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D.O. vs. caribbean?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Boots229, Nov 18, 2005.

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  1. Boots229

    Boots229 Junior Member
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    Hi: I am looking for opinions on D.O. vs. Caribbean.

    I am currently finishing up my core science classes as a post grad and I have the opportunity to start at a caribbean school a year earlier than a D.O. school in the U.S.? For D.O. I will have to repeat the MCAT and I wont begin until Fall 2007. Should I wait the extra year, why or why not?

    Thanks
     
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  3. docmd2010

    docmd2010 Senior Member
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    what are ure stats?
     
  4. Dr Trek 1

    Dr Trek 1 Senior Member
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    Do not go for a DO unless you truly believe in the philosophy and want to be a DO. If not, you will be miserable in med school (with OMM, taking the COMEX, etc.)

    If you want to be a MD and want to do it fast, you can get a good education at SGU and Ross. But keep in mind that moving to the Caribbean is a HUGE transition, med school even a bigger one. You may consider studying hard, taking the MCAT again, and then applying to some lower end US allo schools-- if the MD is what you want.

    FMGs experience lots of obstacles down the road, so it's a decision that must be carefully thought out.

    Good luck!
     
  5. OSUdoc08

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    This is thread has been up here many times. You should really do a search instead of staring a new one.

    With that being said, it depends on how much that time means to you. As a Caribbean grad, your degree will have less worth to residencies and you will have less of an opportunity, depend on what you plan on going into.

    You also won't receive as good of an education as you can at an osteopathic medical school.
     
  6. OSUdoc08

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    Once again, I don't find this to be true. Our school doesn't place a huge emphasis on OMM like KCOM for example.

    You'd likely be more miserable living in another country than your family.
     
  7. Dr Trek 1

    Dr Trek 1 Senior Member
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    Yes, but you still have to take the COMEX and (to be a better residency candidate) the USMLE as a DO. Allopathic students only take the USMLE. There is more to consider than just OMM, which every school does cover- sure some less than others- but it is still a part of every DO curriculum.
     
  8. OSUdoc08

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    Although this is true, you really only have to take Step I of the COMLEX if you do an Allopathic residency.

    In addition, Caribbean schools have far lower USMLE pass rates than DO schools.

    The OMM is only a minor "inconvenience" since it teaches you quite a bit more about gross anatomy and physiology, which can actually help you in the understanding of the human body.
     
  9. Boots229

    Boots229 Junior Member
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    My stats are a bit unconventional. I attended law school last year for 6 months and left to pursue medicine. I graduated with a degree in philosophy with a 3.70 overall. I took the MCAT without the 8 major science courses last august and scored a 20. I am currently completing those courses and will be finished in April 2006.

    My plan is to either start in the caribbean this May or retake the MCAT and try again for 2007. Law school set me back 2 yrs. which means that I will be 25 if I begin in 2007.

    What should I do?
     
  10. docmd2010

    docmd2010 Senior Member
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    i agree with all this stuff...but you guys are missing the major point. to the op, do what you think is best for you. whether you go to the carrib, a d.o. school, or an allopathic school, ultimately what matters is your board scores, your degree might matter if u choose to do a very competitive residency at johns hopkins, but if you rock the boards, bottom line...you're smart as hell. personally, i wouldn't give a ratsa$$ where my doctor got his/her education from, but if they are smart, what's the difference. the main reason that the carribean schools have lower board passing rates is because the people that go there (for the most part) weren't able to get in to a united states medical school. they probably didn't get (in most cases) into the us because there grades and stats were a little low, hence us med schools will make the correlation that board scores will also be low, and that's why they didn't get in. so, i would say that low board rates in the carib are more reflective of the students that attend rather than the school itself. what you make of your education is in your hands and not in the professor teaching you...i'm not leaning towards do or carrib, but just trying to make you aware...good luck to the op
     
  11. docmd2010

    docmd2010 Senior Member
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    your gpa is solid, but mcat is a little low, i think you might have a shot at d.o. schools, (and def carrib schools)... read my response above though
     
  12. Canuck99

    Canuck99 Senior Member
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    It would be hard to wait the extra year, there is no question about that. I have some friends that go to SGU, and although they like it they wish they had waited and tried harder to get into a US medical school, DO or MD. The biggest complaint that I hear is how hard it is to live in a foreign country. She sent me some pictures, one of which was a shot of the grocery store with cows roaming freely in the parking lot and in front of the store entrance. I have also been told that the administration is very unorganized and hard to get a hold of. The tuition is another factor, very expensive. Hope that helps.
     
  13. FrkyBgStok

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    from this point you are still AT LEAST 8 years from practicing. seriously what is another year.
     
  14. bkpa2med

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    To the OP:
    With your GPA if you can bump up to a 25,26 I think you should be competitive for DO.

    Good Luck.
     
  15. GrinchPM

    GrinchPM Junior Member

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    In the end you will be a doctor and doing what you want to do. Now you have to think about what school you'd feel most comfortable in and thrive in. I've heard (directly from students there) that many of the Carribean schools have HUGE class sizes. Granted some schools here also have big classes, but there are some that have smaller classes. I heard also that they aren;t that helpful and you're more of a number at certain Carribean schools, and that they only began the schools to make some money.

    That being said, obviously people make it and become very successful!! At one point I had to consider between the school in Guadalajara and a D.O. I withdrew from Guadalajara though when I got into the DO schools because I wanted to stay in the US and I also was nervous about passing the boards. I really need a strong nurturing environment to study and a smaller class and supportive faculty would do that for me.
     
  16. Hoberto

    Hoberto Squirrel Girl
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    Check out the non-trad forum. Your situation is hardly unique. There are a lot of law transfers over there, too. :luck:
     
  17. Pharos

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    To the OP.... do you what you think will make you happy, but at your age don't rush it just to save another year. I remember when I was 25. It seemed like 30 was antique (I'm 33 now). Now it seems like 40 is old... when I get there.... 50 will seem old. I sometimes worry about starting (hopefully) at 34 - but then you hear stories of people in their 40s and 50s just beginning the whole process! You are not alone, and as long as you have the means to survive another year and make a decent living in the meanwhile, there really is no reason to rush it (other than the excitement of wanting to get it moving). You have a long time to live and work ahead of you.... I know there are many people who will argue adamantly one way or the other (U.S. MD only, DO only, FMG only, etc, etc) - Remember, while everyone's opinions can be valuable information they are not you. You need to dig deep and do what will really make you happy - don't do it for everyone else. You have plenty of life and work ahead of you... make sure you start it on a good foot. Good Luck with whatever path you may choose. It is indeed an uphill battle regardless of what route you are taking. And also, these are good dilemas to be in when considering the big picture (it's not like you're tyring to pick between pumping gas or flopping burgers - you will become a physician either way). Hang in there! :thumbup:
     
  18. Boots229

    Boots229 Junior Member
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    Thanks a lot. Very nicely said. I want to thank you and everyone else who has responsded to my concerns. It has really helped sort things out.

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  19. Canuck99

    Canuck99 Senior Member
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    Sure thing.
     
  20. brodaiga

    brodaiga Senior Member
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    after reading the blog of a carib med student, i would never go carib. They have 30-40% attrition rates and are for-profit schools. If you are failing, they want you to fail so it will be boost their USMLE averages. People there fight not to fail out, and lose 100k+ in loans and have their dreams shattered. Of course this is not everyone, but a signifigant amount of people. Who wants to risk going to a school that wants a certain percent of their class failing and do not mind at all to see students go, they collected the tuition.
     
  21. HooahDOc

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    Settle down there, pal. This isn't entirely true -- it depends on the school. Ross has this reputation, but AUC and SGU do not. Their attrition rates are around 10%-11% last I checked.

    There are two major problems with the Caribbean (And by Caribbean, I mean AUC, SGU, and Ross -- who cares about the others?). (A) the inconvenience of living in another country. (B) It looks as though they may be losing federal loan status soon, which means no stafford and no DOE number, which means no private loans either.

    (B) may not happen. (A) can be manageable and even fun depending on which school one attends.

    As far as residency and clinicals go, the, "Big Three" aren't really any different from the low-tier rural DO schools. Think of going to AUC, SGU, or Ross like attending PCSOM or WVSOM on the beach.
     
  22. Canuck99

    Canuck99 Senior Member
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    Personal opinion, or do you have sources to back that one up? Not so sure this is accurate.
     
  23. brodaiga

    brodaiga Senior Member
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    The blog was from AUC. Also, according to him, a good majority of the statistics given out from these schools are not accurate. I will give you an example. THe websites will give high USMLE pass rates for the school, including the big 3. However, this is the not the rate of the last year, this is the best one from the past 4-5 years, there are classes in between that around 60%, I am not kidding or exagerrating here. Sorry, but in my view there are more serious problems that them losing stafford loans or the location. Reading that blog opened up my eyes to things that "stay in the carribean" and are not mentioned by the schools. If you go carib, the big 3 are the best choices. Take a look at the link to the blog on my other post. It was very hard for me to believe the things in there, I don't think those things happen in US schools. My view, going to the carib is a risk because of the high attrition rates, in his class 50% were failing first semester anatomy, and this was considered normal and OK, are you kidding me? Sounds scary to me...
     
  24. I think the decision should be made on whether you want to be a MD or a DO. If MD and you can't get into a US school, go whereever the hell you need to get your MD. (What you learn is upto you...plus residency is the most important for clinical skills).

    And all these posts that complain about low USMLE and attritiion rates at caribbean schools- I say, don't even worry about it (AND if you think you can be one of those guys than you probably lack the needed commitment, intellect and desire). I KNOW for SURE that I am not going to be one of those guys. I have 31 on MCAT but there is a good chance I won't get into US MD school because of my essays, lack of hobbies, interviews etc... If I don't get in, I am going caribbean. I am going to shoot for the top guy coming out of caribbeans when I graduate. AND get whatever residency I want.

    That's my two cents...
     
  25. Canuck99

    Canuck99 Senior Member
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    If you go caribb. just be sure to watch out for the cows when you go grocery shopping. Sounds like a joke, but I have seen the pictures. lol.
     
  26. HooahDOc

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    Look at the match lists. They're very similar.

    I saw a post of COMLEX scores at WVSOM and every section was below the national average. If I remember correctly, one of the PBL classes had a large percentage fail the first portion of the COMLEX (Or maybe it was something else, I can't remember)

    It is my opinion that the rural DO schools are very similar in both admission standards and residency placement to the big three. My opinion is based on what I have read and seen.

    AUC
    GPA 3.1
    MCAT 22

    PCSOM
    GPA 3.2
    MCAT 22

    WVSOM
    GPA 3.4
    MCAT 22

    SGU
    GPA 3.3
    MCAT 24

    VCOM
    GPA 3.4
    MCAT 23

    You can lookup the match lists.
     
  27. Dr. MAXY

    Dr. MAXY Senior Member
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    All these can't be true. I know about 3 friends that attended the big 3. Non of them took the MCAT. From what they said, the Schools screen b4 letting their students take the USMLE. Hence their board pass rate is not a true representative of the entire school.
     
  28. Doctor Bagel

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    i really do think the mcat is required now at sgu and used in admissions decisions. for ross and auc, i think they ask for it but maybe just use it for institutional data.

    i do think jkdmed (or is it jdkmed -- i think i have a block when it comes to remembering that) is right that sgu and maybe even ross and auc are about at competitive as the less competitive do schools. as more schools open or double their class sizes, do schools might even become easier to get into than sgu. scary thought.
     
  29. Shinken

    Shinken Family Medicine
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    Comparing match lists of the best and most established Caribbean schools and saying they're similar to the lowest DO schools isn't exactly an argument in favor of Caribbean schools.
     
  30. Dr Trek 1

    Dr Trek 1 Senior Member
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    There are literally dozens of Carribean medical schools, many of which do not even require the MCAT for admission, nor an interview. It's actually quite entertaining to go to some of their websites, where they are basically begging for people to enroll in their classes. Of course many are not accredited, but many are (more so than the big three).

    But it goes to show how important it is to know where your physician went to medical school (and undergrad.), not just where they did their residency.
     
  31. cosmicstarr

    cosmicstarr Senior Member
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    I'm also pretty sure the MCAT is a requirement at AUC as well.

    Are some DO schools doubling their class sizes? What new DO schools are opening?
     
  32. Doctor Bagel

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    true, but it gives a picture of how uncompetitive and maybe how unadvantageous it is to go to a lower tier do school.
     
  33. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    wvsom is doubling its class size. kcumb is expanding but not doubling its class, and osu even mentioned increasing their class size if they get legislative approval to do it. touro-nv, lecom-fl and vcom just opened about two years ago, and there are plans to open a school in washington next year. i've also heard that new schools are in the works in arizona, tennessee and pennsylvania.
     
  34. HooahDOc

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    My point was exactly what lawperson said -- going to the lower-tier DO schools confers no advantage over the established Caribbean MD schools.

    The influx of new DO schools is scary and quite enigmatic. On the one hand, the profession wants respect as a separate medical body with competant students. On the other hand, they're blatantly catering to USMD rejects by opening new schools to increase class sizes and revenue, which will in turn further reduce the average MCAT and GPA of matriculants as they struggle to fill their classes. WVSOM has already demonstrated this by offering automatic acceptances without interviews to applicants with 3.5 SGPA and 28+ MCATs; I always thought the interview was an important part of admissions. :rolleyes:

    I imagine their reasoning is to increase the pool of practicing DOs in the country and, subsequently, awareness of them. They should work on attracting applicants of a higher caliber first, then worry about putting more into the workforce. But politics is what seems to define osteopathic medicine now, particularly when someone with a 2.7 is admitted over someone with a 3.4 because they want to be a DO more. (Yes that is my frustration seeping out)
     
  35. HooahDOc

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    All three schools require the MCAT for admission.
     
  36. HooahDOc

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    That's true, but compare match lists to lower-tier USMD schools to the average and top-tier DO schools and you'll find a similar difference.

    After looking at SGU's match list, I would probably put it up there with some of the mid-rank DO schools.
     
  37. Dr. MAXY

    Dr. MAXY Senior Member
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    Ross requires the MCAT, but my buddies didn't take the MCAT and they are at Ross. Explain that.
     
  38. Dr. MAXY

    Dr. MAXY Senior Member
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    About a year ago, some article compared low tier med schools in the US with the Caribbean school. And if I remember quiet right, the Caribbean schools in general didn't fare well. However, individually, Ross did better than some of the Low tier Allo. schools like Howard. But all the same going to a Caribbean school carries more disadvantages than a low tier MD, low tier DO, or FMG.
    Ranking will always be:

    1.US MD
    2.US DO
    3.FMG
    4.USFMG

    period.
     
  39. OSUdoc08

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    Although true, you can get accepted with an MCAT lower than many DO schools would take.
     
  40. Doctor Bagel

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    it sounds like you're channeling osudoc here. before you say "period", i'd like to see some sources. also, what's up with your buddies not at least taking the mcat? osucom accepts 60% of its instate applicants, and ou accepts 50%, so if they're oklahomans, you'd think they'd at least try.
     
  41. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    okay, i deserve that, but hey, initials are hard to remember. :)
     
  42. beastmaster

    beastmaster Senior Member
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    Who are you to ask for sources. You're just a cat !
     
  43. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    a very smart cat. i can even open cabinets and drawers. :)
     
  44. PlasticMan

    PlasticMan Senior Member
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    What about those bottles with the yucky face on the cap? :eek:
     
  45. OSUdoc08

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    Do you have a source for this info?
     
  46. Doctor Bagel

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    yep, usnews. it was actually 60.1% for last year.

    ok apps 188
    ok interviews 152
    ok acceptances 113


    oh yeah, 77 enrolled.
     
  47. OSUdoc08

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    Only 188 people applied from OK? I find that hard to believe. Sometimes I wonder about those US News numbers.
     
  48. HooahDOc

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    Maybe they were admitted before the MCAT became mandatory?
     
  49. HooahDOc

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    Well, then wouldn't the averages be higher at DO schools if this were true? Alas, the averages are the same.
     
  50. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    it does seem low, but i trust them. from my understanding, the school supplies the numbers.
     
  51. Pharos

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    No problem - you are welcome.
     
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