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FutureDoc_5384

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This is ONLY for current and/or past students who attended Medical School in the Caribbean. How did you enjoy it? Pros? Cons? I would like to attend a school in the Caribbean... & then do family medicine residency which is not something super competitive to find residency in...which is why I am considering going to the Caribbean. Just need to hear things from those who have actually went to the schools and experienced it. Thanks for your help!
 
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deleted969405

I dont think there's anyone on sdn who is currently going to the caribbean lol
 

Zibob

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Don't go Caribbean.
 
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DocHopeful1

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Coming from a Caribbean medical school student at the end of year 2, I would highly suggest you not go to a Caribbean school (especially if you are struggling academically--because let me tell you, med school is NOT any easier lol) I remember being in a similar situation as you and ended up choosing to go to a Caribbean school because I didn't want to prolong my MD journey. I am not one to regret my past decisions because I have learned so much and grown from my experiences. But if I were to go back to my application days, I would tell myself that choosing to do one of these options is completely okay--

1) Retaking the MCAT (I know it sucks but trust me, in the long run, it's the better decision)

2)Doing a post-bacc or something along those lines (I remember when some people suggested that to me and I hated it so much. I just wanted to start medical school so badly because I was so worried about my "life's timeline" that I made up in my head. But in hindsight, a post-bacc would have been a smart decision)

3) Doing something other than medical school. If you're anything like me, I know this is painful to hear especially if being a doctor is what you've wanted for the majority of your life. But if I were to go back in time, this is actually the path I would have taken. I would have gone the PA route and I wish I had done more research on the topic. If you really want to do a highly specialized aspect of medicine, this may not be your route. But I've always imagined myself in primary care (FM, Peds). And now I realize that in the every day aspect of primary medicine, PAs and even DNPs basically do the same thing MDs or DOs do. Obviously there are differences, but in terms of helping the average patient, it's the same. If I had known this before my Caribbean medical school journey, I would have 100% have chosen this route.

So OP, this is all just from my personal thoughts/experience and just advice I would have given to my younger Pre-Med School self :) Hopefully this has been even a little help to you! Wishing you all the very best on your journey :)

Hey OP! Current Caribbean medical school student here! This is what I wrote in another thread, and I think you would find this helpful :) Please let me know if you have more questions or need anything clarified! I know exactly how you're feeling, so I'll try to help as much as I can :)
 
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ciestar

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Go to the FM forum and see how IMGs are making out for interviews. Yeah, FM is “easier” but, it doesn’t mean it will be easier as an IMG, it won’t be.
 
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Kumorebi

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Going to the caribbean is like walking through a crosswalk with the do not walk sign blinking at you while being blind. Everyone around you will be shouting for you to stop, but you really want to cross the street so you go. Some make it, some don't.
 
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deleted804295

Go to the FM forum and see how IMGs are making out for interviews. Yeah, FM is “easier” but, it doesn’t mean it will be easier as an IMG, it won’t be.
Wow. That might've just beat out the pharm forums in terms of depressingness
 
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DocHopeful1

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Going to the caribbean is like walking through a crosswalk with the do not walk sign blinking at you while being blind. Everyone around you will be shouting for you to stop, but you really want to cross the street so you go. Some make it, some don't.

OP, this is a hilarious but scarily accurate analogy:X3: People will always be telling you not to do it. But in the end, you want that MD so bad that you go for it anyway. Some people make it, some don't. There are several people that I know that didn't make it BUT I also know more people that have made it. And let's be real, I'm hoping to me one of those people! :) But let me just say, the people who did make it, they sacrificed. A lot. Especially since caribbean schools accept almost anyone, there will be all sorts of people there. In order to succeed OP, you must be part of the group that are in medical school for the right reasons. Not to party all the time, not to goof off, not because their parents said so. You must be there because YOU want it and you must be willing to go against the peer pressure at times. As long as you are 100% focused and surround yourself with a strong group of people, you can do it!
 
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ciestar

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Wow. That might've just beat out the pharm forums in terms of depressingness

Right? And some of these people applied to like 100 programs each and are getting interviews at places that had to fill its spots via SOAP last year...
i could not imagine. Applying for residency is stressful and anxiety provoking enough. (Im a USMD, applied to 46 FM programs which was 20 too many.. so very thankful it worked out for me, but, you can see the comparisons. My step 1 was also crap on top of that)
 
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DocHopeful1

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Go to the FM forum and see how IMGs are making out for interviews. Yeah, FM is “easier” but, it doesn’t mean it will be easier as an IMG, it won’t be.
:eek:......making out? Is this for real? Am I interpreting this correctly? lol
 
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deleted1001426

:eek:......making out? Is this for real? Am I interpreting this correctly? lol
no..not even close lol. theu meant how imgs are faring in their search for positions.not like "intimately making out"
 
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DocHopeful1

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no..not even close lol. theu meant how imgs are faring in their search for positions.not like "intimately making out"
Lmao, no, not literally

Oh thank goodness! :X3: I'm a US IMG that's thinking about FM or Peds, and I was thinking like "dang, the higher ups out there think that lowly of us huh?..." Thanks for the clarification y'all :)
 
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Select All That Apply

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@ciestar Caribbean students have always been expected to apply to at least 100 spots for interviews. AFAIK this has been true since at least 2010 with students probably applying to all programs within any broadly accepting specialty (FM/Neuro/etc) at this rate with the MD/DO merger taking effect this match cycle.

@DocHopeful1 Your message is inconsistent. Telling people that they shouldn't go, but it's still possible is like telling a diabetic that they can tour the candy shop with free candy and not come out of the shop with any sweets. The reason why a firm line ought to be established on the Caribbean is because the Caribbean saturates seats with students that many of these programs are aware are there to keep the seats warm until year 1, year 2, year 3 in order to keep the profit margins running. These students aren't aware that they are the sucker in this arrangement and buy into the, "These schools are giving you a chance to become a US doctor!" The Dunning-Kruger phenom is always going to make Caribbean applicants think that they are the one that gets the golden ticket, while everyone else around them is entitled and lazy. I just don't understand why people distribute mixed messages to a desperate audience that will selectively filter out all the negative information and absorb anything favorable if they think that med school in the Caribs is going to be their salvation.
 
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ciestar

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@ciestar Caribbean students have always been expected to apply to at least 100 spots for interviews. AFAIK this has been true since 2010 with students probably applying to all programs at this rate with the MD/DO merger taking effect this match cycle.

@DocHopeful1 Your message is inconsistent. Telling people that they shouldn't go, but it's still possible is like telling a diabetic that they can tour the candy shop with free candy and not come out of the shop with any sweets. The reason why a firm line ought to be established on the Caribbean is because the Caribbean saturates seats with students that many of these programs are aware are there to keep the seats warm until year 1, year 2, year 3 in order to keep the profit margins running. These students aren't aware that they are the sucker in this arrangement and buy into the, "These schools are giving you a chance to become a US doctor!" The Dunning-Kruger phenom is always going to make Caribbean applicants think that they are the one that gets the golden ticket, while everyone else around them is entitled and lazy. I just don't understand why people distribute mixed messages to a desperate audience that will selectively filter out all the negative information and absorb anything favorable if they think that med school in the Caribs is going to be their salvation.

Yeah and that sucks.
USMD students only need to apply to 20-25 programs for FM. That really shows the difficulty IMO
 

Select All That Apply

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@ciestar It sucks for all medical students. Do you think that you would be paying the same rate of tuition if Caribbean schools didn't start approaching failing medical hospitals and offering them multi-million dollar contracts to buy out rotation spots for their students? The fact that these transactions are bankrolled off federal loans and duping students is one of the most unethical arrangements that could be conceived.

Non-medical citizens are also effected by the presence of these schools. Due to decreased enrollment, pay-for-profit schools like Adtalem/Devry began to increase targeting of veterans and the GI Bill. The GI Bill as a military benefit is such a key provision because military money isn't considered federal financial aid which enables them to operate south of the 90%-10% rule in which these pay-for-profit corporations would face penalties if they aren't able to demonstrate independent market viability. More than 55% of veterans end up dropping out of these schools within less than one year and the federal resources are not being reinvested in order to improve education standards. Some of these schools are only solvent due to the GI bill accounting for more than 50% of their income. There was a Daily Show special with Jon Stewart where he was reporting on how these schools were targeting veterans who were still in hospitals being treated for TBI and PTSD and were directly assisting these veterans to sign the enrollment documents because they were in absolutely no state of functional capacity to sign the document on their own.

The Tragedy of the Commons is all too real with the most fraudulent institutions targeting federal funding because the government is being pressured and lobbied by private funding that is only one or two layers removed from public funding. When students enable themselves to be duped and feed into these institutions that are frankly a cancer on our collective society, I can't feel anything for them. Especially when people are telling them from their own perspective why it would be a bad idea for them and not even touching upon the collective cost that it has on society.
 

DocHopeful1

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@ciestar Caribbean students have always been expected to apply to at least 100 spots for interviews. AFAIK this has been true since at least 2010 with students probably applying to all programs within any broadly accepting specialty (FM/Neuro/etc) at this rate with the MD/DO merger taking effect this match cycle.

@DocHopeful1 Your message is inconsistent. Telling people that they shouldn't go, but it's still possible is like telling a diabetic that they can tour the candy shop with free candy and not come out of the shop with any sweets. The reason why a firm line ought to be established on the Caribbean is because the Caribbean saturates seats with students that many of these programs are aware are there to keep the seats warm until year 1, year 2, year 3 in order to keep the profit margins running. These students aren't aware that they are the sucker in this arrangement and buy into the, "These schools are giving you a chance to become a US doctor!" The Dunning-Kruger phenom is always going to make Caribbean applicants think that they are the one that gets the golden ticket, while everyone else around them is entitled and lazy. I just don't understand why people distribute mixed messages to a desperate audience that will selectively filter out all the negative information and absorb anything favorable if they think that med school in the Caribs is going to be their salvation.

I wouldn't call my stance inconsistent. It's just not black and white, as in the case with a lot of life situations. There's always two sides to every story. And no one will be able to vouch for that more than a Caribbean medical student. And yes, I completely understand what you're saying and why you're saying there needs to be a clear stance on it. Like I get it. I've been through the system (and am actually still in the system lol). There were definitely times when I felt like I was just another mill worker amongst the hundreds of other students. I smiled at the analogy you gave too, as a sweet tooth myself :)

But I was just trying my best to convey my experience. Do I know people that didn't make it through basic sciences? Yes like 10% of my original class (rough estimate here). **and also let me make a clarification here: I did not mean to imply that all students that don't make it through are entitled and/or lazy. That was my mistake. There are many people I know that did not make it simply because the workload was too much. Med school is a juggle of time management and learning style and learning about how you learn and luck etc etc. So then it wouldn't have mattered which medical school you would have gone too. Heck, I'm STILL learning how I learn best lol** Do I also know people that have completed the whole process and have matched? Yes, I would say the majority of people I know have some form of a success story (maybe I don't know enough people lol:X3:). Are they in some highly specialized part of medicine? Most of them, no. So it's just a little hard for me to completely shut down someone's ambition.

In terms of the OP, I am no one to them. I'm just an anonymous commenter. I can't control what they take from my message. All I can do is be honest with my experience. And you're right. A desperate audience could just filter out all the negative information and only take what they want. But that was going to be the case regardless. Isn't there a saying like "if you really look for something in nothing, you'll end up finding what you're looking for" (it's more associated with people going through their significant other's phone but I think this can apply here lol). So if a person is looking to sdn to find reasons of why a caribbean school is bad, they'll find it. If a person is looking to sdn to find reasons of why a caribbean school might not be bad, they'll find it. I can say that because I was that person years ago. I was that person looking through sdn trying to find reasons of why I should try a caribbean school
 
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Emerald2020

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This is ONLY for current and/or past students who attended Medical School in the Caribbean. How did you enjoy it? Pros? Cons? I would like to attend a school in the Caribbean... & then do family medicine residency which is not something super competitive to find residency in...which is why I am considering going to the Caribbean. Just need to hear things from those who have actually went to the schools and experienced it. Thanks for your help!

Current 4th year here. I'll be honest I was very reluctant to go at first and I didn't exactly "enjoy" my first semester there. It was a transition, but I did really well my first term and ended my 2 years on a great note. I started my clinical rotations after getting a good score on Step 1 and have done really well on all my clinical rotations/shelf exams and Step 2. I'm now in the Match, got plenty of interviews and ultimately happy with where this journey has led me.

You're definitely going to hear from people about all the failures and terrible things about Caribbean schools and let me tell you. These are going to be blasted the loudest because often those people are the most upset and they will likely blame the school and not themselves. I'll give you some examples of such people who are friends of mine. One friend, did just average for the first year but in second year failed the last term. Now, let me paint this picture more clearly to mention, he didn't take his classes very seriously at the beginning and spent a lot of time NOT studying like the rest of us who succeeded. So, he repeated the last term, SGU provided him with an opportunity to succeed and was placed into a cohort of students that needed more "supervised" help in the semester and he passed because he was actually trying, however his averages were too low overall to take Step 1 and matriculate him into clinical rotations because he didn't apply himself until the end. He had the potential to do well from the beginning but he didn't try and that's his fault not the schools.

SGU provides many opportunities and resources to succeed but the majority of students that don't do well are the ones that refuse to accept that they need help or just don't take their education seriously. Sure the school accepted you because you had potential and it's easier to get in than US med schools (no one is disputing that and there are people who waste their breath on this topic) but that doesn't make medical school any easier.

Being and IMG comes with it's territory and if you're not willing to work hard then medical school--anywhere-- is not for you. If you're finding yourself not getting into a US School but are hard working, dedicated and passionate about becoming a doctor then SGU/Caribbean can be your success.

Pros: Medical school- you become and MD, USMLE exam preparation, US rotations, 93% match rate (check out this list which we all use to get an idea on programs and match from our fellow classmates SGU - Residency Appointment Directory )
Cons: IMG, living far away from your comfort zone and your typical luxuries, dealing with some people that will claim Caribbean schools are the worst thing known to mankind..

Some will list "you have to work harder" as a con. But that's just medical school.
 
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gonnif

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Right? And some of these people applied to like 100 programs each and are getting interviews at places that had to fill its spots via SOAP last year...
i could not imagine. Applying for residency is stressful and anxiety provoking enough. (Im a USMD, applied to 46 FM programs which was 20 too many.. so very thankful it worked out for me, but, you can see the comparisons. My step 1 was also crap on top of that)

Just to add, IMG even have incredibly low SOAP rates, as below where US IMG have 3% rate of getting a slot

1581356623206.png
 
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johncstudent32

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Just to add, IMG even have incredibly low SOAP rates, as below where US IMG have 3% rate of getting a slot

View attachment 295221

I like how you bunched all of the Caribbean schools together there when some of us were just talking about SGU. What's SGU's SOAP match rate?

You actually are comparing SGU with some no name school on some random island and passing it off as cautionary information?
 
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gonnif

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I like how you bunched all of the Caribbean schools together there when some of us were just talking about SGU. What's SGU's SOAP match rate?

You actually are comparing SGU with some no name school on some random island and passing it off as cautionary information?

SGU Match rate is 46%. Oh, and why am so sure ? we will get to that

1) I am quite certain I am the only one SDN who not only followed the growth of Caribbean schools from their inception in 1976 to the present, including several years in the early 1990's when I both was analyzing and advising them as part of the healthcare team for an investment bank (led by a former Exec Dean of a medical school). I have been to more of their campuses that I can count. I am sure I am the only one on here who can claimed attending Federal HEW (predecessor of HHS) committee meeting on foreign medical schools and have keen idea of how they work financial and politically

2) My comment on SOAP is exactly what was stated, under "just to add", and make no claims, whether implied or explicit that it refers solely to SGU

3) I am likely also the only advisor on here who does not give a blanket "never attend" but repeats the same phrase:
as I've said often, before considering any offshore school applicant must go through at least two application cycles for both MD and DO with at least a year break in between (ie skip a cycle) for application repair and/or enhancement. the break is necessary to analyze and understand the weaknesses in an application. Repair may be as simple as reorganizing rewriting application or it may require postbacc, SMP, MCAT, or additional extracurricular such as clinical volunteering and other items. I strongly advise that no student should consider off shore schools until the above has been done.

4) Now the numbers on SGU

I have written about this extensively throughout the forums.
about 46% of those who start medical school, match into ANY residency as my analysis of SGU, perhaps the "best" of the Carib schools, will show. Please note these numbers come from the SGU website.

SGU reports that analyzes that 93% place (not match) in residency

A) Enrollment and Residency:
Enrollment, MCAT & GPA Statistics | SGU Medical School
SGU SOM reports just under 6300 total enrollment in an MD program. This would mean roughly that 1600 students a year are MS1-MS4 or approximately 800 students a term. (whether students are in a dual degree and/or take more than 4 years to graduate, on average, this number will remain about the same). Of these 75% are US citizens and 17% are US PR, so 87% total US. Additionally 11% of total enrollment are Canadian, though many . It is reasonable to say then that about 90% of entering Students (about 1450) would likely seek medical residency in USA. SGU Reports that 961 have “US Residencies in 2019.“ So what has happened to these 500 others?

B) Attrition:

https://www.aamc.org/system/files/reports/1/graduationratesandattritionratesofu.s.medicalstudents.pdf
From 1993-1994 through 2012-2013, more medical students left medical school for nonacademic than for academic reasons,... The total national attrition rate remained relatively stable at an average of 3.3% over those 20 years.

So US MD schools have a 3.3% attrition rate, meaning 96.7% ultimately earn their degree. For SGU, they report “6.1% attrition rate for the class entering in August of 2017.” Assuming, that this up to date, it would mean of our 1450 Anticipated US Residency bound students, 90 dropped out after the first 2 years, leaving at least 1360 to continue. Also with the way that SGU reports this, we cant tell if any took leaves, needed another year, dropped out later, etc. We can only speculate that fewer additional percent dropped out in years 3-4. For purposes of comparison, lets assume a conservative total attrition of 10% for any entering class. With a weaker overall class (MCAT average of 497, cGPA of 3.3, sGPA of 3.1), and living overseas, 10% would be very conservative. So about 1225 would be left in our US-bound residency cohort

C) Medical Residency:

Graduate Success | St. George's University
SGU proudly states that 961 graduates got placed(not matched) in residencies. Now placement means via NRMP, post-match SOAP, any pre-match positions, openings that occur during the cycle Looking at their data further, 935 were placed in US, with others in Canada, UK, and a few other countries. So of the estimated 1225 graduates who sought US residencies, 935 got a slot, or about 76%. SGU also reports that on average 29% get slots via non-match methods. That would mean 664 graduates matched. So of the estimate 1450 US-residency bound students who start SGU, only 664 or 46% matched into a residency slot. That increases to about 65% who get ANY residency slot.

In sum, assuming 10% class attrition, the “success rate” of SGU is at best is 65%
 

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Sephirakra

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I like how you bunched all of the Caribbean schools together there when some of us were just talking about SGU. What's SGU's SOAP match rate?

You actually are comparing SGU with some no name school on some random island and passing it off as cautionary information?

"Some of us were just talking about SGU." That was your first post in this thread. You hadn't been talking about anything. Not to mention that this thread is about the Caribbean in general. One person was specifically talking about SGU. Spare us the righteous indignation.
 
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johncstudent32

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"Some of us were just talking about SGU." That was your first post in this thread. You hadn't been talking about anything. Not to mention that this thread is about the Caribbean in general. One person was specifically talking about SGU. Spare us the righteous indignation.

It's good I pointed it out though.
 

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It's good I pointed it out though.
What did you point out? You asked for SGU's SOAP match rate, which isn't publicly available. No school's SOAP rate is, only aggregate data.
 
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johncstudent32

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SGU Match rate is 46%. Oh, and why am so sure ? we will get to that

1) I am quite certain I am the only one SDN who not only followed the growth of Caribbean schools from their inception in 1976 to the present, including several years in the early 1990's when I both was analyzing and advising them as part of the healthcare team for an investment bank (led by a former Exec Dean of a medical school). I have been to more of their campuses that I can count. I am sure I am the only one on here who can claimed attending Federal HEW (predecessor of HHS) committee meeting on foreign medical schools and have keen idea of how they work financial and politically

2) My comment on SOAP is exactly what was stated, under "just to add", and make no claims, whether implied or explicit that it refers solely to SGU

3) I am likely also the only advisor on here who does not give a blanket "never attend" but repeats the same phrase:
as I've said often, before considering any offshore school applicant must go through at least two application cycles for both MD and DO with at least a year break in between (ie skip a cycle) for application repair and/or enhancement. the break is necessary to analyze and understand the weaknesses in an application. Repair may be as simple as reorganizing rewriting application or it may require postbacc, SMP, MCAT, or additional extracurricular such as clinical volunteering and other items. I strongly advise that no student should consider off shore schools until the above has been done.

4) Now the numbers on SGU

I have written about this extensively throughout the forums.
about 46% of those who start medical school, match into ANY residency as my analysis of SGU, perhaps the "best" of the Carib schools, will show. Please note these numbers come from the SGU website.

SGU reports that analyzes that 93% place (not match) in residency

A) Enrollment and Residency:
Enrollment, MCAT & GPA Statistics | SGU Medical School
SGU SOM reports just under 6300 total enrollment in an MD program. This would mean roughly that 1600 students a year are MS1-MS4 or approximately 800 students a term. (whether students are in a dual degree and/or take more than 4 years to graduate, on average, this number will remain about the same). Of these 75% are US citizens and 17% are US PR, so 87% total US. Additionally 11% of total enrollment are Canadian, though many . It is reasonable to say then that about 90% of entering Students (about 1450) would likely seek medical residency in USA. SGU Reports that 961 have “US Residencies in 2019.“ So what has happened to these 500 others?

B) Attrition:

https://www.aamc.org/system/files/r...tesandattritionratesofu.s.medicalstudents.pdf
From 1993-1994 through 2012-2013, more medical students left medical school for nonacademic than for academic reasons,... The total national attrition rate remained relatively stable at an average of 3.3% over those 20 years.

So US MD schools have a 3.3% attrition rate, meaning 96.7% ultimately earn their degree. For SGU, they report “6.1% attrition rate for the class entering in August of 2017.” Assuming, that this up to date, it would mean of our 1450 Anticipated US Residency bound students, 90 dropped out after the first 2 years, leaving at least 1360 to continue. Also with the way that SGU reports this, we cant tell if any took leaves, needed another year, dropped out later, etc. We can only speculate that fewer additional percent dropped out in years 3-4. For purposes of comparison, lets assume a conservative total attrition of 10% for any entering class. With a weaker overall class (MCAT average of 497, cGPA of 3.3, sGPA of 3.1), and living overseas, 10% would be very conservative. So about 1225 would be left in our US-bound residency cohort

C) Medical Residency:

Graduate Success | St. George's University
SGU proudly states that 961 graduates got placed(not matched) in residencies. Now placement means via NRMP, post-match SOAP, any pre-match positions, openings that occur during the cycle Looking at their data further, 935 were placed in US, with others in Canada, UK, and a few other countries. So of the estimated 1225 graduates who sought US residencies, 935 got a slot, or about 76%. SGU also reports that on average 29% get slots via non-match methods. That would mean 664 graduates matched. So of the estimate 1450 US-residency bound students who start SGU, only 664 or 46% matched into a residency slot. That increases to about 65% who get ANY residency slot.

In sum, assuming 10% class attrition, the “success rate” of SGU is at best is 65%

And let's factor a 20% error in your calculators which should give us the number SGU students seem to all be saying which is around 85%

Your calculations are assuming a lot of things.
 
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johncstudent32

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What did you point out? You asked for SGU's SOAP match rate, which isn't publicly available. No school's SOAP rate is, only aggregate data.

No, it's good I pointed out that you can't bunch SGU in with all those no-name schools and then say IMG is the wrong way to go when there is a clear difference in the matching outcomes of SGU students vs. no-name schools.
 

Sephirakra

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No, it's good I pointed out that you can't bunch SGU in with all those no-name schools and then say IMG is the wrong way to go when there is a clear difference in the matching outcomes of SGU students vs. no-name schools.
So unless we provide data about SGU that you want to hear, you just dismiss it out of hand? Trollish behavior, indeed.

Go ahead and put me on ignore, if that makes you feel better. You'll be gone soon enough.
 
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johncstudent32

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So unless we provide data about SGU that you want to hear, you just dismiss it out of hand? Trollish behavior, indeed.

Go ahead and put me on ignore, if that makes you feel better. You'll be gone soon enough.

You're just upset that I did my homework. Some of us do.
 

Kumorebi

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Stop harassing me or I will report you.
:troll:

it is clear that he has no evidence and is hyping up this "85% match rate for SGU." He has no proof which is why he hasn't posted anything useful during his time here.
 
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