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Important!! Please only attend a Big 4 School!!

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SkipJunior

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Hey Everyone!

Before I continue, I want to explain my handle. I've been lurking in SDN for years now. During that time, I've really respected Skip's advice. It's always been honest and to the point. In honor of Skip, I've named myself his junior. Skip, I hope you don't mind.

Now, many people have given the advice mentioned in the title of this thread. That being said, there is also this mentality that an IMG is an IMG and all Carib schools are placed in the same boat. All that matters is that one works hard and do well on the Step tests and any Carib school can provide you the tools for that.

I had the same mentality. That's why I joined Windsor Medical school in Cayon, St. Kitts in the Fall of 2009. I liked the low tuition and I suspect that's one of the main reasons people join low tier Carib schools even if they are accepted to the Big 4. I was accepted to SGU and Ross and chose Windsor because the tuition was ridiculously cheap. I had a 34 on my MCAT but a 2.8 GPA (3.1 if you include retakes). I didn't even bother applying to DO schools because I looked down and sneered at DOs. What a fool I was back then.

Anyway, my experience in the Caribbean was not good. See, you get what you pay for. Sure you pay through your nose for SGU, Ross, AUC etc but at least that ensures a decent administration and decent clinical rotations. It also ensures decent basic sciences faculty. I did not enjoy none of that. I worked hard, very hard but it was not enough. I didn't match in 2013 and didn't match this year as well. Now I manage a blood bank and I've given up on my dreams of becoming a physician.

I don't want to put down second tier Carib medical schools like Windsor. Windsor grads did match this year, don't get me wrong. But you have to be an exceptional person to succeed in a second tier medical school. Not only do you have to work harder than you would at SGU or Ross, you also have to work hard extra hard as a MS3 and MS4 student to receive excellent letters of rec. It can be done but it's so much easier to just go to a Big 4 school if you have to go to the Caribbean.

Also, like other posters said, don't look down upon DO like I did. If I had joined DO school in Fall 2009 (and I probably could have gotten into one), I would be a resident now and people would call me doctor.

Anyway, just my $0.02 based off my personal life experience.
 

re33t

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Hey Everyone!

Before I continue, I want to explain my handle. I've been lurking in SDN for years now. During that time, I've really respected Skip's advice. It's always been honest and to the point. In honor of Skip, I've named myself his junior. Skip, I hope you don't mind.

Now, many people have given the advice mentioned in the title of this thread. That being said, there is also this mentality that an IMG is an IMG and all Carib schools are placed in the same boat. All that matters is that one works hard and do well on the Step tests and any Carib school can provide you the tools for that.

I had the same mentality. That's why I joined Windsor Medical school in Cayon, St. Kitts in the Fall of 2009. I liked the low tuition and I suspect that's one of the main reasons people join low tier Carib schools even if they are accepted to the Big 4. I was accepted to SGU and Ross and chose Windsor because the tuition was ridiculously cheap. I had a 34 on my MCAT but a 2.8 GPA (3.1 if you include retakes). I didn't even bother applying to DO schools because I looked down and sneered at DOs. What a fool I was back then.

Anyway, my experience in the Caribbean was not good. See, you get what you pay for. Sure you pay through your nose for SGU, Ross, AUC etc but at least that ensures a decent administration and decent clinical rotations. It also ensures decent basic sciences faculty. I did not enjoy none of that. I worked hard, very hard but it was not enough. I didn't match in 2013 and didn't match this year as well. Now I manage a blood bank and I've given up on my dreams of becoming a physician.

I don't want to put down second tier Carib medical schools like Windsor. Windsor grads did match this year, don't get me wrong. But you have to be an exceptional person to succeed in a second tier medical school. Not only do you have to work harder than you would at SGU or Ross, you also have to work hard extra hard as a MS3 and MS4 student to receive excellent letters of rec. It can be done but it's so much easier to just go to a Big 4 school if you have to go to the Caribbean.

Also, like other posters said, don't look down upon DO like I did. If I had joined DO school in Fall 2009 (and I probably could have gotten into one), I would be a resident now and people would call me doctor.

Anyway, just my $0.02 based off my personal life experience.

May I ask what your Step 1 score was, or if you don't want to say, could you say what specialty you tried to match into?
 

SkipJunior

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my step 1 score was 221 and I tried to match EM
 

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FWIW, I never looked down on any D.O. or considered them "inferior" or whatever else you want to say. I have said in the past that I believe that much of the OMM portion of their training is neither rigorously evidence-based nor scientifically sound (especially those advocating craniosacral therapy), it is superfluous to most students undertaking it, and it will never be used by the vast majority of graduates in regular clinical practice who graduate from osteopathy programs. All of these things are true, and osteopathic programs know it. Why continue the ruse?

I also, personally, never would've chosen Windsor (or a handful of other Caribbean schools). The decision to go to one particular school over another is multifactorial and, yes, sometimes cost seems to play the primary role. There may be specific other reasons why you did not match or end-up in a residency training program, SkipJunior, that could be addressed. The farther you get away from graduation without entering a clinical training program the more likely you are to never practice medicine. If you are only a year or two out, I would try to get into a program somewhere in anything to get your medical license and ABMS certificate.

Long story short, your journey isn't complete when you are handed your medical school diploma. Far from it. SkipJunior's tale is a cautionary one to be sure.

-Skip
 

iBellai

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EM is a competitive specialty and a 221 isn't going to cut it coming from ANY Caribbean school let alone a lower tier one. Why didn't you apply to IM/ FP or something of that nature? Why not apply again but this time change your specialty...it's better than being a blood bank manager.
 

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"SkipJunior" What is troubling to me is your short sightedness in NOT applying to FM?? First you looked down on DO schools, than instead of paying extra$$s for a 1st tier Caribbean Med School you chose a 3rd or 4th tier one in Windsor. Than you decided you had a possibility of gaining EM residency with your Step scores?? You set yourself up for failure. Sorry to say you are the captain of your ship and looks like some poor choices were made. BTW have you tried looking into DO schools again you might obtain a second year slot??? Or Podiatry School??
 

SkipJunior

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"SkipJunior" What is troubling to me is your short sightedness in NOT applying to FM?? First you looked down on DO schools, than instead of paying extra$$s for a 1st tier Caribbean Med School you chose a 3rd or 4th tier one in Windsor. Than you decided you had a possibility of gaining EM residency with your Step scores?? You set yourself up for failure. Sorry to say you are the captain of your ship and looks like some poor choices were made. BTW have you tried looking into DO schools again you might obtain a second year slot??? Or Podiatry School??

I agree, I made several poor decisions. I will be participating in the 2015 match, mainly vying for prelim spots so I can apply for a GP license. If that doesn't work out, I will join LECOM's 3 year PCP program.
 

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I agree, I made several poor decisions. I will be participating in the 2015 match, mainly vying for prelim spots so I can apply for a GP license. If that doesn't work out, I will join LECOM's 3 year PCP program.
Then you'll be able to use Skipjunior MD legally lol.
 
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SkipJunior

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EM is a competitive specialty and a 221 isn't going to cut it coming from ANY Caribbean school let alone a lower tier one. Why didn't you apply to IM/ FP or something of that nature? Why not apply again but this time change your specialty...it's better than being a blood bank manager.

I will be applying next year for FM prelim spots
 
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NotAProgDirector

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Wait... Let's make sure we're all talking about the same thing here.

There are no prelim programs in FM that I am aware of. According to the NRMP data tables for 2014, there were:

FM 3 year spots = 3109, of which 55% went to non-USMG's
IM (Categorical) 3 year spots = 6524, of which 52% went to non-USMG's
IM (Prelim) 1 year spots = 1905, of which 23% went to non-USMG's
GS (Prelim) 1 year spots = 1286, of which 62% went to non-USMG's

So, you could apply to any combination of the above. As you can see, IM prelims are more competitive than you might think. Your best chances are in FM, IM, or GS prelim. FM is traditionally less competitive than IM, but there are twice as many IM spots so it's hard to say which is "easier". Prelim GS is mostly filled with IMG's. If you match in FM or Categorical IM, you should plan to complete all three years. You can then apply to EM after that -- there's a reasonable chance you won't get a spot, but at least you'll have a career. Prelim GS will get you one year of training but is a bridge to nowhere. The value of a GP license is much less than you think it is.
 
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SkipJunior

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Wait... Let's make sure we're all talking about the same thing here.

There are no prelim programs in FM that I am aware of. According to the NRMP data tables for 2014, there were:

FM 3 year spots = 3109, of which 55% went to non-USMG's
IM (Categorical) 3 year spots = 6524, of which 52% went to non-USMG's
IM (Prelim) 1 year spots = 1905, of which 23% went to non-USMG's
GS (Prelim) 1 year spots = 1286, of which 62% went to non-USMG's

So, you could apply to any combination of the above. As you can see, IM prelims are more competitive than you might think. Your best chances are in FM, IM, or GS prelim. FM is traditionally less competitive than IM, but there are twice as many IM spots so it's hard to say which is "easier". Prelim GS is mostly filled with IMG's. If you match in FM or Categorical IM, you should plan to complete all three years. You can then apply to EM after that -- there's a reasonable chance you won't get a spot, but at least you'll have a career. Prelim GS will get you one year of training but is a bridge to nowhere. The value of a GP license is much less than you think it is.

Thank you for the correction!
 
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