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I say 'intentionally' based on 2 online commentaries:

1. The ugly truth about Caribbean medical schools | Pamela Wible MD

2. Copy of replies from Tameer Siddiqui’s SGU blog

The second link was posted in the comments' section for the first link.

I'm applying this cycle and have considered SGU as a possibility. My understanding is that this school, like other Caribbean schools, is a last resort.

I was under the impression that while it has many flaws, if a student is determined and works hard - they can succeed. Is that not the case?
 
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DrStephenStrange

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Well, do you think they could easily accommodate all 1600+ students that they admit every year with rotation spots in the US? Short answer is "NO". Hence, they have to find a way to cut some of them out one way or another. That's why they only graduate ~950 every year.
 
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Small Cell Carcinoma

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Everyone who goes there thinks they will be the ones to excel. However, there are a lot of factors at play and a lot of it comes down to how well you are able to adapt to life there and stay disciplined with your studying. And even then, hard working students still manage to fail out. So it's hard to know who will be in that group.

One more thing to keep in mind, while the school (SGU) may fail less students out than others, it does do a lot of shady things to hold students back or to otherwise prevent them from taking the Step 1 if there is any reasonable chance that they may not pass. While a student at a stateside school would receive individualized attention to strengthen any academic deficits, Caribbean schools take your money and hang you out to dry if they feel you could be a threat to their marketing "statistics" (i.e. % who pass step 1). Their actions are very self-serving and never put any of the student's best interests in mind. Think about if you want to subject yourself to that. If I could go back I would have definitely spent a year or two to improve my application or go into a different field altogether.
 
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arafatni

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I say 'intentionally' based on 2 online commentaries:

1. The ugly truth about Caribbean medical schools | Pamela Wible MD

2. Copy of replies from Tameer Siddiqui’s SGU blog

The second link was posted in the comments' section for the first link.

I'm applying this cycle and have considered SGU as a possibility. My understanding is that this school, like other Caribbean schools, is a last resort.

I was under the impression that while it has many flaws, if a student is determined and works hard - they can succeed. Is that not the case?

i have to agree. The Caribbean are for Profit. so yea you have pretty high chance of failure like as high as 60%. That being said people who tend to succeed ( the 40%) are not well put together student then they would have gotten into US med schools. These people were either were lazy in undergrad, or poor MCAT test takers( I disagree with whoever says this test correlates well USMLE ,MCAT is pure reading comprehension test and has nothing to do with USMLE board exams that you take in medical school), or they did not study smart, or out of school for along time. the 60 % that fail is because they carry their bad study habit on college or simply keep partying or few are genuinely not smart enough . Especially if you in category that bombed MCAT but got high GPA in undergrad , i def assure you will succeed in Caribbean, and you even will get above average test scores. As you can figure out which group you belong and cover your deficiencies accordingly , then you be fine . that being said , try US schools and use Caribbean as a back up. getting into US school is much easier now a days with so many DO and MD schools are opening up . I read in an article about only 40% f applicants dont get into med school now a days.
 
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fullmetal

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I wouldn’t say they “force” people out. It’s a highly competitive environment. They take in more students than they intend to graduate and make the tests very challenging so that only a certain percentage of students will pass them.

Even if you are very committed, it will still be immensely challenging unless you are naturally gifted at learning and retaining knowledge.

Also keep in mind that a single bad USMLE score can make or break your residency application. And those tests are taken on a single day! What if you get sick or have an anxiety attack the day of? You only get one shot. You will have a slim chance of matching if you fail any of them. It will be an uphill battle to get into a non-primary care field.

The ideal person who goes there would be one who messed up their GPA so bad they don’t feel they can recover or someone who has applied multiple times to Canadian/U.S. schools and hasn’t been successful. The worst idea is to do it because you took the MCAT once or twice and you didn’t score high enough but the rest of your application is fairly solid — just take the MCAT again because it’s a far cheaper investment in both time and money.

Speaking of money, Caribbean schools are super expensive. I wouldn’t consider it unless you have at least some significant partial financial family support or you have some money saved or you plan on working your ass off (60+ hour weeks in the boonies) when you graduate.

On a positive note, Grenada is an amazing place to live and it is an incredible journey. But there are big costs and big risks associated with it.
 
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shouldigomd

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I don't know what you mean by "super expensive..." Are SGU / Ross overpriced? Absolutely .... but there are many US schools that are more expensive.

I went to SGU and in no way do they attempt to fail you. Quite the opposite. They have many resources in place to help struggling students. The tests are fair and when I was there they would curve questions that too many people missed.

Like Arafatni mentioned above... Many people fail which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone with a shred of common sense. If you invite a thousand students who arguably "shouldn't" be in med school.... many will fail and most do so early on. If you have average intelligence and work hard you will be just fine. Those who fail are generally the ones who party, drugs, intellectual issues / autistic spectrum, focus on enjoying the island more than school, maintain same habits in college, etc etc.
 
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Goro

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i have to agree. The Caribbean are for Profit. so yea you have pretty high chance of failure like as high as 60%. That being said people who tend to succeed ( the 40%) are not well put together student then they would have gotten into US med schools. These people were either were lazy in undergrad, or poor MCAT test takers( I disagree with whoever says this test correlates well USMLE ,MCAT is pure reading comprehension test and has nothing to do with USMLE board exams that you take in medical school), or they did not study smart, or out of school for along time. the 60 % that fail is because they carry their bad study habit on college or simply keep partying or few are genuinely not smart enough . Especially if you in category that bombed MCAT but got high GPA in undergrad , i def assure you will succeed in Caribbean, and you even will get above average test scores. As you can figure out which group you belong and cover your deficiencies accordingly , then you be fine . that being said , try US schools and use Caribbean as a back up. getting into US school is much easier now a days with so many DO and MD schools are opening up . I read in an article about only 40% f applicants dont get into med school now a days.
It's more like 60%.

Doing poorly on the MCAT (< 500) is a predictor for doing poorly in med school
 

arafatni

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It's more like 60%.

Doing poorly on the MCAT (< 500) is a predictor for doing poorly in med school
I have to disagree . I got 20 on mcat and now i am in residency. The score is based on old
Mcat the one i took. But 20 was way below avg with avg of 28 my time.
 
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fullmetal

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MCAT doesn’t predict ****. I did below average on mine, twice, but I killed step 1.

MCAT, medical school exams, shelf exams, USMLEs, board exams are all just bull**** hoops you have to jump through because 1) people like to take your loan money and 2) there has to be an objective way to sort people into different specialties.

If you do poorly on the MCAT, most likely it’s not that you aren’t “smart enough”. It’s because you haven’t been given the tools or guidance for how to do well.
 
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Priti Dave

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I say 'intentionally' based on 2 online commentaries:

1. The ugly truth about Caribbean medical schools | Pamela Wible MD

2. Copy of replies from Tameer Siddiqui’s SGU blog

The second link was posted in the comments' section for the first link.

I'm applying this cycle and have considered SGU as a possibility. My understanding is that this school, like other Caribbean schools, is a last resort.

I was under the impression that while it has many flaws, if a student is determined and works hard - they can succeed. Is that not the case?

SGU is very very hard because they give you too much material and classes are mandatory . You have deal with weather and from where to find food .Lots of student leave it in 1st week . If you work crazy hard and get all the food from home and stay out side campus in proper apartment you will be fine . But anyone who want to join there should visit there first . You are always scared after every exam they will keep or they will say goodbye to you .
 
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In the past, you always have a chance at these schools if you stay ahead of the curriculum by watching videos at 2x speed, eat and sleep very little, and do 30 usmle board style questions along with flash cards every single day, 7 days a week from your 1st day on the island. It's just that 90% of students don't do that because they feel that "they don't learn that way" and people just don't like studying 15 hours a day at the expense of sleep. You live in the most beautiful place on earth, there will be temptations to kick back.

I'm curious as to why students are choosing to go there now that step 1 will be pass/fail. I would feel like you have no proof that they will be able to match their students under the new paradigm, but I might be wrong with step 2 ck still scored. It seems like a very big, unnecessary risk, however.
 

mark v

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SGU is very very hard because they give you too much material and classes are mandatory . You have deal with weather and from where to find food .Lots of student leave it in 1st week . If you work crazy hard and get all the food from home and stay out side campus in proper apartment you will be fine . But anyone who want to join there should visit there first . You are always scared after every exam they will keep or they will say goodbye to you .


The weather is absolutely gorgeous, living conditions on campus were far from terrible, and the food was tolerable. Learning to adapt to situations is a trait that will serve you well. I do recommend that people visit before they go.
 
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cubsfan95

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In the past, you always have a chance at these schools if you stay ahead of the curriculum by watching videos at 2x speed, eat and sleep very little, and do 30 usmle board style questions along with flash cards every single day, 7 days a week from your 1st day on the island. It's just that 90% of students don't do that because they feel that "they don't learn that way" and people just don't like studying 15 hours a day at the expense of sleep. You live in the most beautiful place on earth, there will be temptations to kick back.

I'm curious as to why students are choosing to go there now that step 1 will be pass/fail. I would feel like you have no proof that they will be able to match their students under the new paradigm, but I might be wrong with step 2 ck still scored. It seems like a very big, unnecessary risk, however.

I don't think anybody really knows what will happen when step 1 is pass/fail so none of us should be speculating on that. These schools are pretty big operations that work with the USDOE so if they haven't come out and said anything up front then my guess is this is not going to be a really big issue for some of the more established schools.

Did you go to a Caribbean school?
 
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I see what you're saying, that's a good point, but if you're thinking of going to a Caribbean school, you might have to speculate on that, because it may affect your life. I do go to a caribbean school and I'm happy with the decision. But I would not have went there to take a pass/fail step one. A residency director decides whether they want a student working at their hospital; the school or department of education cannot control what criteria they deem important. If I were a residency director and step 1 was pass/fail, I would choose any MD, DO, or foreign IMG (with hospital experience) over a Caribbean grad. That does not seem like a difficult decision. What would be the advantage in choosing the Caribbean grad over any of those?

Now it would be a completely different situation 6 years from now, once the schools have proved that they can match at the rate they have been (atleast 50%) under the new paradigm. It might be smart to wait and see instead of guessing and throwing $250,000 at a guess. It seems like there are a few program directors on sdn, I wonder if there would be a way to look up their opinion on the situation, that would be really useful. Your future is in their hands.

But even with all that said, I really should stress that you might be right and there might be absolutely nothing to worry about.
 
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cubsfan95

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I see what you're saying, that's a good point, but if you're thinking of going to a Caribbean school, you might have to speculate on that, because it may affect your life. I do go to a caribbean school and I'm happy with the decision. But I would not have went there to take a pass/fail step one. A residency director decides whether they want a student working at their hospital; the school or department of education cannot control what criteria they deem important. If I were a residency director and step 1 was pass/fail, I would choose any MD, DO, or foreign IMG (with hospital experience) over a Caribbean grad. That does not seem like a difficult decision. What would be the advantage in choosing the Caribbean grad over any of those?

Now it would be a completely different situation 6 years from now, once the schools have proved that they can match at the rate they have been (atleast 50%) under the new paradigm. It might be smart to wait and see instead of guessing and throwing $250,000 at a guess. It seems like there are a few program directors on sdn, I wonder if there would be a way to look up their opinion on the situation, that would be really useful. Your future is in their hands.

But even with all that said, I really should stress that you might be right and there might be absolutely nothing to worry about.


With step 1 becoming pass/fail now I think people should only look at the established programs that already have solid clinical agreements for years 3 and 4. I think with smaller schools, you really have to separate yourself from the others with a high step 1 score just to compete with IMG's from SGU and Ross who match well.

To understand this issue, you really have to understand which students are applying where and to what specialties and how many spots are available. There are tons of rural primary care spots that US grads don't apply to and these are usually picked up by IMG's. Some of these positions only look at SGU grads. There is an IM program near me that has 10 spots and all of them are SGU students.
 
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shouldigomd

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There will always be a method of standardization. There is already too much emphasis on the place you train vs the quality of applicant. Making STEP 1 pass/fail will only shift the focus somewhere else. Time will tell where that focus in shifted. Regardless it is a good move as STEP 1 really has little clinical relevance and had no place being the most pivotal part of a residency application.

I both agree and hope this places more emphasis on the clinical years in med school and STEP 2. The medical education system is so outdated and needs to change.
 

Emmet2301

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There will always be a method of standardization. There is already too much emphasis on the place you train vs the quality of applicant. Making STEP 1 pass/fail will only shift the focus somewhere else. Time will tell where that focus in shifted. Regardless it is a good move as STEP 1 really has little clinical relevance and had no place being the most pivotal part of a residency application.

I both agree and hope this places more emphasis on the clinical years in med school and STEP 2. The medical education system is so outdated and needs to change.

What do you think residency programs will look at if Step 1 goes P/F? General interest? Research? Grades? Volunteer work?
 

shouldigomd

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What do you think residency programs will look at if Step 1 goes P/F? General interest? Research? Grades? Volunteer work?

Hard to say but hopefully this shakes up things a bit. I would say STEP 2 and shelf exams will play a larger role.
 
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I think it’s fine. Study hard, and focus on the grind. You will be fine.
That’s a lot of confidence in a situation with low odds already that is about to lose the major objective measure of equality between candidates
 
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El-Rami

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At the end of your 2nd year, you have to take an NBME exam before you can take USMLE Step 1. SGU and other Caribbean schools do this in order to see if you are able to score well on Step 1. If you score low, even if it's passing, then you aren't allowed to take Step 1 because it will affect their stats. You are effectively kicked out.

Many freshman students to SGU and other Caribbean schools are very low-quality students. Many will fail out because they cannot handle medical school, or they cannot adapt to life on the island. People have to keep their thermostats low or else mold will grow in their apartments (highly humid environment). People catch tropical diseases. Drinking the local water will give you dysentery, so you will drink bottled water. Food that you are accustomed to in the states aren't available because it's too expensive to import on the island. SGU students are on Grenada, which is really close to Venezuela. We all know the political situation there and how volatile international politics (i.e., war) is at the moment in regards to Venezuela.

If you're a higher caliber student but screwed around too much in college, then you will most likely do well over there. You can't screw around there because there's simply nothing to do but study. People at the Carib schools use Sketchy/First Aid/Pathoma/Boards and Beyond/UWorld to study in their classes and for Step 1. It's very similar, but you have to perform a lot better than your US counterparts in order to match...in primary care.
 
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Chris P. Bacon

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At the end of your 2nd year, you have to take an NBME exam before you can take USMLE Step 1. SGU and other Caribbean schools do this in order to see if you are able to score well on Step 1. If you score low, even if it's passing, then you aren't allowed to take Step 1 because it will affect their stats. You are effectively kicked out.

Many freshman students to SGU and other Caribbean schools are very low-quality students. Many will fail out because they cannot handle medical school, or they cannot adapt to life on the island. People have to keep their thermostats low or else mold will grow in their apartments (highly humid environment). People catch tropical diseases. Drinking the local water will give you dysentery, so you will drink bottled water. Food that you are accustomed to in the states aren't available because it's too expensive to import on the island. SGU students are on Grenada, which is really close to Venezuela. We all know the political situation there and how volatile international politics (i.e., war) is at the moment in regards to Venezuela.

If you're a higher caliber student but screwed around too much in college, then you will most likely do well over there. You can't screw around there because there's simply nothing to do but study. People at the Carib schools use Sketchy/First Aid/Pathoma/Boards and Beyond/UWorld to study in their classes and for Step 1. It's very similar, but you have to perform a lot better than your US counterparts in order to match...in primary care.


There is so much wrong with this post that I cannot believe it was allowed to be posted.
 
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Not to derail the thread, but I'm trying to figure out when my step 1 exam will be. I filled out all the electronic paperwork with ecfmg, paid the $1000 or whatever it was and they sent electronic paperwork to my caribbean school for them to fill out. We don't know when the cbse will be, but how long after the cbse are you actually able to sit in the prometric exam room and take the step 1 exam for st. George students? I'm assuming it's probably a similar turn around for us. Also, did St. George just skip their cbse for the class that finished basic science in May, or are they still waiting too? Thanks for the help.
 
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Gambino.

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There is so much wrong with this post that I cannot believe it was allowed to be posted.
Technically the 1st and 3rd paragraphs make some sense. Can't comment on Grenada's living conditions but Barbados' is nothing like that and from friends that went to SGU Grenada isn't like what he mentioned either lol. People drink brita filtered tap water, keep their A/C on, and have yet to here of anyone developing a "tropical disease."
 

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Technically the 1st and 3rd paragraphs make some sense. Can't comment on Grenada's living conditions but Barbados' is nothing like that and from friends that went to SGU Grenada isn't like what he mentioned either lol. People drink brita filtered tap water, keep their A/C on, and have yet to here of anyone developing a "tropical disease."

Are you at Ross?

What exam do you take before STEP1? Is it NBME or school administered?
 

Gambino.

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Are you at Ross?

What exam do you take before STEP1? Is it NBME or school administered?
Ross eliminated the mandatory NBME CBSE before step 1. You still have to take it but you aren't required to pass it to sit for step and they eliminated the requirement entirely due to COVID for the foreseeable future.
 

Chris P. Bacon

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Ross eliminated the mandatory NBME CBSE before step 1. You still have to take it but you aren't required to pass it to sit for step and they eliminated the requirement entirely due to COVID for the foreseeable future.

What about CCSE before STEP2? Do you have to take that?
 

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What about CCSE before STEP2? Do you have to take that?
They are doing remote administration of the CCSE with a minimum passing score of 211. That's what the most recent email said, I'm not too sure of specifics as I'm still in pre-clinicals and don't care about step 2 until after I'd be done with step 1. If the CCSE is similar in scope to CS than a 211 is a joke of a score anyone at that point in their schooling should be able to pass, especially when the national average is in the 240s for the real deal.

edit: you also have 3 attempts to pass it so no excuse to not be able to
 

Chris P. Bacon

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They are doing remote administration of the CCSE with a minimum passing score of 211. That's what the most recent email said, I'm not too sure of specifics as I'm still in pre-clinicals and don't care about step 2 until after I'd be done with step 1. If the CCSE is similar in scope to CS than a 211 is a joke of a score anyone at that point in their schooling should be able to pass, especially when the national average is in the 240s for the real deal.

edit: you also have 3 attempts to pass it so no excuse to not be able to

I would think Ross wouldn't use the CCSE because SGU does not administer it but each school in the Carib does things differently apparently.

Any particular reason you chose Ross over SGU?
 

Gambino.

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I would think Ross wouldn't use the CCSE because SGU does not administer it but each school in the Carib does things differently apparently.

Any particular reason you chose Ross over SGU?
1) At the time I was applying SGU had mandatory lectures and that is a big no no for me. I prefer watching them on Panopto.
2) Barbados seemed like a better place to live compared to Grenada.
3) Ross worked out to be cheaper.
4) Ross has big class sizes as well but SGU is just stupidly big imo. Referencing back to point 1; I have heard of their just being no space in classes for people.
5) The big 3 have similar match outcomes so match possibility wasn't a factor.
6) Housing at Ross is new compared to the old apartments SGU offered at the time I was deliberating schools.
7) Not required to pass that stupid comp exam prior to sitting for step 1.
8) Unsure if SGU has/had a similar practice but Ross used to have MPELS which would mean you'd have to not only pass overall but you'd also have to pass each section/topic that you were tested on in order to be promoted to the next semester. Ross did away with this idiotic thing idk if SGU has it though but more of a general benefit of Ross.

Personally I think AUC is the most forgiving of the 3 schools, though their match list is lacking in variety compared to SGU and Ross.
 

El-Rami

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It would be interesting to hear a refutation because I do in fact know people who went to SGU (and are still students) who told me about students catching tropical diseases and the fact that they have to keep their A/C turned down really low to inhibit mold growth in their apartments.

If I made an error in what I described about student life in the Caribbean, then I apologize. However, I am basing my statements off of what current students have told me, in person.

The impression I got from the SGU students is that, culturally, students behave like they are in high school still. There's a lot of immature behavior that you wouldn't find in the US medical schools. There was a student at SGU who was blackballed from residency programs because he posted anti-Semitic comments on social media, from what I've heard. Another student is being blackballed because he was caught sharing pirated copies of study resources, an offense that likely wouldn't even get a slap on the wrist at US schools (the admins have more important stuff to care about).

I also know there's a culture among some Caribbean students to prevent any negative info about their schools getting out to the public. The fact that you are so defensive about your school's reputation is proof of how caustic your student culture is.
 
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Ryomagoku

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The impression I got from the SGU students is that, culturally, students behave like they are in high school still. There's a lot of immature behavior that you wouldn't find in the US medical schools. There was a student at SGU who was blackballed from residency programs because he posted anti-Semitic comments on social media, from what I've heard. Another student is being blackballed because he was caught sharing pirated copies of study resources, an offense that likely wouldn't even get a slap on the wrist at US schools (the admins have more important stuff to care about).

This comment here can bring many people to refute your opinion on the SGU students. Just remember, some students are right out of high school at SGU as the school has 7-year program so that could be a factor(?). Just n=1 opinion, but I think you could say "behave like they are in high school" attitude can be seen in other schools, not just at SGU.

Yes, caribbean schools should only be considered as your last of the last resort, but, again, these are the things you heard so it may or may not be true. There is no need to argue who is right or wrong :)
 
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Will you refute any of the claims he/she made?

I don't recommend the Caribbean but you also cannot bunch those schools together either. I know plenty of people who graduated from SGU so in my book it is a plan B or C should anyone need to use it. The other Caribbean programs are straight up scams.

I can tell you that SGU does not have a "weed out" pre-STEP1 exam. That alone sets SGU apart from the other schools.

I thought about SGU but then I got my acceptance stateside.

Again, anybody considering SGU or any of those schools should seek out a graduate and get their opinion. My guess is that you won't find many graduates from the lesser schools.
 

DrStephenStrange

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I don't recommend the Caribbean but you also cannot bunch those schools together either. I know plenty of people who graduated from SGU so in my book it is a plan B or C should anyone need to use it. The other Caribbean programs are straight up scams.

I can tell you that SGU does not have a "weed out" pre-STEP1 exam. That alone sets SGU apart from the other schools.

I thought about SGU but then I got my acceptance stateside.

Again, anybody considering SGU or any of those schools should seek out a graduate and get their opinion. My guess is that you won't find many graduates from the lesser schools.
Let's not single out SGU, all Caribbean medical schools are straight up scams. Many people know plenty of grads from SGU (or any other top 5 Carrib schools for that matter), and that's not surprising when they admit ~1600 into MS1 and put ~900 into residency every year.
 
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Emmet2301

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Let's not single out SGU, all Caribbean medical schools are straight up scams. Many people know plenty of grads from SGU (or any other top 5 Carrib schools for that matter), and that's not surprising when they admit ~1600 into MS1 and put ~900 into residency every year.

Slight off topic, but aren't most US med schools like 1-2 buildings while SGU is literally like an undergrad campus?
 

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I can tell you that SGU does not have a "weed out" pre-STEP1 exam. That alone sets SGU apart from the other schools.

It's not that they "weed" people out. They do admit people that are statistically likely to not pass medical school classes, doubly so when carib schools are much less forgiving when it comes to remediations. Big 3 are fair in the sense that technically everyone can pass but they know that 25-40% will not. The schools have it down to a science, they know what percent will pass and which percent will fail so they don't have to artificially weed people out when students fail out on their own.
 

FutureDoctor5000

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Slight off topic, but aren't most US med schools like 1-2 buildings while SGU is literally like an undergrad campus?
Hahaha what....are you seriously insinuating that US Med schools are inferior because they have 1-2 buildings what about the fact that most MD schools and even some state DO schools(osu, MSU) and heck even others like PCOM have their own hospitals/research labs/extensive hospital networks and truly world renowned faculty but are worse than SGU because sgu has a small undergrad size campus on a third world island country, which btw it has because it admits upwards of 1600 people in its class, which is unthinkable for any medical school in the US, because you know they actually care about thier students and have standards? Or are you justifying SGU’s class size because of its “large” campus, point is US medical schools can have such large campuses too but they don’t need to because they have much much smaller class sizes because they want to/ are regulated to deliver a substantially better education to their students than a Carib school like SGU???
 
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mwsapphire

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I have nothing else to contribute other than my old friend from college is going to SGU, she started in 2019, and this thread made me sad.

She graduated college in 2018, took 1 gap year but other than that didn't have many EC's, had decent grades and a 506 MCAT ( read: could have snagged DO) but she had weak EC's. Instead fo reapplying she's going to SGU. I just got into DO school and thinking about her being at a carib mill makes me so sad....
 
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TikiTorches

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I wouldn’t say they “force” people out. It’s a highly competitive environment. They take in more students than they intend to graduate and make the tests very challenging so that only a certain percentage of students will pass them.

Even if you are very committed, it will still be immensely challenging unless you are naturally gifted at learning and retaining knowledge.

Also keep in mind that a single bad USMLE score can make or break your residency application. And those tests are taken on a single day! What if you get sick or have an anxiety attack the day of? You only get one shot. You will have a slim chance of matching if you fail any of them. It will be an uphill battle to get into a non-primary care field.

The ideal person who goes there would be one who messed up their GPA so bad they don’t feel they can recover or someone who has applied multiple times to Canadian/U.S. schools and hasn’t been successful. The worst idea is to do it because you took the MCAT once or twice and you didn’t score high enough but the rest of your application is fairly solid — just take the MCAT again because it’s a far cheaper investment in both time and money.

Speaking of money, Caribbean schools are super expensive. I wouldn’t consider it unless you have at least some significant partial financial family support or you have some money saved or you plan on working your ass off (60+ hour weeks in the boonies) when you graduate.

On a positive note, Grenada is an amazing place to live and it is an incredible journey. But there are big costs and big risks associated with it.
The USMLE is the same for everyone who takes it. Fmg, img, amg, etc
 

El-Rami

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I wouldn't call the Caribbean schools "scams," but it is a huge risk that people are taking in going there. I've known third-year SGU students personally, and I can 100% say that their level of knowledge is consistent with a US counterpart. I've known a couple of SGU students that were extremely smart (as in they could get 260 on Step 1). At that level of performance on practice exams, they were basically a living encyclopedia and could flip to a random page in FA and tell you exactly (not an exaggeration) what was on that page.

The schools have to weed people out. Someone earlier mentioned that they heard that it was impossible for a large number of students to find a seat in the lecture hall, which is 100% true. I've heard this from SGU students myself. However, it is important to keep in mind that the majority of learning during the first two years will be from third-party study resources (FA/Pathoma/UWorld/Boards and Beyond/Firecracker/Sketchy). The quality of lectures will vary greatly. You will have some really crappy lecturers with even worse Powerpoints. This is true for any school, either in the US or in the Caribbean. Your studying will come from the third-party resources primarily, as is true with ALL medical students. So you aren't on an unlevel playing field in this regard.

The schools realize that they are accepting underqualified students into their freshman class; many of these students will fail out because they can't handle med school. Others will leave early on due to culture shock/inability to adjust to life on the island. I've already said before that many of the things that we Americans take for granted will be sorely missed. I know a guy that was happy to come back to the US so he could get access to Kitkats again (at least not buy them for an exorbitant price on the island, assuming that he could even get them there).

To be successful in the Caribbean, you must score higher than US counterparts on your Step exams. Obviously this will change now because of P/F Step 1, but the numbers I heard from SGU students (in terms of what it takes to be competitive) was basically "take the median Step 1 score for the specialty you want, add 15."

Before you take advice from a pre-med advisor to attend the Caribbean, keep in mind that pre-med advisors are given free vacations by the schools (at least with Ross and SGU) to their respective islands. They get to stay at luxury hotels and drink free liquor. This is why pre-med advisors/pre-med clubs at universities heavily advertise Caribbean schools. They are basically paid by the Caribbean schools to do so.

"You are more than just a number."
 
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Gambino.

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Before you take advice from a pre-med advisor to attend the Caribbean, keep in mind that pre-med advisors are given free vacations by the schools (at least with Ross and SGU) to their respective islands. They get to stay at luxury hotels and drink free liquor. This is why pre-med advisors/pre-med clubs at universities heavily advertise Caribbean schools. They are basically paid by the Caribbean schools to do so.

Just quote Dr Jabbal dood
 
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Emmet2301

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I have nothing else to contribute other than my old friend from college is going to SGU, she started in 2019, and this thread made me sad.

She graduated college in 2018, took 1 gap year but other than that didn't have many EC's, had decent grades and a 506 MCAT ( read: could have snagged DO) but she had weak EC's. Instead fo reapplying she's going to SGU. I just got into DO school and thinking about her being at a carib mill makes me so sad....

She might have to worker harder than US grads, but I think she'll make it. I know a few SGU grads and they're doing fine.
 

Emmet2301

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Hahaha what....are you seriously insinuating that US Med schools are inferior because they have 1-2 buildings what about the fact that most MD schools and even some state DO schools(osu, MSU) and heck even others like PCOM have their own hospitals/research labs/extensive hospital networks and truly world renowned faculty but are worse than SGU because sgu has a small undergrad size campus on a third world island country, which btw it has because it admits upwards of 1600 people in its class, which is unthinkable for any medical school in the US, because you know they actually care about thier students and have standards? Or are you justifying SGU’s class size because of its “large” campus, point is US medical schools can have such large campuses too but they don’t need to because they have much much smaller class sizes because they want to/ are regulated to deliver a substantially better education to their students than a Carib school like SGU???

I think this answered my question. I just found SGU's class and campus size huge as compared to a normal US school. Just a little weird imho
 

Chris P. Bacon

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Let's not single out SGU, all Caribbean medical schools are straight up scams. Many people know plenty of grads from SGU (or any other top 5 Carrib schools for that matter), and that's not surprising when they admit ~1600 into MS1 and put ~900 into residency every year.

It's more involved than that man. Those schools are not all the same. I'm on the East Coast and SGU has a very large presence here and some of these programs are for SGU students and the faculty are SGU grads so that tells you a lot.

SGU is a legitimate plan B or C for a student that simply cannot matriculate into a US program AND has respectable stats. That's the key. That person can get a primary care spot and become a doctor and call it a day.

I would not recommend any other school besides that and I would definitely call them scams. There is no "top 5" Caribbean schools lol. That's just marketing.
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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I think this answered my question. I just found SGU's class and campus size huge as compared to a normal US school. Just a little weird imho
This is the case at any carribean school for the most part, us schools can’t take in that many students due to standards.
 
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It's more involved than that man. Those schools are not all the same. I'm on the East Coast and SGU has a very large presence here and some of these programs are for SGU students and the faculty are SGU grads so that tells you a lot.

SGU is a legitimate plan B or C for a student that simply cannot matriculate into a US program AND has respectable stats. That's the key. That person can get a primary care spot and become a doctor and call it a day.

I would not recommend any other school besides that and I would definitely call them scams. There is no "top 5" Caribbean schools lol. That's just marketing.
What's your MO here? You set up a fresh SDN profile and went straight for the Caribbean section as someone who graduated from an American medical school. You then go on to say that every Caribbean school except SGU is a scam. That seems really odd. No SDN profile while you're looking into med school and in med school, then, bam. You're schilling SGU in the Caribbean forum. For what purpose?
 
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I wouldn't call the Caribbean schools "scams," but it is a huge risk that people are taking in going there. ...

The schools have to weed people out. Someone earlier mentioned that they heard that it was impossible for a large number of students to find a seat in the lecture hall, which is 100% true. ...

The schools realize that they are accepting underqualified students into their freshman class; many of these students will fail out because they can't handle med school. Others will leave early on due to culture shock/inability to adjust to life on the island. I've already said before that many of the things that we Americans take for granted will be sorely missed. ...

Before you take advice from a pre-med advisor to attend the Caribbean, keep in mind that pre-med advisors are given free vacations by the schools (at least with Ross and SGU) to their respective islands. They get to stay at luxury hotels and drink free liquor. This is why pre-med advisors/pre-med clubs at universities heavily advertise Caribbean schools. They are basically paid by the Caribbean schools to do so. ...
This really depends on how you define "scam." Yes, it is possible for someone to attend these schools, teach themselves medicine, and, if they are very lucky, get a job somewhere in the US practicing medicine.

So does that mean preying on the hopes and dreams of unqualified or under qualified candidates, and then employing a business model that involves "weeding out" people after they have enrolled, not providing basic resources, like a seat in class, or whatever assistance is necessary for most, if not all, students to succeed, is not a scam? Does that mean employing sales and recruiting tactics more similar to time share sales than higher education recruiting is not scammy? I don't think so! The "weeding out" is supposed to occur BEFORE someone is accepted and pays their money, not after!!!
 

El-Rami

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You're right. It is largely an argument based on semantics, I suppose. However, they advertise a product that you can purchase, and they aren't wrong that you can go there, graduate, and become a practicing physician in the United States. Do they misrepresent their data? Absolutely. Do they actually care about the wellbeing of their students? Probably not. In fact, I have heard that mental health services are inadequate at SGU and other Caribbean schools. It's really about making money off students, which is what keeps their island's economy going.

It's ironic that "You are more than just a number" is the slogan I've seen on an advertisement for a Caribbean school (I believe it was AUC). It's meant to imply that you are more than just your MCAT and GPA (a true statement), but the schools themselves see you as a number (money).
 
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You're right. It is largely an argument based on semantics, I suppose. However, they advertise a product that you can purchase, and they aren't wrong that you can go there, graduate, and become a practicing physician in the United States. Do they misrepresent their data? Absolutely. Do they actually care about the wellbeing of their students? Probably not. In fact, I have heard that mental health services are inadequate at SGU and other Caribbean schools. It's really about making money off students, which is what keeps their island's economy going.

It's ironic that "You are more than just a number" is the slogan I've seen on an advertisement for a Caribbean school (I believe it was AUC). It's meant to imply that you are more than just your MCAT and GPA (a true statement), but the schools themselves see you as a number (money).
Yup! SDN generally considers them scams because they misrepresent their numbers, take people's money without regard to their likelihood of success, and leave a lot of people high and dry with a lot of debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and cannot be serviced without a prospect of ever receiving a license to practice medicine.

On the other hand, there definitely is something to be said for caveat emptor, and they do produce some success stories, so there is clearly a market. The "scam" comes in because the market would very likely be smaller if they were honest, transparent and less aggressive in their marketing.

The definition of "scam" is "to deceive and defraud (someone)," so how is it merely semantics rather than a textbook definition of "scam" when their business model consists of obfuscating the lack of support and likelihood of success, by publishing intentionally misleading statistics, in order to attract paying customers? While I'm sure they legally protect themselves with whatever enrollment agreements they have students sign, in my mind, every matriculant who is not ultimately offered the opportunity to be placed into a residency and is not offered a full refund has been "scammed" by these schools. If they were required to offer refunds, their admission standards would be comparable to US DO schools rather than the open enrollment system they use, and they'd look a lot more like legitimate schools than scams.
 

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