pharmacy or jagiellonian

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by jag, Mar 23, 2001.

  1. jag

    jag Junior Member

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    i am in a unique situation.....i have am currently in my last semester of pharmacy school and i have been accepted to jagiellonian medical school in krakow poland starting in september. i was born in poland and i know the language and i think it would be a great experience for me....but i also have a contract on the table to work as a pharmacist for $75,000 with a $2500 bonus starting in september...this is a huge decision in my life......any advice from pharmacist and students from jagiellonian would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. Stephen Ewen

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    Any way you could sock 55K away for a year and THEN go to Jag med school?
     
  4. Bianca

    Bianca Junior Member

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    I am a student at Jagiellonian Medical Univerity and Im totally pleased with the school, its curriculum and the teachers. But you have to consider that if you are planning to go to USA you will be regarded as an img and you will have to work harder and do better in the USMLE than an amg and at the end will probably end up in a residency that wasnt your first choice. Also if you are planning to take loans this will be another burden on your shoulders. But if you have already look into this and still want to do it this University will prepare you as good as any american university.

    Good Luck!!
     
  5. jag

    jag Junior Member

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    bianca.....what year are you at jagiellonian?.....did you live the US or Poland...how many people are in your class?....do you plan on staying in poland after your residency?....i haven't talk to anyone in my class yet....our meeting in new york isn't for another 2 months so if you could help me with my decision that would be great...any information would be great.
     
  6. Toran

    Toran Senior Member
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    Do you want to be a pharmacist, or a doctor?
    If you get started as a pharmacist your chances of returning to school will be inversely proportional to how much money you are getting paid.
    Decide before you receive the checks.

    Toran
     
  7. Bianca

    Bianca Junior Member

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    In my class there are 27 people wich I think have work to our advantage. I dont know a word of polish but even so in the first year I could go to the OR and watch many different operations I participated in rounds with third year students, thus the clinical experience can start in the first year.

    I do plan to go to the States for my residency so is encouraging knowing of people from this school that have actually matched and are even being offered prematched positions.

    Hope this was useful :cool:

     
  8. jag

    jag Junior Member

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    bianca...what made you decide to go to jagiellonian...do you live on campus...what's it like?.....do you enjoy poland.......how is the course work....how did you pay for school.....i know you are probably really busy but if you could help me with this decision that would be great.........i really want to give jagiellonian a try but i'm really scared because i don't know what to expect.....thanks for your help...
     
  9. Bianca

    Bianca Junior Member

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    The University offers you the option of staying in a dorm but is too expensive like $350 a month for just a room with a bathroom. Must people stay in the dorm for a month and then rent an apartment since is cheaper. The experience so far has been great is a lovely city and most people speak english to my advantage.

    The quantity of material is a lot as expected of any medical university but with your background it would not be a problem.

    I notice today that in one of your postings
    you said that you also were accepted to Tufts University if this is so I definitely think you should go there. It has nothing to do with this country not being a commonwealth like somebody stated. You can go to a more expensive university (like in Australia) and still be in the same boat as me of course with a much higher debt. The fact that is true is that if you have a choice of an american university versus a non american one you take the american versus any other.

    Good Luck!!!

     
  10. Since I assume the above statement was made in reference to a comment I made earlier, I shall comment.

    Perhaps your experience has been different Bianca. But I what I have posted about commonwealth schools vs Caribbean, Mexican and Eastern European is what I've been told/overheard from US faculty. Yes, I am in the same "boat" with regard to being an IMG, but everyone who addressed the issue with me told me they preferred commonwealth graduates over those from the countries I've mentioned above. And yes, my debt load is bigger (but bear in mind that with the current state of the OZ dollar, the tuition is less than $16,000 USD per year, much less than most US private schools of education but undoubtedly more than yours) but if it made my trip to residency easier and rewarded me with a better spot, then it was worth it, IMHO.

    I am not saying I agree with such sentiment, but just wanted to make it clear that my statements in regards to the issue of gaining a residency spot come from PDs, and other US medical faculty I worked with. Obviously there are those out there who profess to be "blind" to the country of ones medical education, but you should be aware that there are others, particularly at university residency programs, who are not.

    Best of luck and thank you for posting as none of us here have direct information about the Polish schools.

     
  11. Bianca

    Bianca Junior Member

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    I agree with you there is prejudice everywhere. But I still feel that the University has little to do with the kind of residency you get into.

    I believe that if you do a year of practice in the US, make good connections and get wonderful letters of recommendations from them you are already in a good position. Adding to that having papers published, and getting a terrific USMLE put the icing on the cake. Ultimately never underestimate the power of luck!

    I wish you the best of luck on your recidency.


     
  12. Hi Bianca,

    I absolutely agree that all the factors you have listed wield enormous power over getting a residency position and would not argue that your university plays a role anywhere near those. I have argued much the same in many other posts.

    However, I am only reporting what I have HEARD and been TOLD at University Surgery programs. I would argue that I am in a better place to assess whether or not residency PDs actually are concerned with your school of medical education than you are. This is not meant as a slight toward you by any means but a simple observation, IMHO.

    And I certainly do believe in luck as well, and every year an IMG gets a coveted IVY residency spot. However, to rely on that and to refuse to accept that there ARE SOME PDs and programs that will view ANY IMG as negative and SOME who will view SOME IMGs from SOME schools as more desirable, is to be blind, IMHO.

    You may be interested in the threads about Stanford - which is much the same position as I've seen at other university programs - commonwealth grads, German grads (who are all over the US) but no Caribbean, Mexican or Eastern European grads there. This is not to say that positions aren't open elsewhere - they certainly are - but IMGs do not have the free run of US residencies and IMGs from some programs are more restricted than others. I only wish you and your fellow students the best of luck and I really do hope that I am wrong, or that what I've been told is not the case for you.

    Best wishes...
     
  13. Bianca

    Bianca Junior Member

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    I completely agree with you that you are in a better position than me assesing other fellow students.

    It is also true that PD from many Universities would have their preferences on selecting one foreign medical school over another. In some hopitals they will be accepting more people from India in other from the Caribbean, etc.

    I have "herd" many things on the opinions of the PD so I personally prefer sticking with facts. The fact is that people from the Caribbean and Europe are matching at good programs in Stanford, Mayo, Tufts, just to mention a few.


    Althought I dont agree with you on this particular subject I appreciate your dedication to this forum and all the useful information you provide. Keep up the good work!




    I

     
  14. Thanks for the kudos Bianca, I appreciate them - even thought we obviously disagree with each other on this issue! [​IMG]

    I do not have any data about Caribbean or European grads at Tufts or Mayo; however, I believe the only grads in the above category at Stanford are from the UK and Germany. Obviously I could be wrong, as this is 2nd hand information. And as I've said before, at least at the programs where I interviewed, I saw NO other IMGs interviewing and very few among the current residents, except some UK fellows.

    At any rate, I think the BOTTOM LINE, one which we BOTH AGREE on, is that the DEFINITIVE decision on residency placement is based on your USMLE scores, gpa, letters of recommendation, and clerkship evals, NOT where you went to school. There will probably always be some PDs and some schools who wish not to "defile" their program with IMGs, but then thats NOT where we want to be is it? [​IMG]

    Please continue to give us details on your experience at Jag and offer any advice, information on this or any other issues you may choose.

    Best of luck to you..

     
  15. jag

    jag Junior Member

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    bianca...i know that i'm probably being a pain in the butt but i want to make the right decision. I know all about the advantages of going to tufts but i want more info on jagiellonian. i am really interested in the school. i am from polish decent and i think this school would offer me a great experience.....i am going to leave my e-mail address. if you have time...please take the time to e-mail me and another some questions for me. E-MAIL ADDRESS: [email protected]
    1. how are you paying for medical school
    2. how much polish do you have to learn
    3. how do you like and get along with your classmates
    4. what other schools did you apply to
    5. what do you plan on doing after you graduate from jagiellonian.
     
  16. DrPeace

    DrPeace Member
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    To Bianca, Kimberli, and the rest,

    IMHO, you will NEVER know whether a program will accept IMG without any prejudices. It really depends on the person who is in charge. As I have already posted an "essay" on the "this could be the deal thread", if the person in charge is as discriminating as the person I mentioned in Stanford, then certain foreign medical schools would have NO chance. That doesn't necessarily mean you wouldn't have a chance in Stanford, it just means that you have no chance in the department of internal medicine. I know the department of ob/gyn at Stanford is extremely open to ALL foreign grads, whether you are from Caribbean or Eastern Europe. So if you want to do ob/gyn at Stanford coming from these medical schools, you are probably on the same competiting field as the american grads!! really!!! [​IMG] Because the person in charge of selection is Dr. Sandrawasky(forgot his surname) and he is extremely NICE and all he looks for is competency, not petty things like medical school where one is from. And whether your foreign medical school is acceptable based largely on what their general perception of that school. If Jag is considered a good school by the person who is in charge, then you could be on the same competing level as the american grads, and surprisingly, some PD would think certain foreign medical schools are BETTER than some American schools. For example, if you are from the Tokyo University(Japan), which the selection committees here thinks it is beyond
    pretigious and students there are "cream of the crops of the geniuses", then your chance of getting residency at Stanford is close to 100%. But then so far, nobody from there ever applied to Stanford over the last 10 years. Oh... Tokyo University medical school is SO hard to get into(I would venture to say 20 times harder than americans getting into Harvard) for the Japanese that the way they select students are the following: All applicants are top 99.9998(literally) percentile of the country. Since even after pre-screening, everyone literally has perfect scores on their national exams, then they do this IQ test where everyone scores at least above 170!!! Then they do interview where the goal is to interogate you and humiliate you see if you are up it(you got to talk like a lawyer or else you are a goner). And Stanford knows this and just last week I was having a coffee with this attending and he went there for visiting. And so if they have a genius from there, OF course Stanford would die to have them. But then Japanese never seem to want to leave their country, because they make so much money there and the prestige of being a doctor there is beyond god-like-figure. So in a nutshell again, it all depends on how the guy in charge sees you.

    Kato
     
  17. You are absolutely right Kato - as a matter of fact, I have cited you when people have mentioned IMGs at Stanford. I obviously did not know that the OB-Gyn department was so open; I stand corrected.

    What I reported was what I was TOLD at university surgery programs. Undoubtedly there were programs who didn't want any IMGS - commonwealth country or not - and didn't deign to interview me or told me that I had to have the ECFMG certificate before they would (hmmm...not quite possible until graduation, but they didn't seem to care about that).

    I am also aware that there are several IMGs at UCSF-Fresno in the Ob-Gyn and IMG departments. Most of these are not Caribbean grads, although there are a few but from Mexican, Malaysian, Indian and a few Russian schools.

    The take home message of your post is that the bottom line is what the PD or Department Chief thinks - if they send a message that they don't want any IMGs, then it doesn't matter where you went to school; others may send the same message about Caribbean IMGs and still others about IMGs who are not US citizens. However, IMHO it would be foolish to think that an IMG is on a level-playing field with American grads. Yes, there are some programs which produce grads with a superior reputation (ie, Tokyo, Oxford, etc.) who will be sought after. However, it is my view that because there ARE programs which are uncomfortable with ANY IMGs and programs which are uncomfortable with CERTAIN IMGS, your chances for matching are less than that of US grads. Its simple mathematics.

    I know nothing of the reputation of Jag in the US but I am sure Bianca is an excellent student and will have no difficulty in matching into her specialty. But I stand by my original post in response to the query whether one should attend a US medical school (Tufts) or go to Jag - Tufts is much better known and he will likely have much less difficulty in gaining a US residency than had he gone to Jag. If the query were "should I go to Oxford or Podunk US medical school" then the decision would be much more difficult in my mind.

    I appreciate your sharing your expoeriences here. As I've posted before, I've also found that the oft-quoted message of "you'll never work in the US again" not only inaccurate but fear inducing for many students contemplating an education abroad.
     
  18. DrPeace

    DrPeace Member
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    where are you from Ms(or Dr.) Kimberli Cox ? Which medical did you go to?

    Cheers,

    Kato
     
  19. Its Dr now, but please call me Kimberli. [​IMG]

    I graduated from Flinders Univ of So Australia in Adelaide.

    Hope this helps.

     
  20. DrPeace

    DrPeace Member
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    To Kimberli,

    Flinders University of South Australia? Adelaide...Hmmm...I have heard lots of great things about Adelaide...I know they are world-reknown for plastic/reconstructive surgery. Back in England, I met this oral-max bloke and he told me he went to Adelaide for rotation, his name is Alistair Cobb. Maybe you might know him. I am not sure where he was(I think Royal adelaide hospital or queen elizabeth, something like that) or Flinders. He told me Adelaide is the best place in the world for plastic/recontructive/oral-max facial surgery. Pager just rang...got to go!!! The worse invention of mankind!!!!ARGHHHHH

    Kato
     
  21. Hey Kato...

    You are correct - Dr. (Mr.) David David in Adelaide is an internationally recognized authority on craniofacial surgery. He does incredible work locally as well as in many under developed countries. Everywhere I went fo electives in the US I was asked about him. I am sure if your friend came to Adelaide to do Plastics, and specifically max/facs or craniofacial, it was with David at the Royal Adelaide. I had a wonderful opportunity to accompany another surgeon to Papua New Guinea to do some head & neck and general reconstructive work; textbook only kind of stuff (ie, oral cancers evading their way to the outside world, etc.).

    Melbourne is internationally known for its microvascular research; I was also asked constantly about it.

    Is it any wonder I got interested in plastics while in Oz? [​IMG]
    Before I left I was told wonderful things about Flinders and now that I'm back I've also heard more great things. Seems I made the right choice.

     
  22. DrPeace

    DrPeace Member
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    As Californians alway say, "COOL DUDE".

    I guess Adelaide is indeed famous for its craniofacial field. I only spend a month at the University of Sydney for elective. I did it a Westmead hospital. Heard of it? I guess you would have because it's pretty big there some reason. At the very least, IT'S HUGE!! Almost 1000 beds!!

    I was gonna go to Royal Melbourne but then since Sydney is more "touristy", I went there instead. Enjoyed some sunshine in Bondi beach and toured around the harbor. [​IMG] Then I went to Hong Kong to visit there for another month at Prince of Wales(where I was born). Although no longer British, I feel like I am always loyal to the Queen!! [​IMG]

    Are you an American or Australian? You sound like you are an American. Just a wild guess.

    God bless the Queen!

    Kato
     
  23. Mixed breed - Australian mum and American father (but American by birth). I have of course heard of the Westmead and the RPA. Not only for the Aussie version of shows like "Hopkins 24/7" but because of friends either studying there or residents I worked with in the NT from Sydney.

    It was a great experience for the most part and I'm glad I did it, against the advice of all the US pre-meds that told me I'd never work in the US again. [​IMG]

     
  24. Stephen Ewen

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    Another huge plus for Flinders from another angle is their Rural and Remote Medicine track. Within it, students are able to ficus on some of these areas during PBL basics, and then do much of their clinicals in northern Australia. The program operates on the reality that the sets of skills needed by truly rural practitioners are much beyond a gatekeeper or narrowly defined speciality. In my opinion, Australia leads the world in this type of thing.
     
  25. With a couple of notable exceptions the students who did their 3rd years in the Rural and Remote Track just BLEW us away on clinical skills. While they didn't have a chance to manage some of the "big city" type of stuff (ie, no neonates, no GSWs, no aesthetic surgery, etc.) with good basic medical care they were far and away more advanced because they basically had the patients, clinic and hospital to themselves (or at most 1 other student).

    The program was highly dependent on physician-student interaction and teaching. Most of the students got excellent teaching and were made part of the team in these rural locations, accompanying the Royal Flying Doctors out on retrievals, doing all the small procedures, assisting in the OR, clinics and on hospital rounds.

    I had the opportunity to do Rural Surgery in the Northern Territory and LOVED it. While I had a wonderful experience at Flinders in Adelaide and got to do lots (because I was around a lot and asked to do a lot), I was able to see things not typically seen in a first world country, manage patients without benefit of a CT scanner, community resources and of course, learn a lot about a wonderful group of people. I soon learned to focus on what had to be done and to do it quickly because it was not unusual for patients to slip away in the middle of the night. Sometimes they would return for follow-up, sometimes they wouldn't. I think the record was a fellow who spent 3 years with an external fixator on his right tibia before returning!

    At any rate, the program was wonderful exposure for those planning on being GPs practicing in remote areas. Most of these guys are the true general practitioners we really don't see in the US much anymore - doing everything from delivering babies, to ortho and neuro procedures, treating IM problems and dealing with Psychiatric patients in areas without much resources. I recall one local bloke in a tiny town who performed a craniotomy with a workman's drill one of the townies had retrieved for him. The GP had only arrived in town the day before, hadn't even unpacked his suitcase or set up his practice (hence the lack of medical tools).

    I'm not sure the program was the best choice for Americans who are considering coming back to the US, as some of the students found themselves somewhat at a loss during 4th year or after when trying to learn the ropes of working in a major hospital. It can be awfully isolating as well and seemed to work best for the students who had spouses to go with them.

    But all in all, seems like the students in that track really got some excellent teaching, and it paid off.

     

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