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Carribean or Australia?????????

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by caduceus5, Aug 16, 2001.

  1. caduceus5

    caduceus5 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    I was just wondering if any of you have any ideas if it would be a better idea to go to Carribean or the Australia, if you'd like to eventually end up in the U.S. or Canada. The advantage that I can see of going to the Carribean is doing your rotations there, while if you go to the Australia there is probably better living conditions and a better reputation? Also, if you go to Australia can you do rotations in the U.S. Any help would be appreciated.
     
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  3. leorl

    leorl Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    It depends which uni's in the caribbean you pick. go to a top caribbean school and you'll end up being able to do alright in the US. However, Australian schools do have a better reputation, avoids the stigma attached to caribbean schools, and aussie graduates can get in probably as equally. I'd personally go to an Aussie school (I'm looking :). Primarily at Univ. of Melbourne. But they only accept 10 international students :( ). Australian schools are recognized as on-par with US schools, while only a couple of the caribbean schools are.
     
  4. wmg

    wmg Member 10+ Year Member

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    I did quite a bit of research on the topic before deciding against Saint George's and attending Flinders University (Adelaide). There are several reasons: 1-cheaper! Flinders will be less than half the cost and even better if I am awarded the Intl Student Scholarship that gives 50% tuition reduction. All Aussie schools charge roughly the same tuition, around 15K/year(USD) 2-Carribbean schools are probably fine for non competitive clinical medicine but if you want to publish research and get into competitive residency, I believe the Aussie route is preferable. 3-you dont have to move around for third and fourth year clinicals. Though you are eligible to complete 12 weeks or more in the US. There are several schools Flinders had exchanges with, UNM, Columbia, Case Western, and others. All in all I think the Aussie route is preferable. Good Luck.
     
  5. caduceus5

    caduceus5 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Hey guys,

    Glad to know others are trying to, or have already made the same decisions. I was just also wondering if you really think you can get into a better residency if you go to Australia, even though you don't do your rotations there (so you don't make any connections)? Also do Carrib and Aussie grads get in on the same match round for residencies? WMG, what are the other international/u.s. students doing for residencies. Do any of them stay in Australia, or do they all go to the u.s.? Thanks for the help again?
     
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    I can help wmg field this question. Currently you are not allowed to remain in Australia after your internship year; therefore you must return to the US or some other country after completion.

    There is only 1 match "round" per year - the deadlines/dates are the same, regardless of whether you are a US grad or IMG (and regardless of whether you are an Aussie or Caribbean grad).

    Connections are not necessary to get a residency in the US. It is desirable to have US letters of recommendation but you can obtain these with a few weeks of rotations; it is not necessary to have 2 years of them. At the risk of being called biased, I might ask you whether you know WHERE you would be rotating in connection with some of the Caribbean programs. Rotations are often at community or county programs - good places surely, but perhaps not as prestigious as university based programs.

    At any rate, there are NUMEROUS threads dealing with this exact same question. I suggest you do a search to find some more information here. :D
     
  7. yimfong

    yimfong Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Does the US medical council recognize the degree of australian university (MBBS)?
     
  8. leorl

    leorl Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    yes..... if they didn't, why would US students choose to study in Australia....? Pretty much all medical degrees are accepted in the US (MBBS or BMBChBAO), it's how well you do in the boards that matters and licensing exams. Some states will not let you practice if you have not had residency training in the US.
     
  9. lizzy21

    lizzy21 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Personally, if you ask me, I would choose Australia! Good luck! :)
     
  10. Boo_Rad

    Boo_Rad Junior Member

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    my friend went to the carribean. got decent board scores. Its not exactly paying off for him right now. but he did have a great two years in the tropics... lots of french tourists and great beaches
     
  11. Boo_Rad

    Boo_Rad Junior Member

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  12. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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  13. caduceus5

    caduceus5 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Hi Kim,

    I have a million questions for you?

    1.What school did you go to in Australia?

    2.Did you go as a foreign (U.s.) citizen.

    3.Did you do rotations in the U.S? If so, did your school have a partnership with U.S. schools?

    4. How was the preparation for the USMLE, did you do well?

    5. Was it hard to get into a university based residency?

    Thanks a million. It's so hard to make this type of decision, and any help would be appreciated.
     
  14. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    </STRONG>

    Flinders

    </STRONG>

    Yes.

    </STRONG>

    I did several electives in the US during my 4th year. While Flinders does indeed have formal rotations/relationships with several US schools including Columbia, University of California, Case Western, Yale, etc. I preferred to set up my own rotations in areas or at programs I was more interested in. You are not required to do your rotations at schools which have a formal agreement.

    </STRONG>

    There was no preparation for the USMLE other than the library having most of the more popular review books. Remember this is not a school designed to cater to Americans. There are no formal review courses and you will not hear "you'll need to know this for Step 1" during lectures. The responsibility to do well on the USMLE falls squarely on your shoulders - many of the faculty have taken the USMLE and the library and school has many study resources, but to the Australians taking a test to "prove" you are worthy of being a physician seemed ludicrous, so there is not a lot of support for adding it into the curriculum.

    My score was only average; we have a fair range from people who scored below average to those who did extremely well (but did so at the cost of missing most of the 3rd year clinical rotations).

    </STRONG>

    I dunno. I applied, was asked to interview and got a spot. Who knows how close I came to not getting a Categorical position or any position at all.

    Most of my interviews WERE at community programs but I got a fair share at university surgery programs, so obviously there was some interest out there. General Surgery has fallen out of favour somewhat so the competition was not what it has been in the past.

    Hope this helps and best of luck to you.
     
  15. tidy_kiwi

    tidy_kiwi Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Just FYI, if you get accepted to an Australian school as part of the overseas student quota (ie from the US) you will be considered an overseas student for the entire duration of the programme. Just posting this in case anyone was wondering what the case was if you subsequently applied for residency/citizenship in Oz while studying.

    Just out of curiosity - Dr. Cox - did you go on a student visa?

    Thanks.
     
  16. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    Yep. Not sure if I could have gotten any other kind. :D
     
  17. caduceus5

    caduceus5 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Hi Kim,
    Here's a few more question, and thanks for all the helpful info.

    1. If you are in a categorical surgery position, what exactly does that mean? Also, with a categorical position, can you specialize afterwards? What field will you be going into?

    2. I have a friend from Canada who wants to go to Australia, but will it be the same for him to get a residency, or will it be harder because of the immigration issues?

    3. Also, did you finish your four years at Flinders, and then start your residency immediately?

    4. Also, in retrospect do you think you made the right decision by going to Australia? Did you ever consider the Carribean or the U.S.? Do you think you've had any advantage by going to Australia over the Carribean?

    Thank you. As many have said before, Kim you're the bomb!
     
  18. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I went to sgu and graduated in 1999.
    I got my first choice in the match at Johns Hopkins in rad onc. SGU is an excellent school; "aussie" vs "Carib" is best viewed as "which aussie and carib schools" and your own lifestyle preference.
    S
     
  19. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    </STRONG>

    There are generally two tracks in residency: The Preliminary program which provides 1 to 2 years of the field in preparation for other specialties and the Categorical track which provides the full training required to be Board Certified in that field. For example, most IM and Surgical programs offer 1-2 years of Preliminary training - people use these years to go onto Radiology, Anesthesiology, ENT, Derm, etc. - fields which require at least 1 year of general training before starting the specialty training.

    The reason I tend to specify that I have a Categorical position is that many IMGs (as well as US students who do not match into a Categorical position) will take Prelim positions in hopes of gaining a Categorical spot the following year. You should inquire whenever you are told that "so and so from School X got into...insert name of competitive program here" whether that position was Prelim or Categorical (which implies staying for the entire training period provided you behave yourself).

    2. I have a friend from Canada who wants to go to Australia, but will it be the same for him to get a residency, or will it be harder because of the immigration issues?[/quote]/<STRONG>

    No. It will be much harder - not to go to Australia but for him to come back. I believe the Canadian government places strict regulations on allowing IMGs (even Canadian citizens) to train in their country. They also severely limit the amount of government loans/aid to students studying abroad. It is my understanding that many Canadians therefore try and get US residencies - obviously they face the same IMG problems but compounded by the fact that they are also not US citizens (in programs which prefer US citizens). Your friend would be wise to research the issue very carefully before committing to an education abroad.

    3. Also, did you finish your four years at Flinders, and then start your residency immediately? [/quote]</STRONG>

    Yes, well at least after a few months of vacation.

    4. Also, in retrospect do you think you made the right decision by going to Australia? Did you ever consider the Carribean or the U.S.? Do you think you've had any advantage by going to Australia over the Carribean?
    [/quote][/qb]

    Well, alls well that ends well right? ;) There are some things I have trouble with - I'm not sure my fund of knowledge is on par with my US counterparts, but at least I know my limits. I never considered the Caribbean as my leaving the country to study was not motivated by not getting into US schools. While the Caribbean schools produce some fine graduates I would not hesitate to recommend Australia over them. It is my observation that you will be better received if you do (all else being equal).

    Hope this helps.

    Thank you. As many have said before, Kim you're the bomb![/QB][/QUOTE]
     
  20. caduceus5

    caduceus5 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    So, what exactly do you think of Canadians going to Aussie or Carib if they want to end up in the states? and what exactly is the deal if they do or don't have a visa. It'd be good if both stephew and kim could respond. thanks again a bunch
     
  21. BACMEDIC

    BACMEDIC 7+ Year Member

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    I have a question in regards to schools. Why would studing medicine in the Carribean be considered bad by those in the field? After all, what you get on the boards is what I think would count.

    Does this mean that someone who went to Saint George and received high grades on all the tests would not fair as well as someone who went to medical school (any) in the states and did not do as well on the tests/boards?

    Thanks
     
  22. will_lam

    will_lam Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Yes, that is exactly what it means. No matter how well you do on the USMLE's or how much better you did than a US grad, the US grad is still at an advantage for the simple fact that they attended medical school in America and you did not. This doesn't mean you can't get a good spot, especially in less competitive fields, but the majority of the time if a final spot were to come down to you and a US grad, you're not getting it.

    As I've said before, board scores can be used as a comparison tool to discriminate between IMG's, but they are not an equalizer between US and foreign grads.

    On the whole I agree with most of the posters here and believe that the Australian schools have distinct advantages over Caribbean programs, but just to play devil's advocate I think you should also consider some other things: 1) Getting into an Australian school is much more difficult than getting into a Caribbean school 2) Caribbean programs have attempted to copy the US format and so they teach to the USMLE whereas Australian schools would obviously have no reason to do this. 3) The PBL format at Australian schools can often be difficult to adapt to and learn from. At its best (which is rare), PBL is an effective learning method, but realize that content is sometimes sacrificed. This may make studying for the USMLE more difficult and strenuous.


    On a somewhat separate note, Kimberli your story presents an interesting hypothetical question of 'what if'. I know that the Caribbean was never a needed option for you, but hypothetically if you had gone there and received the same board score etc.. then the question is would you have been able to get the same university-based categorical position as you were able to earn from an Australian school? As the Caribbean schools base there education on the US lecture-based format you would (in theory anyway) have had an equal knowledge base as your US counterparts, but would you have been able to get the same type of residency? I don't expect that you or anyone else can actually answer this question, but I thought it was an interesting idea to contemplate.....for a few seconds anyway.
     
  23. ApacheIndian

    ApacheIndian philomath 10+ Year Member

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    If I were facing this choice, I'd go to SGU. I don't mean to disparage the Australian schools, and I'm definitely not an advocate of Caribbean schools in general, but in my mind, SGU has one very distinct advantage over the Australian schools... 3rd & 4th year clinicals in the U.S. IMHO, U.S. clinical experience is behind only Step 1 & 2 scores in order of importance for a foreign grad attempting to gain a competitive residency spot in the U.S. Check out SGU's recent Match lists... you'll see some pretty impressive stuff... Ortho, Derm, Rad Onc (stephew). Now I don't know for sure, but I haven't yet heard of an Australian grad landing a spot as competitive as these lately... have you? Just my 2 cents...
     
  24. FutureM.D.

    FutureM.D. Psychology major 7+ Year Member

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    Would ya'll say that Austrailian schools aren't as good as the US ones?:confused: I'm not familiar w/international schools, though it would be a good thing to consider.
     
  25. leorl

    leorl Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    FutureMD, I do not think you can compare them. The two systems run quite differently and to say one is better than another would not be quite correct. Kimberly has said that perhaps she doesn't feel that her pre-clinical background is as strong as her US-mates, but you have to remember...the Australian system does not cater to American needs for the USMLE. The way they teach works perfectly fine for Australian health care, they do not educate their students to be prepared for the US boards. If I remember the curriculum correctly, they emphasize the social and psychological aspects of medicine much more than US schools, which is quite a good attribute as well. To do so, they might sacrifice the requirement to know every single detail of say...biochemistry. If you're planning on coming back to the states, then yes...you will want USMLE preparation. But those who go to AUS are often willing to sacrifice such planned coursework in favor of some other experience/reason, and put in the time themselves to study for boards. The Australian universities have a fine reputation for excellence and cannot be thought of as inferior to US universities. The US does not provide the absolute end-all best education you could receive in the world and it would be a folly to think so.

    It's not so important which country has better education. At med school level, pretty much the standard things are taught everywhere. It's more a question where you want to practice - it's always better to do your education in the country you wish to practice. Some people for whatever reason, choose not to do so.

    The Caribbean countries also probably have as equal an education to US education as anywhere else. However, there is the stigma of inferiority attached to them (true or not), that isn't going to go away anytime soon. Someone brought up the point of 3rd and 4th year clinicals in the US as a natural part of going to a caribbean school. While that is true, it should also be pointed out that many international schools are flexible and allow you to do clinicals/rotations in the US as well.
     
  26. The Pill Counter

    The Pill Counter Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Yup, they're completely crap, and we're all quacks. In fact, with an Australian medical degree you can only practice on a few unihabitated pacific islands... as long as you re-do med school somewhere else.
     
  27. leorl

    leorl Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     

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