lawyerdoc2b

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I am a current student at IUHS. I have started this thread to reach out to other current students who may wish to share their experiences and to prospective students who may have questions.

The IUHS program: The first two years of Basic Medical Sciences is on line with live lectures. The Basic Medical Science curriculum takes 27 months to complete. It is followed by the usual 80 weeks over years three and four in U.S. hospitals. The 27 months begins with "Block Zero" (now called "PMT"). PMT is 12 weeks. Blocks 1 -8 are each eight weeks long and comprise the medical and science knowledge needed to be a physician. Blocks 9 and 10 are intensive review, study and practice testing for the USMLE Step 1 Examination. I just finished Block 3 and begin Block 4 on August 18, 2014. There is about a one to three week break between each block. You can finish five blocks per calendar year.

Each Block so far has been 85-100 lecture hours. Yes, they are on-line. The Power Point slides are available ahead of time if you are like me and want to preview each lecture. I print them out and write notes on them as the professor lectures. 85 - 100 lecture hours spread over seven weeks is 12 -15 class hours a week. Week 8 is study time and a final examination. I study at least two hours for every lecture hour. Literally thousands of practice questions (USMLE style questions) are provided to study (best estimate is 1,200 - 1,500 per block)

Beginning in Block 1 there is "DxR" which is a computer program with a virtual patient to practice on. There is also 20 hours a month working in the clinic with a physician mentor. Thus, the program is not just an "on-line medical school." Bottom line is you have to be mature, self-motivated and dedicated to succeed in this program. Many have and are doing it. The question you must ask and answer for yourself: how bad do you want to be a physician?

The estimated cost over four years is $70,000. This figure does not include living expenses if you have to move elsewhere for clinical rotations.

Please post your impressions if you are a current student. If you are a prospective student or just curious post your questions too. I invite my classmates to join me in responding. If you want to keep it private, send me a PM. If all you have to contribute is nastiness please don't bother. I hope that this thread will be helpful. Good luck to all.
 

bedevilled ben

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All history aside, I appreciate you trying to provide information on the school and wish you the best of luck. I think there is a lot of potential for online learning and it shouldn't be dismissed out of hand just because it's unorthodox for medical education. That being said, I have a legitimate question since I've been working my way through IUHS's website the last few days from another poster's questions. On this FAQ page, it says that IUHS has a 76% Step 1 pass rate. On the same page, it says that 95% of IUHS graduates have obtained a residency. Has some explanation been given for this discrepancy? I understand that some may find placement outside the NRMP, but those stats seem unconvincingly disparate to me.
 
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lawyerdoc2b

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All history aside, I appreciate you trying to provide information on the school and wish you the best of luck. I think there is a lot of potential for online learning and it shouldn't be dismissed out of hand just because it's unorthodox for medical education. That being said, I have a legitimate question since I've been working my way through IUHS's website the last few days from another poster's questions. On this FAQ page, it says that IUHS has a 76% Step 1 pass rate. On the same page, it says that 95% of IUHS graduates have obtained a residency. Has some explanation been given for this discrepancy? I understand that some may find placement outside the NRMP, but those stats seem unconvincingly disparate to me.
These two numbers are not inconsistent. The Step 1 exam is taken at the end of the second year. If you pass it you begin the 3rd and 4th year clinical rotations. I was surprised at the 76% passage rate on the Step 1 as believe it to be higher (at least on the last test cycle). Assuming 76% pass the first attempt, by definition about one-fourth do not. They either take it till they pass or frankly, their medical school days are over. Of the apparent 76% or more that pass and then finish the 3rd and 4th year (and pass during that time the Step 2CS and CK exams) and receive their M.D. degree, 95% match into a residency. I took your post at face value as correct. My personal belief is that you get out of anything what you put into it. Those that study, learn and understand and then put that knowledge into good practice during the clinical years have an excellent chance of matching into a residency. Send me a PM if you have questions or post them for everyone and I'll try to respond.
 

bedevilled ben

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These two numbers are not inconsistent. The Step 1 exam is taken ...
Sorry, I worded my previous post terribly. I understand the process, I'm a Caribbean med student myself and just recently took Step 1. The discrepancy I was referring to, is with those reported statistics versus other established Caribbean med schools like SGU, Ross, Saba, and AUC. These schools have first-time pass rates much higher than 76%, I believe SGU and Ross are something like 98%. Yet even they do not have residency placement rates of 95%. Doesn't that make you raise an eyebrow?

My personal belief is that you get out of anything what you put into it. Those that study, learn and understand and then put that knowledge into good practice during the clinical years have an excellent chance of matching into a residency
I'm afraid your personal belief is wrong when it comes to residency placement. I think you are severely underestimating the admittedly-unfair, uphill battle that you're facing and overestimating the amount of control you have over the placement process. There are hundreds of well-qualified, well-trained graduates that fail to get a residency every year, simply because of the location of their graduating institution.
 
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jakeislove

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Sorry, I worded my previous post terribly. I understand the process, I'm a Caribbean med student myself and just recently took Step 1. The discrepancy I was referring to, is with those reported statistics versus other established Caribbean med schools like SGU, Ross, Saba, and AUC. These schools have first-time pass rates much higher than 76%, I believe SGU and Ross are something like 98%. Yet even they do not have residency placement rates of 95%. Doesn't that make you raise an eyebrow?



I'm afraid your personal belief is wrong when it comes to residency placement. I think you are severely underestimating the admittedly-unfair, uphill battle that you're facing and overestimating the amount of control you have over the placement process. There are hundreds of well-qualified, well-trained graduates that fail to get a residency every year, simply because of the location of their graduating institution.
I generally believe people overestimate their ability to overcome hurdles through hard work.
 
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I too an a bit curious about the residency situation and how on the FAQ page it said many found residencies "outside the match".
 

muqalia

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A 95% match rate for those who pass step 1? If true that is incredibly good. But it also sounds a bit too incredibly good to be true. Don't let numbers published by schools fool you. They stand to make a profit by you attending. Rather look up residency programs and see their list of residents to see if the schools graduates are among them.
 
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lawyerdoc2b

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Sorry, I worded my previous post terribly. I understand the process, I'm a Caribbean med student myself and just recently took Step 1. The discrepancy I was referring to, is with those reported statistics versus other established Caribbean med schools like SGU, Ross, Saba, and AUC. These schools have first-time pass rates much higher than 76%, I believe SGU and Ross are something like 98%. Yet even they do not have residency placement rates of 95%. Doesn't that make you raise an eyebrow?

I'm afraid your personal belief is wrong when it comes to residency placement. I think you are severely underestimating the admittedly-unfair, uphill battle that you're facing and overestimating the amount of control you have over the placement process. There are hundreds of well-qualified, well-trained graduates that fail to get a residency every year, simply because of the location of their graduating institution.
I cannot speak with authority about SGU, Ross, Saba, and AUC. I have been told by more than a few students with first hand experience that a high passage rate at on the Step 1 at the "Big 4" does not take into account the attrition rate of the students who are accepted and enroll at the schools and either drop out or flunk out before being certified by the school as ready to take the examination. Congratulations to you for making it this far and taking the Step 1. I wish you an exemplary score!

We will have to agree to disagree about residency placement. You can certainly point to many fine folks with an M.D. or a D.O. that don't match into a residency. I can point to just as many who did. I agree that where one goes to medical school matters; I just think that it is but one factor but not the only factor considered. Other factors include "audition roatations," who you know [true whether we like it or not], other credentials, USMLE scores, background, clinical skills and personality There are other factors too but brevity commands me to end here. We all make choices. IUHS is not for everyone but neither are SGU, Ross, Saba, and AUC.

If I don't get a residency it will not be the end of the word. I'll simply be a medically trained attorney and keep practising law for a living. I do not suggest for a moment that I have "control" over whether or not I am selected for a residency. I am saying that I have it within me to put my best face on the whole package and show what I have to offer to the decisi0n makers in hopes that I will be selected. No, I do not control the process but I can have an influence.

You cannot jump to the conclusion that statistically we face X per cent chance of getting a residency and that applies across the board to everyone. Everyone has differences and backgrounds. Many of those who did not match failed for various reasons. Look at the individual person's qualifications. It can be something as simple as a bad review by the nurses on a clincial roatation or mediocre USMLE scores or a DUI in their pas as a reason for not being selected. Some will be better qualified than me and some worse. I have a shot and I'm taking it. Obviously, you know the odds are less than 100% and you are taking a chance too.
 
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lawyerdoc2b

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I too an a bit curious about the residency situation and how on the FAQ page it said many found residencies "outside the match".
I too an a bit curious about the residency situation and how on the FAQ page it said many found residencies "outside the match".
I saw that quote on IUHS' FAQ pages too. The school will have to provide additional information about what it means with particularity. There is the traditional match followed by the scramble. Then, there are still graduates looking (the unmatched) and openings unfilled. There are commerncial personal services consults that help fill those openings. There is no requirement that every position be filled through the match. Private agreements are reached.
 
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lawyerdoc2b

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I saw that quote on IUHS' FAQ pages too. The school will have to provide additional information about what it means with particularity. There is the traditional match followed by the scramble. Then, there are still graduates looking (the unmatched) and openings unfilled. There are commerncial personal services consults that help fill some of those openings. Some are filled by the hospital dealing directly with the newly minted doctor. There is no requirement that every position be filled through the match. Private agreements are reached.
 

bedevilled ben

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I cannot speak with authority about SGU, Ross, Saba, and AUC. I have been told by more than a few students with first hand experience that a high passage rate at on the Step 1 at the "Big 4" does not take into account the attrition rate of the students who are accepted and enroll at the schools and either drop out or flunk out before being certified by the school as ready to take the examination.
This is true. They simply divide the number of passing scores by the number that attempted. That's not the correlation I'm trying to draw, though. I'm trying to be conservative, I'm not even considering attrition rates. In general, if a school has a higher Step 1 pass rate, I'm going to conclude the school better-prepares students for the exam. The weeding-out has already occurred, so that shouldn't be a factor. This is a little hand-wavy, but if you accept my conclusion that a higher pass rate is roughly analogous to being better prepared for the exam, and if the primary factor in residency placement is exam score, wouldn't you expect the school with more-prepared students to have a higher placement rate? The only way that IUHS's stats make sense to me, is if fewer students pass the exam, but those that do score significantly higher than average to account for the placement discrepancy. While this is a possibility, it seems highly unlikely to me. Unfortunately, this is speculation on my part because I can't find any data on IUHS's average Step scores. I'm not saying this is a definite red flag, or anything like that. I'm just saying it seems to be an unexplained statistic.

We will have to agree to disagree about residency placement. You can certainly point to many fine folks with an M.D. or a D.O. that don't match into a residency. I can point to just as many who did.
What? I don't even know what this statement means. I'm not offering anecdotes and platitudes, here. These are the match statistics from 2013 for IMG's. On page 22 you will find the matched/unmatched rates broken out by country of medical school origin. You'll see that St Kitts had a first-choice placement of 85/188. That's less than half!

You cannot jump to the conclusion that statistically we face X per cent chance of getting a residency and that applies across the board to everyone. Everyone has differences and backgrounds. Many of those who did not match failed for various reasons. Look at the individual person's qualifications. It can be something as simple as a bad review by the nurses on a clincial roatation or mediocre USMLE scores or a DUI in their pas as a reason for not being selected. Some will be better qualified than me and some worse. I have a shot and I'm taking it. Obviously, you know the odds are less than 100% and you are taking a chance too.
Yes I can! That's exactly what a population statistic is! It applies to your collective population as medical students graduating from St Kitts. That doesn't mean every person has a <50%, of course. Those same factors you mention apply to every other school too, US included. With large enough population sizes those should be a wash. If you normalize for Step 1 scores, what are you left with?

I'm not begrudging you your shot. I am glad to hear that you have a lucrative career to fall back on if this doesn't work out for you. So for you, maybe this is a relatively small risk. The vast majority of international medical students aren't so lucky. And I do sincerely hope that I'm wrong, and you come back here in 4 years and tell me what a jackass I am. I'm not writing this post for you, though. I'm writing it for other people reading that might be on the fence, and I hope they reconsider. The licensing status for IUHS is still uncertain in over 1/3 of US states. I've yet to hear about a single residency placement from a student that completed the distance-learning program, and last I checked, the vast majority of state medical boards have specific language prohibiting distance-learning in M1 and M2. To be perfectly blunt, I felt that your original post paints an unreasonably-rosy picture of IUHS, and ignores the body of evidence indicating otherwise. It is not my intent to be needlessly argumentative, nor to bash other schools or methods of learning. As I said above, I think there could be a place for distance learning in medical school. But ignoring the reality that you will be at a significant disadvantage for residency placement is not the way to overcome that. Taking a calculated risk is not the same as taking a willful risk.
 
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edgerock24

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IUHS is just not a good school to go to. At all. There is virtually zero upside to attending a piece of trash school like this.

The big 4 + AUA are the only schools any student should consider if they wish to attend a Caribbean medical school. Other random "schools" like "IUHS" should be avoided at all costs. One would have to be either very stupid or very misinformed to attend a school like that.



(Yes, I'm being a bit of a jerk here -- but prospective students should not be tricked into attending schools like this)
 

ChrisGriffen

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Lol I have seen a lot of BS claims from scam carib schools, but this one takes the cake


Do you not see how this is waaay too good to be true?

95% match rate for example.

The average US MD school match rate is 94.6%. That should key you in right away that everything you hear from this school is a complete and total lie.
 
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lawyerdoc2b

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This is true. They simply divide the number of passing scores by the number that attempted. That's not the correlation I'm trying to draw, though. I'm trying to be conservative, I'm not even considering attrition rates. In general, if a school has a higher Step 1 pass rate, I'm going to conclude the school better-prepares students for the exam. The weeding-out has already occurred, so that shouldn't be a factor. This is a little hand-wavy, but if you accept my conclusion that a higher pass rate is roughly analogous to being better prepared for the exam, and if the primary factor in residency placement is exam score, wouldn't you expect the school with more-prepared students to have a higher placement rate? The only way that IUHS's stats make sense to me, is if fewer students pass the exam, but those that do score significantly higher than average to account for the placement discrepancy. While this is a possibility, it seems highly unlikely to me. Unfortunately, this is speculation on my part because I can't find any data on IUHS's average Step scores. I'm not saying this is a definite red flag, or anything like that. I'm just saying it seems to be an unexplained statistic.



What? I don't even know what this statement means. I'm not offering anecdotes and platitudes, here. These are the match statistics from 2013 for IMG's. On page 22 you will find the matched/unmatched rates broken out by country of medical school origin. You'll see that St Kitts had a first-choice placement of 85/188. That's less than half!



Yes I can! That's exactly what a population statistic is! It applies to your collective population as medical students graduating from St Kitts. That doesn't mean every person has a <50%, of course. Those same factors you mention apply to every other school too, US included. With large enough population sizes those should be a wash. If you normalize for Step 1 scores, what are you left with?

I'm not begrudging you your shot. I am glad to hear that you have a lucrative career to fall back on if this doesn't work out for you. So for you, maybe this is a relatively small risk. The vast majority of international medical students aren't so lucky. And I do sincerely hope that I'm wrong, and you come back here in 4 years and tell me what a jackass I am. I'm not writing this post for you, though. I'm writing it for other people reading that might be on the fence, and I hope they reconsider. The licensing status for IUHS is still uncertain in over 1/3 of US states. I've yet to hear about a single residency placement from a student that completed the distance-learning program, and last I checked, the vast majority of state medical boards have specific language prohibiting distance-learning in M1 and M2. To be perfectly blunt, I felt that your original post paints an unreasonably-rosy picture of IUHS, and ignores the body of evidence indicating otherwise. It is not my intent to be needlessly argumentative, nor to bash other schools or methods of learning. As I said above, I think there could be a place for distance learning in medical school. But ignoring the reality that you will be at a significant disadvantage for residency placement is not the way to overcome that. Taking a calculated risk is not the same as taking a willful risk.
 
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lawyerdoc2b

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I am the first guy to admit that IUHS is not for everyone. The Caribbean medical schools are not for everyone either. I hope that we can all agree that most if not all Caribbean medical students , if they could have done so, would have attended a medical school in the US. I agree that the chances of landing a residency are dimished for foreign medical graduates (including those from IUHS) compared to the graduates of American schools. That is a risk that everyone needs to understand. The truth is that had the Carobbean medical school student had superlative MCAT scores with GPA to match they likely would be going elsewhere. That does not mean that they are inferior but they do have to work harder to realize their dream of being a physican. Some Caribbean schools have graduates in all 50 states. I agree that licensing so far in 22 states diminishes an IUHS graduates ability to go anywhere and practice. That is a concern and a risk that each prospective student must factor into his or her decision process.

I am an IUHS student and not part of adminsitration. I have no detailed expalanation for the published passage rate on the step 1 nor the residency match rate. I do accept the premise that all things being otherwise equal, a higher passage rate overall for a school as a whole would indicate that a particular school better prepares the students as a whole to perform well on the test. For me however, I am a believer that you get out of something what you put into it. Perspiration trumps inspiration so to speak (speaking about individualls). While I wish others much success, I am responsible for learning and applying the knowledge and taking the examination. You can't rest upon any particular school's perceived reputation for high pass rates becuase ultimately it is you taking the test and not the school.

As for placement rate into residencies, if you look at the numbers, IUHS graduates far fewer than any of the big 4 in part because it has far fewer students and hasn't been around as long. There are graduates in residencies and graduates in practice who have finished their residency and are licensed and board certified.

Not everyone can pack their stuff and live on an island for two years. For those who can and want to go for it. IUHS appeals a good many health care professionals who are able to work part time while studying. I know fellow students who are are Physican Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Podiatrists, Chiropractors, Pharmacists, etc. (not all students have a medical profession background)

With all due respect to bedeviledben, population statistics he relies upon are useful tools as part of the making an informed risk management decision but do not take into account a host of other factors that I mentioned in my post. I agree with much of what he says and disagree with some. Some of his concerns should be addressed to the school for a straight answer. IUHS was right for me and others but not the right call for some. I do agree that every prospective students needs to do their own due dilligence, weight the pros and cons and make a well-reasoned thoughtful decision.
 
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lawyerdoc2b

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I have received questions regarding what states have licensed IUHS graduates. The school website has been recently updated and I have copied this information from the school:

"U.S. states where IUHS graduates have licensure. To date, IUHS graduates have obtained
licensure in Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois,
Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina,
Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and West
Virginia as well as Canada, Australia, England, India, Israel and South Africa. IUHS expects to
continually add more states to this list as our graduates apply for licensure."
 
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bedevilled ben

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I have received questions regarding what states have licensed IUHS graduates. The school website has been recently updated and I have copied this information from the school:

"U.S. states where IUHS graduates have licensure. To date, IUHS graduates have obtained
licensure in Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois,
Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina,
Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and West
Virginia as well as Canada, Australia, England, India, Israel and South Africa. IUHS expects to
continually add more states to this list as our graduates apply for licensure."
Have any of the physicians practicing in those states utilized the distance-learning program?
 
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lawyerdoc2b

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Have any of the physicians practicing in those states utilized the distance-learning program?
Yes. The distance learning curriculum has been in place for several years now. In doing my due diligence before applying for admission nearly two years ago, I was provided names of some graduates in medical practices and in residencies in order that I may speak with them (current student contacts as well). I talked to four doctors. One was an early graduate who did her basic sciences on the island and three others were all distance learning graduates. One was right here in the town in which I live (Savannah, GA).

In early July last year, right before I started in September 2013, I attended IUHS' student conference in Chicago. I met many students in the program and watched the graduation ceremony on Saturday evening. I don't recall the exact number of graduates but all of them had completed the program as distance learners for the first two years. So I don't confuse anyone, only the first two years is distance learning. Years 3 and 4 are in American hospitals (usually in Atlanta or Chicago but may be other places if you wish) right beside American M.D. and D.O. students and students from other foreign schools, including the "Big 4" in the Caribbean. As the graduation ceremony progressed announcements were made regarding where each new M.D. was headed. I recall one was in a Family Medicine residency in New York and one was in a Neurology residency in Wisconsin. I also recall an Emergency Medicine residency in Florida. To be candid, I was a bit in sensory overload by that evening having soaked up knowledge or information all day and didn't record the details about everyone but these examples come to mind now.

I did have a discussion today with the Director of Admissions. I was told that many more students are attending now versus nearly 15 years ago on the island. Thus, there are more graduates today from the distance learning curriculum than those who finished on the island. I cannot say whether or not all the states listed accept distance learning graduates. I have not addressed this issue. I do know about the people that I talked to and the states that I potentially could practice (GA, FL and SC). In those states, the distance learning curriculum is not an issue with licensure.
 

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How many graduates, currently licensed or in residency, completed part of their medical education in the distance learning program?

-Skip
 
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lawyerdoc2b

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@lawyerdoc2b

How many graduates, currently licensed or in residency, completed part of their medical education in the distance learning program?

-Skip
I don't know. I met several at the student conference in Chicago last July. I personally spoke to three in doing my due diligence (not at the conference but all were in residency)
before applying for admission (the 3 who were all distance learner only for basic medical science) and all of the graduates who received their diploma at that conference were distance learners. I haven't asked the school and can only comment on my personal inquiries. Everyone who graduated in the last six or perhaps more years has to be distance learning only because the on-island tract no longer exists at IUHS. As for current numbers, there are 25 students who began in my class in September 2013. Admission is three times per year. How many have completed the pipeline so to speak I don't know.
 

ThoracicGuy

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I don't know. I met several at the student conference in Chicago last July. I personally spoke to three in doing my due diligence (not at the conference but all were in residency)
before applying for admission (the 3 who were all distance learner only for basic medical science) and all of the graduates who received their diploma at that conference were distance learners. I haven't asked the school and can only comment on my personal inquiries. Everyone who graduated in the last six or perhaps more years has to be distance learning only because the on-island tract no longer exists at IUHS. As for current numbers, there are 25 students who began in my class in September 2013. Admission is three times per year. How many have completed the pipeline so to speak I don't know.
I anticipate that with it moving only to a distance learning platform, it has a significant risk of losing state accreditations for licensing... This is a bad idea.
 
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lawyerdoc2b

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I anticipate that with it moving only to a distance learning platform, it has a significant risk of losing state accreditations for licensing... This is a bad idea.
I disagree that moving to a distance learning curriculum is a bad idea. I don't see a large scale loss of state licening happening because the distanced learning curriculum has been in place for about eight years. I would agree that if a certain state required an in residence component and does not accept distance learning applicants for licensing then in such a case a formerly open door would be closed so-to-speak. I am aware of only one state where that has happened (TN). As distance learning moves more into the mainstream, I believe that many more doors will open. Everyone interested in IUHS needs to do their own homework or due diligence and find out if their intended state of future practice accepts (or not) distance learning program applicants.

20 years ago distance learning as a term was known as correspondence school. Now, traditional brick and mortar schools have embraced distance learning. You can earn a Master of Public Health from Georgetown or Johns Hopkins all on-line. You can earn your Bachelor degree from Penn State University or from the University of Georgia and be a bulldog alumni - all on-line (never having set foot on the campus).

Keep in mind that the critics seem mostly to be those who took the customary route: flew down to a Caribbean Island and spent tons of money for about two years. When they returned to the U.S. they undertook 80 weeks (3rd and 4th year of medical school) right beside U.S. M.D. and D.O. students from different medical schools. I have no issue with those who make it through that grind.

The basic medical sciences as the first two years of medical school, in US and especially Caribbean medical schools, is "book learning" and by design has no to very little hands-on patient encounters. You can learn the science and prepare for the USMLE anywhere. So, why the objection to the distance learning model? The objection is, in my view, misguided and mostly based upon a lack of understanding.

My first year of medical school was at a traditional "brick and mortar" medical school in the U.S. On day one of the first year 100% of the Freshman medical students were sitting in class (most were like me: wide eyed and frightened not to be present - afraid we would miss something). As the academic year progressed, the in-person attendance dropped. By the end of the year less than half of the students attended the lecture live. Where were they you might ask? The were in the library, study rooms or in their apartment watching the videotaped lectures from the day before. There were de facto distance learners. The licensing board never knew. This goes on in most every medical school in the country. This begs the question why? Because they could fast forward through the waiting on a late lecturer, the introductory joke or war story and also skip what the material covering what they already knew. They could watch over and over the material they did not fully grasp. Most of them had better grades than those of us who never missed a class.

So, why would TN or another state prohibit a distance learning applicant from obtaining licensure when in reality all or a large number of medical students are, to one degree or another, a distance learner? When you really examine the facts, distance learning is here to stay and it is growing. One needs only to look at the brick and mortar or traditional colleges who can't beat it (in other words compete on cost of service delivery) and have decided to join the movement.

My apology for the length of my post but I wanted you and others to know my reasoning as to why I disagree.
 

bedevilled ben

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The basic medical sciences as the first two years of medical school, in US and especially Caribbean medical schools, is "book learning" and by design has no to very little hands-on patient encounters. You can learn the science and prepare for the USMLE anywhere. So, why the objection to the distance learning model? The objection is, in my view, misguided and mostly based upon a lack of understanding.
That's a pretty bold statement, and one I vehemently disagree with. While I actually agree with a lot of your points, and have been vocal in my support of distance-learning as a viable method for some subjects in medical education, I think there are components of M1 and M2 that simply cannot be done effectively via distance learning. At SGU, we began practicing physical exam techniques on standardized patient-actors literally the second week of Term 1 in anatomy, and I think patient encounters in M1 are pretty common amongst most US medical schools. M2 had extensive focus on clinical practice, with entire classes devoted to developing H&PE skills. I think the experiences of cadaver labs are an important tradition and key teaching moment, nearly every physician or student I've talked to has had some moment of pause or reflection from the physical act of dissecting their cadaver. Also, having done some of both, I can tell you that presenting a case review as a webinar versus presenting in-person is no contest, and these are skills you will need to have mastered by the time you reach clerkships. Additionally, there is value in going through some physically-shared, unpleasant experience as a group, to build camaraderie and support amongst your peers. And finally, sitting through boring lectures and living a rigidly-scheduled life don't end in 3rd year, they only get worse as you're trying to juggle your clinical responsibilities in addition to your academic lectures and studying. Cultivating that self-discipline and mental fortitude is valuable.

I'm not trying to make some argument from tradition. Just because we've always done something a certain way doesn't mean it's the best way. I am a huge proponent of technology use in education, and I would love to see a more streamlined approach to medical education in general. I think distance learning has a place in that. But at the same time, you need to be cognizant of the culture of medical education and licensure. I'm going to be wary of any program that doesn't allow me to practice in 1/3 of the US, especially when 3 of those states have a history of driving medical education policy in the rest of the country.

I'm sure I'm sounding like a broken record here, but I'm still concerned that you're rationalizing away an unsound decision. You're promoting a course of action that is statistically-likely to culminate in a career-ending catastrophe for most prospective students.
 
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lawyerdoc2b

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That's a pretty bold statement, and one I vehemently disagree with. While I actually agree with a lot of your points, and have been vocal in my support of distance-learning as a viable method for some subjects in medical education, I think there are components of M1 and M2 that simply cannot be done effectively via distance learning. At SGU, we began practicing physical exam techniques on standardized patient-actors literally the second week of Term 1 in anatomy, and I think patient encounters in M1 are pretty common amongst most US medical schools. M2 had extensive focus on clinical practice, with entire classes devoted to developing H&PE skills. I think the experiences of cadaver labs are an important tradition and key teaching moment, nearly every physician or student I've talked to has had some moment of pause or reflection from the physical act of dissecting their cadaver. Also, having done some of both, I can tell you that presenting a case review as a webinar versus presenting in-person is no contest, and these are skills you will need to have mastered by the time you reach clerkships. Additionally, there is value in going through some physically-shared, unpleasant experience as a group, to build camaraderie and support amongst your peers. And finally, sitting through boring lectures and living a rigidly-scheduled life don't end in 3rd year, they only get worse as you're trying to juggle your clinical responsibilities in addition to your academic lectures and studying. Cultivating that self-discipline and mental fortitude is valuable.

I'm not trying to make some argument from tradition. Just because we've always done something a certain way doesn't mean it's the best way. I am a huge proponent of technology use in education, and I would love to see a more streamlined approach to medical education in general. I think distance learning has a place in that. But at the same time, you need to be cognizant of the culture of medical education and licensure. I'm going to be wary of any program that doesn't allow me to practice in 1/3 of the US, especially when 3 of those states have a history of driving medical education policy in the rest of the country.

I'm sure I'm sounding like a broken record here, but I'm still concerned that you're rationalizing away an unsound decision. You're promoting a course of action that is statistically-likely to culminate in a career-ending catastrophe for most prospective students.

Your points are well taken regarding cadaver dissection. That is not part of IUHS' or any school's distance learning curriculum. Sadly, traditional medical schools (some) have gone to someone else doing the cutting with students observing. I agree that something is lost in that learning experience. I also agree with you that the group interaction in person experience has value. That in person experience is missing and as a substitute there are internet group meetings (not as effective I concede).

We have not really discussed this much before but the IUHS program is not solely distance learning. Students are required to have a physician mentor and "work" [volunteer - whatever you would like to call it] 20 hours per month. A mentor log of patient encounters is turned in at the end of each eight week block of instruction with a mentor's evaluation of the student's clinical skills. There is also a lengthy clinical skills checklist that must be completed during years 1 and 2. The skills are taught by the mentor, performed by the student and skill proficiency certified before the student is allowed to progress to the third year clinical rotations. The checklist is long and requires, as examples, competency in taking a history, SOAP notes, EKG reading, x-ray reading (pneumonia, fractures are examples), pelvic exams/Pap smear, vital signs, auscultation, heart sounds. My point is that the distance learning curriculum is not just internet based classes, venipuncture, starting IVs, etc.

Your point that I should be cognizant of the culture of medical education and licensure and wary of any program that doesn't allow me to practice in 1/3 of the US, especially when 3 of those states have a history of driving medical education policy in the rest of the country. I do agree with. Wary should not mean rejection out of hand as some would like to do. I suggest that folks have all of the facts about the program to consider and facts about licensure as well. I realize that there is risk and it was the right decision for me. Time will tell if I am correct.
 

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So glad I found this thread. Regardless of the haters, I've got to throw my hat in the ring for absolutely loving IUHS. Having attended two previous medical schools (no, I was not asked to leave - family crisis stuff beyond my control), I have two other school experiences to compare quality. And hands-down, IUHS is far superior so far. Yes, I'm only in my first year, but it was almost immediately obvious that the quality here is amazing. Before applying, I did extensive research including with several state licensing boards where I hope to practice, and they all were aware of the school and had exactly zero issues with it.

Here's my reasons for loving IUHS.

1. High quality education (goes far far beyond just the lecture material)

2. High match rates (yes, those numbers are real)

3. Absolutely zero of that super annoying cut-throat competition (and by the way, I won't bother replying to haters who choose to slam the school - just not worth the time or energy)

4. Graduating with ZERO DEBT. This one is huge for me as I'm in my 50s and just don't feel like racking up a few hundred thousand in debt.

5. I get to be in the USA for 100% of my educational journey. Been there done that with top tier Carib school. Good school, having to leave broke my heart but had to do with family crisis. Been there done that with US med school as well. And STILL choose IUHS. I'm not naive - I've been on this journey for a long time and come from a family of docs, so all the issues (like residency matching) are abundantly clear to me.

If you're willing to do what it takes and are the type of person who can take 1000% responsibility for your own progress, by all means consider IUHS. Anyone with questions is welcome to email me at [email protected].

And good luck to anyone out there who refuses to give up the dream!
 
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bedevilled ben

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So glad I found this thread. Regardless of the haters, I've got to throw my hat in the ring for absolutely loving IUHS. Having attended two previous medical schools (no, I was not asked to leave - family crisis stuff beyond my control), I have two other school experiences to compare quality. And hands-down, IUHS is far superior so far. Yes, I'm only in my first year, but it was almost immediately obvious that the quality here is amazing. Before applying, I did extensive research including with several state licensing boards where I hope to practice, and they all were aware of the school and had exactly zero issues with it.
How has IUHS justified the fact that their graduates have uncertain licensing status in 1/3 of the US? I'm glad that you are pleased with your decision, but to be quite frank your words would have more weight with me if you addressed any of the school's obvious shortcomings that have been discussed in this thread already. Your opinion of the school may change once you reach the Match, and I still do not for a second believe the school has a consistent 95% Match rate without some hard data to investigate.
 

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... I've got to throw my hat in the ring for absolutely loving IUHS. Having attended two previous medical schools (no, I was not asked to leave - family crisis stuff beyond my control) ... <snip> Yes, I'm only in my first year...
First (bolded part), :eek:.

Second, please get back to us in 3 years. Seriously, would love to hear a follow-up.

-Skip
 
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Hi,
I am a IUHS perspective student and I was wondering if you ended up graduating from IUHS and if you could tell me how the matching/residency process worked out for you. Thank you in advance for any and all advice.
 

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Well, as for @JRRSEhope, she has at the very least put her dreams of being a Medical Doctor on hold now to pursue a PhD in Molecular Biology... at the age of 54-55-ish. This is according to her last blog post, which was over a year ago.

Listen, there are many ways to climb a tree. Without her detailing why she chose to stop her medical training in her first year, it's anyone's guess. There are a lot of "dabblers" out there, too, who have a wide variety of interests coupled with a difficulty of staying focused. There are also "late bloomers" who at some point in their life suddenly feel like they are running out of time. There are "regretters" who wish they'd done more earlier in life and are trying to catch-up... procrastinators... dreamers... wishful thinkers... idealists... romanticists.... I could go on-and-on. Point is, if you don't start this journey believing you are an achiever, you're just wasting your time and treasure.

In the end, she started at IUHS. And she didn't finish. There are all variety of people who go from planning to execution to goal. Many get stopped in the planning phase. Some get to execution. It is the true victor who gets to the goal phase, regardless of the obstacles in the way.

So, in the end? Just another statistic. (So far.) Despite an earnest and irreproachable desire.

-Skip
 
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Shinken

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It's hard to believe at her age she was suckered into the Caribbean scam. Now she can add a third med school to her collection, and finally hammer the last nail in that coffin.
 
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It's hard to believe at her age she was suckered into the Caribbean scam. Now she can add a third med school to her collection, and finally hammer the last nail in that coffin.
To be fair, she doesn't say why she left IUHS.

It does leave one wondering, though, following her glowing review what really happened. I suspect that, as this was her third attempt at medical school, it had to do more than with just the school itself. However, this should be a caution to those who believe the majority of these schools are "picky" regarding to whom they grant admission.

I stick by my post above: I think this is a person who likes the idea of things, but falls a little flat on the execution. If that shoe fits anyone considering this pathway, just know that many schools out there will still be more than happy to take your money. You won't necessarily get a degree. But, that won't matter to them. That's the reality.

-Skip
 
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lawyerdoc2b

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To be fair, she doesn't say why she left IUHS.

It does leave one wondering, though, following her glowing review what really happened. I suspect that, as this was her third attempt at medical school, it had to do more than with just the school itself. However, this should be a caution to those who believe the majority of these schools are "picky" regarding to whom they grant admission.

I stick by my post above: I think this is a person who likes the idea of things, but falls a little flat on the execution. If that shoe fits anyone considering this pathway, just know that many schools out there will still be more than happy to take your money. You won't necessarily get a degree. But, that won't matter to them. That's the reality.

-Skip
I have finally returned to SDN after a long absence. I started this thread some time ago and so many of you have sent me a PM or an email that it is difficult to find the time to respond. Many have asked me for an update on my personal journey so here goes. A week ago, I finished my 48 weeks of clinical rotations in Atlanta, GA (3rd year core clinicals are: Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Family Medicine, ObGyn and Psychiatry). I have the Step 2 exams this Summer and then some 4th year electives remaining after I finish the tests. I will not be spending all of my time on SDN as I am committed to doing well on Step 2 CK and CS. It has taken me almost two years to finish these rotations because I still am the majority owner of a small law firm and it generates money. If I do apply for residency it will be Psychiatry.

As Dr. Skip said, (I'm paraphrasing and not quoting him) everyone is on their own journey. Some finish and some don't. Some breeze through and others take a longer route. IUHS worked for me. It may or may not work for you. I belief that many fail because they are in love with being a doctor which is not the same as wanting to be a doctor so bad nothing short of being one will put out the fire in your belly.

My advise: If you have the credentials to go to an American medical school then go. If you can go to the Caribbean and afford the massive cost of going to Ross or perhaps another of the big four (e.g. you have no other way to pay for it except by student loans) then go. If you need the traditional classroom experience and you or your family can afford to send you to the islands then go. If distance learning works for you (it did for me) then consider IUHS. I personally rejected Oceana because I wasn't fond of the teaching methodology nor of going to American Samoa for a clinic rotation. I rejected USAT because I know a Nurse Practitioner who went and failed the Step 1 three times. I know, don't criticize my lack of scientific sampling. In addition, I hated the name - it sounds like a trade school. (but like Dr. Skip I must state this caveat: do your own due diligence and don't rely solely on my opinions). I note that a lot of people trash IUHS and they know very darn little about it. So sort through the B.S. and form your own conclusions.

I did not read all of posts regarding the IUHS student in mid life who has abandoned her dream of becoming an MD and is pursuing a PH.D. I therefore can't add much if anything to that conversation. I have learned that there are many Caribbean students who have successfully navigated as Dr. Skip says in his disclaimer and there are even more that try it and don't finish it. IUHS is not for everyone. I have had clinical rotations with students from probably a dozen Caribbean and other foreign medical schools. My belief is that none of them prepare you to be a doctor (by that I mean no spoon feeding if that is what you expect). You must be dedicated to learning and dig it out yourself. I stand amazed at most other Caribbean schools. We students in clinical rotations talk to one another. They charge $6 - 8,000 per12 week semester and pay the preceptor less than half that to teach you. At IUHS, you pay the doctor directly. I paid from zero to $300 per week. So, IUHS is more affordable in this respect.

Most schools offer very little guidance in navigating through the 3rd and 4th years and virtually none in how to successfully apply for and gain a residency. For example, my observation is that most students ask the preceptor doctor in their clinical rotations for a letter of recommendation. Most doctors say yes. The doctor then writes a canned letter lacking in specifics and personalization. The reality is the preceptor physicians teach so many students that if you want a personalized letter you need to draft it yourself and give the doctor a flash drive and let the doctor edit the final product. If you do your letter will standout.

Ed
 
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gyngyn

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I stand amazed at most other Caribbean schools. We students in clinical rotations talk to one another. They charge $6 - 8,000 per12 week semester and pay the preceptor less than half that to teach you. At IUHS, you pay the doctor directly. I paid from zero to $300 per week. So, IUHS is more affordable in this respect.

Ed
Just to be clear, you pay someone (in the US) directly to teach you?
 

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PLA: Approved/Disapproved Foreign Medical Schools

International University of Health Sciences (IUHS) as of 12/05/2002 (Board reaffirmed denial at their 8/23/2012 meeting partially due to distant learning (computer classes))
Just FYI.

-Skip