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Hi,

I don't know much about Caribbean schools which is why I am posting here. I am an Ivy grad. Did not get into American MD schools this year and knew I'd have issues getting in. Now I am wondering- is it worth going to a Caribbean school.

Does anyone have an info? Is anyone in the same boat?
 

1nycdoc8

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Hi,

I don't know much about Caribbean schools which is why I am posting here. I am an Ivy grad. Did not get into American MD schools this year and knew I'd have issues getting in. Now I am wondering- is it worth going to a Caribbean school.

Does anyone have an info? Is anyone in the same boat?
I'm a MS-2 at SGU (St. George's University, one of the big 4, supposedly the "best" carib medical school), and there are a couple things you have to assess to see whether or not you should come down here.

1)GPA/MCAT. What's the damage? High GPA/Low MCAT... RETAKE THE MCAT. DON'T DO ANYTHING FOR A FEW MONTHS OR HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES to study for it and crush it, then reapply to US med school.
-Low GPA, high MCAT: do some post bacc classes/ masters course w/e
-Low GPA, low MCAT: how low are both? below 3.0 gpa? below 20 mcat? You kinda need to tell us more about yourself.

There are many new med schools that are opening up across the country, both MD and DO. In retrospect (I haven't finished yet) but I would have gone to one of the DO schools I was accepted at. I plan on transferring back- easier for residencies in the long run.

At any rate good luck with whatever you do.
 

hippocraticoath

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Hi,

I don't know much about Caribbean schools which is why I am posting here. I am an Ivy grad. Did not get into American MD schools this year and knew I'd have issues getting in. Now I am wondering- is it worth going to a Caribbean school.

Does anyone have an info? Is anyone in the same boat?

Yeah definitely. As long as you get high board scores, etc. no one really cares where you went to medical school. The carribbean option is a great idea and a lot of premeds don't realize it. Since you went to an ivy league school, you should have no problems kicking the crap out of the USMLE and scoring 50 points higher than those who went to their low-tier state schools for undergrad. I know people from Harvard, Yale, etc who went to the carribbeans, did well and are plastic surgeons or heart surgeons now.
 

RussianJoo

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Yeah definitely. As long as you get high board scores, etc. no one really cares where you went to medical school. The carribbean option is a great idea and a lot of premeds don't realize it. Since you went to an ivy league school, you should have no problems kicking the crap out of the USMLE and scoring 50 points higher than those who went to their low-tier state schools for undergrad. I know people from Harvard, Yale, etc who went to the carribbeans, did well and are plastic surgeons or heart surgeons now.
not really true.. board score aren't everything.. The guy who posts on here sometimes went SABA just graduate this year. had 240's on step1 and 250's on step2 applied for anesthesia and didn't match. Many people don't match. just because 1 person out of 700 or more from a class gets Ophtho or Ortho or whatever doesn't mean it's easy to become whatever doc you want. I know of hundreds who had to settle for Family Medicine or IM because they couldn't get into their first choice residency even though they had 90's on the boards and no failures.
 
Mar 23, 2010
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So you would say going to one of these schools would hold you back at some point?

I know I read elsewhere on here that you'd have to score higher on your boards to be competitive with an American med student (who scored lower.)
 

RussianJoo

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Carib students are definitely descriminated against, and you will be looked at as a less qualified applicant even though you'll score the same or better on boards than your US counterpart. Heck even many Chairman and program directors who are alumni of these carib schools will refuse to help their own. For example one of the Clinical Sciences Deans of Students at SGU graduated from SGU in the 70's or early 80's and is also a program director of an EM residency program (i think in NYC). His residency program hasn't interviewed a single SGU student or any carib student for a few years now and they don't plan on interviewing a carib student anytime in the near future. That really sucks when alumni, deans of students who are in a position to help their fellow alumni will not, because they don't want to tarnish their residency programs name and would rather take a less qualified US grad than an SGU student.
 

thinker

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because they don't want to tarnish their residency programs name and would rather take a less qualified US grad than an SGU student.

Hey,
you make it sound as a policy specifically designed to target poor caribbean students. in reality it could just be a general IMG policy. And it should be already clear to all that IMGs are way at a disadvantage when compared to US grads.. it should be no secret.

I think people on the forums should focus more on understanding the difference between Caribbean IMG vs. All other kinds of IMGs

does anyone have any good numbers on out of how many students (when pooled together) that actually participated in the match from the big 4, actually match? This will be a good number to help people make a decision..
 

RussianJoo

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Hey,
you make it sound as a policy specifically designed to target poor caribbean students. in reality it could just be a general IMG policy. And it should be already clear to all that IMGs are way at a disadvantage when compared to US grads.. it should be no secret.

I think people on the forums should focus more on understanding the difference between Caribbean IMG vs. All other kinds of IMGs

does anyone have any good numbers on out of how many students (when pooled together) that actually participated in the match from the big 4, actually match? This will be a good number to help people make a decision..

you're right this is probably for all IMGs not just carib students, but this guy went to SGU, is a Dean of students at SGU and there are many SGU students with 230's and 240's who apply for EM and don't get an invite from his program. you'd think he'd want to help his fellow alumni.

don't know about all the big 4 but SGU sent us an email last year saying that they requested NRMP to calculate this for them and their match rate is 74%...
 

thinker

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74% is pretty damn good! that's better than DO and roughly like Canadians! Check out the NRMP data for 2010.
 

Aphtalyfe

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74% is pretty damn good! that's better than DO and roughly like Canadians! Check out the NRMP data for 2010.
DOs also have their own residencies they can match into.

74% match means that a lot of people will be 300k in debt and no job.

but the 74% is probably not including pre-matches/scramble?
 

RussianJoo

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DOs also have their own residencies they can match into.

74% match means that a lot of people will be 300k in debt and no job.

but the 74% is probably not including pre-matches/scramble?
74% is just out of those that submitted a rank order list through NRMP and didn't match. so it doesn't include prematches and it only includes the main match, but that won't make a huge difference. but DO's can prematch too and can do it more readily than carib students.
 

dragonfly99

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What happens to the other 26%? That 74% is really not that hot, when you think about that 26%. Hopefully most can reapply the next year and get in, but I'd assume they'll be scrambling to take whatever they can get (fp or IM or psych in any program that would take them, even if it has crappy teaching and overworks the house staff).
 

RussianJoo

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you're correct. they either getting the left over scraps or they simply don't start their residency next year. I think most of those that don't match need visas so they probably go back to their home countries. But many people get offered prematches, it's just a lot of times the hospitals that do aren't the best in the world so it's a really hard decision to make, take your chances in the match with better hospitals or take a sure thing at a place you know won't provide you with the proper training, you'll have to be more motivated yourself to teach yourself the stuff.
 

futIDdoc

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+1 on 74% not being a good match rate. And it is only going to get worse (actually a lot worse) for FMGs with the plethora of new allo and osteo schools opening in the states, with the stated goal of bringing all the medical training inside the US and shutting down carib schools.
 

Aphtalyfe

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74% is just out of those that submitted a rank order list through NRMP and didn't match. so it doesn't include prematches and it only includes the main match, but that won't make a huge difference. but DO's can prematch too and can do it more readily than carib students.
Well I bet the actual percentage of matching is over 85%+ when you include pre-matches and scramble.
 

IamAriDO

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someone mentioned that the 74% match rate is higher than DO. Would the DO % be the allopathic percentage.. I would think that DO schools have near 99% matching when you combine the DO and MD match. I applied to DO and SGU as well. Happy with my decision, but takes a lot of work either way and you come out a doc when you match.

lower case/bad punctuation due to being posted from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Cheers All
IamAriDO
 

sshashid87

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I've heard the Step 1 pass rate is 85% at SGU, does that mean 1st time pass rate, or overall pass rate (i.e. some students passed on their 3rd try, etc)? Also, if those students were to fail, would they be able to enter the match on time? Or would their clinicals be pushed back, effectively pushing back their match cycle? I was assuming the 74% match rate just refers to the students eligible for the match, and not the whole class, but still would like to know...
 

RussianJoo

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I've heard the Step 1 pass rate is 85% at SGU, does that mean 1st time pass rate, or overall pass rate (i.e. some students passed on their 3rd try, etc)? Also, if those students were to fail, would they be able to enter the match on time? Or would their clinicals be pushed back, effectively pushing back their match cycle? I was assuming the 74% match rate just refers to the students eligible for the match, and not the whole class, but still would like to know...
the first time pass rate average for the last 15 years is 84.4% making SGU the number #1 in terms of pass rate over the last 15 years, this was an american study that showed this. here's the link http://www.sgu.edu/news-events/news-archives08-Grenada1USMLE.html

However, today the first time pass rate is over 90%. Also the 74% match rate has nothing to do with how many people are eligible for the match or how many people in the class. as i said above, the 74% means that of those that enter the match and submit their rank order list and do not withdraw from the match 74% of the people match into a residency the other 26% do not, and either try to scramble or do research for a year or work somewhere else, a lot of times these people are not US citizens or green card holders and so they must move back to their own country.


As for not graduating on time unless you pass your steps, it all depends on how long it takes you to retake the steps and how much time you have. If you don't pass step1 you will not be allowed to start your clinical rotations, if you don't pass step2 you will not get ECFMG Verified and will be removed from the match when the dead line to submit a rank order list, however if you can retake the tests very quickly and were in the January class which gave you a lot of extra time you might be able to fail a step and still match/graduate on time....


if you're interested in any carib school I suggest you look at those schools websites first before listening to others because a lot of times people are miss-informed. and try not to ask the same questions that were just answered a few posts above. good luck on your decision making.
 

sshashid87

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RJ, I apologize, I skimmed the thread and hadn't seen that you'd answered literally the exact same question. Thanks for all the info though, appreciate your time. Congrats on your match, btw...
 

epacalypse

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Yeah definitely. As long as you get high board scores, etc. no one really cares where you went to medical school. The carribbean option is a great idea and a lot of premeds don't realize it. Since you went to an ivy league school, you should have no problems kicking the crap out of the USMLE and scoring 50 points higher than those who went to their low-tier state schools for undergrad. I know people from Harvard, Yale, etc who went to the carribbeans, did well and are plastic surgeons or heart surgeons now.
I don't know how true it is that it doesn't matter if you're a US-IMG if you score 99s on your USMLEs. There are many places where you wouldn't be offered an interview simply because you are a US-IMG. I am from a big 3 carib school with 220/91 on both Steps and research experience, and I got a lot of University interviews, but none near my hometown and only in less desirable cities (although I did not apply to California or Illinois). I only applied to Pediatrics, and I ended up going to a very respectable community program (close to home), but it's a community program nonetheless.

As far as the carib guys who got Plastics, Neurosurgery, and whatnot, they really are the exception. Look over the match lists for SGU, Ross, AUC carefully.

You would get a lot of offers if you had 99s from a carib school, but you gotta get that 99 first, and there really are some programs who just don't want foreign grads. Check with the programs you want to go to if they do accept them.

If I could do it over, I would have waited another year. I was an engineering major with a 3.68 GPA, 31 MCAT and was unsure about medicine during the admission process and was late on my application. I didn't have a lot of health-related extracurriculars, either. I was too impatient to wait another year, but it would've done me a lot more good in the long run to reapply to the US. This was a hard process and the feeling of being a second class citizen really sucks. You gotta earn everything. Reapply if you can. Do a post-bac. There are a lot of new med schools opening up. Stay in the states.
 
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