Iberoamerican University, DR

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by Terry, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. Terry

    Terry Member
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    Mr. Moderator:

    Since August of 2000 you have made a few entries in response to questions about this school. On the most part they were guardedly positive and I know enough about you from reading your posts this past year to know you have journalistic credibility and an extensive working knowledge of your field.

    However, I have not been able to get any credible info on graduates or pass/fail rates on USMLE or percentages of residency matches by US students etc from either the internaional office in Miami or directly from the school. I would love to hear from someone who's actually been there or attended
    classes there. Someone, from the U.S. who has graduated and made it to practice in the U.S. . Or do you have any additional information about UNIBE? I have received no response from school officials to written or verbal requests. They won't even indicate how many American students are enrolled. The representitive in Miami told me he was only 19.

    My "gut-feeling" is not good on this school as a result. And since I regard you highly, I find it troubling to see you post seemingly positive remarks regards same.

    Thanks in advance for your valuable input.
     
  2. Stephen Ewen

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    In the US and other such schools, there are many funnels through which one must pass in order to get admitted. These have the cummulative effect of weeding out many students who might or will not do well in med school, and causing a high order end-product. In a very real sense, perhaps a foremost sense, a school's USMLE #s more reflect this funnel factor than the school and its academics itself.

    UNIBE, as with many foreign med schools, has lower admission standards. The plus side of this is it means more students get a chance to show their stuff, so to speak--to study their rears off, make the most of their opportunity, and become competent doctors.

    But the negative side is that, inevitably, a good number of students WILL NOT show their stuff. Hence, USMLE scores are not so much a reflection of the academic standards of a school as they are the admissions standards of that school. This is very key to understanding any school's USMLE #s.

    Perhaps in part b/c of this, UNIBE, in my latest knowledge, does not hold histories regarding USMLE and US grads getting US residencies, likely also b/c of the quite cosmopolitan student body there and b/c the school is still relatively new, i.e., < 10 years old or so.

    Still, I do know of US UNIBE grads who have gotten U.S. residencies. For the most part, I understand the basic sciences there are quite good, and the clinicals are what you make of them, in the understanding that you must speak pretty good Spanish, be socially wise, and appropriately aggressive. Because it is the DR, one can do more hands-on stuff during them than in the U.S., which can be a good factor. The grapevine I hear is that US students who are serious and study hard have mostly, if not all of them, passed the USMLEs and gotten a US residency.

    Slackers are another matter--and this is where the lower admisisons standards come into play. I have communicated with a UNIBE prof from the US who says these wind up having to learn a lot of material before USMLE time, and are kind of stuck. For their goofing off, they are now paying the piper. For others, the system has done what it was designed to do and funneled them out, only later rather than sooner, the pain of that irregardless.

    Serious students and slacker ones. They are part of the edu culture of many, many institutions. One must simply deal with it and not let it effect them negatively. Keep your eyes on the prize, being a doctor, and your nose where it belongs: books.

    I suspect part of your frustration with getting info from UNIBE is related to the way the DR and general Lat Am culture in general view things in a more relaxed way, this being neither good nor bad, just different.

    One MUST remember that, if they go to UNIBE, they are in the DR. It can be very wise to engulf one's self in the culture there, learn it well, learn Spanish as far as possible (one does better to have or get a head start), and undertake their med school exp within the whole exp. This is opposed to kind of bringing a bubble of the US there and making, subconsciously, everyone sort of revolve around it and you.

    People can love the DR. They can also hate it. People can be made better there. They can also be made bitter. As for which, it is foremost in one's approach to the whole exp. I have communicated with one student who did not approach the exp like I am saying, got frustrated, and transferred out to a questionable foreign school. In the process, he had huge transcript problems and could not get them from UNIBE, which required him getting a lawyer. *Important*: I do not know the school's side of this, they may be perfectly justified. I do know, however, of serious classmates of his who right now are PG1s (or PG2s by now), where he in my knowledge is not.

    My advise to ANYONE undertaking med school, even if only clinicals, in or amidst a language they are not profficient in is to undertake full-time langauge school for numerous months while immersed in the culture BEFORE enrolling in med school, and not rely only upon the lang classes the school may provide. This step will make thing much easier. There is a good proliferation of lang school situations around the DR. Who can question the worth of a bi-cultural, bilingual physician?

    In some cases, one will have to put more into med school than others. In some cases, profs will be less than ideal. In all cases the same textbooks are available to you. In the end, as with anywhere, med school is much what you make of it. I personally hold that UNIBE, or any school inthe DR since they all have the same basic curriculum in the same basic context, can be a good opportunity for those people for whom it is fitted.

    I no longer have e-mails of UNIBE grads/students/profs--re-did my computer and they were wiped. Sorry I cannot investigate that for you.

    Make sure you put "UNIBE" in numerous search engines and see what turns up.

    If you are seriously considering attending, seriously consider a visit to the campus beforehand. If you do this, maybe come back and post your perspective here.

    Either way, keep us posted, and best wishes whatever you do and wherever you may go.
     
  3. Terry

    Terry Member
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    It is at the very least comforting to know that you are aware of at least one US citizen who has completed the school, passed his testing and made it to residency.

    I will let you know if I decide to check it out with a trip there...My cousin has been in charge of the contract security of the US embassy there since the invasion of neighboring Hatai....I might enlist his assistance to check them out first. To date I've only asked him if he'd heard anything about the school. He had not.

    I appreciate the information you've provided me regards this matter.

    I continue to wish you only the very best!
     
  4. dr figs

    dr figs Member
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    Yo terry! check it out ....i graduted from the notorious UNIBE this past april, i got a litte over 20 interviews so far, including university hospitals, everyone from the last graduating class that passed thier boards are doing residency now (thats about 12 students). in total i would say that there are nearly 30 students that i know of that got into residencies, as long as u pass ur boards with good scores u r in like flynn! ;)
     
  5. hernh

    hernh New Member

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    Terry, I read your message when you first posted for the first time. At that time, I was also considering UNIBE. Well, I applied and got accepted and now I am writing to you in the DR and attending MED 1. All of the information that Mr. Ewen have written is correct. There is a lot I could tell you about the school. Send me an email if there is anything in particular you would like to know about the school. There are a lot of Americans and Canadians students enrolled for this semester than last. Most of my friends are from New York, Connecticut, Georgia, Tampa, Ottawa Canada, Miami, and many other states. UNIBE is getting more and more U.S. students every semester.
    Email: [email protected]
     
  6. dksamp

    dksamp Member
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    Hey Terry,
    This is Derek Sampson. I am an UNIBE alumni in my second year of a family practice residency here in the midwest. I am not sure if you have seen my posts before. I have posted on many occassions on the "Hanson's Guide to Foreign Medical Schools" board.
    I just wanted to say thet Ewen is 1000 % correct in his assessment, and everything that he said rang true. You get out exactly what you put in. IN fact, I posted an article called "Life after UNIBE" I think it is a MUST-READ. I will post it again on this forum. It makes a lot of the same points that Ewen makes.
    The information should assuage any fears you may have, but I pull no punches in my general assessment.
    Good luck in whatever decision you make. PEACE!!

    -Derek
     
  7. drsvd

    drsvd Junior Member
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    Hi All.
    I don't know if Terry is still inquiring about UNIBE in the DR but I have some info. I just graduated from UNIBE after 4 years. During my 4 years there I passed both Steps with mid 80's on each. I took & passed the CSA after graduation, and while I wait to hear about match results for a first year position in General Surgery, I am doing an observership with a couple of general surgeons in my area.
    There are a lot of US citizens studying in UNIBE's English program. The school is a well respected school within the Caribbean but because it is unadvertised to say the least that doesn't make it a wavering school. The first two years of basic science are in English. Then for clerkship years, classes are held in English but obviously the rotations are in Spanish. One can become a fluent Spanish speaker or just complain the whole 4 years! It's funny that some people in the US complain about foreigners not speaking English properly but if you go anywhere in the world the docs everywhere expect you to speak their lanuage fluently, whether you are speak English, Spanish or Yiddish!
    There have been MANY UNIBE grads who have gotten excellent positions in residency without a problem (aka.Dr.Sampson). Unfortunately UNIBE doesn't advertise the graduates that have residency, or their pass/fail rate on the steps....but I am currently trying to get this part of the "alumni association" changed.
    I cannot agree more with Stephen Ewen. Read his post over and over and it is still 100% true. One will either love the country or hate it, one will love the challenge of living in a foreign country and adapting to culture or really hate it, one will work their behind off and alas there are those slackers that somehow lose their way through the 4 years. It is undeniably easy to get in but one has to WORK to stay in.
    Hope this helps anyone looking at UNIBE in the DR (or any other schools in the DR).
     
  8. saori

    saori Senior Member
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    I am a medical intern in the DR. I am a UASD student (UNIBE's evil nemesis...) and I can say that most (if not all) of Stephen Ewen's post is right on the money.

    I believe that while UNIBE is a good medical school, its reputation after the nasty 80's incident with the spanish dentistry students has made it questionable. I also believe that you make yourself a good doctor, it's not just what academics an institution can give you. I have gone on rotations with puertorican UNIBE students and I have to say their clinical skills leave a little to be desired of. I admire their fondness for books, but most have proven lazy on hospital work and mostly avoid doing any work.
    I hate to bash, since I know that there are many flaws with UASD's system, but we do get tons of clinical training and hands-on experience (i've been doing sutures and minor procedures since my second semester). If your aim is to study in an english speaking school, then UNIBE would certainly be your best bet. I have two friends who came from Miami and are now currently in UASD. They are two of the finest students I know and although they are native english-speakers, they have gotten the spanish part down pat. It's a good observation that you will have to get used to the ins and outs of living in this country, but most people I know have gotten used to it and end up loving it.

    UNIBE has a rep among dominican Residents. It's mostly that they are over-priviledged brats and that are not skilled enough for some procedures (we end up getting most of the stuff throw our way), but you have to understand that's a part of life.

    Whatever path you choose, it would be good to understand that there are sacrifices involved. Which reminds me that the suggestion that you learn spanish is right on the money!

    Good luck and feel free to contact me if any other questions come up.
     
  9. Raminder26

    Raminder26 Member
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    hi I am an international European student, and I can say that watch out for some of the locals and STUDENTS that are there, some of them are true THUGS that travel around hopping from place to place, extending their time at each place just hanging out and making trouble, so watch out for this place.
     
  10. saori

    saori Senior Member
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    Raminder26,

    what exactly do you mean by that? Do you claim that there are more "thugs" in the DR than in other countries? Aren't there "thugs" everywhere you go?
    :confused:
     
  11. Raminder26

    Raminder26 Member
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    You are right, I did not mean to offend you or anyone else associated with the school, but I have recently come across students that were students at UNIBE, and believe me these guys are dangerous, purely coincidence that they are from UNIBE though, they failed out of there, and are hopping around Europe now, just another one of the small obtacles we have to face as US citizens on foreign soil I guess. :)
     
  12. Raminder26

    Raminder26 Member
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    I would like to reiterate...... I meant no disrespect to this school, I just know of a couple of guys who failed from UNIBE, and they were nothing but trouble here before they were asked to leave this place as well, please do not get my message wrong. I am sure that anyone in a foreign place understands what I am saying, if they are from a civilized place, in my case US. We are not used to the barbarians and captain caveman people that some of these facilities take on as students. No offense to any school, sorry.
     
  13. drsvd

    drsvd Junior Member
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    Raminder26,
    You know I couldn't agree with you more! I know you don't mean to generalize. :cool: It is really ridiculous how the former UNIBE students went over to Europe and completely disgraced themselves and for that matter their former school. They are nothing but trouble makers, ANYWHERE they go, and unfortunately give the good guys a bad name. I shake my head and shrug my shoulders and just know that "hey I am one of the good guys/gals!"
     

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