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Got Accepted to DO and St. Georges University. What to do?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by cardmagi, Dec 24, 2008.

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  1. cardmagi

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    Hi Guys,

    I have been recently accepted to both a DO school (for this coming fall) and SGU (for this January). This obviously does not leave me alot of time to think about what to do. Based on your research and overall experience, what do you suggest I take?

    For those that don't know, SGU stands for St. George's University, and is the top Carribean MD school.

    I know that I won't get a universal answer, and it really depends on me, but I want to see some cold hard facts before I make a decision (such as residencies, etc.) (for example, I hate hearing "well, you will be an MD over a DO!"). The DO school is an hour from where I live currently, so I am really interested.

    I would really appreciate your guys' input on this matter.

    Thanks.
     
  2. bigDinLV

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    If you want to be close to home, then the answer is right there.

    Personally, i'd prefer a DO school over anything out of country.

    Plus, MD vs DO.. you gotta be kidding me, you're going to get out of it what you put into it no matter where you go.
     
  3. FutureInternist

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    I would go DO.
    Closer to home, probably better facilities,
    MD vs DO won't matter except in certain geographical areas or neurosurgery etc but then those programs most likely won't take a Carribean MD either.
    Based on talking to residents & even multiple threads on SDN the hierarchy of PD's preferences seems to be US MD> US DO > Carribean MD > FMG.
    Even if the DO school is more expensive you would have to take into account flying costs for the time you are there. Also research where SGU sends it students for rotations because you may not be able to make it back home for 3rd & 4th years.
    I don't know about SGU but from the one Ross student I talked to...they had to secure their own cadaver for anatomy & had to do practice their physical exam skills on each other (DREs included)
     
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  4. countthestars

    countthestars Resident
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    DO all the way. Lately, DO schools have been gaining a bunch of ground in terms of residencies. If you take a look at any match list, there are some impressive results. NYCOM for example, got ppl into radiology at Yale, IM at Hopkins, EM at St. Lukes (Colombia) ALLO derm at Einstin, ect ect. last year. Also, with a DO school, at least you have YOUR OWN osteopathic residency that you can do if you perchance cant get into an allo one. with a Caribbean school, you don't have that fall back. The stats according to the 2007 NRMP data (http://www.nrmp.org/advancedata2007.pdf) is:

    US Senior students: 93.4% match
    Canadian Students: 64.5% match
    US Physicians: 45.4% match
    Osteopaths: 68.8% match
    5th Pathway: 49.3% match
    US Foreign Graduates: 50% match
    Non-US Foreign Graduates: 54.5% match

    Now, ~70 of US DOs match into allo programs. BUT you have to remeber that many US DOs apply to both allo and osteo residencies and since the osteo match happens before the allo match, if they are matched into an osteo residency, they are automatically dropped from the allo match. Now, that 50% match of a US IMG isnt that impressive IMO. At least DOs have our own osteo match to fall back onto. Those US IMGs that cant match will just have to twittle their thumbs and wait another year to apply.

    Plus the money you would have to spend from flights and living in a forgen country really will add up. One of my best friends is in SGU and she hates the island so much. I am happy to be living in the states, and can get away whever I want.

    I would seriously take the DO and run. The differnce between DO and MD isnt that much and its you yourself that has to prove that you are a great doctor, not the 2 letters next to your name.
     
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  5. countthestars

    countthestars Resident
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    Well, actually, there are a couple of DO only neurosurgery residencies. The same with ENT, Ortho, Derm. Some of them are just as top notch as the allo counterparts. Taking NYCOM as an example once again. We have a neurosurgery residency at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. That's one of Albert Einstein College of Medicine's hopstials. The residency is pretty top notch.

    SGU uses prosections for their antomy classes.
     
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  6. USArmyDoc

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    If you are determined, you will be a good doctor wherever you go. I think that is an understood fact. On to your question, since I am a third year, I have been contacting some residency programs to find out just some basic information...nothing to intricate. I don't pose the question "Are you DO friendly or are you IMG friendly,etc" I don't really care. If I want to apply, I will. With that being said, I have been told by some of the programs, not all that they have different standards for US MD and US DO grads vs IMG's. I think thats unfair but I guess thats the way it is. Same thing goes for the MD>DO crap....unfair but you can't change it so just keep on going.

    Best of luck
     
  7. iatetheworm

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    I suggest you take the offer at wherever place you see yourself being the HAPPIEST.

    If you're not happy where you're at, it will be pretty tough to motivate and do well. And if you bomb step1, it won't really matter which place you pick...a competitive residency will be tough to get.

    That said, DOs will generally (geography can come into play here) have an easier time matching into allo residencies--you can check the nrmp website for hard numbers. At the same time there are excellent foreign schools out there--if you envision yourself being unhappy without an MD after your name, then sgu could be a logical choice.

    Happiness my man, let it guide you. Best of luck.
     
  8. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN
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    moving to pre-osteo since this is a choosing a med school issue.
     
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  9. Hokie06

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    I have also recently been accepted to SGU for August 09. But I have decided to attend an osteopathic school instead after talking to many many people about this. I have a friendly who went to NYU school of medicine and is a currently in a pediatric residency. I emailed him about my dilemma (DO vs SGU MD) and he wrote me this. I found it to be very helpful in making my decision.

    "Ok, let me first say that I do not know too much about St. George's except that i've heard that it is VERY expensive.
    I do know a few St. George grads, and among them, at least a handful of them actually did not match into the residency or specialty of their choice (they ended up either taking a year off and re-applying for residency, or switching specialties.)
    Regarding NYCOM, I have a few friends from that program, and i can say with confidence that they are trained very well there. One of my pediatric colleagues is a NYCOM alumni and she is one of the best residents in my program. No one ever asks her about her title.
    At my hospital, one of the head OB/Gyn attendings is a DO.
    And when i was in medical school, one of the ER attendings that i worked with was a DO. In fact, I think she is one of the higher ups in the Bellevue Pediatric ER.
    DO's are very respected in the medical community, at least in NY.
    If I had to decide, I would go with NYCOM, for the following reasons:
    1) The medical training is definitely solid.
    2) Tuition is much more reasonable.
    The MD vs DO behind your name is secondary in importance.
    Think about it: what good would the "MD" be if you are not trained adequately and encounter trouble later on with USMLE's, Residency matches, etc. And don't forget the mountain of loans to repay?"

    I hope this helps you in the decision making process as much as it did for me. Both schools will give you a solid education. Good luck and happy holidays!
     
  10. TexasTriathlete

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    The only way I'd go to SGU is if it was free.
     
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  11. tnig469

    tnig469 No more Kryptonite!
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    I don't even know if I would go if it was free....:)
     
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  12. Just Joshin

    Just Joshin New Member
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    You've gotta be kidding me! Who would agree to have their classmate's finger up their bum?
     
  13. thanecyan

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    No brainer.

    Forget being IMG. :/
     
  14. bluemonkey

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    You couldn't pay me to go to SGU...
     
  15. rddoms

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    And people are worried about taking their shirts off in OMM lab? :laugh:

    There is one thing to say about that: you WILL get to know your classmates pretty well!!!

    DO all the way, you will not regret it.
     
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  16. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering
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  17. JaggerPlate

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    Go to the DO school. Going to the Caribbean is a last ditch hail mary, I don't care what some people try to say ... it's not worth the risks and DO school will get you what you want. Which osteo school ... while were on the subject??
     
  18. Deepa100

    Deepa100 Junior Member
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  19. cliquesh

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    I was kind of under the impression that the established DO schools provide an education similar to their U.S. allopathic peers. Am I being naïve? Because, if that’s the case, why would anyone even consider Carb. over DO?
     
  20. anthroguy

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    If its a DO school that has been well established, go for it without a second thought. IF its a newer school, take a hard look at both because SGU is def the best option there is in the carib and has more reputation than a school that has just opened in the past 5 years.
     
  21. Semicolon

    Semicolon OMS II
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    Your impression is correct.

    The answer seems to be quite unanimous: go D.O.! :laugh:
     
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  22. JeetKuneDo

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    Welllllll, some have a fetish for these things...
     
  23. andexterouss

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    Despite the fact that Carib schools have high attrition rate and middle-of-the-road residency placement, they still manage to fill up their class for 3 semesters a year. I think it says something about their marketing skills. I remember when I was in undergrad(couple of years ago) as an SGU grad came to my school to speak to premeds.She mentioned how she had great stats but was rejected from all the schools in her state(California) and as a result applied to carib schools. She stated how she is now an anesthesiologist making $300K and only had to spend 18 months by the beach studying in the carib! Most of the class rushed to sign up for the brochure/catalog for the school.:laugh:
     
  24. Semicolon

    Semicolon OMS II
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    There probably are a few cases like that, but they're most likely very rare. Indeed, I applied to St. George's myself, but I cancelled the interview as soon as I got my acceptance from NYCOM. :D

    In fact, an MD I shadowed was a clinical instructor for SGU and encouraged me to apply, stating that she knew plenty of graduates who ended up doing well. However, she was also honest and said that a school in the US would still be a better bet.

    Even if SGU does have some pros, its cons outweigh the pros when compared to a US school (MD or DO).
     
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  25. gtleeee

    gtleeee D.O. in the E.R.
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    I am somewhat skeptical about all the "big three" off shore schools except SGU. My reasons are strictly anecdotal. The 3 SGU grads I have met in 24 years as a D.O. in emergency medicine have all been outstanding. The chief of my E.R. (with whom I have worked with for 4 years) is an SGU grad. He is probably the best E.R. doc I have ever worked with and a great guy as well. When through the years you meet several docs from a certain school and they are without question excellent clinicians and quality docs in general it tends to make you think there must be quality education at SGU. Of course, it is the luck of the draw in whom you happen to come into contact with throughout a career. I will never put down SGU and the only reason I have is whom I have come into contact with. My impression of Ross after all I have read and a couple of guys I have met with is extremely negative.
     
  26. JaggerPlate

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    Not necessarily true. Especially if the newer campus is a branch campus of a well established school. For example, you would be insane to go to SGU above PCOM-GA. Brand new school, but it's big brother is the toughest kid on the playground ... definitely a safe choice, whereas - even with it being the best of the big three - SGU can still pose some negative outcomes.
     
  27. jash

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    You don't need to think and there is nothing to think. Join D.O.
     
  28. Eudjinn

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    go where you will be most happy, but most will (or at least should agree) that american medical school (MD or DO) > IMG. As mentioned, caribbean should be the last resort if one does not get into DO.

    i know an IMG anesthesiologist who personally told me "residency would take you over me any day because they are familiar with DO school curriculum, they know what you learned and they know that you speak English so it will not be a problem)." granted, most carib IMG's are from the states, this bias still holds IMO.
     
  29. JaggerPlate

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    This discussion really has very little to do with picking a DO school above an MD school ... people are suggesting to stay in the US to study medicine and avoid high attrition rates, foreign living, board woes, and questionable residency placements.
     
  30. Eudjinn

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    agreed 100%. jagger is spot on in saying this is not a DO vs MD, but an american vs. foreign issue.
     
  31. Dr Simplicity

    Dr Simplicity Class of 2013
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    DO hands down...the issue is US Med School vs Foreign clearly!! I just turned down my interview from SGU since I've gotten a couple of acceptances from DO schools.
     
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  32. theraball

    theraball Panned
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    Like others, I would recommend going to a U.S. school (DO or MD) over an offshore school because of the bias against Caribbean schools by residency program directors. Also, I have heard from many students that these schools do not offer much academic assistance. Student loans for international programs are more limited as well--if you are relying on loans, you may have to take out some (very expensive) private loans to make ends meet.

    That being said, there are reasons to consider SGU or Ross, if you have strong academic skills and motivation.

    The Caribbean schools, or at least SGU, have a fair number of foreign students from Asia and Africa, so it's a multi-cultural experience. Some people might value that experience. A friend of mine from Sri Lanka who did her pre-med courses in Boston chose SGU because it was "good enough" and she liked that there were lots of South Asians there.

    If you plan to do a lot of international medical work, like mission work or WHO for example, you might be better off with an MD just because it's a more universally recognized credential at this time (the U.S. version of the DO degree has been achieving more recognition in recent years but is not yet universal).

    Also, I like that the Caribbean schools have a rolling admissions policy so that if you get accepted in, say, October, you can start classes in January and be ahead of the game. The idea is really to give you a few extra months to prepare for the boards, which honestly a lot of the students at these programs are going to need.

    So all in all, if you are internationally oriented and can pull yourself through a program without a lot of hand holding and you have a pretty thick skin, you might consider one of these offshore programs. But overall you would be better off at NYCOM which has a great reputation. (despite the fact that they refused to interview me :(:()
     
  33. spicedmanna

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    I hear this a lot, but I don't believe that it is actually true. My understanding is that you will be able to participate in mission work as a DO, even if your credentials aren't "fully recognized" in that given country. It seems, based on what I've read here, that for the purposes of international medical work, as in mission work, etc., given that you are going through an established organization, you will be granted a temporary type of permission to practice medicine for the purposes of working with the organization, i.e., for the mission.

    My understanding is the recognition of credentials that you are citing refers to actually having a practice in that given country. Mission work can be considered separately.
     
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  34. Altruist

    Altruist Hoodledooer
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    This is true. Just check out the Doctors Without Borders website's FAQ:
    http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/work/field/faqs.cfm

    [​IMG] Does MSF consider Doctors of Osteopathy?
    Yes, as long as applicants fulfill the other minimum requirements, i.e. completion of residency and appropriate licensure.


    Sounds like it's not a problem. "Appropriate Licensure" means being licensed in your home country. If Doctors Without Borders isn't picky, I doubt anyone else in the mission fields would be.

    But I digress. OP, I'd stay in the US. You can be a good physician no matter where you go, but odds are it will be far easier if you stay in the US and become a DO. Good luck to you.
     
  35. time2go

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    D.O. for shoo for shooo
     
  36. schussboarder

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    On top of all of these posts, I would also like to note that this question is posted in a DO forum...People who are heading towards/really interested in DO schools would tell you to go DO--why would they tell you to go IMG route? If this was placed in the Caribbean forum by the moderator, I'm sure you would get different answers. Bottom line, it seems like the facts state that if you want to practice in the U.S. that you should stay in the U.S. for medical school.
     
  37. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    If it was posted in the pre allo forum, you would see the same results.
     
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  38. Phospholipid

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    I just want to comment on many pre-osteo on this forum comparing osteopathic schools to US MD schools. For example, the average MCAT for west virginia hovers around 21. If you chose west virginia over stateside MD, that would not be the brightest move. Many of the new DO schools that open do not even report their MCAT or GPA. Because it will be very low, most likely below 20 and the gpa most likely dip below 3.0. Do not kid yourself, most of these students have failed to get into MD schools (which is nothing to be ashamed of btw), and is using DO as backups. Yes there are a minor few that chose DOs over MD and had a chance at an MD school (or even got in), but those are a rare and a LOT fewer than these forums are led to believe. IN ADDITION, YOU CANNOT COMPARE A DO ENTERING GPA STATS WITH AN MD ENTINERING STATS. MD schools average all GPA, even if you retake a class whereas DO schools replace a retaken class. This will make a HUGE difference in entering stats of a DO school, which makes it appear that the caliber of students is close to MD schools, which it is not. When the average GPA is around 3.2, replacing grades makes a HUGE difference in the reporting grades, as most students with 3.2 gpa most likely have retaken more than one class. I'm willing to venture that west virginia's average gpa of around 3.2 is closer to 2.8-2.9 if you average the gpa like an MD school does. I have known friends who applied to MD and DO schools, and GPA can differ significantly through AMCAS and AACOMAS.
    Touro NY, a new school, literally you just need around a 3.0 and 20 MCAT and you're almost a shoe in. Nobody in their right mind will go to that school over an MD school.
     
  39. COMedic2Doc

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    OP, regarding SGU I have heard some great success stories from practicing MDs as well about SGU. Here's my thoughts, as previously mentioned, this depends on you. DO is a great way to go, and yes it is very much the same as an MD with some training exceptions on the DO part in that they tend to be more diversified in the hollistic methods of healing (and that's becoming important, more and more so) and have come a very, very long way on recognition by their allopathic colleagues.
    If DO is more your style, then don't be afraid of it. The fact is you can do great at either school, this depends on you. If cost is a concern, the DO may be a less expensive route based on the life you choose to live in medical school (you may choose to just stay in Grenada for your studies and come home when you're doing your clerkships)
    My main reccomendation is to decide for yourself, and to try and weed through the various replies here, as you have the Pre-Meds, Medical Students, and Attendings answering here for what advice you truly want to listen to. Good luck with your decision!
     
  40. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    Only you can decide that my child. Everybody is going to say DO. That's what I'd do. Least you know the water will be clean. On the other hand, maybe you could learn Spanish? That'd be pretty sweet + its warm all the time. You know what, damn I think I'm just gunna apply to MD Carrib schools this summer. I hate the ****ing snow outside my house right now.
     
  41. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    [​IMG]
     
  42. PunkmedGirl

    PunkmedGirl Freshman Member
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    :laugh: My thoughts exactly.
     
  43. engineeredout

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    [​IMG]
     
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  44. COMedic2Doc

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    My thoughts as well, love it alot!
    :troll:
     
  45. PunkmedGirl

    PunkmedGirl Freshman Member
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    DANGIT!!!! I'm not SDN smart yet LOL.
     
  46. rajaholick

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    ok, this thread was about osteopathic schools vs. foreign medical schools
    i think people were comparing DO degree to MD degree if both earned in the US because in the field those are looked as comparable and favorable compared to Foreign MD degrees these days
    i've spoken with residency directors at various hospitals and was told that DOs have an easier time during res match than FMGs
     
  47. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    :caution: If this continues to deteriorate in this fashion it will be closed. It may be Christmas, but this isn't the holiday spirit I'm seeing here.
     
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  48. Hokie06

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    Phospholipid, you made a lot of inaccurate statements here. I'm not going to waste my time correcting you, but I will say this. This thread is not about US MD vs US DO. The original poster is deciding between going US DO and Foreign MD. It is completely unnecessary to argue about the difficulty of getting into US MD and US DO schools unless you want to turn this into another MD vs DO debacle. I would guess you are either a foreign medical student or a prospective student looking into foreign schools judging by the way you want to put down D.O. I personally think going to SGU is a respectable choice as I have known many doctors graduated from that school. Likewise, I wish you too would respect people's decision to attend DO schools rather than going on about the relative easiness of gaining admission. Although I do admit admission standards are slightly easier for getting into DO schools than US MD, this fact will not help the OP make a sound decision and therefore is pointless to say to begin with. Sounds to me like you have a personal issue.
     
    #48 Hokie06, Dec 25, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
  49. spicedmanna

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Well, your choice basically reduces to this: attending a medical school in the US or a foreign medical school. In my humble opinion there are more risks to attending a foreign medical school (which are fairly obvious) and you will likely to be presented with a more challenging environment should you choose to attend one. The way I am thinking about this is if you do not have to accept the additional risks and challenges, why subject yourself to them? If you can answer this question and it is a reasonable answer, then by all means, attend SGU. As long as you do well and are willing to accept the challenges ahead, I'm fairly confident that it'll provide the means to becoming a physician.

    At the risk of escalating this further, I confess that I am frustrated with the continual association of "lower admission standards," i.e., lower MCAT/GPA statistics, with osteopathic medical schools and how this "signifies" lower quality. This line of thinking is a fallacy. One does not necessarily follow the other. Yes, many osteopathic medical schools do have lower averages for these numbers, but I fail to see how this correlates with decreased quality. If you automatically make this assumption, that higher averages necessarily indicate more success (or higher quality), then you are forgetting the lessons learned from Terman's studies on IQ and success, which I recently become more familiar with in reading, Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell (which I recommend as an interesting read). Extending on what I've picked up from the book so far to this situation, I'd say that scores matter to some extent and that there is probably some sort of academic/intellectual threshold, beyond which it ceases to be an important factor. That is to say, in a room full of medical students, MCAT scores and undergraduate GPA aren't going to prove to be the most important factors. There are clearly qualities not assessed by tests of intelligence, such as the MCAT, or even grades, which may play an equally important role in future success, including the applicant's creative potential, background, and history. For the purposes of medical school and becoming a physician, with respect to MCAT scores and GPA, there is probably a level that is sufficient, beyond which it ceases to be a robust indicator. It would seem that osteopathic medical schools recognize this and utilizes other factors that indicate medical school success more readily in the admissions process. Ponder this for a bit.

    Anyway, sorry for the digression. I think you can do well attending either school, but I think that attending the US medical school will present fewer risks and better opportunities. Opportunities we are presented with, the environment we navigate through, and the challenges we have to face in our process, do in fact play significant roles in our future success. I'd suggest giving yourself the best of each, and for that, I'd say the osteopathic medical school is going to provide the richer environment. The rest, however, is up to you, regardless of where you attend.
     
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    #49 spicedmanna, Dec 25, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
  50. TexasTriathlete

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    Considering that you are "pre-health", I can see where the ******ation comes from. I've got to tell you that things are not nearly as simple as they seem to you.

    There are people in my class who got like 24's on the MCAT, who are every bit the equal of guys I went to undergrad with, who got high-30's.

    Personally, I though the MCAT was easy. I thought it was a complete bull**** test, and I was extremely disappointed with a 33. On the other hand, I have classmates who thought it was the hardest test ever, got mid-20's, and are now outperforming me in medical school.

    And there's more to GPA than just the numbers. My overall GPA is 2.7. Never mind the fact that I graduated with a 2.2, and then went back for a post-bac, pulled a 3.5 in 80+ hours of upper-level science courses.

    And what about engineering majors? You go to a "big name" engineering school, such as my undergrad, U of Texas, and the GPA's are going to be a hell of a lot lower than what you see from the average pre-med, who goes on pick-a-prof every semester to find the easiest professors.

    What background you come from makes a difference too.

    There is a lot less separating a 3.2 25 MCAT student from the 3.8 35 MCAT student than you would like to think. Once that 3.2/25 student gets to med school, and suddenly doesn't have to work to support him/herself, and can focus on studying all the time, its a whole new ballgame. I 100% **** you not about this. And if you are the latter, congratulations. You worked hard to achieve that, and you should be proud. But if you think that makes you exceptional in some way, then you are in for a big shock. I don't care if you go to Stanford or West Virginia. Someone will be better than you there.
     
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