redking

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So here's my situation. I am a non-trad student (former lawyer who graduated cum laud, passed the bar in the top 4%), 4.0 science GPA, but 3.25-3.29 overall GPA and crappy 504 MCAT.

So I applied to multiple DO schools and as of today, I still haven't gotten a single interview. As I see it, I have two options. Retake the MCAT and shoot for a 507-508+ to even have a shot or go Caribbean.

With a 504 MCAT, 4.0 Science, and successful completion of Law school and bar, I feel capable of passing my STEPS, assuming I do that, what risks and challenges do I face going to a Caribbean school? What are the chances of getting or not getting a residency?

Lastly, at this late date is there still a chance of getting an interview?

Post lastly, **** my life. This is a ****ty place in life to be in. Two years of prereques and not even a single damn interview.
 
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redking

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What's the rest of your app looking like?
I don't know what the rest of my app looks like. i probably screwed up on my personal statement, but lets be honest. MCAT is 60%, GPA 25%, and the rest of the app is maybe 15%.
 
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johnnydrama

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Top students at Caribbean schools can be okay, but many of them kick people out before taking Step 1 to keep their score statistics up.

If you make that cut, the next issue is finding clinical rotations in the US. St. George's spends a lot of money to get hospitals to take their students (even displacing US MD students in some hospitals).

Caribbean schools don't have the same licensing requirements, so I would only consider the top, best known programs, and even those play games accepting people they know won't cut it for $$ just to kick them out before Step 1. That said, not sure the lower tier DO schools are any better (AOA licensing standards are minimal too next to the LCME).
 

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I don't know what the rest of my app looks like. i probably screwed up on my personal statement, but lets be honest. MCAT is 60%, GPA 25%, and the rest of the app is maybe 15%.
It might not be your numbers. There are plenty of people who have had interviews with lower stats than yours! Don't beat yourself up to much about it. What do you have for your extracurricular activities?
 
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YayPudding

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Caribbean med schools involve an easy apply/don't apply algorithm: you don't.

Do not apply nor attend a Caribbean medical school. We're still early in the US school cycle. Sit tight and reevaluate come February.
 
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Faha

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Which DO schools did you apply to? Where is your state of residence? The interview season for DO schools goes until April.
 
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DexterMorganSK

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There is plenty of time before this cycle is over, so be patient. I would advise against going to Carribeans.
Your plan B, for now (besides waiting), should be to apply to SMPs affiliated with DO schools (LECOM, VCOM, BCOM, LMU-DCOM, etc) and even few MD schools (Hofstra, RFU, NYMC, etc). Your stats are fine for those.
 
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redking

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There is plenty of time before this cycle is over, so be patient. I would advise against going to Carribeans.
Your plan B, for now (besides waiting), should be to apply to SMPs affiliated with DO schools (LECOM, VCOM, BCOM, LMU-DCOM, etc) and even few MD schools (Hofstra, RFU, NYMC, etc). Your stats are fine for those.
Pardon my ignorance. But SMP stands for?
 
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redking

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Which DO schools did you apply to? Where is your state of residence? The interview season for DO schools goes until April.
I applied to about 10. LECOM, VCOM, Rocky vista, oklahoma, Virginia schools, Carolina schools ect ect.
 
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redking

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I don't know how my EC look. I haven't had the opportunity to compare myself to dozens of other applicants. I lack research but have shadowing hours at rural clinics and hospitals and have marketed myself and someone wanting to go into rural medicine which I thought would be a plus and is also honest. I hate city life. I lack EC like being president of some BS student club because I have a family and real job experience 5 years as a pubic defender. I've been in the trenches with the people you will someday have a s patients.
 

Faha

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It is not too late to add more schools. These are other schools where you could receive interviews with your stats:
ACOM
ARCOM
BCOM
WCU-COM
LMU-DCOM
UP-KYCOM
WVSOM
NYIT-Arkansas
UIWSOM
 

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allantois

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Caribbean med schools involve an easy apply/don't apply algorithm: you don't.

Do not apply nor attend a Caribbean medical school. We're still early in the US school cycle. Sit tight and reevaluate come February.
Especially look at what happened to all these poor medical students stranded on the islands with their schools destroyed
 

latinclubimperatus

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Do you want to do/are you okay with doing primary care? The answer had better be yes, because you have a better chance of winning the lottery than specializing as a caribbean grad.
You stats actually aren't bad. A higher MCAT wouldn't hurt but if I had to guess your personal statement might need help. Is it possible you have a bad LOR? If you do your app gets automatically thrown out.
 

NonTrad16

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So here's my situation. I am a non-trad student (former lawyer who graduated cum laud, passed the bar in the top 4%), 4.0 science GPA, but 3.25-3.29 overall GPA and crappy 504 MCAT.

So I applied to multiple DO schools and as of today, I still haven't gotten a single interview. As I see it, I have two options. Retake the MCAT and shoot for a 507-508+ to even have a shot or go Caribbean.

With a 504 MCAT, 4.0 Science, and successful completion of Law school and bar, I feel capable of passing my STEPS, assuming I do that, what risks and challenges do I face going to a Caribbean school? What are the chances of getting or not getting a residency?

Lastly, at this late date is there still a chance of getting an interview?

Post lastly, **** my life. This is a ****ty place in life to be in. Two years of prereques and not even a single damn interview.
I'm a non-trad from engineering. I went one cycle with zero interviews from 25 applications (mix of DO and MD apps). I had a higher MCAT, higher cGPA, lower sGPA. Added two EC's (while maintaining my other ECs) and I went to ~10 II's (~50% of my apps) the following year. Yes it sucks to not have things go the way you want, but my failing to get in the first go was largely my fault (given the relatively basic template of experiences that schools expect you to have). I thought being a non-trad (different, other experiences, etc) would do something to boost a deficiency here or there -- don't really think it did until after I had that core that basically all other pre-meds have. For success you need to reach that minimum (which you probably did with your MCAT/GPA for many DO schools), but service experience (not your job) and clinical experience are also crucial.

All that said, it's still REALLY early. DO/MD schools will be sending out interviews for awhile. You still have a lot of time. That said, it's never too early to work on a backup plan (figuring out how to improve your application, etc). You could retake the MCAT if you want, but if you're happy with DO schools then you'd just need to make sure the rest of you application is up to par and keep up your service/clinical exposure.

I don't know what the rest of my app looks like. i probably screwed up on my personal statement, but lets be honest. MCAT is 60%, GPA 25%, and the rest of the app is maybe 15%.
MCAT is a large part, and seeing as how you didn't exactly excel... where else are you making up for it in your app? You need a minimum of MCAT, GPA, and 'rest of the app' to make them consider you. If you are missing enough of that 15% (I think it's more, but using your numbers), it can easily sink you.

I don't know how my EC look. I haven't had the opportunity to compare myself to dozens of other applicants. I lack research but have shadowing hours at rural clinics and hospitals and have marketed myself and someone wanting to go into rural medicine which I thought would be a plus and is also honest. I hate city life. I lack EC like being president of some BS student club because I have a family and real job experience 5 years as a pubic defender. I've been in the trenches with the people you will someday have a s patients.
You haven't had time? There are thousands of applications up in the Pre-Med/What are my chances threads. You could click blindly and still find a post where experienced members give feedback about ECs, grades, etc. You don't need to be president of a "BS student club," but you also can't put 'family' as an EC.

If you want to pursue medicine, I don't see why you couldn't get in, but you'll sink yourself if you're expecting schools to do you any favors or grant you exceptions. Your experience is an interesting tangent, but you need to prove you're willing to be a grunt, help others without payment, demonstrate you're academically equipped (in the sciences), and that you understand what you're getting into. SDN is a safe enough place to vent frustrations, but schools hold all the cards and it's up to you to do what you must if you want to get into one....
 

Tchotchke

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I would not recommend going the Carribean route. You are clearly not a bad test taker if you rocked the Bar--would you consider retaking the MCAT? (read: would you consider evaluating the strategy and life/work circumstances that you faced while studying last time?) Were you more content-focuses and not practice-test oriented? I went from pretty much your score to above 510, you can PM me to talk about strategies.

Consider studying for the MCAT retake. Depending on the score, consider applying to a one year masters to be a part of for next year's cycle to help with GPA, OR doing a "do it yourself" post-bacc of electives and non science courses perhaps even related to law so you could spin a public health/policy interest and boost your overall GPA (and not risk damaging your fabulous sGPA). All hope is not lost!
 
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workaholic181

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So here's my situation. I am a non-trad student (former lawyer who graduated cum laud, passed the bar in the top 4%), 4.0 science GPA, but 3.25-3.29 overall GPA and crappy 504 MCAT.

So I applied to multiple DO schools and as of today, I still haven't gotten a single interview. As I see it, I have two options. Retake the MCAT and shoot for a 507-508+ to even have a shot or go Caribbean.

With a 504 MCAT, 4.0 Science, and successful completion of Law school and bar, I feel capable of passing my STEPS, assuming I do that, what risks and challenges do I face going to a Caribbean school? What are the chances of getting or not getting a residency?

Lastly, at this late date is there still a chance of getting an interview?

Post lastly, **** my life. This is a ****ty place in life to be in. Two years of prereques and not even a single damn interview.
It's still really, really early. Your stats are OK for some DO schools, I think you have a shot.

Were it me, I would begin prepping for a MCAT retake now, and look to take it in feb or around then. By that time, you'll have a better idea of where you stand in the application cycle. I would apply to more of the newer DO schools too.

Carib is just way too risky.
 
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Blanky

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Strengthen the app for next cycle (this one isn't over yet.) Physician shadowing do some volunteer work, work on the personal statement. MCAT seems fine for DO maybe a couple upper level bios to show you still got it and bump the GPA if you can.
 

Aspiring_Future_D.O.

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So here's my situation. I am a non-trad student (former lawyer who graduated cum laud, passed the bar in the top 4%), 4.0 science GPA, but 3.25-3.29 overall GPA and crappy 504 MCAT.

So I applied to multiple DO schools and as of today, I still haven't gotten a single interview. As I see it, I have two options. Retake the MCAT and shoot for a 507-508+ to even have a shot or go Caribbean.

With a 504 MCAT, 4.0 Science, and successful completion of Law school and bar, I feel capable of passing my STEPS, assuming I do that, what risks and challenges do I face going to a Caribbean school? What are the chances of getting or not getting a residency?

Lastly, at this late date is there still a chance of getting an interview?

Post lastly, **** my life. This is a ****ty place in life to be in. Two years of prereques and not even a single damn interview.
Avoid Caribbean schools at all cost. Multiple doctors I shadowed who are practicing now have advised me abhorrently to avoid Caribbean schools like the plague.
Oh, and if Pamela Wible's opinion (facts? - arguable) matters it would seem she's not a huge supporter either... The ugly truth about Caribbean medical schools | Pamela Wible MD
At the end of the day quality medical education is what you're after then you will do whatever it takes as long as it takes to achieve your dream.
"Never, ever, ever give up." Michael Scott
 
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physgal

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I am non-traditional, used to be paralegal. There is some bias against lawyers/paralegals. I overcame it but had several people reword my experiences in the law in my application. You should consider hiring someone to review your app.
 

Goro

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So here's my situation. I am a non-trad student (former lawyer who graduated cum laud, passed the bar in the top 4%), 4.0 science GPA, but 3.25-3.29 overall GPA and crappy 504 MCAT.

So I applied to multiple DO schools and as of today, I still haven't gotten a single interview. As I see it, I have two options. Retake the MCAT and shoot for a 507-508+ to even have a shot or go Caribbean.

With a 504 MCAT, 4.0 Science, and successful completion of Law school and bar, I feel capable of passing my STEPS, assuming I do that, what risks and challenges do I face going to a Caribbean school? What are the chances of getting or not getting a residency?

Lastly, at this late date is there still a chance of getting an interview?

Post lastly, **** my life. This is a ****ty place in life to be in. Two years of prereques and not even a single damn interview.
Patience is a virtue, the need for instant gratification is not.

Schools stratify the apps as they come in and don't send out IIs merely in chronological order.

I hope that you explained in your app why you were running TO Medicine, as oppose dot merely running away from a poor employment environment in Law.

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 US med schools that will reward reinvention.

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 threshing machine (like Skip Intro or mikkus) 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?

A little light reading:

https://milliondollarmistake.wordpress.com/

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

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I don't know how my EC look. I haven't had the opportunity to compare myself to dozens of other applicants. I lack research but have shadowing hours at rural clinics and hospitals and have marketed myself and someone wanting to go into rural medicine which I thought would be a plus and is also honest. I hate city life. I lack EC like being president of some BS student club because I have a family and real job experience 5 years as a pubic defender. I've been in the trenches with the people you will someday have a s patients.
So, just reading this paragraph makes me think you're trying to out smart the system. How many times have you been told "I only had one beer at lunch" and the fools BAC was .2 at midnight? Point I'm trying to make, you may have been in the trench with some of the same people, but the adcoms are true activists, true elitists who spend their summers extracting pinworms from some blind Pygmy ass with their bare hands in the name of world peace, you can't fake that kind of dedication. I'd get some honest eyes on that PS and plan for more mainstream interview responses.
 

Deecee2DO

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OP your stats are completely fine for DO schools imo. You need to assess your ECs if you dont get any IIs this cycle. Its not your stats, if you want to go DO don't waste your time re-taking the MCAT its competitive for most DO schools. Also, do NOT go the caribbean route. Very bad idea. Stick to US DO/MD or you will regret it.
 
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physgal

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Was looking at this thread again, and wanted to provide some additional info that I thought could be helpful. I am a LEGAL to MEDICINE applicant and I received interviews at the following DO schools with a 4.0 science/grad and 502 MCAT. Obviously these schools were interested in more than just stats: Campbell, Incarnate Word, ACOM, PCOM Georgia, and Lecom Bradenton. You may consider adding these schools if you havent already.
 
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I’m a non-trad applicant (500 MCAT and 3.5-3.6 sGPA/cGPA). I’ve had a couple II’s and acceptances from DO programs and recently made a deposit at one of them. Avoid caribbean medical programs like the plague. Students from those programs have a tremendously hard time matching. Going into the medical profession itself is a momentous commitment...why start it off putting yourself at such a disadvantage/risk? Is it not worth it to wait one more application cycle? Your stats are decent for DO programs but they’re not super competitive which might be part of the problem. You have to set yourself apart somehow so maybe you’ll need to beef up your ECs? For me personally I had a 2 year + ER tech job. One of the schools that offered me an acceptance pretty much told me that’s what they were most interested in. My advice is to finish out the cycle and maybe add a couple more DO schools as others have mentioned. Start to plan an MCAT retake and maybe add an EC or two in case it doesn’t pan out. Jobs in health care can be a major plus at a lot of schools, and could be the difference for you next cycle (better MCAT score or not). Try to find schools that have missions fitting what you’re looking to do in medicine. IE if you want to do primary care in rural areas there are schools that have missions to do just that. Lots of II’s and subsequent acceptances are mission-driven past the numerical cutoff standards. There are definitely some students getting into DO schools with worse stats than yourself. The key is figuring out what they’re doing that you’re not. Anyway that’s my $.02, good luck!
 
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pccm_guy

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I an American citizen that went the Caribbean route and had nearly zero issues along the entire way. I went to a large state funded university for undergrad and did not even complete a 4 year degree. I had a major in the humanities and my sGPA was roughly 2.8. I completed 80.5 credits and decided to forgo my final year and applied to a top 5 carib med school (whatever that means) - not St. George or Ross. I was a very average medical student, but knew how and what to study for tests and never failed anything. I watched hundreds of my classmates drop out and repeatedly fall for the Caribbean scam which does exist if you don't have the IQ or common sense to get through. I took the comprehensive shelf exam at the end of basic sciences (which will determine if I qualify for Step 1) and made it off the island on my first try. I then did clinicals in a small hospital down south which has an affiliated medicine and surgery residency for the majority of my time and had no issues. I subsequently passed all my step exams without delay and scored average on everyone. I never really had much motivation in medicine beyond being a basic IM doc so this route worked for me. I applied to ERAS for both medicine and combined med/psych. I received 6 interviews in IM from primarily lowly community programs with some fellowships and one mid tier university program. The three combined med/psych places were 5 years and mid level uni programs (I ranked them all last). I ranked a small community hospital up north as my top choice because it seemed to have the easiest residency and I had no interest in fellowship or working too hard. I am very honest with myself and a realist. I like my leisure time and time with my family substantially more than I like medicine. I matched at my number 1. I completed step 3 beginning of my 2nd year. I then fell in love with critical care medicine and hated hospitalist work. I decided to apply to 60 PCCM fellowships with no research, no big conference abstracts or presentations and average scores. I did have decent LORs as I was friendly with staff and a generally well respected resident for my knowledge, skill and competence. I interviewed at a mix bag of community and mid tier university programs - 7 of them. I matched to my 5th choice. I had zero breaks in my schedule. I had no issues whatsoever. My debt will be about 250k. I will make 425k in 1.5 years after I sign my attending contract with a private nonprofit hospital. It can be done and can be done relatively easy. Just be smart and keep your eyes open. Focus on the prize and most importantly have common sense. Carib prays on the fools who have no social skills, minimal common sense and basically kids that are pushed by their parents to do medicine who ultimately fail in a blaze of fire.
 
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Deecee2DO

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I an American citizen that went the Caribbean route and had nearly zero issues along the entire way. I went to a large state funded university for undergrad and did not even complete a 4 year degree. I had a major in the humanities and my sGPA was roughly 2.8. I completed 80.5 credits and decided to forgo my final year and applied to a top 5 carib med school (whatever that means) - not St. George or Ross. I was a very average medical student, but knew how and what to study for tests and never failed anything. I watched hundreds of my classmates drop out and repeatedly fall for the Caribbean scam which does exist if you don't have the IQ or common sense to get through. I took the comprehensive shelf exam at the end of basic sciences (which will determine if I qualify for Step 1) and made it off the island on my first try. I then did clinicals in a small hospital down south which has an affiliated medicine and surgery residency for the majority of my time and had no issues. I subsequently passed all my step exams without delay and scored average on everyone. I never really had much motivation in medicine beyond being a basic IM doc so this route worked for me. I applied to ERAS for both medicine and combined med/psych. I received 6 interviews in IM from primarily lowly community programs with some fellowships and one mid tier university program. The three combined med/psych places were 5 years and mid level uni programs (I ranked them all last). I ranked a small community hospital up north as my top choice because it seemed to have the easiest residency and I had no interest in fellowship or working too hard. I am very honest with myself and a realist. I like my leisure time and time with my family substantially more than I like medicine. I matched at my number 1. I completed step 3 beginning of my 2nd year. I then fell in love with critical care medicine and hated hospitalist work. I decided to apply to 60 PCCM fellowships with no research, no big conference abstracts or presentations and average scores. I did have decent LORs as I was friendly with staff and a generally well respected resident for my knowledge, skill and competence. I interviewed at a mix bag of community and mid tier university programs - 7 of them. I matched to my 5th choice. I had zero breaks in my schedule. I had no issues whatsoever. My debt will be about 250k. I will make 425k in 1.5 years after I sign my attending contract with a private nonprofit hospital. It can be done and can be done relatively easy. Just be smart and keep your eyes open. Focus on the prize and most importantly have common sense. Carib prays on the fools who have no social skills, minimal common sense and basically kids that are pushed by their parents to do medicine who ultimately fail in a blaze of fire.
Congrats on your accomplishments! I don't think this is the norm. I still am hesitant to recommend caribbean to anyone, although it can be done, it is just a long and much harder route that is risky compared to US MD/DO. I feel like if someone does the carribbean route they need to have the right mindset. I guess it really all depends on your situation. Good luck to you!
 

pccm_guy

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Congrats on your accomplishments! I don't think this is the norm. I still am hesitant to recommend caribbean to anyone, although it can be done, it is just a long and much harder route that is risky compared to US MD/DO. I feel like if someone does the carribbean route they need to have the right mindset. I guess it really all depends on your situation. Good luck to you!
American med schools baby their students much more. Their clinical rotations are preset and their is no guess work. Aside for that, I see no difference between American med schools and carib. Once carib students leave the island and prove themselves on step 1 (1 attempt being the caveat), they are equal to american med school students. I have seen more American students make fools of themselves on clinicals than carib.

There is nothing longer about this route. There is not much harder either. My issues were minimal. I also did not deviate from the plan or shoot myself in the foot in anyway.
 

Deecee2DO

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American med schools baby their students much more. Their clinical rotations are preset and their is no guess work. Aside for that, I see no difference between American med schools and carib. Once carib students leave the island and prove themselves on step 1 (1 attempt being the caveat), they are equal to american med school students. I have seen more American students make fools of themselves on clinicals than carib.

There is nothing longer about this route. There is not much harder either. My issues were minimal. I also did not deviate from the plan or shoot myself in the foot in anyway.
Still wouldn't recommend caribbean. Only US MD/DO. Also, US MD/DO students don't need to be babied, since they were chosen from a competitive pool knowing they could handle the workload. You earn a spot in a US medical school, you don't earn a spot in a caribbean school. However, if you successfully graduated from a caribbean school you earned your diploma I'll give you that. If you can't get into either US MD/DO then go podiatry route. If you can't get into pod school I'd say go the caribbean route i guess
 

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If you can’t get into podiatry school, I want you no where near my body with sharp objects. Even as a mid level.

If someone can’t get into podiatry school, they prolly don’t have the academic prowess to get through the Carribean and not fail out. Carribean will still take them, naturally.

Even with the job saturation, go to pharmacy school before the carribean. Even if you wanted to be a doctor your whole life, you have a better chance at being


Still wouldn't recommend caribbean. Only US MD/DO. Also, US MD/DO students don't need to be babied, since they were chosen from a competitive pool knowing they could handle the workload. You earn a spot in a US medical school, you don't earn a spot in a caribbean school. However, if you successfully graduated from a caribbean school you earned your diploma I'll give you that. If you can't get into either US MD/DO then go podiatry route. If you can't get into pod school I'd say go the caribbean route i guess
 

GypsyHummus

7+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2011
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You are what we call an outlier.

I an American citizen that went the Caribbean route and had nearly zero issues along the entire way. I went to a large state funded university for undergrad and did not even complete a 4 year degree. I had a major in the humanities and my sGPA was roughly 2.8. I completed 80.5 credits and decided to forgo my final year and applied to a top 5 carib med school (whatever that means) - not St. George or Ross. I was a very average medical student, but knew how and what to study for tests and never failed anything. I watched hundreds of my classmates drop out and repeatedly fall for the Caribbean scam which does exist if you don't have the IQ or common sense to get through. I took the comprehensive shelf exam at the end of basic sciences (which will determine if I qualify for Step 1) and made it off the island on my first try. I then did clinicals in a small hospital down south which has an affiliated medicine and surgery residency for the majority of my time and had no issues. I subsequently passed all my step exams without delay and scored average on everyone. I never really had much motivation in medicine beyond being a basic IM doc so this route worked for me. I applied to ERAS for both medicine and combined med/psych. I received 6 interviews in IM from primarily lowly community programs with some fellowships and one mid tier university program. The three combined med/psych places were 5 years and mid level uni programs (I ranked them all last). I ranked a small community hospital up north as my top choice because it seemed to have the easiest residency and I had no interest in fellowship or working too hard. I am very honest with myself and a realist. I like my leisure time and time with my family substantially more than I like medicine. I matched at my number 1. I completed step 3 beginning of my 2nd year. I then fell in love with critical care medicine and hated hospitalist work. I decided to apply to 60 PCCM fellowships with no research, no big conference abstracts or presentations and average scores. I did have decent LORs as I was friendly with staff and a generally well respected resident for my knowledge, skill and competence. I interviewed at a mix bag of community and mid tier university programs - 7 of them. I matched to my 5th choice. I had zero breaks in my schedule. I had no issues whatsoever. My debt will be about 250k. I will make 425k in 1.5 years after I sign my attending contract with a private nonprofit hospital. It can be done and can be done relatively easy. Just be smart and keep your eyes open. Focus on the prize and most importantly have common sense. Carib prays on the fools who have no social skills, minimal common sense and basically kids that are pushed by their parents to do medicine who ultimately fail in a blaze of fire.
 

ThoracicGuy

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Jun 11, 2013
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I an American citizen that went the Caribbean route and had nearly zero issues along the entire way. I went to a large state funded university for undergrad and did not even complete a 4 year degree. I had a major in the humanities and my sGPA was roughly 2.8. I completed 80.5 credits and decided to forgo my final year and applied to a top 5 carib med school (whatever that means) - not St. George or Ross. I was a very average medical student, but knew how and what to study for tests and never failed anything. I watched hundreds of my classmates drop out and repeatedly fall for the Caribbean scam which does exist if you don't have the IQ or common sense to get through. I took the comprehensive shelf exam at the end of basic sciences (which will determine if I qualify for Step 1) and made it off the island on my first try. I then did clinicals in a small hospital down south which has an affiliated medicine and surgery residency for the majority of my time and had no issues. I subsequently passed all my step exams without delay and scored average on everyone. I never really had much motivation in medicine beyond being a basic IM doc so this route worked for me. I applied to ERAS for both medicine and combined med/psych. I received 6 interviews in IM from primarily lowly community programs with some fellowships and one mid tier university program. The three combined med/psych places were 5 years and mid level uni programs (I ranked them all last). I ranked a small community hospital up north as my top choice because it seemed to have the easiest residency and I had no interest in fellowship or working too hard. I am very honest with myself and a realist. I like my leisure time and time with my family substantially more than I like medicine. I matched at my number 1. I completed step 3 beginning of my 2nd year. I then fell in love with critical care medicine and hated hospitalist work. I decided to apply to 60 PCCM fellowships with no research, no big conference abstracts or presentations and average scores. I did have decent LORs as I was friendly with staff and a generally well respected resident for my knowledge, skill and competence. I interviewed at a mix bag of community and mid tier university programs - 7 of them. I matched to my 5th choice. I had zero breaks in my schedule. I had no issues whatsoever. My debt will be about 250k. I will make 425k in 1.5 years after I sign my attending contract with a private nonprofit hospital. It can be done and can be done relatively easy. Just be smart and keep your eyes open. Focus on the prize and most importantly have common sense. Carib prays on the fools who have no social skills, minimal common sense and basically kids that are pushed by their parents to do medicine who ultimately fail in a blaze of fire.
This is not a usual result. I would not recommend your path to anyone, certainly not leaving undergrad with only half a degree. You managed to make it work, but the odds of people repeating your success seem rather low.
 

pccm_guy

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Oct 31, 2015
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This is not a usual result. I would not recommend your path to anyone, certainly not leaving undergrad with only half a degree. You managed to make it work, but the odds of people repeating your success seem rather low.
I honestly always knew that undergraduate degrees are pretty useless. People need a specific skill and hone that skill whether it be some field of finance, medicine, cooking, writing, whatever. I knew I would do reasonably well in medicine, but I didn’t want to invest the effort in undergrad. Medical school and medicine in general isn’t that hard and it almost gets easier as a sub-specialist. Obviously, many purists will talk about being the best in your field and using your skills to teach others and to an extent I try to do that, but guess what this is the only life I got and I’m going to enjoy it. I think what lead me to success was not the desire of being the best doctor ever or any pure altruistic reason, it’s more of securing a stable job and future for myself and my family; and achieving that by working in a vaguely scientific and moral career.
 
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ThoracicGuy

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Jun 11, 2013
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I honestly always knew that undergraduate degrees are pretty useless. People need a specific skill and hone that skill whether it be some field of finance, medicine, cooking, writing, whatever. I knew I would do reasonably well in medicine, but I didn’t want to invest the effort in undergrad. Medical school and medicine in general isn’t that hard and it almost gets easier as a sub-specialist. Obviously, many purists will talk about being the best in your field and using your skills to teach others and to an extent I try to do that, but guess what this is the only life I got and I’m going to enjoy it. I think what lead me to success was not the desire of being the best doctor ever or any pure altruistic reason, it’s more of securing a stable job and future for myself and my family; and achieving that by working in a vaguely scientific and moral career.
 

GypsyHummus

7+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2011
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I agree that 80% of all undergrad degrees are essentially worthless. There are a few that yield good employment like Engineering, Nursing, and Accounting.

I agree on your insights on life as well. Be humble and kind, you will go far in this profession.

You took a huge gamble though, this is not normal odds and people need to be aware of it. You also applied 7 years ago. The amount of schools have increased and they have merged MD and DO residencies. Residency training is reaching a saturation point in the near future, and FMG and IMG are going to get sqeezed. 10 years ago, graduating FMG was still a bad deal, but you could swing it. Not now.

Everyone thinks they are going to be in the top 25% of students that make it off the island with a residency, even the bottom 75%.

I honestly always knew that undergraduate degrees are pretty useless. People need a specific skill and hone that skill whether it be some field of finance, medicine, cooking, writing, whatever. I knew I would do reasonably well in medicine, but I didn’t want to invest the effort in undergrad. Medical school and medicine in general isn’t that hard and it almost gets easier as a sub-specialist. Obviously, many purists will talk about being the best in your field and using your skills to teach others and to an extent I try to do that, but guess what this is the only life I got and I’m going to enjoy it. I think what lead me to success was not the desire of being the best doctor ever or any pure altruistic reason, it’s more of securing a stable job and future for myself and my family; and achieving that by working in a vaguely scientific and moral career.
 

Jennyfishy

5+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2013
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I took STEP 2 CS about not too long ago with a group of about 20 FMG/IMG students - many of them were applying to the same specialty (Fam med), and were telling me how they had applied to 150+ programs and only had 1-2 interview offers to date (this was in early December). Two were reapplying because the only interviews they were offered was after SOAP last year. Their STEP1/STEP2 scores and med school GPAs were much higher than me, but they were getting screened out likely because of where they had gone to school. When I had met these folks, I had already completed all of my interviews (FM starts interviewing around the end of September, less than 2 weeks after ERAS verification). I go to an allopathic school in the US.

To me, even if you are the top of your class at a non-US medical school, you may not see how much of a disadvantage you'll be at until you're trying to land a residency spot. The risk of graduating with 200+k of debt and not being able to find a job, which is only getting worse with the increase in MD/DO students, seems like an extremely huge risk to be taking. If you're not set on practicing in the US, this entire post is meaningless, but if your end game is to practice here, you should seriously just take the 1-2 extra years it may take to beef up your application and get into a US MD/DO school. This is especially true if you are hoping to go into a specialty that isn't IM/Peds/FM.
 

GypsyHummus

7+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2011
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Some people cant get into a MD/DO school, even after 1-2 years. What would you recommend then?

I took STEP 2 CS about not too long ago with a group of about 20 FMG/IMG students - many of them were applying to the same specialty (Fam med), and were telling me how they had applied to 150+ programs and only had 1-2 interview offers to date (this was in early December). Two were reapplying because the only interviews they were offered was after SOAP last year. Their STEP1/STEP2 scores and med school GPAs were much higher than me, but they were getting screened out likely because of where they had gone to school. When I had met these folks, I had already completed all of my interviews (FM starts interviewing around the end of September, less than 2 weeks after ERAS verification). I go to an allopathic school in the US.

To me, even if you are the top of your class at a non-US medical school, you may not see how much of a disadvantage you'll be at until you're trying to land a residency spot. The risk of graduating with 200+k of debt and not being able to find a job, which is only getting worse with the increase in MD/DO students, seems like an extremely huge risk to be taking. If you're not set on practicing in the US, this entire post is meaningless, but if your end game is to practice here, you should seriously just take the 1-2 extra years it may take to beef up your application and get into a US MD/DO school. This is especially true if you are hoping to go into a specialty that isn't IM/Peds/FM.
 

hobbes23

10+ Year Member
Dec 11, 2007
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Some people cant get into a MD/DO school, even after 1-2 years. What would you recommend then?
Assuming you mean application cycles, I would assume most people would advise looking for an alternative career outside of being a physician after 2 or 3 application cycles. That's assuming you have meaningful improvement and change with each application.
 

futuremdforme

5+ Year Member
May 12, 2013
885
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Why are you not open to retaking the MCAT? You have a stellar sGPA and you did well on the bar, so you should be able to do well on a standardized science exam. Did you not do many practice tests? Did you apply late? How much work went into your personal statement, and did anyone look it over?

From what you said here, you seem competitive to get into a US school, so I would consider waiting a year if you don't get in this year, as long as you can figure out how to do better next year.
 

MacDonaldTriad

5+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2013
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Over seas schools are going to fell some pressure as US schools expand and post graduate slots are stagnant. Old advice will not work soon.
 
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