Mar 22, 2010
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Hi, I've been reading on this forum for a number of years and now I actually need help lol.

I'm finishing my 3rd year in a 6 year school in the United Arab Emirates. Im originally from the states, but for family reasons I had to go to school here. The school is accredited by WHO and has residency in UAE, Germany etc... And they run some sort of graduate program with the RACGP (Royal Australian something...) so they're pretty legit. But honestly I just want to go home, or closer to home.

I've finished all of my pre-clinical subjects and Im doing rotations in my university's teaching hospital.

However I would like to transfer to the 5th semester of a Caribbean school.
Unfortunately my options are limited, the Big 4 won't accept me as a transfer.

I've been in touch with the following schools and they seem to be promising, I've listed them in order or priority:

1) AUA (american univ. antigua)

2) UMHS (St. Kitts, founded by Robert Ross I believe?)

3) St. Matthews Univ (Caymans)

4) Xavier in Aruba

AUA basically told me to get my transcript evaluated and try my luck. And UMHS and Xavier seem pretty willing to accept me if my transcript adds up to 90 credits.

Now I've tried doing my research, but there's so many conflicting posts on this site and other sites. Some people say Xavier is a scam, some say its good and depends on the individual. Some of these people I gather are people who have failed or flunked out from these schools and are rather disenfranchised.

Obviously it does depend on the individual, and I'd like to consider myself a pretty decent student for coming this far. But like anyone I want to choose the best possible school from my options.

Basically, I'm looking for advice on which school to get into so I can do my step 1 and jump in to clinicals. My circumstances are unusual in the sense that I haven't seen anyone else in a similar situation on these forums.

The coursework I've completed in 2 and 1/2 years ( my finals ended on March 18th this year, so half way through my 3rd year)

Anatomy (Gross, Histo, Embryo, Neuro)
Medical Biochemistry
Medical Physiology

Community Medicine (Social and preventive)
Forensic Medicine

Pathology
Pharmacology
Microbiology.

I have to say that some courses in the Caribbean schools are not given as separate courses in my school. For example Genetics, was done under Biochemistry and Epidemiology was covered under Community medicine for us. Will this be an issue?

Thank you for your help.
 

RussianJoo

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well the schools that you listed are not approved in about a dozen states or so. So you should check what state you're from or what state you want to live in eventually to see if those schools are approved there. it would suck to transfer and then find out that you can never return home because the school you completed is not approved by your state.

Out of the ones you listed I would say AUA and SMU are the most reputable.
 
Mar 22, 2010
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well the schools that you listed are not approved in about a dozen states or so. So you should check what state you're from or what state you want to live in eventually to see if those schools are approved there. it would suck to transfer and then find out that you can never return home because the school you completed is not approved by your state.

Out of the ones you listed I would say AUA and SMU are the most reputable.
Why would you say that? I thought that whatever state the school is recognized in, you can do your rotations there. But after you obtain your MD, your allowed to residency anywhere.

I wasn't aware of any restriction on where you can practice for the rest of your career.
 

tracheatoedoc

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Your best option is to complete your education where you are.
Set up elective rotations in the US, in a few locations, and see what happens.
I think your application for residency will look better if you do all your training at 1 med school, and frankly the schools you list are lower reputation carib schools.
 

LasersPewPew

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are you able to take step 1?

the big 3/4 are willing to accept into thier 5th semester if they see a good step score.
 

RussianJoo

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Why would you say that? I thought that whatever state the school is recognized in, you can do your rotations there. But after you obtain your MD, your allowed to residency anywhere.

I wasn't aware of any restriction on where you can practice for the rest of your career.
No, each state has it's own medical board and decides which medical schools are approved to practice in that state and which aren't. The schools you have listed are not approved in the state of California and many US states use the same list for their approved or unapproved medical schools. The only carib schools that are approved in all 50 states are SGU, AUC, SABA and Ross. If you graduate from anyother carib school you will not be able to get licensed in some states and thus will not be able to work in those states. I am pretty sure many of the schools you have listed will not let you practice in the state of NY as well. So be careful.
 
Mar 22, 2010
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That doesn't make sense to me. I'm from New Jersey. So by what your saying, if I graduate from my current uni, I will never be able to practice in the US.. Because I'm sure no state has ever heard of any schools in the UAE. I think what your talking about is approval for clinical rotations. Can anyone else confirm this for me? Another problem for me is in my current uni they don't give me any time dedicated for step 1. So basically I'm on my own. 3 kids last year got above 95, 2 of them got 99s. :s but they wrote it when they wre pretty much doing their internship
Ddd
 

RussianJoo

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That doesn't make sense to me. I'm from New Jersey. So by what your saying, if I graduate from my current uni, I will never be able to practice in the US.. Because I'm sure no state has ever heard of any schools in the UAE. I think what your talking about is approval for clinical rotations. Can anyone else confirm this for me? Another problem for me is in my current uni they don't give me any time dedicated for step 1. So basically I'm on my own. 3 kids last year got above 95, 2 of them got 99s. :s but they wrote it when they wre pretty much doing their internship
Ddd
i don't know about your current school but the carib schools you listed aren't approved.. the fastest example i found was this.. The state of California disapproves the fallowing medical school grads from getting a license to practice in their state. http://www.mbc.ca.gov/applicant/schools_unapproved.html

as you can see St. Mathews University and Spartan Health Science along with other schools are on that list. so if you graduate from SMU you will never be able to work in the state of california now many other states fallow the california list as well.. here's an old list that someone compiled of the states that fallow the california list. http://www.valuemd.com/state-medical-licensing-information/158117-states-follow-ca-list-updated-2008-a.html

each state on their medical board website will have a list of requirements to be able to be licensed and a list of medical schools that if you graduate from it you'll never be able to work in that state as a doctor because that state doesn't recognize the medical school. Those Carib schools that you listed or on some states lists of disapproved schools. The only carib schools which would allow you to practice in all 50 states after graduation are the big 4 that's one of the main reasons they're called the big 4.

I am surprised you don't know this, it's pretty important to find out if you can even work as a doctor after graduating from a foreign medical school.
 
Mar 22, 2010
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Well all I know is that there are graduates from my school, (www.gmu.ac.ae) in the US. I just didn't know about these restrictions. Well I don't know what my options are now. The big 4 would probably not even consider me as an applicant. Any suggestions? I'm even more confused than I was before.
 

aProgDirector

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Well all I know is that there are graduates from my school, (www.gmu.ac.ae) in the US. I just didn't know about these restrictions. Well I don't know what my options are now. The big 4 would probably not even consider me as an applicant. Any suggestions? I'm even more confused than I was before.

There is also a list of approved CA schools. It's here.

There are two approved schools in the UAE:

United Arab Emirates
Dubai Medical College for Girls
United Arab Emirates University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
If you're at one of these, you're fine (as far as practicing in california is concerned), and you might be better off simply staying where you are if you don't transfer into one of the big 4. If you stay in the UAE, then you'll need to arrange your own US rotations -- that would be key to getting a spot. However, it looks like your school is not on this list. In that case, unless you transfer, you will not be able to practice (or do residency) in CA and other states that follow that list.

And it will depend on what type of field you are looking for. If you want IM, FP, or Peds, then plenty of IMG's get spots. If you want Gen Surgery, it's much more competitive. If you want Rads / Derm / ENT / Opthal / Plastics / Vascular, it's almost impossible to get a spot no matter what you do (although a small number of IMG's do it every year)
 

RussianJoo

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here's the texas list. http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.cfm?objectid=6941C34E-DF3E-4B42-288239D3FC3ACD29


it's only going to be about a dozen or so states that won't let you practice or do your residency in, but you'll still have 30+ that you can practice in. I think you should stay where you are as well, it doesn't look good to jump from one school to the next, especially when the school you'll transfer to will probably be just as poorly looked at in the eyes of the US powers to be.

if you want to go to one of the big 4 the only way to do that is to apply and start all over.

good luck
 
Mar 22, 2010
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Thanks for your advice RussianJoo. I am not getting any experience in my rotations here. The country is 1 million Emiratis, and 4million foreigners and they deport people who have AIDS, TB or any other communicable diseases. I think US clinical experience will look better than experience in a small hospital in a small Persian gulf state. What do you think? I am going to try for AUA. I must say that the basic sciences here are pretty solid but as far as clinical experience goes there's a serious lack of facilities and cases. I have had 0 contact w/ female patients in obg b/c of the cultural sensitivities here, no matter how liberal they say dubai is.. They still have some very 8th century ideas
 

RussianJoo

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aua has a decent reputation. if you go to www.valuemd.com there's a forum for all these carib schools. in the AUA forum a school official comments on threads on a daily basis. it might be a better place to do some research.

Antigua isn't going to be as beautiful as Dibai though, nor will the women be as good looking.
 
Mar 22, 2010
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Hehe I'm engaged, met someone in my 2nd year. And I'm over dubai's superficial beauty, been here for 4 years.. Done it all lol. Thanks again for your help.
 

mspeedwagon

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I agree that AUA and St. Matthew are the better schools on your list. You probably won't be able to practice in CA ever (and schools that use the CA list). However, other than that you should be able to find some opportunities in the US.

As someone that was born in Dubai and lived in Dubai for 13 yrs, there weren't all that many good looking women there (minus the Russian expats that came along once in a while).


aua has a decent reputation. if you go to www.valuemd.com there's a forum for all these carib schools. in the AUA forum a school official comments on threads on a daily basis. it might be a better place to do some research.

Antigua isn't going to be as beautiful as Dibai though, nor will the women be as good looking.