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Caribbean Medical Schools

Discussion in 'Caribbean' started by medstudent1215, May 13, 2018.

  1. medstudent1215

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    Hey everyone. I was hoping to gain some opinions about Caribbean medical schools.

    I know that there is "the big 4" including St George, American university of the Caribbean, Saba, and Ross, but I also know there are lots of other lesser known schools that I have heard are well run programs. Schools like Trinity, AUA, and there are lots others.

    Does anyone have some insight to these schools? Pros or cons. What the curriculum is like? If a school more classroom based or self taught? Any information that you may not be able to access from their websites are appreciated.
     
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  3. JustaDO

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    What a original question.
     
  4. RedPanda55

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  5. DV-T

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    Use the search function.
     
  6. medstudent1215

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    Thank you above for your helpful responses. Much appreciated. I have searched this in the search function and havent found anything specific that I've felt answers what I'm looking for.
     
  7. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery
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    By 'not finding the answers you are looking for' do you mean that you aren't happy with the answers that you are looking for or do you mean that nobody has answered the questions?

    Regardless, it is pretty simple. Any Caribbean school, 'big 4' or not carries a substantial, 'no graduation' and 'no match' risk. I certainly am not up to date on the most recent statistics, but given the significant time, energy and money that goes into attending medical school, the vast majority of individuals would say that it is a bad direction to go for anyone. Given that the 'big 4' have better track records than the other schools, it stands to reason that attending a non 'big 4' would put you at an even more elevated risk of one of those non-favorable outcomes.

    My residency may not be the 'norm' and is certainly only one program, but if you are a graduate of any Caribbean medical school, we will not interview you for a position in our program. While we have a huge USMD bias, we'd much rather see a DO or a foreign MD than Caribbean MD.
     
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  8. Oso

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  9. medstudent1215

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  10. JustaDO

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    upload_2018-5-13_22-53-35.png
     
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  11. medstudent1215

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    Its not that I am not liking the answers I am finding, I just wasnt finding the content I was looking for. I was hoping to get the "inside scoop" from people who have been through them, have friends who went through them, etc... and was just finding a lot of "is caribbean right for me" threads where people were posting their stats and experiences, or it was seeing the responses containing the word caribbean after someone replied "you should consider caribbean."

    Your residency is vascular surgery? I have heard that caribbean is exceptionally difficult for specialties outside of family medicine.
     
  12. Isoval

    Isoval Studying. Badly.

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    Caribbean isn’t just difficult “outside of family medicine”.

    Many - closing in on a majority - of Caribbean graduates can’t even match that during their first match.

    Let me sum it up for you:
    Pros: A beach so you can forget that you’re going to be screwed for the rest of your life.
    Cons: You’re going to be screwed for the rest of your life.*

    * - unless you’re the miracle child that miraculously makes it through, which is the exception and not the rule.

    Do medicine right or don’t do it at all. Caribbean is extremely risky right now.
     
    #11 Isoval, May 13, 2018
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  13. the argus

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    OP, I would caution you to take anything you read on the premed forum on this website with a grain of salt. It's mostly just a bunch of premeds regurgitating the same nonsense, that they learned from reading the premed forum, as "knowledgable advice" over and over again in an endless cycle of afactual garbage.

    The last post is a perfect example of just falsehood after falsehood being presented as fact,
    1. The majority, like ~90%, of grads from the big 4 caribbean schools match during their first application cycle. Granted this doesn't take into account students lost to attrition along the way (substantial), but if you graduate, your chances of matching are very good.
    2. The majority of caribbean grads match in internal medicine, not family medicine. You don't have to take my word on this one, the NRMP releases data reports that clearly show this.
    http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Main-Match-Result-and-Data-2018.pdf
    3. It's just as risky to go to the caribbean than it ever was. In fact, more IMGs started residency in 2016 than ever before. So you could actually make the argument the caribbean is the least risky it has ever been. Again, you don't have to take my word on this one, the ACGME releases data that clearly shows this.
    ACGME Data Resource Book


    Go to the caribbean forum on this website if you're looking for info on caribbean schools. There's still a ton of misinformation, but you may actually get some real info.

    My opinion on your original question: There's no reason to go to a caribbean school outside of the big 4. The admission standards are so low that if you can't get into one of the big 4 than you're likely not going to be able to handle medical school. The big 4 are the oldest schools with the best name recognition and will give you the best chance to succeed. The money you save by going to the lesser known schools is not worth it in the end (my opinion of course).
     
  14. medstudent1215

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    Argus, I appreciate this post and personally agree with what you say. I work with an emergency medicine physician in the hospital I work at who went to Caribbean and he of course has nothing but good to say about it. We have also had about 5 residents through a local family medicine residency program come through the ED on their rotations who were from the Caribbean and also have nothing but good things to say. I personally have a friend going to Trinity Medical School in the Caribbean, one at St. George, and one at AUA who all have their own opinions and biases about their schools; and all of which will say THEIR school is the best one. The reason I started this forum is because aside from their advice, I wanted to see what other people had to say about specific Caribbean schools, to gain knowledge and also avoid bias from those who went to a particular one.

    I agree that Caribbean schools are looked down upon in the medical field, but I believe it is what you make of it. One of my friends who goes to a lesser known Caribbean school didn't go there because he 'couldn't get in' at the big 4, but he heard it had a better curriculum. He also said he has several friends at that school who transferred there from one of the big 4 because they hated how it was set up there, and now are on a better track to success and scoring higher in their classes and pre-board exams. Some of the schools emphasize a "self taught" environment, whereas Trinity has a lecture on every class (which some DO schools don't have).

    All in all, I do take everyone's advice with a grain of salt, but it doesn't hurt to get input from lots of different opinions. I really appreciate your point of view. I am sure lots of the responses are just regurgitations of the same information people are reading on other forums, but those also probably have some level of truth to them. At least from the region that those people are trying to practice medicine. I live in a rural, and severely underserved community so we'll take Caribbean applicants! But that may not be true in the more urban regions of my state.
     
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  15. sb247

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    “We’ll take”?
     
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  16. the argus

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    I didn't mean my post to come across as all butterflies and rainbows. There are real, concrete disadvantages and downsides to going to the caribbean. I would be cautious about advice from anyone who "has nothing but good" to say about their caribbean medical school, or anyone who says their school is the best one. How could anyone definitely say their school is the best without going to all the other schools for comparison?

    I personally don't think it matters at all which of the big 4 caribbean schools you go to. The fact is, learning in medical school is self driven, and if you're looking for the school to drive your educational experience you will be in trouble.

    The reason I say stay away from the lesser known schools is that medical school is not the destination, it's a stop along the way. When it comes to caribbean medical schools, you should go to the ones that maximize your ability to get a residency afterwards, and in my opinion the big 4 schools are the ones that do that, and it's not even close.
     
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  17. sb247

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    But even sgu is ~50% get to residency

    That’s crazy
     
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  18. Skip Intro

    Skip Intro Registered User
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    ^ This.

    -Skip
     
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  19. medstudent1215

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    “We’ll take” meaning the family medicine residency in my home town. That was in regards to someone saying their residency program doesn’t even interview caribbean students
     
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  20. the argus

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    I'm not sure where you're getting that 50% number. For my year at Ross (matched in 2015), the number was ~70%.

    The only reason I'm able to say that is because I followed the class roster sizes throughout my time there and compared it to the number of residency placements that year. Without that specific data, which I'm guessing you don't have, I'm not sure how you can make that claim.
     
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  21. sb247

    sb247 Doer of things
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    I posted the links from sgu’s own site in the last few weeks. Boasting ~860 residency placements in 2017 and (if I recall) a total MD enrollment of ~5600

    Accounting for attrition pre match, I consider ~50% to be a fair number to say out loud. Totally willing to see your math if you prefer
     
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  22. Dr.Jekyll75

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    These Caribbean posts are as old as time. cant wait to read @Argus argue with everyone about match stats . Ill throw my 2 cents in here. To be blunt, you will have more cons than pros when it comes to going to the Caribbean. If you are willing to risk everything to follow your dream to be a physician in ANY specialty, the opportunity is there. Just know that you will likely have to work 10x harder than DOs and US MDs. Even if you pass all your classes and kill the step, it still raises question about why you ended up going to a Caribbean school. The main thought is to explore (post bacc, BMS, MPH) ALL OTHER AVENUES to a MD or a DO before you go to a Caribbean school.
     
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  23. Skip Intro

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    Argue with everyone? :confused: You mean, point out - using data - people's factual errors? That's not called "arguing". That's called clarifying, or maybe educating.

    Please don't.

    (... oh, nevermind. Seems you couldn't resist.)

    Worthless, throw-away, meaningless statement.

    (... oh, wait. You continue to write and try to clarify yourself... okay...)

    "Risk everything...." Hmmm... what do you mean? Your life? Possibly inciting social unrest or a military coup? Your entire family's well-being?

    And, yes, you will get your opportunity to follow your dream of becoming a physician, just like every other medical student, in any specialty. I happened to match in Anesthesiology. Most match in Internal Medicine and Family Practice. A smaller proportion match in mutlitple other fields. So, yes, you can match in "any" specialty.

    Only 10x harder? Are you sure it's not 20x... or maybe 30x? You do get credit for hedging yourself by qualifying your statement as "likely". (In other words, your lack of confidence regarding what you're talking about is showing.)

    Who exactly questions this? I graduated from Ross 13 years ago. I matched and trained in Anesthesiology. I'm currently in private practice and have already made enough "extra" money to pay off my school loans.

    In those 13 years, do you know how many times I've been asked where I went to medical school by patients, other physicians, or anyone else who was otherwise not immediate familiar to me? Four. And, even then, it was more out of curiosity and not questioning my medical acumen.

    So, when someone who has no clue (like yourself) what they're talking about and says such nonsense, I feel obliged to remind everyone else who may be reading it that this person has not walked-the-walk despite thinking they can talk-the-talk.

    Why do you feel the need to come here and say this like it is some novel, profound thought that none of us has yet to consider? That's what I want to know. Your entire post reeks of self-aggrandizement and is completely pointless.

    I'm willing to bet you're a high school student. Or, maybe just a really, really, really slow-learning undergraduate pre-med deep in the throes of some solid Pre-Med-Club brainwashing.

    My advice to you? Save the hollow, throw-away, drive-by rhetoric, and let those of us who have actually been through the experience try to help others figure out what they might face.

    In the meantime, you're welcome to pay close attention to @theargus ... and (maybe) learn something... if you pay attention.

    -Skip
     
    #22 Skip Intro, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  24. Caribpro

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    Residency placements from ross are never from 1 year, usually they are from at least 3 years back, so the number who matched in any given year is NOT a reflection of how many started 4 years prior. The attrition rate from all the "big 4" schools is around 50%. they are called "big" for a reason.
     
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  25. Dr.Jekyll75

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    Hey fam thanks for the demeaning post . Yes I am a high school student who’s a hardcore pre med for sure. I also like throwing in my 2 cents for ****s and giggles. As for arguing stats , I ment that as broad statement. You see people constantly arguing stats on here. Not trying to hype my own ego here, just throwing in a few gems from what I saw my friend go through. He moved his family to the island and back . He didn’t match for 3 years straight. His scores where better than most people apply To anesthesia. He went through hell and back only to match this year in family Med. Now this is the only experience I’ve seen personally but his story is not the only one like this. 13 years ago, maybe it wasn’t as competitive with the recent increase of AMGs and DOs, but that’s your experience . I don’t mean to come across as aggressive , but things 13 years ago are different than what they are now.


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
    #24 Dr.Jekyll75, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  26. Skip Intro

    Skip Intro Registered User
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    Ah.. the old "it's different now" argument.

    People said the same thing when I enrolled. People said various iterations of that for the past three decades. Just look at the history of this very forum. Doom and apocalypse has been forecasted at least since I was a posting member. You don't even have to go back that far to read how ALL these schools would be closed... by 2016!!

    My case? Anesthesiology was MORE competitive when I applied for residency in 2005 (relatively more applicants for fewer spots). There are also now more U.S. MD and DO spots available for U.S. college graduates than there were when I applied, and subsequently graduated from, Caribbean medical school. Yet, even more U.S. IMGs have matched in recent years since I went through this process, not less. The basis of your entire "it's different now" argument is unpinned by the so-called "stats" you loathe. Yes, it's different. Your chances are better.

    Point is, I think you need to better educate yourself before you start trying to educate me (or anyone else) on this forum. Likewise, I suggest you not mock or dismiss @theargus as being argumentative just because you don't like or perhaps understand what he says. Certainly, there's little value in your coming here and offering meaningless anecdotes and platitudes, doubly so as they are coming from a high school student. By your own admission, for example, being dismissive of "stats" (as you call it) means you are far from ready to even consider this journey.

    You should come here to learn, not lecture. Your advice is, honestly, meaningless. Sorry if that's a slap in the face. Some people need that, though.

    -Skip
     
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  27. Dr.Jekyll75

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    I think you are missing the sarcasm in my post. I'm well past high school and pre-med or w.e else you would like to pin me as. Out of curiosity what were the number of spots and applicants back in 05? im curious to see how competitive it was for you, because everything was harder back in the day from what im told . as of 2018 match 6,986 imgs applied total, out of those who matched it was 2,900. Thats about what 42 % . 42 % to be a doc in any field? that includes people that soaped into transitional years without advanced placement. Great odds id say. How many of those are repeat applicants like my friend? How many applicants would it really be if we had actual stats on enrollment to graduation rates at these schools? Now, i dont think ive every posted against @theargus , i simply stated he is the one that argues about stats and placement on the side of the Caribbean vs just about everyone else. I have no beef with them. As for lecturing, im not lecturing the OP. I simply made a comment. I may need some more education, but it isnt coming from your posts in this thread.
     
  28. the argus

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    Right, but the assumption is the same number of people from “3 years back” are going to match on a yearly basis. Unless you are arguig that in 2015 a huge number of old grads mathed compred to the number of old grads that usually match in any other guven year, then your point is invalid.

    The people that started with me but matched in 2016 or 2017 aren’t lost to attrition, just like the students that started before me but matched in 2015 aren’t either.
     
  29. Skip Intro

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  30. Dr.Jekyll75

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    Did you actually look at the number of people who applied, then withdrew and or applied without a rank list? The “highest since 1993” does not include those that withdrew, those that did it without a rank list .... or maybe those numbers don’t matter to you...


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
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  31. Caribpro

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    This would only be true if the starting classes every year were the same/stable, and they really haven't been. The incoming class sizes in 2008 vs 2012 vs 2016 are very different.
     
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  32. Skip Intro

    Skip Intro Registered User
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    Did you?

    I'm not debating you, dude. I'm trying to educate you. You're now just trying to save face... and your implication is still wrong.

    Nonetheless, the not-so-clever tactic you're now trying to employ is called a fool's errand and I'm just not interested in engaging you any further on the topic.

    If you're earnestly want to know the answer to your own question, answer it yourself. Then post it here. Then we'll discuss any discrepancies. I've pointed you in the right direction. Or, as my dad always used to say, "I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you." The best lessons we learn in life we learn on our own. So, have at it.

    -Skip
     
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  33. Dr.Jekyll75

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    Ha the numbers don’t lie my friend. I’m not trying to save any kind of face I’m just trying to point out what the “stats” are as you call it. For some reason you felt the need to “educate me” which didn’t really work . My reason to post the original comment was to paint the op a broad brush of what he could expect If he went to the Caribbean’s. You on the other hand got triggered from my post and tried to bash me. It’s cool though, to each their own.


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
  34. Skip Intro

    Skip Intro Registered User
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    “Triggered?” Sorry. I don’t speak snowflake.

    What is clear from what you’ve posted so far is that you have no idea what you’re talking about, and are in absolutely no position to be doling out advice.

    -Skip
     
  35. Dr.Jekyll75

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    Skip its pretty obvious you think im some young snowflake who doesnt want to listen to the old man . we could sit here and throw little cheap shots at each other but that doesnt help the op. Do me a favor though actually look at the stats from this year and see that 2,900 US IMGs matched out of the total that applied 6,986. those numbers aint great stats. The NRMP cuts out alot of important information to post how its the greatest match since 93. Lastly, throw in your 2 cents since you've actually lived the life and know what youre talking about. Im curious to see how what you did back in the day still applies to someone who's just starting out.
     
  36. medstudent1215

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    I appreciate the replies!

    So one thing that my friends at Caribbean schools have said is that there are LOT of people who absolutely do not belong there. This has a huge part to play in the stats that are being thrown around here. As my friend describes it, there are people who have failed several classes in college, who decided to "be a doctor" on a whim, and who have no self motivation or work ethic and end up dropping out within the first few weeks to months of school.

    I personally know my own strengths and flaws, and know i'll be successful at any school I go to. Not in an over-confident and arrogant mindset, but in a realistic evaluation by me and my physician peers. Which is why I was initially looking for advice on caribbean to use as a fallback option if for whatever reason I dont get in to schools in the states.

    I feel like its hard to give advice to someone over the internet when you have to just make assumptions about them based on test scores and the types of schools they're applying to. Hence the stereotypical opinions that have been established through these forums. I was mostly looking for opinions on people who have actually been through the grind there who can relate to it, and hear what they have to say. I have enjoyed this feed though, and the popcorn!
     
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