ocean11

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Hi everyone, one of my friends got in to Saba with a really low GPA this week, yeah 2.1. I mean she's a great person and I love her, but does this mean they accept anyone?!?!? I mean 2.7 is a massive stretch but 2.1?!?!? she has EC's and reference letters but nothing different than normal....

I think Saba is great... but whats up with this.....
 

The Pill Counter

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You need someone to confirm this? It's pretty obvious they will take anyone. Also look at a previous thread on ross, they're taking 300+ each semester knowing full well many of those student won't continue on. Let your friend know to kiss goodbye any chances of returning to Canada.
 

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I think most of the Caribbean schools will indeed accept just about anyone. The one exception is SGU... their standards for admission are somewhat higher (but still lower than U.S. schools--in general).
 
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The Caribbean is not about gaining an admission. It is about surviving. If the school has a good reputation in the U.S., it doesn't matter who gets accepted. It matters that you finish the program and score well on the board exams. If you can prove yourself by doing the coursework and showing that you deserve to be there, you will become a doctor. However, many people are not prepared for the rigors of medical school - and, if one has a 2.1 GPA, they should do some serious soul-searching before investing a lot of time and money starting upon a pursuit at which they have a high likelihood of ultimately failing.
 
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good points guys, truth is I don't think she can make it.... but she has her heart so set on medicine who am I to say anything (ie don't waste your money etc....)
Well I guess now I know that the carribean is not about acceptance, I honestly thought you needed at least a 3.0 to get in....

O.K here's a question.... have you guys EVER heard of the carribean rejecting anyone?!?!? seriously now????
 

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Yes, I know of one girl (and, I'd suspect there's more) in my class currently who transferred here from AUC because she did not gain an acceptance to Ross when she applied as a new, incoming student. Apparently, she did well enough at AUC to get into Ross as a transfer.
 

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Originally posted by ocean11

O.K here's a question.... have you guys EVER heard of the carribean rejecting anyone?!?!? seriously now????

yeah. I've heard of people getting rejected from St. Georges.
 

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Originally posted by Skip Intro
The Caribbean is not about gaining an admission. It is about surviving. If the school has a good reputation in the U.S., it doesn't matter who gets accepted. It matters that you finish the program and score well on the board exams. If you can prove yourself by doing the coursework and showing that you deserve to be there, you will become a doctor. However, many people are not prepared for the rigors of medical school - and, if one has a 2.1 GPA, they should do some serious soul-searching before investing a lot of time and money starting upon a pursuit at which they have a high likelihood of ultimately failing.


Nothing personal, but your comments regarding the person with a 2.1 gpa may very well be the same comments made by someone with a higher gpa than you, of you.

If for instance you have a 3.7 and I have a 3.9, would it be fair of me to suggest you "give it up" quit?


I hope you succeed 100% as I hope the person with a 2.1 does. Actually, the person with a 2.1 might actually try that much harder to prove you wrong.

Walter Reed, the famed US Army doctor of which Walter Reed Hospital is name after, never finished college, yet studied medicine.



 

The Pill Counter

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That must be one of the dumbest things I've ever read smf.
someone with a 3.7 need not compare himself to someone with a 3.9. Their academic records would strongly suggest they are competent enough to complete med school. It's perfectly valid to question the abilities of someone who only managed a 2.1. If I were a betting man, I wouldn't count on the 2.1 finishing med school in the Caribbean.
 

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hi !!!!

just because a person has a 2.1 doesn't mean anything
some people play in college and never study....if they would
have, they may have done better.....some med students,at the
top of their class couldn't pour urine out of a bottle.....anyways
someone has to finish last....the saying goes the top 1/3 go
to research,the middle work,the bottom 1/3 get rich....thanks
 

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hmmm... certainly not a saying i'm familiar with.
 

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Originally posted by ratkiller10
the saying goes the top 1/3 go to research,the middle work,the bottom 1/3 get rich....thanks
Yeah, I've heard this before too. But, methinks this is just justification for subpar performance. Also, I'd be interested to know who gets sued the most out of those groups.
 

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Originally posted by The Pill Counter
That must be one of the dumbest things I've ever read smf.
someone with a 3.7 need not compare himself to someone with a 3.9. Their academic records would strongly suggest they are competent enough to complete med school. It's perfectly valid to question the abilities of someone who only managed a 2.1. If I were a betting man, I wouldn't count on the 2.1 finishing med school in the Caribbean.


Hello Pill Counter,

Thank you for your kind words.

I can tell you are both compassionate and humble.

What GPA denotes completion of professional studies? Does the fact that someone with a 2.1 that has the drive to move to a different country and perhaps learn and study in a new language not say anything about motivation.

I guess I could extrapolate as to reasons you are not in a Canadian school and also use the words "dumb, dumbest, etc"

Lets face it, you are studying abroad because for one reason or another (just or unjust) Canada said no. Different interpretations of the reason(s) of your being rejected might include the "dumb" hypothesis. I do not raise this point to acost or accuse you, but simply hopefully to stimulate introspection.

Those who choose to study in the Caribean actually may be clever indeed. Many schools give a chance to a broad range of students with a dream. It is then up to each student to sink or swim. It is by no means easy, BUT you get a shot at the title. Even at a so called English language program you need to learn Spanish to do clinical rotations.

Learning another language is a wonderful thing. It opens up new worlds.

Coming from Australia you must pass the same tests the folks from the caribean take. The only way to be politically correct in the eyes of north american powers that be is to graduate from one of the north american schools.

Funny thing, I recall students that had a much better undergrad gpa than i did, yet never passed the exams for US residency, and or never graduated. Good people, good friends, a great learning experience, got an education and opened my eyes.

Class of 82, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic


Sorry for not replying sooner, its just that I've been busy practicing medicine for the last 20 years.
 
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Originally posted by ocean11
Hi everyone, one of my friends got in to Saba with a really low GPA this week, yeah 2.1. I mean she's a great person and I love her, but does this mean they accept anyone?!?!? I mean 2.7 is a massive stretch but 2.1?!?!? she has EC's and reference letters but nothing different than normal....

I think Saba is great... but whats up with this.....
Wow, I didn't know their stats were that low. Maybe she has a high MCAT score or went to a good school?
 

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A bit off-topic I believe but here's my little experience on the whole North American medical education admission system.

This system mainly caters:

1. --- Students from better-off socioeconomic groups ---

imagine if you need to do 3 part-time jobs to finance your degree, you probably have less time to study and that would inevitably lead to lower GPA. Also note that personal and family problems arised during your college years take toll too.

2. --- Native English Speakers ---

if your native language is not English, you are left out in this dream even if you are smarter than Einstein. (who, unfortunately, doesn't speak perfect English either :).

Others being equal, if an applicant doesn't possess any of the above, it is very unlikely to gain acceptance in the US/Canada.
 
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secretwave101

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About our little sub-plot here - I like that statement about the results of the different 1/3 of the class. There is alot written about what exactly a GPA means, and what it predicts. The statement is meant as a joke, but there is probably some truth to it.

The most shocking anecdotal statistic I heard on this subject is that the average undergrad GPA of the 100 richest people in America (who didn't inherit their money) was less than 2.8 - if they managed to finish school at all.

There is something to be said for the fact that GPA's, and ALL of medical school, is about conformity (extremely important in this field). Those who devote a large amount of mental energy to innovation and creativity are often unrewarded by GPA's etc - but they do seem to end up dang rich!

Of course, none of this is true everywhere all the time.

Hopefully this girl can make it through with a 2.1. If not, she'll just have to go invent something so she can pay off her ill-advised foray into the world of recipie and conformity.
 

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i studied in the Dominican Republic and graduated 20 yrs ago. Have been licensed in the US for a very long time.

Forget about everything except learning. Don't dilute yourself with worrying about who has a higher/lower gpa, don't worry about rumours.

Focus on learning and try to start reviewing test questions geared to the country you will be returning to.

I tell people that never passed US exams that they should work in another country doing what they truly like.

My classmates were from very diverse backgrounds. on couple were retired schoolteachers that had always wanted to be doctors. They both graduated and I believe passed the exams at that time, but never pursued residency. The accomplishment and knowledge was what they most seeked.

Another clasmate and frien was a Nigerian guy that had been a non MD profesor at a Texas medical school. Good enough to teach the medical students but not good enough to be admitted as one. Quite a paradox!

The guy was very smart. I don't know what happened to him as we lost touch.

There were dentists, oral surgeons, nurses, PA's, lawyers, and ordinary people like me.

If you don't try it you will spend the rest of your life with that big "what if" in your mind.

I am not a great believer in GPA or standardized tests. Many people are capable of high gpa's if they assert themselves.
Some are very good at taking standardized exams, and others are not.

Guess if you assert yourself during undergraduate studies, get lucky and get accepted in your native country, you will be ok. Or, alternately, assert yourself during medical studies in a school that was not your first choice. Although after having lived in latin america and learned a great deal not only academically but culturally and spiritually I am very proud of having studied there.

Yes, Santo Domingo, one of the countries with a so called stigma.

The only stigma is that created by and living in those with limited minds.

Some will refer to medical school scandals abroad but will easily forget US cheating scandals. Political correctness does have its advantages!


Believe in yourself as much as you doubt.
 

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Originally posted by smf
Forget about everything except learning. Don't dilute yourself with worrying about who has a higher/lower gpa, don't worry about rumours.

If you don't try it you will spend the rest of your life with that big "what if" in your mind.

I am not a great believer in GPA or standardized tests. Many people are capable of high gpa's if they assert themselves.
Some are very good at taking standardized exams, and others are not.

The only stigma is that created by and living in those with limited minds.

Believe in yourself as much as you doubt.
This is a Great post!

You are the type of person that I would want as my physician.
 

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I just wanted to say that my uncle was unable to get into med school in Puerto Rico and so had to go to the Dominican Republic. Yet he's done very well for himself as a GP back in his hometown both professionally and financially (if his Mercedes is any indication lol). So I really think anyone coming out of the Caribbean should be fine, so long of course as they pass the courses and boards. You might be restricted to primary care at a community hospital, but you'll still be better off than a *whole* lot of other people (certainly financially, and hopefully in fulfillment).
 

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here is an old famous quote:

Do you know what they call the person who graduates LAST in his/her medical school class?...................................Doctor!!


BTS4202
 

Celiac Plexus

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Originally posted by bts4202
here is an old famous quote:

Do you know what they call the person who graduates LAST in his/her medical school class?...................................Doctor!!


BTS4202
Do you know what they call the person that graduated first/last from a Carib med school?...............FMG!

Nah seriously, if you can handle the studies, pass the steps/CSA/etc, and get licensed then that's all that counts... right?

Personally I would not want to go to a med school that admits anyone who can afford the tuition. YOu have to question a school's commitment to academic excellence when it admits a student with a 2.1 GPA.

A lot of proCarib people will offer a litany of excuses for poor undergrad performance. He/she "partied" too much, was poor and had to "work 3 jobs", or couldn't speak english well. Well, this may be news to y'all but there are plenty of people in medical school who are poor, have english as a second language, and even "partied" a lot in college. The bottom line is that there are rigorous standards for admission to a US MD school. They may not be perfect but GPA and MCAT score are two fairly objective criteria that anyone and everyone can work on. If you squandered your opportunity in undergrad to achieve well academically, then someone who was focussed and driven in undergrad is more deserving of the spot. A 2.1GPA undergrad? lol. This person might still get in to a US MD school if she was willing to demonstrate academic excellence through an advanced degree, or more coursework. Unfortunately, she has chosen to throw good money after a pipe dream. A school like Saba demonstrates by admitting her that they care more about her ability to pay the tuition than they do about her ability to complete the curriculum and pass all of the licensing examinations.
 

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Originally posted by McGillGrad
This is a Great post!

You are the type of person that I would want as my physician.


Hi McGillGrad,

Thank you so much for the kind words. The line about "stigma" is original, but I have to admit the saying "believe in yourself as much as you doubt" was borrowed from the singer of a little known Dublin band by the name of U2; someone I greatly admire.

Is everyone on this forum studying medicine? or aspiring so?

Whats your status in al of this?


Saludos y un fuerte abrazo
 

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Originally posted by Celiac Plexus
Do you know what they call the person that graduated first/last from a Carib med school?...............FMG!

Nah seriously, if you can handle the studies, pass the steps/CSA/etc, and get licensed then that's all that counts... right?

Personally I would not want to go to a med school that admits anyone who can afford the tuition. YOu have to question a school's commitment to academic excellence when it admits a student with a 2.1 GPA.
==============================================

Then it looks like you would not attend any one of numerous US schools that have admitted students with such GPA's pursuant to affirmative action programs.







A lot of proCarib people will offer a litany of excuses for poor undergrad performance.
==============================================
There exists a litany of Caribe graduates in most if not all fields of medicine in the USA. Primary care, surgery and subspecialties.








He/she "partied" too much, was poor and had to "work 3 jobs", or couldn't speak english well. Well, this may be news to y'all but there are plenty of people in medical school who are poor, have english as a second language, and even "partied" a lot in college. The bottom line is that there are rigorous standards for admission to a US MD school. They may not be perfect but GPA and MCAT score are two fairly objective criteria that anyone and everyone can work on. If you squandered your opportunity in undergrad to achieve well academically, then someone who was focussed and driven in undergrad is more deserving of the spot. A 2.1GPA undergrad? lol. This person might still get in to a US MD school if she was willing to demonstrate academic excellence through an advanced degree, or more coursework.
==============================================


Or better yet get accepted to IIT Indian Institute of Technology, where the acceptance rate is in the order of 5%. Where children of prominent Indian CEO's get rejected and must settle for Cornell or the likes (recent CBS 60 Minutes Story)

Therefore people with postgraduate degrees are academically excellent?

Many that get advanced degrees or perform more coursework are still rejected. When I was in attendance at a Caribe school 20 years ago a class mate of mine went by the last name "Littman" of the famed cardiology family (hint Littman stethoscopes) an idealistic very nuce guy, told me flat out he did not want to gain US admission based on the merits of someone else. He chose to study abroad, with the rest of us losers.


You speak as if intelligence and achievement are geographically correlated. If you are enrolled in a US school you are therefore academically excellent, or vice a versa.

That somehow the universe begins and ends in the United States.


And you resort to the "F" word, as in FMG Foreign Graduate

Therefore a partial list of Foreign (non US schools) graduates (medical/non medical)follows;

Albert Einstein

Ivo Pitanguy

Jose Barraquer

Luis Ruiz

Roberto Zaldivar

Cristian Barnard

A A Fiodorov



And did I forget to mention Dr Fred Lajam, a Caribe (Dominican Graduate) cardiothoracic surgen in the US that has better M/M stats than his academically excellent coleagues.


Over the years some things never change. One is the attitude by some that seems to assert doom and hopelessness to learning anywhere except in the US. Perhaps it is really projection disguised as disdain.



=============================================





Unfortunately, she has chosen to throw good money after a pipe dream. A school like Saba demonstrates by admitting her that they care more about her ability to pay the tuition than they do about her ability to complete the curriculum and pass all of the licensing examinations.

==============================================

Everyone deserves a chance, including children borne into abject poverty albeit brighter than some rich kids, though most never get it. Why not wish her the best of luck at Saba?

Arrogance and condescension does not = success mister
 
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Do you know what they call the person that graduated first/last from a Carib med school?...............FMG!
As a graduate from a foriegn school, do you know what a US MD from harvard/yale/princeton/etc, would call me ............ Doctor!!

Don't forget we all take the same exams... actually, to be truthfull, we take more exams than US students (CSA, TOEFL).

All the best,

BTS4202
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I think all Celiac was trying to say is that Caribbean grads and/or other US-IMGs are by-and-large inferior students/intellects than there U.S. grad brethren. Yes exceptions abound, but I think we'd all agree that generally speaking this is true right?

And I'll even go further to say that I agree with him in saying that there is no excuse--identity crises, too much partying, failing a particular subject, etc.--for not getting into or trying for a U.S. med school. I for one was indeed a royal screw-up in my younger days, and that's why I didn't/couldn't go to a U.S. school. As a result it's been a lot tougher for me than it would have had I stayed on the mainland. Am I bitter? No. That's only fair. That's life.

I often notice an interesting phenomenon occuring among my fellow US-IMGs... let me cite an example to help explain. Y'all remember that scene in Shawshank Redemption when Morgan Freeman, to illustrate a point to Tim Robbins, asks a fellow inmate why he's locked up? He says "Didn't do it. Lawyer f*cked me." And then Freeman, ironically, turns to Robbins and says "There's not a guilty man at Shawshank." When most US-IMGs are asked why they went foreign, their answers run the gamut from "My O-chem prof was a d*ck and he screwed me" to "There weren't enough spots in my state. If I'd have lived in (insert state) I would have definitely gotten in."

Sorry, I'm gettin long-winded here. I'll get to the point.

All of this sounds kind of like denial to me. I think the first step to improving is acceptance. I accept and take full responsibility for my lackluster performance of the past. And I think I'm a better man today for it. I'd encourage other US-IMGs with stories similar to mine to do the same.

Wherever you're studying medicine, rest assured that it's the best field in the world. Give it your all. Good luck to you all :).
 

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I think all Celiac was trying to say is that Caribbean grads and or other US-IMGs are by-and-large inferior students/intellects than there U.S. grad brethren. Yes exceptions abound, but I think we'd all agree that generally speaking this is true right?
I am sorry but I have to disagree with you and I am quite surprised to see you say that you have an inferior intellect and are an inferior student compared to someone that you are probably doing your residency with right now. I take personal offense to those statements. I am a non-traditional student. I was a college drop out, a stupid, angry, confused kid. I finally got my life back together and busted my butt. I didn't even bother applying to US schools because I knew their wasn't a chance in hell. HOWEVER, it doesn't mean I am any less a person or intellectual because I didn't go straight through college and get an A in O Chem. Because of the limited spots in US medical school and because of the "lawsuit crazy" society, LCME accreddited schools base their admissions mostly on objective data such as grades, rather than risk the possible lawsuit with subjective info. The students, therefore, have to only be the "creme de la creme". The MCAT is the same thing, I honestly never took it, but it seems like it is based on info that you really don't need in med school. When does anyone use organic chemistry in med school? As long as you know some of the reactions (methylation,carboxylation, etc)and basic structures, what else do you need? How about physics? In what way does knowing the equation for the coefficiant of friction help me be a better physician? Biology.... ha ha ha.... I learned what the general organs of the body where when I was in high school... what else do I need? We have to take micro/immuno again anyway as well as genetics and all the rest of it. Whats the purpose in doing it twice (there is obviously none since those cources aren't required for med school anyway). As for the rest of biology, I could really care less that a worm has no vasculature or whatever other animal has whatever other problems. I am interested in being an MD, not a vet. The only valuable class I can really see is general chemistry.. that, I have to say is extremely important. But the MCAT tests all of the other stuff as well and none of the subjective stuff.... Do you like people? Are you compassionate? Are you really a good person or can you just pretend to be one for a few hours of an interview? Are you willing to spend the rest of your life learning and pushing yourself to know more and update yourself in the name of your patients well being? Are you honest in the face of danger? Are you in it for the money or the love of the job? Will you actually care if you make a mistake? Can you make quick decisions when it really matters? I personally believe that anyone can learn medicine. I think that I can take a bum off the street and teach him basic sciences eventually. It may take me 10 years to teach him all the basic science info, but it can be done. The subjective part is what really makes a physician. Brilliance belongs in a lab, comapssion belongs in the hospital. The most imporatant vow a doctor can take is Prime non nocere: Do no harm..... Not, Know everything. The reason is because medicine is an art as much as a science and sometimes doing nothing more than comforting a patient who is scared can do more than running 100 tests and doing 100 interventions (you know what I am saying... I am not saying hug someone who is in cardiac arrest). This message became a lot larger than I had meant for it to... I guess I got a little worked up. :) .

Back to the original point, I don't think that any FMG's should say that they are lesser than US grads. I think that we have the capacity to be just as good, just like some US grads can be horrible. I have known both. I think that the real judge of a physician should be subjective and not where they went to med school.

Sincerely,

BTS4202
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St. Christopher's COM
 

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Originally posted by Dr. Cuts
I think all Celiac was trying to say is that Caribbean grads and or other US-IMGs are by-and-large inferior students/intellects than there U.S. grad brethren. Yes exceptions abound, but I think we'd all agree that generally speaking this is true right?
Not at St. George's. In my class were MANY Berkeley grads, who just didn't get in, as well as UCLA, Brown, and Harvard (believe it or don't). As I posted before, the state of California has said that they could have a second, identical class at all 5 UC schools, fill it, and STILL have qualified applicants left over. More California residents apply to the University of Kansas than Kansas residents. As far as state schools go, you have to admit that your average southern/midwesterner would find it MUCH more difficult to get into school, were they in California, New York, Florida, or Pennsylvania.

We had a few screw-ups, but every school does; the majority by and far were as academically qualified as anywhere I'd seen.

When I applied in 1992, there were 46000 applicants for 16000 spots - to say that the 7 that didn't get in for the 4 that did were inferior is foolhardy.

As for Celiac Plexus' "...what do they call the person that graduated first/last from a Carib med school?...............FMG!" - who are 'they'? It sure isn't the patients - and, in my book, that's who matters. It reflects on egos of schools and residency programs who want to say "We have Harvard and Stanford"; the patients really don't care, as long as they get superior medical care.

And, if you want to debate good medical care, that's a fool's bet, and I'll take it from you.
 

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Originally posted by bts4202
I am sorry but I have to disagree with you and I am quite surprised to see you say that you have an inferior intellect and are an inferior student compared to someone that you are probably doing your residency with right now.
I think all Celiac was trying to say is that Caribbean grads and/or other US-IMGs are by-and-large inferior students/intellects than there U.S. grad brethren. Yes exceptions abound , but I think we'd all agree that generally speaking this is true right?

I certainly hope I'm not intellectually inferior, but that's really not for me to judge. If you say/think you're not, then you're not. Kudos.

Good luck :cool:!
 

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Originally posted by Dr. Cuts
I think all Celiac was trying to say is that Caribbean grads and/or other US-IMGs are by-and-large inferior students/intellects than there U.S. grad brethren. Yes exceptions abound , but I think we'd all agree that generally speaking this is true right?
I still say no. As long as there are more applicants than spots, the people left out will look for other options, and it trickles down, from the parallel, to the lesser programs, which will render the 'inferior intellects' a chance at education - to whomever can pay the price. Maybe my perspective is biased - I came from NY, and interviewed at a bunch of US schools, but just didn't get in, and only considered St. George's and Sackler - so I'm looking 'top-down'. For those not even competitive, you may be right; I don't have the data about the bunches of Caribbean schools I'd never even heard of (St. Christopher's? St. Matthew's? Spartan? Huh?).
 

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I have a hard time with the terminology - eg "intellectually inferior" and "academically inferior" - even if you're probably right generally, Cuts/Plex.

I will agree that there is a numerical discrepancy b/t averages of foreign and US - but there is enormous debate about what those averages say objectively about intellect. The correlations are even weaker between those scores and medical ability.

Cuts is right, FMG's love to be in denial. We should just stay focused on what is true - the numbers ARE lower (for whatever reasons), but those numbers don't have enough meaning to make FMG's dishonest about why they are FMG's.

Geoff Ankeney
FM soon-to-be G....because my numbers SUCKED! (and I dig living overseas)
 

smf

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I thought the below study published in JAMA would be interesting. Maybe you saw it already. It is amazing how the author refers to IMG's doing better than USMG's as "declining USMG skills" as to infer their skills had to have been better at one point than IMG's, as opposed to just saying the IMG's are sharper.
======================================================

From JAMA, Sept. 2001

RESEARCH LETTERS

Physical Examination Skills of US and International Medical Graduates


To the Editor: Physical diagnostic skills are considered essential for the practice of medicine,1 but several studies have noted declining clinical skills among US medical school graduates (USMGs).2-4 We conducted a study to measure recent medical school graduates' ability to perform the abdominal examination.




Methods



We defined criterion standards for 13 specific abdominal examination skills (Table 1) in accordance with a textbook that is widely used in US medical schools to teach physical diagnosis.5 These skills relate to performing a general examination of the abdomen as well as examination for suspected acute appendicitis.

We studied 148 first-year residents in internal medicine and pediatrics at our institutions, of whom 113 were USMGs and 35 were international medical graduates (IMGs). Subjects were asked to examine the abdomen of a young adult patient, and each examination was directly observed by 1 of the authors. Inter-rater reliability was established previously ( = 0.93). The performance of the USMGs was compared with the IMGs using the 2 or Fisher exact test as appropriate. International medical graduates with prior residency training were excluded.




Results



Overall, USMGs performed significantly worse than IMGs for each of the 13 skills (P = .001 for each) (Table 1). There were no significant differences between specialties or among residency training programs.




Comment



The clinical skills of USMGs in this sample appears to be suboptimal. We note that participants in this study may not be representative of either the USMG or IMG population. However, USMGs in this study collectively attended 63 different US medical schools and as a group they received a grade of honors in 542 (80%) of the 678 required clinical clerkships during medical school. Thus, their clinical grades place them in the top quartile of USMGs in that year.

As of July 1, 1998, all IMGs were required to pass a clinical skills assessment examination prior to entering US residency programs. Graduates of US medical schools currently are exempt from this national assessment examination. Previous data reveal that approximately 97% of candidates achieve a passing score on this examination and that 80% of candidates undertake special preparation for the test.6 All IMGs in this study successfully completed this examination. Increased attention to clinical skills acquisition may be necessary in medical schools, and residency program faculty may need to conduct an assessment of basic clinical skills at the start of internship and provide appropriate remediation where indicated. To the extent that testing drives learning, it may be desirable to institute a national clinical skills examination for USMGs. The National Board of Medical Examiners is currently pilot testing such an examination for possible future use.6



Philip O. Ozuah, MD, MSEd
Jane Curtis, MD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Children's Hospital at Montefiore
Bronx, NY

Eugene Dinkevich, MD
Department of Pediatrics
Downstate Children's Medical Center
Brooklyn, NY



1. Kern DC, Parrino TA, Korst DR. The lasting value of clinical skills. JAMA. 1985;254:70-76. MEDLINE

2. Wiener S, Nathanson M. Physical examination: frequently observed errors. JAMA. 1976;236:852-855. MEDLINE

3. Mangione S, Nieman LZ. Cardiac auscultatory skills of internal medicine and family practice trainees. JAMA. 1997;278:717-722. MEDLINE

4. Mangione S, Peitzman S. Revisiting physical diagnosis during the medical residency: it is time for a logbookand more. Acad Med. 1999;74:467-469. MEDLINE

5. Bickley L, Hoekelman R. Bates' Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott-Raven; 1998.

6. Whelan G. High-stakes medical performance testing: the clinical skills assessment program. JAMA. 2000;283:1748. FULL TEXT | PDF | MEDLINE
 

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Originally posted by secretwave101

I will agree that there is a numerical discrepancy b/t averages of foreign and US - but there is enormous debate about what those averages say objectively about intellect.
Just wanted to make it clear that my point was concerning US-IMGs--not true FMGs. I think that's an important distinction to acknowledge.
 
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Michael C. Ritota Jr., MD, F.C.C.P., F.A.C.A., First President of N.A.S.A., Founder of U.A.G. North American
Alumni Association

The first large wave of North American students to begin studying medicine at the U.A.G. began in the year of 1968. This demand for medical education abroad was largely due to the fact that the United States was in the midst of a very unpopular war with Vietnam and the Selective Service Act of 1966 stated that any student studying medicine would be deferred from the draft. This new regulation, immediately provoked an increase in applications for the 8,800 existing medical school spots in the U.S. from a previous of 18,000 to 88,000 applications, many of which were really not premedical students but students studying a bachelor of science with good averages and what we called "draft dodgers".

Naturally, this avalanche of applications with better grade-averages that that of the traditional premed student, displaced spots for many highly qualified students into the mainstream of American medical schools. This situation forced many dedicated students to look abroad for their education accepting the hardship of learning new cultures and languages to fulfill their dream of becoming physicians.

The Autonomous University of Guadalajara became the leader by accepting the greater number of these ambitious students. Later in years, a "secret" study by the AMA realized that an error of judgment was made by admitting a whole generation of students into American medical schools who were really not dedicated to the profession but, as previously stated, only taking advantage of the draft status granted by studying medicine. The really dedicated premed student went abroad and studied at the U.A.G.!

On Thanksgiving weekend of 1969, a small group of U.A.G. students met with Dr. Michael C. Ritota Sr. who flew to Guadalajara from New Jersey to discuss recent new rules dictated by the AMA and applied to foreign medical students studying abroad (FMGS) imposing drastic limitations upon their return to practice medicine in the United States.

Immediately following this meeting, a more important strategical meeting was called with the direction of Lic. Antonio Lea?o ?lvarez del Castillo and Lic.Carlos P?rez Vizca?no at the site of the new U.A.G. campus then under construction. At that meeting, a committee was formed to investigate these new requirements and coordinate as much information as possible with parents, students, and the administration of the U.A.G. - N.A.S.A. was not yet formed.

Upon return to the United States, Dr. Michael C. Ritota Sr.'s worst nightmare became a reality -- The American Medical Association had set into place rules at the state-level through the State Medical Associations virtually barring all FMGS from Guadalajara. Dr. Michael C. Ritota Sr. immediately formed the CPA (Concerned Parents Association) with chapters in 31 different states to initiate coordinated activity at the level of Senators, Congressman, and media to reconsider and change these "laws".

In essence, the AMA (a private institution) was dictating State Law in the same manner Shell Oil or Exxon might negotiate laws requiring their credit cards to drive in a state.

1969 was a year of dialogue with politicians, the AMA, and state committees. Parents groups were organized and the U.A.G. gave the students full backing and moral support. UNAM would not give a degree that stated M.D. nor grant a "T?tulo" upon graduation. These were the catch "22" 's imposed by the AMA.

Remember these were the years when FAX's, E-mail, LADA 001, Federal Express and many other means of rapid communication did not exist. Nevertheless, it was remarkable and astounding how organized we were in 1969.

1970 became the year of frustration before the intransient eyes and ears of the AMA in Chicago. After, countless and fruitless meetings in Chicago and with the State Medical Boards, the student board decided it was time for a more energetic action, and "war" was declared. Plans were drawn up for a two pronged attack. One on the State level, with Concerned Parents Associations initiating legislation for changes in State laws and the other prong was on a nationwide law suit filed in the Southern District Court of New York -- North American Student Association (N.A.S.A.) versus The American Medical Association (A.M.A.). Thus was born NASA in early 1972.

Fund raising from the students proved helpless under the enormous expenses to be incurred by the legal action, then somewhere and somehow an anonymous benefactor flew into our lives and provided us with all expense for our war chest. Whoever he is, may God bless him for helping to make so many fine doctors.

One of our most difficult problems was that we had no graduate of the U.A.G. practicing in the Unite States as an example of the quality that would soon come out of the U.A.G. and surprise the medical world. We were helpless against all arguments that a strong desire to achieve a goal could make a young student surpass any obstacles. Today, there exists literally, thousands of graduates from the U.A.G. as excellent examples of this argument.

Like lightning, states changed their laws through the United States. Governor Ronald Reagan being among the first to sign into law changes allowing students to return to California without obstacles. I remember him saying at the signing of the law in Sacramento, California "I am doing this because it is the right thing to do".

As a result of losing so much territory to the parent's committees and risking utter chaos among the State Medical Societies, the AMA collapsed, and decided to come up to an agreement with our attorneys which would create a "happy medium". Thus, born the Fifth Pathway program. The rest is history -- a long line of fine graduates who have entered the mainstream of American Medicine.

However, we must never forget the brilliant and enormous effort by the literally thousands of parents who gave their time and influences to promote legislative changes at state levels, who spent their own money to go to state capitols and promote these laws, to have parties for politicians, to send letters, etc., etc., etc. We must never forget those students who campaigned on their own time and nickel for this cause. Those that took from their studies to promote these changes. And, least of all, never, never, to forget the tremendous moral support by the direction of the U.A.G. to resolve this problem and give us the opportunity o become doctors serving in the long roll of fine physicians of Time's most honored profession -- MEDICINE.

http://www.fifthpathway.com/index2.html
 

Celiac Plexus

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I have just read a lot fo posts that start with "I think what Celiac meant was..."

What I meant is that a girl with a 2.1 GPA has not demonstrated any academic prowess, and I think that any med school that offers her a spot is doing a disservice to her and to itself. Further, I stated that Ross is more interested in her tuition check than whether she has what it takes to succeed.

As for the quality of students at Carib schools... I would guess that if you measure objective criteria like MCAT and GPA then the quality would be inferior. One poster even claimed that o-chem/biol/ and physics are not necessary for medical school. Hmmm...

As far as my joke that I made about FMGs.... It was just a joke. Okay? If an FMG passes all of the licensing exams and whatnot then that's all that's important.

As for Dr. Cuts... I would listen carefully to what he has to say. Based on his successes I would say that the FMG route is a viable option for some. Dr. Cuts though is probably a statistical outlier as far as FMGs. His academic achievements are impressive. He demonstrated that by objective criteria e.g. USMLE Step I and II on which he posted numbers >90% of US MD seniors. If he had gone to my med school, he probably would have been in the top of the class, and would have had his pick of residencies.
 

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One poster even claimed that o-chem/biol/ and physics are not necessary for medical school. Hmmm...
Celiac Plexus,

Can you tell me how general biology at a college level helped you in cell biology, histology, or anatomy? What did you learn in college level biology that you didn't know from high school (at least that is relevant to HUMANS)?

Can you tell me how Organic chemistry helped you in biochem? I mean, in college O. chem isn't a pre-req for biochem so I don't exactley know how that changes when your focus become clinical. Or even Pharm, how does your knowledge of the structure of each drug help you to understand and remember its MOA, indications, contraindications, and side effects? Just curious.

And physics, like I said in my earleir post, can you explain how the coefficient of friction can help my medical knowledge? Or maybe electrical physics, because that seems really important when discussing.... ummmm.... ummmm.... I don't know, help me out. What? is it essential to understand the physics of transistors to know how the conduction system of the heart works?

Taking these courses is intended 1) to enhance your GENERAL scientific knowledge and 2) weed-out people who are not as dedicated and will become frustrated and quit their medical ambitions. I challenge you to provide some examples of when someones knowledge of these subjects is essential to understand a medical school concept. Even a single example of when it is impossible to learn something in medical school because you didn't take these courses in college. When the explanation given by the instructor is insufficient. Go ahead and do some research, I am sure it will take you some time to find something, no matter how minute a concept. Don't work too hard though, I am sure there is many other things you should be using your O chem knowledge for.

Sincerely,

BTS4202
 

RickR

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BTS:

All knowledge builds on itself. Why do you think we have had the greatest technological advances within the last 150 yrs while before that we were stuck for 3,000 (consider horses vs autos)? Because knowledge increases exponentially. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and I am now looking into an MD. The two fields are very similar except for one being more carbon based and an infinite times more complex in structure and process. The reason schools ask for these, seemingly, unrelated courses is because they want you to think outside the box. You will be dealing with human lifes and not theory and anything that can help with that is, I think, logical.
Let's start with physics: You have motion, heat transfer/entropy, electricity, light.
Let's say you are setting a bone but you are not sure what type of fracture. Is it torsional, linear? What type of outlying tissue damage could be caused by either? What would you look for in the outlying tissue. Would you set a torsional break the same as a linear? Which one would you look for ligament or tendon damage? Sure alot of this is, to me, common sense and the X-ray would tell you nearly everything you would need to know but NOT everything. You have to understand function and motion.
Or, let's say your specialty is towards renal and urinary. You have a patient with kidney stones and you just heard about a new process (not new anymore, I think I dated myself) to break up the stones with certain frequency sound waves. How do you know that soft tissue damage will not occur? Why is the patient placed in liquid during this process? Will nearby bone be affected?
Let's say you have a hypothermia patient. Do you place them in warm water? Warm blankets? Can you use ultra-sound to raise the temperature of key organs? How fast can you raise the temperature using these various means?
I'm trying not to be too long-winded but a physician is always growing and learning (or at least should be). Let's say you design a new surgical implement that will save time and lives. The bone saw is a great example. You have a blade that cuts hard matter but not soft tissue. That's physics, chemistry and metallurgy! Gas mixtures and pressures for generals, that's chemistry and physics! Heck, the Heimlich uses physics! Just think if you didn't understand how electricity works and the damage that can be done if too many amps are used during cardiac arrest. I wouldn't want to be the first patient to have this tried on if the doctor had no clue about electricity. We would be limited to only trial and error with no educated guess available. Not my kind of world!

The gist:
You use everything you learn regularly whether you acknowledge it on a conscious level or not. Common sense is learned not genetically coded. Being able to see new directions or uses for existing processes or tools is how we glean next generation technology (CT Scan, laser, gem saw, radiation, fiber optics, metallurgy, microwaves, and on and on).
My goal is to advance prosthetics design. Sure I could sit in front of my Sun and CAD the most natural looking hand in history, manufacture it and have a doctor attach it. But would I understand how the micro-processor needs to function so it can read the nano-volts from the nerve ending? What about rejection of the device? Can I attach it to soft tissue as well as bone? Will the weight of the prosthetic cause joint damage in other locations on the arm or leg or?
I would want to know everything about how a system functions before I cut into it, especially where a life is involved.

There was a show called Connections. Quite interesting!

Ricky
 

smf

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Originally posted by Celiac Plexus
I have just read a lot fo posts that start with "I think what Celiac meant was..."

What I meant is that a girl with a 2.1 GPA has not demonstrated any academic prowess, and I think that any med school that offers her a spot is doing a disservice to her and to itself. Further, I stated that Ross is more interested in her tuition check than whether she has what it takes to succeed.
==============================================
Undoubetly Ross has graduated many classes and their students have attained residencies in diverse fields, regardless of what their entrance GPA was.
LOL, as if US schools don't care about tuition!!!!!!!!!!!
My family would not have been able to afford the tuition in the US
Great things can happen when someone applies themself. If that girl studies dilligently she can very well learn the same both qualitatively and quantitavely as her counterpart in a fancy name school.
Of course the fancy name school graduate will haver first pick of residencies despite who is more/less capable.
Yes, someone I trained with was a Harvard boy but he caved in to the 36 hour plus shifts back in the good old days. I guess the ability to get high grades on paper exams did not correlate too well with the ability to survive the floors.

==============================================




As for the quality of students at Carib schools... I would guess that if you measure objective criteria like MCAT and GPA then the quality would be inferior. One poster even claimed that o-chem/biol/ and physics are not necessary for medical school. Hmmm...
==============================================
They must be necessary since most people take them. Actually I ask myself the same questions after having suffered with those courses.


There's tons of doctors and the likes from all over the world that never heard of MCAT yet are very intelligent, brilliant, etc. My friends (surgeons) at The Barraquer Institute in Bogota, are considered at the top in the world in anterior corneal and refractive procedures. Gee, at Ophthalmology Meetings in the US all the fancy schmancy graduates sure listen carefully when they speak/present. Imagine that, paying attention to the FMG witch doctors from Colombia of all places.

And you know which FMG inferior intellect doctor really disses me off? Well its that Ivo Pitanguy plastic surgeon guy in Rio De Janeiro.

Explain how a sit down examination predicts how well someone will do as a scut monkey?

I recall a classical anatomy text by the French anatomist Rouvier in one hand, the Testut atlas and english spanish dictionary in the other. 3 semesters of classical anatomy, extreme torture.
==============================================




As far as my joke that I made about FMGs.... It was just a joke. Okay? If an FMG passes all of the licensing exams and whatnot then that's all that's important.
==============================================

During the era of Nazi Germany certain groups of people were so battered and belittled and berated and dehumanized that some of them actually began to side with the 3rd Reich, and believe it as true.
In the US so many factions tell you you are no good because you didn't study in the US. Funny isn't how the US can accept mathemiticions, poets, chemists, physicists, medical researchers from abroad but for some reason the medical graduates are just no damn good. When the US needed a lot of doctors, they organized an exam and started ECFMG. They were solicited in their home lands and even got their plane ticket and housing from the residency program. All specialities were represented. Yes, FMG orthopods, neurosurgeons, dematologists, etc etc. These inferior minds completed the programs and went on to be very successful.
More recently the pie is getting smaller and covert and overt discriminatory agendas continue. Numerous courtrrom battles have been mounted and won over the years. Ross and SGU have had to maintain a stron legal presence in the US to make sure their students are not arbitrarily impeded by the powers that be.
I know a guy that was in his cardiology fellowship and had to go to the NYS supreme court to get a license. He is far from alone. It is not only a problem with USIMG's but for non USIMG's as well.
A Swiss national graduate had to sue after being told he did not have enough hours in Basel University Medical School. At one point in the beloved history of the US blacks were unable to study medicine, along with Asians.
==============================================



As for Dr. Cuts... I would listen carefully to what he has to say. Based on his successes I would say that the FMG route is a viable option for some. Dr. Cuts though is probably a statistical outlier as far as FMGs. His academic achievements are impressive. He demonstrated that by objective criteria e.g. USMLE Step I and II on which he posted numbers >90% of US MD seniors. If he had gone to my med school, he probably would have been in the top of the class, and would have had his pick of residencies.
==============================================

There are MANY graduates of non US schools contributing to society. 25-30% approx are FMG's. If not for the loss of substantial revenue, I think the fairest thing to do is simply STOP administering the exams to thousands of aspiring doctors from around the world, instead of propagating the same BS about intellect of those from abroad. Over the years the story remains the same, the FMG's become very successful, but the faces of the accusers change. You can feed your ego by contributing something to humanity instead.

..........................................................
From JAMA, Sept. 2001


"The clinical skills of USMGs in this sample appears to be suboptimal.


@@Suboptimal is a polite way to say not as good [email protected]@


We note that participants in this study may not be representative of either the USMG or IMG population. However, USMGs in this study collectively attended 63 different US medical schools and as a group they received a grade of honors in 542 (80%) of the 678 required clinical clerkships during medical school.

@@80% achieved HONORS no [email protected]@@





Thus, their clinical grades place them in the top quartile of USMGs in that year.

As of July 1, 1998, all IMGs were required to pass a clinical skills assessment examination prior to entering US residency programs. Graduates of US medical schools currently are exempt from this national assessment examination. Previous data reveal that approximately 97% of candidates achieve a passing score on this examination and that 80% of candidates undertake special preparation for the test.6 All IMGs in this study successfully completed this examination. Increased attention to clinical skills acquisition may be necessary in medical schools, and residency program faculty may need to conduct an assessment of basic clinical skills at the start of internship and provide appropriate remediation where indicated. To the extent that testing drives learning, it may be desirable to institute a national clinical skills examination for USMGs. The National Board of Medical Examiners is currently pilot testing such an examination for possible future use.



Philip O. Ozuah, MD, MSEd
Jane Curtis, MD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Children's Hospital at Montefiore
Bronx, NY
==============================================

Anyway it was rejunenating to have returned to the polito-philosophical ring. There is an old addige that is rather blunt, but fragrant, "some of us think our Sh......t doesn't stink, but it does"
 

bts4202

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Originally posted by RickR
BTS:

I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and I am now looking into an MD.
You are looking into an MD? I don't doubt that you will enter med school, but when you have completed most of your basic sciences if not all, and actually spent some time in a hospital working with patients... then you can come back here and comment on the pre-med curriculum and its usefullness in clinical medicine. Untill that time, please butt out of this conversation.
 

pioneer research

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Excellent post, RickR!

BTS, why don't you calm down???? What possible good can you accomplish with this incessant idea that basic sciences in undergrad are a waste of time?
 

bts4202

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Pioneer Research,

The idea of these forums is for people to come here and share their ideas. I brought this idea up and someone said it was wrong. OK, I can respect that, so I came back and presented my opinions and asked the original person(celiac plexus) to give me some examples of how it becomes important.

I know it is not important because i have never taken some of those pre-req's. I took biology, gen chem, one semster of physics and NO Organic chemistry and I am at the top of my class. Maybe I am just the exception to the rule, but I know others who are in the same boat as me and doing fine. Like someone said, not all countries require those courses as pre-req's. But when an engineer, with no medical courses, comes here and says that it is important to understand the detailed physics behind lithotripsy... I have to laugh. I mean, ask any practicing ER doc that question and see if they even care. And what about needing to know the physics of movement to know wheither outlying structures will be damaged during a fracture reduction? Come on.... you need anatomy and an X-Ray... not physics.
Next, treating a hypothermic patient.... again... what do you need to know from undergrad? Do you really need thermodynamic physics to understand how to warm a patient up?
Ok, how about developing new technology? That is what people like rickr are for... engineers. PhD's and Pharmacists make the drugs, biomedical engineers make the equipment, and administrators run the hosital.... doctors stand on the shoulder's of these giants to use their advancements to save lives.

What is the point pioneer research? I will tell you.

We force ourselves to take these BS courses to appease the system that uses them to weed people out. Don't you ever wonder why? Don't you ever question the path that is designed... or do you just follow orders? Its not like I am proposing a revolution to change the system.... but some debate couldn't hurt anyone with an open mind and some reasonable experience to back up their comments.
 

RickR

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BTS. . .

I understand your point but you missed mine. Sure you can be at the top of your class and sure you can become a doctor and maybe a darn good one, but what will you add to the profession if you remain in the status quo? Sure you learned what they taught you and you can tie one heck of a suture but how about improving upon it?
As an engineer we only can take others ideas and make them reality if they are not in our particular area of expertise (mine is machining various alloys for fittings used in aero-space, I design the tooling and I can make a fitting better but do you think I understand how bone fuses to say a titanium shaft for a hip replacement? If it wasn't for TLC I wouldn't know that they make it porous and the bone will grow into the pores for better strength.
We need to know what you need and we can design it but if you have no ideas of your own where do we start?? There are MD's in research for just this reason and they do use their physics and org. chem but then they are the one's who are locked up in the theoretical world and not out in the real world. That' where you will be, in the real world dealing with real issues and problems that can't be duplicated on a computer or in an equation.
You brought up pharmacology in your last reply. If you don't understand the basic compositions, how will you know if there is not a chemical in that drug that a patient of yours might be allergic to? Sure you won't be out there mixing up your own potions but everything is connected in the true sciences.
 

RickR

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BTS

I am a little worried about your bedside manner.

Egos in medicine as they are in engineering are a necessary evil, but when it leads to tunnel vision then maybe it is time to look into another career.
At this point in your studies your potential patients will thank you.

I truly hope you're just having a bad day?

Rick
 

bts4202

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I am a little worried about your bedside manner.
Are you serious?? :laugh: I have not been ego tripping, I stated my situation only to illustrate the case.

If you don't understand the basic compositions, how will you know if there is not a chemical in that drug that a patient of yours might be allergic to?
Again, are you serious?? :laugh: Are you saying that you need O chem to know what a sulfonamide is, or an iodine based dye, or a pennicilin derivitive? Whatever it is that happens to be the causitive agent. RickR, you are obviously very intellegent, but you don't really know what you are talking about yet... I am sure you will soon.
 

Badkarma25

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I've been reading all these posts with great interest, partially because I have applied to Saba and hope to go there, regardless of the perceived quality of the students being admitted. Having said that, I should make it clear that I do not fall in the upper academic echelons of the "ideal" pre-med student.

The biggest thing I want to say is that it seems the two main players in this exchange have equally valid points, however, after reading all of the posts I am left feeling a bit uneasy about RickR's very strong opinions...perhaps uneasy isn't the right word...I don't really agree with his views...I do believe that individuals who are well-rounded make good physicians, and I think I fall into this category as I have undergraduate degrees in science and social science. I think that the connections between practicing clinical medicine and hardcore engineering/physics are tenuous at best. I don't know of any doctor (and I've asked a few over the past few days who practice family meds, respirology, and ID) who uses this sort of knowledge on a daily or even semi-regular basis...it's just not practical. I will concede that this knowlege is used in an applied sense, and I'll go even further to say that in specialties I know little to nothing about (ortho and radiology come to mind mainly) this sort of knowledge MAY come into play on a more regular basis.

I don't think, however, that someone without a high degree of knowledge in this areas will make a poor physician. I also have to disagree with RickR's statement about the status quo...with all due respect, being a practicing physician and seeing patients is not about making technological innovations...is it bad for an ER doc to think about making a better suture while sewing up a drunk at 3am? Not at all...but if one is consumed by thoughts such as this, I think it's a safe bet that perhaps clinical medicine and prolonged patient contact is a poor fit. Certainly technology and medicine are intertwined but it is impractical to say that doctors must strive to excel in this areas. In my experience, the best doctors are the ones who excel in the area of dealing with people. Anyone with average intelligence, I think, can learn the required facts essential to medicine...it is the intangible areas that are difficult, if impossible to learn, but these areas are so critical.

As for the whole argument on Saba, I think someone's earlier comments sum it up quite nicely...the person who graduates last in his/her class is still called doctor....and to put it frankly, GPA is about the poorest and least accurate predictor of who will or won't be successful as a doctor. Sure, GPA determines in many cases who will be ALLOWED to be a doctor, but I know many people with high GPA's who are going to make terrible physicians who are more interested in the money and the title than the bread and butter of the job. If anyone else has applied to Saba, I guess I'll see you there if I get in.....I'm looking forward to the opportunity, and I think anyone who feels apprehensive about attending a foreign/carribean school because of the stigma that they feel will be attached to them should seriously consider a different profession because you graduate and get that degree, no one is really going to care where you got it so long as you can do the job as well as anyone else. Good luck to everyone.
 

Badkarma25

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I have to post again...I keep seeing messages to BTS asking him/her to tone down the rhetoric about basic sciences being a waste of time...I don't get the impression from his posts that he thinks they are a waste of time but I'm going to come right back and ask RickR, why go so nuts? I think the most valuable part of your engineering background that would help you with medicine are your analytical skills...I honestly don't think knowing a great deal about physics is going to put you ahead of anyone. It might, but I wouldn't put money on it. I think you took the whole application idea a little too far, to the point of bordering on ridiculous. If you want to design or improve on prosthetics, I think that is fantastic, but I really don't see why you would waste time getting an M.D. if you really don't plan to treat patients that much (that's the impression I get and if I'm wrong, then I apologize in advance). I know a lot of people who are in med school in Ontario right now who I constantly hear say things like "I want to do research" or "I want to explore novel drugs"...my only response to them is "why in the hell are you taking up a spot in med school to pursue something earmarked for graduate school"...that is the biggest feeling I get from this whole direction being taken...knowing science is great, but if you practicing medicine isn't about innovation...talk to a family doctor, ask them how much they have the ability to innovate and what not in a day....I don't think that's bad, I mean, you know what you're getting into.......perhaps this isn't the right thread for this anyway...but it's a good point for discussion...
 

smf

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I have been through this crap many years ago and my comments are in retrospect. They say hindsight is 20/20


Organic chemistry as jammed into your face in the US is yet another weeding out mechanism. Another way to thin the applicant pool. Especially compounded by the damn lab and perfection that is sought.

Unless you want to become a MD researcher and spend all day in a chemistry lab I stll to this day fail to see the need.

The medical college where I studied (Santo Domingo) gave a semester of organic (mandatory) prior to biochem. OK, it was actually structured to be of RELEVANT help for biochem and NOT as a killer nerve racking course to help stop you from gaining admission.


Yup, when you are on the floors (residency) and you havn't slept in 20 hours or more and you are on the 15th admission you will see ZERO relevance for those courses.

The engineer sounds like a smart articulate person and means well with his mini dissertation on an above post, but quite frankly when he's getting his ass kicked with admissions and scut and wishes he could have a shower and sleep for a year, the carbon molecules/fibres won't even be a thought.

Sounds good to say at an interview for PM & R or a research spot where there ample time to ponder the creation of the universe but not for ortho, GS or IM, CVS etc.

Medicine sounds altruistic and noble but don't forget much of it is SERVICE/Paying dues/ apprenticeship. The only surgeons that didn't have a hell of a time were the first generation, the barbers in England.



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RickR

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Maybe the clarity in my responses are lacking or I am "too analytical" but I don't think that those of you who have replied fully understand how much these courses have changed your critical thinking attributes. You now take it as common sense without really looking that these courses have impacted your thinking. I mentioned the show "Connections" which explained how the most innane things led to some of the greatest technology in our time. Knowledge builds on knowledge and today, in some ways, we have more knowledge than our earlier counterparts. At one point (only 140 yrs ago) most individuals did not understand bacteria and many patients paid for it with their lives. No one fully understood (or analyzed) why patients they cut into seemed to get diseases that usually dealt with other forms of transfer (usually sexual or blood related diseases). Heck, even in the early part of the 20th century medical students would do their rounds directly after dissecting cadavers and then go on, and say, do there GYN work and guess what? Patients were getting sick and dying until a physician figured that one out after how many years and deaths. Was it because of course he took? Probably not, but that is why courses are added that attend to this ignorance.
And I agree when you are running around the emergency room like a mad person around 2 am you won't be thinking about your physics or organic chem but you will be using some of the analytical skills and basic principles used there whether you acknowledge it conciously or not. If there are any former Marines out there they understand that in a combat situation the training comes in and overrides there logical processes because a lot of times you don't have time to think only react. This is the case for physicians in triage as well, is it not at times? You use all the data you have assimilated over the years and make value judgments based on the correlations derived.
I got a laugh when I mentioned a torsional fracture and how it affects other systems. In engineering we perform tests on components and systems to failure. Usually, the specific area, in a system, that is set to fail is not the only component affected. It could be anywhere in the system. So if you have a torsional break above the ankle (both fibula and tibia) do you Xray that area only or do you go to the knee or to the hip? Some patients will be unconcious so how do you get the verbal about where the pain is? I've broken my fair share of bones and never has a physician shot beyond the purportedly affected area (and I have real good insurance). The result of one break damaged my rotator cuff (a rather larger bone chip) but all the doctor saw was a broken collar bone. A week later he sent me to a sports physician who found the chip (with an xray) and removed it.

And due to my life experiences (most painful) I am looking at orthopaedics. It deals with structures and that is what mechanical engineers specialize in though with inanimate objects as you all well know. And my experience in robotics could lead to research in prosthetics later, who knows??

Will what I have gleaned from my UD physics and engineering courses help me? At times, but I definitely won't be able to use it all the time. But just once makes a huge difference to that person, doesn't it?

I just don't know how to put it in clearer terms?

I may totally be off base and probably am but I get this feeling as though the prestige and the money the degree will bring is more important than the people being treated, hence 'I want my degree as quickly and with as little trial and tribulation as possible.'

Sorry for writing another book!

Rick
 
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