15+ Year Member
- Apr 29, 2002
- Attending Physician
Well, Cuts, that's a very difficult question to answer objectively. I have very complex feelings about Ross, some of which (I'm certain) are born out of what I'm sure a lot of medical students feel when they hit the doldrums of not being able to always see the light at the end of the tunnel. Nonetheless, I can only try to answer the question as best I can without interjecting too much unsupportable opinion, recognizing however that a lot of my statements will have evolved from my personal experiences and observations and will naturally reflect that bias on some level.Originally posted by Dr. Cuts
Out of curiosity though, what are your feelings about Ross?
In general, the "pros" about Ross are as follows:
(1) You will get your chance. By this, I mean that many students who could not, for whatever reason, get an acceptance into a U.S. school - or, who chose not to play the AMCAS game (which is rare, granted - but I've met a few, myself included) - will get a quality, Western-medicine based medical education that will provide a good foundation for when you get back to the U.S.
(2) Accelerated nature of the program. The pre-clinical phase is 16 months divided into four semesters. In that time, students cover the core curriculum which consists of the following: Biochemistry (1 semester), Histology (1 semester), Doctor, Patient, and Society (1 semester ethics course P/F), Anatomy (1 semester), Neurobehavioral 1 & 2 (2 semesters), Medical Physiology (1 semester), Pathology 1 & 2 (2 semesters), Medical Microbiology/Immunology (1 semester), Pharmacology (1 semester), and Intro to Clinical Medicine (1 semester). These courses (or equivalents) form the core of all medical education programs and prepares one well for Step I.
(3) Administering of the NBME Shelf Exams. Ross gives the "shelf" exams that many U.S. medical schools take at the end of each course. This represents a large part of our grade as well. Doing well on such an exam - and, more importantly, feeling like you have been taught the subject matter covered on the exam - is a good indicator of what you've learned and what the U.S. system expects that you SHOULD be learning.
(4) Extensive connection to U.S. programs I believe that Ross currently has the largest selection of U.S. affiliate hospitals of all Caribbean schools, even SGU. This does not necessarily mean that they are better (or worse) than SGU's hospitals, per se, but assures that a student will have a fairly large selection when it comes time for clerkships.
(5) The warm weather. This is a superficial and personal reason, but I hate cold weather. So, that's a small bonus in my book.
Although I could probably spend several pages with picky little personal pet peeves that don't matter in the grand scheme of things, I'll limit it to the few that are most relevant:
(1) The "stigma" associate with ALL Carib schools. Yes, discussed ad nauseum, existent, and hopefully something that will ultimately fade away someday. Perhaps wishful thinking on my part.
(2) The high attrition rate. I find that, clearly, there are a lot of people who get acceptances and attend this school who, quite simply, don't want it bad enough. The school says that "officially" there's only about 10% of the class that doesn't make it. In my "unofficial" estimation, I think it's closer to about 40% of any starting class won't make it to graduation. The school IS trying to do something about this, but I think a better start would be a more selective admissions policy. (Yes, I said that.)
(3) The potential "for profit" conflict of interest. This is a bigger area of concern for me, and I don't have a lot of room to go into this in detail (PM with your e-mail if you want more in depth response). But, suffice it to say, that the administration has you by the "short hairs" once you've invested a significant portion of money and time into this program. In essence, they are trying to tighten-up the program a bit and have created a bit of a "hit the moving target" phenomenon... sorry for being so cagey. Let's just say that a LOT of students are transferring to other schools after this semester...
(4) Dominica. This can be a pro or a con, depending on how one looks at it. Personally, I've just about reached my tolerance limit with this island. It is almost certainly the poorest island in the Caribbean. If there actually exists a poorer country down in these parts, I'd love for someone to point it out to me. Likewise, students are seen as a "cottage industry" and as a result get overcharged for everything. For example, my little piece of crap efficiency apartment is $600 U.S. a month. But, it's either live close to campus or live far away (which is cheaper) but both less safe and convenient. The food is horrible, too. And, there's absolutely nothing to do but study... and scuba dive if you have the inclination and the time. (It does give you a MUCH deeper appreciation of what we have in the U.S.)
Well, that's a good start. I could go on and on, I'm sure, but a lot of it would be nit-picky stuff that some would find not as annoying as I do. Likewise, others may find things about the school and the island more frustrating than I do.
Suffice it to say that Ross, as I've consistently stated, is a means to an end. It is one of the more recognized Carib schools in the U.S. Is there room for improvement? Clearly. But, I think the University is attempting to address a lot of long-standing issues and continuously make this place better and better. We'll see...