El-Rami

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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.

Isn't this true of US schools as well, though? You are never guaranteed anything. People always say that US medical schools don't weed people post-acceptance, but this isn't correct. They still weed people out, and the quality of career advice and support services varies. When someone has to withdraw due to something like a medical emergency (where taking a LOA is not possible, under very specific circumstances), for example, schools are often unforgiving and many will not take the student back. So has the student in this situation been scammed?

All schools have attrition rates (higher than most people would guess actually), and it is very seldom the case that a student accepted into a US program didn't have the intellect/academic ability to succeed. This is a topic that is almost never discussed on SDN, and when it does get brought up, everyone makes assumptions about the person in this situation.

The single greatest myth of SDN is that US medical schools are nigh-impossible to get dismissed from. It's actually very easy, under the right circumstances. Circumstances that could happen to literally any student and lead to the same/similar outcome. Once you graduate from medical school and obtain a residency, count your lucky stars because there is someone just as intelligent and hard-working as you who wasn't so lucky.
 
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Gambino.

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Nov 26, 2019
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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.

So SGU and all the others are 100% predatory, there's no denying that. Using the word scam colloquially I guess is correct but if you are talking semantics than technically they aren't a "scam." The numbers they put out aren't technically fake but they aren't really accurate either. The match rate for instance they often quote is somewhere in the low 90s but that doesn't count any of the people that never made it to match day and it also includes SOAP, Canadian placements, and non-match placements. Similarly, the Step 1 score they advertise is the average for passing scores so anything below the cutoff isn't factored in. and they word it in a way that does illustrate that without it being obvious. They obviously do it to make themselves look good but the American-traded companies such as Adtalem (Ross/AUC) are careful about lies so that they won't get sued.

By this account aren't most low/mid-tier universities in the states "scams" as well? I went to a public state school well regarded in STEM but even they had a 33% 4-year grad rate and only a ~60% 6-year grad rate. Isn't this a scam? Almost half of people that start don't get a degree that they were promised.

They're obviously different but do share some similarities. Anyways, I was just bored so there's no real reason to me typing this but why not get in on the discussion lol.
 

DrStephenStrange

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Isn't this true of US schools as well, though? You are never guaranteed anything. People always say that US medical schools don't weed people post-acceptance, but this isn't correct. They still weed people out, and the quality of career advice and support services varies. When someone has to withdraw due to something like a medical emergency (where taking a LOA is not possible, under very specific circumstances), for example, schools are often unforgiving and many will not take the student back. So has the student in this situation been scammed?

All schools have attrition rates (higher than most people would guess actually), and it is very seldom the case that a student accepted into a US program didn't have the intellect/academic ability to succeed. This is a topic that is almost never discussed on SDN, and when it does get brought up, everyone makes assumptions about the person in this situation.

The single greatest myth of SDN is that US medical schools are nigh-impossible to get dismissed from. It's actually very easy, under the right circumstances. Circumstances that could happen to literally any student and lead to the same/similar outcome. Once you graduate from medical school and obtain a residency, count your lucky stars because there is someone just as intelligent and hard-working as you who wasn't so lucky.
At US medical schools you are given every chance to make it. I know students that have remediated every single semester so far in medical school in my class. The 4 year graduation rate for all US medical schools is over 80%, and the 6 year graduation rate is over 95%. Those are numbers you should expect from institutions drawing over 300K in tax payer money from every SINGLE students. Especially one with a starting class of 1600+ people. Honestly, I'm very surprised they are still allowed to pull from U.S. federal loans with such poor outcomes. On top of that, US students get so much support from their school's academic affairs offices to succeed and have a 99% chance of getting placed into a residency program once they make it past 3rd year. Your argument is like saying that "charging a 5'3" guy money to train him to make the NBA" NOT scamming after failing to get drafted because the same outcome happened to another guy who is 6'10".
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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Jan 5, 2018
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Isn't this true of US schools as well, though? You are never guaranteed anything. People always say that US medical schools don't weed people post-acceptance, but this isn't correct. They still weed people out, and the quality of career advice and support services varies. When someone has to withdraw due to something like a medical emergency (where taking a LOA is not possible, under very specific circumstances), for example, schools are often unforgiving and many will not take the student back. So has the student in this situation been scammed?

All schools have attrition rates (higher than most people would guess actually), and it is very seldom the case that a student accepted into a US program didn't have the intellect/academic ability to succeed. This is a topic that is almost never discussed on SDN, and when it does get brought up, everyone makes assumptions about the person in this situation.

The single greatest myth of SDN is that US medical schools are nigh-impossible to get dismissed from. It's actually very easy, under the right circumstances. Circumstances that could happen to literally any student and lead to the same/similar outcome. Once you graduate from medical school and obtain a residency, count your lucky stars because there is someone just as intelligent and hard-working as you who wasn't so lucky.
This is not even remotely true, attrition at US MD and DO schools is around 1-2% overall, attrition is counted as not being able to finish your degree and dropping out, sure some repeat the year or take LOA's but many of them end of finishing in 6 years, 4 year graduation rates are around 85-90% depending on the school. It's a known fact once your at a US school they will do everything to get you through, including give you multiple chances even if you fail classes. I know someone at my school who failed multiple boards and got in to an affiliated psych residency with my DO school. You know that wouldn't be the case at a Caribbean school. One student in my class had cancer and is back doing M1 year now, another had a bad kidney stone and is repeating again, I have heard that stuff like that could get you kicked out at Caribbean schools you know they need to weed people out of the 1400 students cause of limited rotations spots.
 
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shouldigomd

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Jun 22, 2012
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The only way to truly understand is to live the experience and witness things first hand. Arguments between med students regarding a training system that they have no direct experience is a waste of time and promotes false information.

Carib is no doubt a for profit system taking advantage of the competitiveness in the USA. I went to SGU and I can say that there is no desire or effort to "force out" or "fail" students. Quite the opposite with many resources in place to help those who struggle. Students take care of the failing on their own. It only makes sense that if you invite 1000 students who can't make it into a US school to something is rigorous as medical school.... many will fail. Everyone has a story but regardless the best predictor of future performance is past performance. People party, do drugs, mental health, etc etc which is what causes people to fail. SGU/Ross provide a fair opportunity to those willing to change their ways and work hard. A minority of those who fail are those who work hard from the start and I truly feel for those people. When I was a med student it was pretty obvious to spot those who were unlikely to get to residency early on.

Going carib is most definitely a gamble but the school has nothing to do with that. It is a gamble on yourself.
 
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MoUdoMoUget

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Jan 17, 2012
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The only way to truly understand is to live the experience and witness things first hand. Arguments between med students regarding a training system that they have no direct experience is a waste of time and promotes false information.

Carib is no doubt a for profit system taking advantage of the competitiveness in the USA. I went to SGU and I can say that there is no desire or effort to "force out" or "fail" students. Quite the opposite with many resources in place to help those who struggle. Students take care of the failing on their own. It only makes sense that if you invite 1000 students who can't make it into a US school to something is rigorous as medical school.... many will fail. Everyone has a story but regardless the best predictor of future performance is past performance. People party, do drugs, mental health, etc etc which is what causes people to fail. SGU/Ross provide a fair opportunity to those willing to change their ways and work hard. A minority of those who fail are those who work hard from the start and I truly feel for those people. When I was a med student it was pretty obvious to spot those who were unlikely to get to residency early on.

Going carib is most definitely a gamble but the school has nothing to do with that. It is a gamble on yourself.

Regarding what FutureDoctor500 said right above you about medical problems, does SGU kick students out if they were to get sick like that? Or do they allow for medical leave?
 

Ryomagoku

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Jun 24, 2013
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Regarding what FutureDoctor500 said right above you about medical problems, does SGU kick students out if they were to get sick like that? Or do they allow for medical leave?
Yes the school allows one medically related Leave of Absence per year.
 
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CURRENT SGU STUDENT: I didn't have the motivation to read through all the comments, so I'm sorry if this has already been mentioned. Obviously any Caribbean med school is a last resort and no one should pretend otherwise. There are plenty of problems, but at the end of the day you get to be a doctor. I doctor in $400,000 of debt...but a doctor. The thing that made me feel more confident about going there was finding doctors in specialties I'm interested in, and contacting them about their experience.

So, do they force people out? NO. This is one of the most common criticisms about Caribbean med schools (esp. SGU) and its probably the one that is the least accurate. The material/difficulty is on par with what my friends at US schools are doing, and there are plenty of resources to help. If you're struggling, the first thing they'll do is put you into "ITI" which basically means you do the lectures in a small group, guided format (I'm very jealous that they don't let the rest of us opt in). The next thing they'll do is offer you a CR, which means you get to decide near the end of the term that you're going to repeat- without having to repay or getting an F on your transcript. You can do this twice. If you don't take this option and fail the term you can repeat up to 2 times (I think you have to pay again, but I'm not positive).

So then why is there such a high attrition rate? Because people drop out. I'd say at least 100 people dropped out within the first week of classes. Living on the island is a big adjustment- you are a world away from your friends/family, and Grenada is still a developing country (although most people rarely leave campus). It's hard to get a lot of foods, there's no Walmart or Amazon, getting mail is next to impossible. A lot of people just get homesick- and SGU isn't going to hold them captive! The other reason for the attrition is biggest of the kind of students SGU admits. US medical schools have so many highly qualified candidates that they only accept people who are almost guaranteed to succeed. SGU gambles on people who may or may not. You know what you can handle- if you are ready to work hard and ask for help when you need it, SGU is NOT going to force you out. Why would they...they want your money!!!

There are plenty of bad things about SGU. The people who run the school are genuinely terrible people (which has become increasingly obvious during the pandemic). I am NOT a cheerleader for this school, I could complain all day. A lot of criticism is justified- but the forcing people out thing is not.

Feel free to message me if you want very honest info from a current student!!!
 
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