Carib. vs Europe

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by hopedoc, Jun 7, 2000.

  1. hopedoc

    hopedoc Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2000
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on the quality of caribbean medical schools vs. european medical schools. Which ones are more highly regarded by the U.S. and which are better for USMLE prep and in getting you a residency back in the U.S. Thanks.
     
  2. Rockndoc

    Rockndoc Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2000
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Hopedoc,
    Still doing your research, huh? Well hopefully other people will respond to your post besides me as you are probably sick of me.

    I think your question is a complex one. While in general I think the European schools are more highly regarded, different European countries are known for different levels of quality control in medical education. For example, The Netherlands and France are very highly regarded while Spain and Italy may not be.

    Also, keep in mind that these countries try to prepare you for their own national boards while the Carib. schools are geared toward the American boards. The good Carib. schools have a much higher pass rate on the USMLE than the overall pass rate for IMGs around the world.

    One other thing. Every European program I looked into was 6 years long. And you spend the ENTIRE 6 years in that country (i.e. no US rotations.) If there are 4 year programs out there, I dont know about them.

    Sackler, in Isreal is 4 years (I believe) and is well thought of in the states. But you would have to live in Isreal, which is not palatable to many students.

    These are the reasons I chose a Carib. school over 4 years ago.
     
  3. hopedoc

    hopedoc Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2000
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rockndoc,
    Thanks so much for your reply. I agree with what you said about the Carib schools preparing you for the USMLE and rotations in the US. I will more than likely end up going that route. I was just concerned because I read some posts which stated the Carib schools were less respected than European ones. Well I'm not planning on going anywhere till next year, so I still have plenty of time left to reseach. Although it seems the more I read, the more questions I have. Thanks so much.
     
  4. yonathan13

    yonathan13 Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2000
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is what it comes down to:
    Sackler in Israel is 4 years and is widely considered the best medical school outside the U.S. Courses are taught in English. NY state officially recognizes Sackler as if it were an American program. 6 months of clinical are done in NY.

    The Royal College of Surgeons is 2nd best. 5 years if you have a bachelors.

    Flinders in Australia is also excellent- 4 years, classes start in February. 3 months of clinical in the U.S.

    St. George is the best med school in the carribean- but it is a notch below the above schools.

    I hope this helps.
     
  5. yonathan13

    yonathan13 Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2000
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I forgot to mention that I was referring to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (It's in the heart of Dublin< )

    Also, I highly recommend that you purchase Carlos Pestana's book about foreign med schools.
     
  6. hopedoc

    hopedoc Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2000
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    I looked at the Sackler website. It looks very good. But, how competitive are admissions there? I'm afraid I'm not a very competitive candidate (bad undergrad). Also they recommend learning Hebrew for the clinicals. Would this be difficult while trying to learn medicine? Last question- they said something about spending some time in the US for 4th year rotations. Is that sufficient in order to obtain a residency later? Thanks!
     
  7. yonathan13

    yonathan13 Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2000
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    You don't have to learn hebrew if u go to sackler, but it would be helpful- esp. in the clinical years.
    It is competitive- the admissions people told me that they look for 9's on mcats and at least 3.0 GPA - but u don't know if u don't try
    sackler grads do not have much difficulty getting residencies- esp. in NY- Even competitive residencies such as surgery and Emerg. med are within reach- this is generally not the case with foreign med school graduates- RCSI in ireland is another exception- so check it out (it is also quite competitive) but u lose nothing in trying!
     
  8. Rockndoc

    Rockndoc Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2000
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think Yonathan provided a lot of good information. But I have to remind you to beware of qualitative statements like this one.

    Although I did not attend St. George, I would be surprised if they were "a notch below" the other schools, at least educationally speaking. (as can be noted by their USMLE record)
    Perhapse he was speaking from a public perception standpoint, in which case I would probably agree with the second part of his statement.
    As far as St. George being the best in the Carribean...It is an excellent school, however there are schools that are equal in quality. As Far as residency directors are concerned, they tend to lump all carribean schools together. They either accept them or not. If they accept them, they do so based on USMLE scores and NOT on which carribean school you attend.


    [This message has been edited by Rockndoc (edited 06-12-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by Rockndoc (edited 06-12-2000).]
     
  9. yonathan13

    yonathan13 Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2000
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I said that St. George is a notch below Sackler and The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland I was alluding mainly to the perception that US residency programs have concerning these schools. Plenty of medical schools offer a wonderful education. Unfortunately, many are perceived as second rate because of their location (ie. the Caribbean).
    Sackler, in particular is seen by many residency programs as on par with most medical schools in the U.S. The state of New York officially recognizes Sackler as if it were on American soil. This is certainly not the case for any medical school situtated in the Caribbean.
    For better or for worse, the perception of US residency programs is critical in attaining a competitive residency. In this way, Sackler and RCSI are "better" medical schools than their Caribbean counterparts.
     
  10. Rockndoc

    Rockndoc Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2000
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yonathan,
    I agree. Sackler has one of the best reputations for medical schools (American or otherwise.) I can't say much about Royal College because I don't know much about it.

    As far as the Carribean schools go...as I said, it's ALL how you do on the USMLE. In fact when I went on my interviews (I had 12,) it seemed to work to my advantage that I went to a smaller school. My school turned into a conversation piece with many of the interviewers. They would ask me all types of questions about the island and the people and the school in general. They would often say something like "I see you went to school in the Netherland Antilles. It's beautiful down there. I often vacation at 'such and such' island (usually St Bart's.) Have you ever been there?" Then we would have a 5 or 10 minute conversation about the islands. It was nice to see a semi-stressful situation turn into fond memories of a tropical vacation. Had I gone to one of the larger schools these conversations may not have taken place. In all likelihood the doctors have already interviewed enough people from these schools to know what they are all about.

    Anyway...that was just my take on the interview process. It turned out to be much more benign than other people made it out to be.
     
  11. Mig2x

    Mig2x Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2000
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    In regard to whats better European or Carribean med school i cant answer that one, im a biology student in San Juan Puerto Rico and i begin med studies in august in a med school in Puerto Rico. If you decide to study med school in the carribean i highly recomend you attend a med school in Puerto Rico. Currently there are 4 med schools in PR with 3 of them accredited by the LCME. Because in PR our first language is spanish this med schools dont ask for a high MCAT score, with a 23 you are in pretty good shape but regarding the GPA thats another story, the best one in Puerto Rico call the Recinto de Ciencias MEdicas you need at least a GPA of 3.4 to expect an interview. the other two are pretty good too and the best thing is that you are not labeled a foreigner when you graduate and ask for a residency in the states, which happens in other med school of the carribbean. So if you are interested in studying medicine in the carribbean I highly recommend you apply to PR med schools.
     
  12. PB

    PB

    Is Recinto de Ciencias Medicas LCME approved? I thought only Ponce and another school (U. of Puerto Rico??) were approved. Let me know if the situation is other than this.
    Thanks!

    pe but regarding the GPA thats another story, the best one in Puerto Rico call the Recinto de Ciencias MEdicas you need at least a GPA of 3.4 to expect an interview. the other two are pretty good too and the best thing is that you are not labeled a foreigner when you graduate and ask for a residency in the states, which happens in other med school of the carribbean. So if you are interested in studying medicine in the carribbean I highly recommend you apply to PR med schools. [/B][/QUOTE]

     
  13. Mig2x

    Mig2x Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2000
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Of the 4 Med school of PR being 1- Recinto de Ciencias Medicas 2- Ponce School of Medicine 3- Universidad Centrad del Caribe (Med school) and 4- Escuela de Medicina San Juan Bautista, the first 3 are accredited by the LCME, the fourth one is accredited only by PR but i have heard from doctors that have graduated from that school that you can get residence in the US without a problem.
    About the GPA, i have a 3.2 gpa and wasnt offer an interview in the Recinto de Ciencias Medicas and i study biology at the University of Puerto Rico Recinto de Rio Piedras which i thought would give me a leadoff start but no, im going to the Universidad Central Del Caribe in Bayamon. they are very competitive. you should get some more info about the Recinto de Ciencias Medicas, its a pretty good med school, the best in the carribean and it prepares you pretty darn good to do residency in the states.
     
  14. Stephen Ewen

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2000
    Messages:
    2,012
    Likes Received:
    1
    Just for the record, the Recinto Ciencias Medicas = the The University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, or, Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico for a more exact translation.

    The URL is: http://wwwrcm.upr.clu.edu/

    Note that one MUST be very bilingual to attend any of the Puerto Rican schools. Note too that not many non-Puerto Ricans get in at U of PR, a few more at Caribe and Ponce.

    I have understood that San Juan Bautista is NOT eligible for ECFMG. Though some docs in the 60s and 70s found loopholes to the mainland U.S., I understand this is not so any more. In other words, go to San Juan Bautista and you will stay in P.R. (and whatever nations accept P.R. only schools for registration). I have not reseached this about San Juan Bautista first hand, though, and this is just what I have learned from quite numerous secondary sources. If anyone knows of contrary info, do please post it, and verify this.
     
  15. Mig2x

    Mig2x Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2000
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    The San Juan Bautista Med School got in 1998 the CANDIDACY for Accreditation from the LCME. I have speak with at least 5 doctors who graduated from San Juan Bautista in the 90's and all 5 of them did there residency in the US. One of them did it in the Louisiana University Medical Center, another did it in McLaren Medical Center in Michigan and the other 3 i dont remember. Yes they told me they had some problems getting residency in others schools or hospitals, but because they were bilinguals and they did pretty good in the exams they got accepted in those hospitals.
     
  16. P.R.BrainDrainOK

    P.R.BrainDrainOK Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2000
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wanted to add my views to the above in regards to mainland residents applying to med schools in Puerto Rico.

    To put it another way, attending any of the 3 LCME approved schools (UPR, UCC, Ponce) would be exactly the same as going to an M.D. school in, say, Florida. UPR is impractical for mainlanders since ONLY "Mainland Puerto Ricans" with very strong ties to the island are considered. And usually are no more than 3 in a class of 115. It IS a state supported school, after all. UCC and Ponce are very good viable alternatives to competent students who are bilingual, regardless of race or ethnicity. Both of the latter schools are private, but give emphasis to residents. Thus the annual number of mainland students in each school is about 8-16 or so per year (out of 60 per year.) that's better than the number of non-residents taken up by UMass. Interestingly enough, these mainlanders are from any cultural background, mostly white, so long as they're bilingual. From my class, one of these went on to train in OB/GYN at some university hospital in Philly, the other is doing Em.Med. in Texas, I don't know where. I'm personally happy as a clam in a highly competitive specialty, in a highly well known medical center, in a highly desirable city. So these two schools should be considered if you're bilingual and don't get into your favorite school in the mainland. At least in UCC I know that these "U.S." students are welcomed and treated as "one of us" by the local students, who often prefer speaking English while on campus (It's good to keep your language skills fresh if you want to do a residency outside of P.R.)
    In general, 50% of the class stays in PR for residency while the other 50% go to the mainland. Of those 50% that leave, about half eventually return. 100% of those who were originally from the U.S. match easily in the mainland.
    About San Juan Bautista . . . it is the one single school under Federal jurisdiction that operates without LCME accreditation. In the past it HAD applied for accreditation, but the LCME did not approve it. I don't know if it's trying again. I do know that this school is much smaller than the other 2 private schools and that, year after year, many of their students do their damnedest to transfer away. (Note that I am making NO reference or comments as to the quality of the school or its students!)
    As to mainlanders considering this school; for logistical and other reasons, you're far better off reapplying to med school next year, or going foreign. An interesting note is that, after filling these 3 or 4 schools, there remains a large number of PR students that end up in Guadalajara or the Dominican Republic, as well as the other propietary caribbean schools. Today over 50% of the Puerto Rican physician workforce is FMG.

    Now, Mx . . . it is my understanding that (thanks to the LCME) UPR/UCC/Ponce are now requiring passing grades for Step 1 and 2 for advancement and graduation, right?

     
  17. argonx

    argonx Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
    What do you guys think about the 4 year polish schools that have english programs?
    Can the students do rotations in America?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  18. bambi

    bambi Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    827
    Likes Received:
    32
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    As the above poster said, most of what is in this thread is untrue, that includes some of what the above poster said. Any UK degree will be better regarded pretty much everywhere than a caribbean degree as would a degree from a lot of other western european countries. I personally find it funny when non Brits randomly select a few UK schools as the best with absolutely no knowledge of them. Technically all of our schools are considered equal (unlike in the US), there is a very slight snobbery among some against certain schools, including one of those mentioned by the above poster but all in all the UK provides world class medical education. You really can't talk about Europe as one, Western and Eastern Europe are worlds apart in terms of medicine. Also like others have said it's not just about Europe and the US.
     
  19. schrizto

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,690
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Eh, the information may be wrong but no need to bump a nearly decade-old thread. The bumper mentioned South African schools as being excellent-- I've never really heard of them so now I'm curious. Do they teach in English/accept internationals?
     
  20. abc_123_kes

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi

    I am currently at uni of toronto studying towards an undergrad degree in life sciences (honours bsc).

    My GPA is not great (around the 3.5 area).....the chances of getting in here are SLIM so I wanna apply to the carrib. and the uk.

    But even readin the posts above, I am still not sure on what is the better choice.

    It seems it all depends on the USMLE score. If I study in Ireland, for example, and still manage to get a high USMLE score, will I be considered a "competitive" student?

    Another thing is, I really wanna come back to Canada to practice medicine. I've heard its extremely difficult to get into fields such as dermatology after completing your MD at a Caribbean School vs. completing them at an Irish school. Is that true? What do you guys think is better in terms of coming back to canada. Ireland or the Caribbean's?
     
  21. PirateHotel

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Ireland for Canada.. Great medical schools there and graduates are well regarded wherever they practice in North America.

    Caribbean schools may give a slight advantage for US applicants because they do all their 3rd and 4th yr rotations in the States, giving them great exposure. The poor reputation of many of the schools there is a draw back. Plus they are predominantly 2nd or 3rd world countries (shutting off the power to the island on Sundays for example). And there's pirates about...arrrghhh
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  22. abc_123_kes

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    What about covering expenses in Ireland? I know the Canadian governments gives a loan of $150, 000 to each student. But that does not cover entire tuition fees, so I was wondering how students pay back the loan as well as manage to pay.
     
  23. PirateHotel

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    hmm.. I'm not aware of the Canadian gov't loan. But, you can get provincial loans as well (OSAP) which is around $8000 / year (not much). Everyone is in a different financial situation.. some people start big lines of credit, others get loans, others get loans within their family.. or a combo. Try and work whatever angle you can. If the $150000 govt loan comes through, that only leaves maybe 50k you'd need to cover, easily attainable at a bank.

    Residency salary will cover interest and if you are tight with your budget, you can start to pay down some of the principle. As an attending, assuming you don't make big purchases your first few years, you should be able to pay off the loans fairly quickly but you may want to stretch it out so that you can buy a house etc.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  24. maximilliane

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I went to med school in Germany right out of high school in the US due to personal reasons. The schools here have a great reputation especially Munich, Heidelberg, Freiburg, and Tuebingen. The problem is that you have to be very fluent in German. I waiting to see on interviews/match stuff right now but its not looking half bad at the moment for an IMG... Haven't heard from 35 programs yet but have 2 interviews already. :)
    Good luck finding the right school for you.
     
  25. Trajan

    Trajan Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    1
    Every single physician that I have trained under who went to the University of the Witwatersrand (6 to date) has been absolutely phenomenal. Great physicians and great men. I cannot emphasize this enough. And it's not uncommon to read about Wits grad in the news or history books.

    I'm an American allopathic grad, and, honestly, I wish I went there. Interestingly, they have a 4 year option for those with an undergrad degree (as opposed to the traditional 6 year path).
     
  26. dikoerastenie

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    hello. I am applying to u.s. md schools right now and not having much luck. but who knows. but anyway i've read countless threads on premed forums that for residency match u.s. m.d.> d.o.>>>>>>>>foreign schools.

    So people here have mentioned the following foreign english-language schools are supposedly better than caribbean: dublin, israel, and australia. I understand there are many universities worldwide that have a better reputation in research than some of the american m.d. schools. But I do not care about that. Do you have any reliable information to show that dublin or israel or australia matches well into u.s. EM or Anesthesiology (slightly competitive for u.s. grads) residencies?? How would you even go about signing up for USMLE and clerkships in the u.s.?

    And my other concern with foreign school is of course tuition. If I go to a U.S. school I can do military hpsp which yields me free tuition and a $25k/yr stipend. I could use that to go to Europe or the Caribbeans on my winter breaks! I could own a car. Basically I could be a person.

    So the question is are those foreign schools realistic for someone who does not feel comfortable asking his parents to pay for school (my parents already paid about $150k for my ugrad and I feel bad enough)? I would feel terrible if I lived in dublin or israel and I could not go on vacation to the Alps and buy some other girl a ticket to keep me company.
     
  27. schrizto

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,690
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Basically what I have heard is that Caribbean schools especially prepare you for the USMLE though they don't have international reputations like schools in Ireland or Australia. If you go to a medical school in Ireland or Australia you will have to do more of the USMLE prep yourself. Two of Israel's English programs post their match lists on their websites.

    Btw, it is not a wise idea to go HPSP just for the free tuition and stipend. It is a significant commitment and best for if you want to go into military medicine.

    Medical school costs a lot, period. One of your main concerns when choosing a medical school shouldn't be about how much of the extra money you have can be used to go on a Europe vacation during winter break.
     
  28. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Verified Expert Verified Account 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    38,782
    Likes Received:
    27,122
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Not to mention that only 1st and 2nd year students get a winter break (and only 1st years get a summer break).
     
  29. Louglee

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I know at RCSI we get visits from program directors in the USA and Canada so far this year there have been 3 also in the 4 year program the lectures also highlight during lecture what is useful for USMLE and some also include extra notes for USMLE attached to the lecture notes (i.e material that won't be examined in RCSI exams). they also have sponsored attachments with hospitals and universities in US such as Johns Hopkins, as well as contacts and collaborate agreements with others such as the Mayo clinic, Columbia (NYC) and Harvard.
     

Share This Page