argument. I never said anything about caribbean grads in competitive specialties or for top programs for less competitive specialties. I repeatedly say you shouldn't go to the caribbean if you wouldn't be happy in FM, IM or psych. And by the way, your argument could be used against going to DO schools as well as they are not competitive for competitive specialties or top programs in less competitive specialties either.
One need not be a physician to be an expert in the field of medical school admissions or the success in the match that those students experience. This is akin to saying that only women who have had children can attend them well in labor.
Except we're not talking about medical school admissions, and what he says about the residency match is just factually inaccurate. I will continue to say he knows nothing about caribbean medical students, and even less how they are viewed by residency program directors. The correct analogy would be that he has never been pregnant and has never even been present for a birth, yet still feels like he knows how to attend well to a woman in labor because he has read an anonymous internet forum on the subject and talked to people who have been present for a birth.
 

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Except we're not talking about medical school admissions, and what he says about the residency match is just factually inaccurate. I will continue to say he knows nothing about caribbean medical students, and even less how they are viewed by residency program directors. The correct analogy would be that he has never been pregnant and has never even been present for a birth, yet still feels like he knows how to attend well to a woman in labor because he has read an anonymous internet forum on the subject and talked to people who have been present for a birth.
This is not analogous.
A person who teaches at a medical school and advises students regarding the Match is in a position to be informed regarding the challenges of the students and the perceptions of PD's.
 
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the argus

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This is not analogous.
A person who teaches at a medical school and advises students regarding the Match is in a position to be informed regarding the challenges of the students and the perceptions of PD's.
A PhD who teaches basic science at an osteopathic medical school has no idea how allopathic caribbean medical school students are evaluated and judged by MDs at residency programs. And any medical student who is taking advice on residency matching from a non-physician PhD who teaches basic science at their medical school is doing something seriously wrong.

He has never been through the match, has never done residency, has never worked alongside caribbean medical school grads, and has never been part of a residency selection committee evaluating applicants. This disqualifies him from making proclamations like above.
 

gyngyn

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A PhD who teaches basic science at an osteopathic medical school has no idea how allopathic caribbean medical school students are evaluated and judged by MDs at residency programs. And any medical student who is taking advice on residency matching from a non-physician PhD who teaches basic science at their medical school is doing something seriously wrong.

He has never been through the match, has never done residency, has never worked alongside caribbean medical school grads, and has never been part of a residency selection committee evaluating applicants. This disqualifies him from making proclamations like above.
Many excellent career counselors at medical schools across the nation are not physicians or PD's. Nor have they served on residency selection committees. Thus, it would appear that there is marked disagreement between your position and that of many fine medical schools.
 
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Thanks for building up a straw man and completely changing the argument. I never said anything about caribbean grads in competitive specialties or for top programs for less competitive specialties. I repeatedly say you shouldn't go to the caribbean if you wouldn't be happy in FM, IM or psych. And by the way, your argument could be used against going to DO schools as well as they are not competitive for competitive specialties or top programs in less competitive specialties either.
Here's what I was responding to.
How would he have any idea about the personal qualities of caribbean medical students or how they are viewed by residency program directors?
I have an idea of how programs look at Caribbean graduates. Poorly.
I don't know what marginal programs in marginal hospitals in 3rd tier locations in noncompetitive fields do, but you can bet it's not winning anyone any extra points. We don't have a lot of DOs either, but we certainly have had some. They get the interview based on very strong scores and LORs, usually from programs we are familiar with. It's much easier for the DOs to match into a solid program in a not very competitive field.
While the new fellowship match makes the interview season more painful and expensive for everyone, there is one benefit. We have, by necessity, had to dramatically expand our interview pool, and much to the dismay of the handful of programs that traditionally had no trouble matching their residents here, sometimes (often?) we rank the other applicants higher.


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muqalia

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Caribbean grad here who matched pretty easily into a nice university program. My group of friends all matched well, and even into competitive residencies and fellowships. The point is that there will always be people telling you not do it. I heard the same thing 10 years ago when I started. I'm glad I was too dumb to listen.

Now it is true that the road is a bit harder for us IMGs, but its doable.
My warning is that if you are not a good test taker then med school may not be a good idea in any place.
 

hallowmann

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Thanks for your reply...gave me some things to think about. I just am not confident I can get into any DO schools in the US. My math and science GPA is only a 3.35. my science GPA is a 3.49 (I did poorly in calculus and statistics one semester because I was hospitalized for an illness), so it brought down my math&science GPA tremendously.
Since I have already taken a year and a half extra to graduate, I do not want to take more time retaking classes.
If I make it to a DO school in the USA, I will most probably consider that over carib, but I need to do much more research/need more information.

You seem well educated on these topics, so I have a few questions and please give me as much advice as you can.
1.) A SGU graduate who aced the USMLE and the course work will only be competing with residencies with other USA MD students, correct?
2.) Also, SGU claims to have impeccable matching rates to schools (because SGU pays schools to match their students, etc.)...so is it really true that if I do very well at SGU, that an US MD student with lower scores than me will most probably be chosen over me?
3.) I am positive I have no chance of making it to a MD school in the USA, but do you think I have a chance for DO schools? If so, what MCAT score do you think I would need?

It doesn't really look like you've done enough research overall (not just for DO schools). For that reason alone, I would hold of on making any decision now.

1) An SGU graduate who "aced" the USMLE will NOT only be competing for residencies with other US MDs. I don't even get the statement. You will be competing against everyone. That's how the residency application process works. You are competing against US MDs, DOs, Carib MDs, foreign graduates, etc. They are all vying for residency, because without it that fancy degree you have is virtually worthless. Overall, more program directors prefer DOs when it comes to interviewing and ranking than US IMGs (you can look at the Program Director survey for evidence of this). It is for this reason that the hierarchy is repeatedly said to be US MD > DO > US IMG. The bottomline is all about residency opportunities.

2). Impeccable compared to what? Other non-Big 4 Carib schools, maybe. Impeccable compared to basically any US school, no. US MD & DO schools have a GME placement rate of ~99%, SGU at best could claim maybe 85% of their graduates. Then you have those that don't make it through, which is still on the order of 20-25% by all accounts I've heard from current students. You should be aiming for somewhere that can guarantee almost all of their students will both graduate and attain GME. Only after you find that to be impossible, then should you look towards other options.

3) Just apply man. Who knows about US MD? Its very unlikely yes, but why not try? I think you'd be fine for DO if you score ~505 or more and have a letter from one of those DOs you shadowed. I'd also apply broadly there. I mean there's only like 30-40 DO schools, if you apply to like 15 even spread, you should get an acceptance.

If you apply for a couple cycles and don't have a US acceptance, then maybe I could see an argument for SGU, but the truth is that given your current stats and the potential to do well on the MCAT, you really shouldn't have to go outside of the country.

I know many Carib med students and graduates. These are people I've known practically my whole life. I respect them and most of the ones that made it through the islands and passed the Steps are residents or attendings right now. Granted its almost all at community IM programs, but still, they're physicians working as such in the US, so it worked out for them. I also have a lot of friends that suddenly reappeared in the states 1-2 yrs after starting only to be working at some other random jobs. Its not the education that's bad, its the process, cost, uncertainty, and difficulty of it all compared to other routes.

Also take a moment to think about cost. Its like $66k-$69k/yr for tuition and fees at SGU. Add to it the crazy cost of literally everything else in Grenada (living, food, electricity, internet, basically every basic thing), the cost of flights back home and to the islands, and the cost of finding unpredictable housing for rotations, and we're talking paying more than almost any US medical school. For what? Again, its one thing if you've exhausted your options, but you haven't even tried to apply in the US yet.

Also, consider reading through this SGU experience: http://milliondollarmistake.wordpress.com. I'm sure the guy is bitter to some degree and some of it may sound whiny, but it'll give you at least some insight into the cons that don't get revealed about the process until you actually experience it.
 
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the argus

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Here's what I was responding to.

I have an idea of how programs look at Caribbean graduates. Poorly.
I don't know what marginal programs in marginal hospitals in 3rd tier locations in noncompetitive fields do, but you can bet it's not winning anyone any extra points. We don't have a lot of DOs either, but we certainly have had some. They get the interview based on very strong scores and LORs, usually from programs we are familiar with. It's much easier for the DOs to match into a solid program in a not very competitive field.
While the new fellowship match makes the interview season more painful and expensive for everyone, there is one benefit. We have, by necessity, had to dramatically expand our interview pool, and much to the dismay of the handful of programs that traditionally had no trouble matching their residents here, sometimes (often?) we rank the other applicants higher.


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So your argument is, your fellowship has had to start interviewing people that come from less prestigious programs, and you have found that often you rank them higher than people from more prestigious programs. Yet you are still trashing Caribbean students? If you are being at all logical (a long stretch for this forum, I know), you would be arguing in favor of less judging people by where they went to medical school, not more.
 

learner01

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Well I interview people for an extremely competitive fellowship and I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that you would have to have glowing walk on water LORs from a strong program to get an interview here. You're not likely to get into a highly regarded program from the Caribbean without connections. The volume of applicants is far too high. We need any excuse to weed out applicants. That's just the reality.
You're all special though and will shine like a gold nugget in the steam of mediocrity though, for sure. And you'll rise to the top of the residency heap as well, no doubt.
#SpecialSnowflakesNeedNotApply


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Why there is a bias against Caribbean graduates!?
 

happyfunmeowmeow

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May I ask you why? I am conflicted between both!

For me it mainly had came down to two things:
1.) class size
My class size at AUC is only about 93 students compared to the 500+ at SGU. So it's all about your preference on that topic, whether if you prefer smaller or larger class sizes. It's also nice here at AUC because there are only about 6-7 students per cadaver at a time (not sure how it is at SGU though).
2.) island
Sint Maarten is a much safer and more developed island than Grenada. Practically every store takes the US dollar (whether on French or Dutch side). I have been grocery shopping all over and I have not run into a place that did not accept the dollar.

These are the main reasons I chose AUC over SGU. It really comes down to your preference.

Also I am not sure how accurate the following claims are but from what I have heard from students here is that they and/or their friends found AUC staff and students much more welcoming than students/staff from SGU. Again I'm not sure if those claims are accurate.
However one thing I have noticed is that people here, staff at the school and even locals are extremely nice. They will go out of their way to help you in any way possible. For example, when I'm grocery shopping and lifting heavy packages of water into my car, strangers come and help me when they see I'm struggling.
the island is beautiful and full of wonderful people.
 
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learner01

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For me it mainly had came down to two things:
1.) class size
My class size at AUC is only about 93 students compared to the 500+ at SGU. So it's all about your preference on that topic, whether if you prefer smaller or larger class sizes. It's also nice here at AUC because there are only about 6-7 students per cadaver at a time (not sure how it is at SGU though).
2.) island
Sint Maarten is a much safer and more developed island than Grenada. Practically every store takes the US dollar (whether on French or Dutch side). I have been grocery shopping all over and I have not run into a place that did not accept the dollar.

These are the main reasons I chose AUC over SGU. It really comes down to your preference.

Also I am not sure how accurate the following claims are but from what I have heard from students here is that they and/or their friends found AUC staff and students much more welcoming than students/staff from SGU. Again I'm not sure if those claims are accurate.
However one thing I have noticed is that people here, staff at the school and even locals are extremely nice. They will go out of their way to help you in any way possible. For example, when I'm grocery shopping and lifting heavy packages of water into my car, strangers come and help me when they see I'm struggling.
the island is beautiful and full of wonderful people.


Thank you, this is really helpful,, I am wondering if you looked at SGU program in England?
 

islandinthesunnn

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JUST an FYI guys....I got in to SGU just fine :)
Hey! congrats on you acceptance to both school! How was your interview for SGU? What types of questions were you asked? How long did it take for you to hear back about acceptance? Sorry for all the questions...I have my interview in a couple days and I'm nervous !!
 
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