San Juan Bautista vs. Universidad Central del Caribe

Plan to attend SJB or keep trying for UCC?


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jugodeparcha

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Mar 9, 2014
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  1. Medical Student
    I know there's already a thread like this but it's from 5 years ago and there's a lot of arguing about legitimacy of PR schools and such... anyway I need to make a decision here, and I hope someone with knowledge about the PR schools can help me.

    I am an OOS applicant, Spanish speaker with 95% of my family living in PR (San Juan area). I was just accepted off the wait list at San Juan Bautista, and I am currently wait listed at Universidad Central del Caribe. I am also wait listed at Ponce, but I didn't think the school was a good fit and I didn't like the location, so I will probably withdraw from the wait list soon.

    UCC was originally my first choice, because it starts in August and will allow me to finish my master's program, which ends in July, whereas SJB starts at the end of June. Another reason is that SJB has had issues with accreditation, but I know that they've done a lot to avoid that in the future.

    Basically I want to know if I should keep trying for the UCC acceptance (by sending a LOI and updates) or start planning for attendance at SJB. What are the pros and cons of each school? Thanks!

    Edit: I ended up trying for UCC but did not get accepted. Now, I'm halfway done with medical school at SJB and I don't have any regrets. If I could do it all over again I would choose SJB in a heartbeat. The best thing about this school is the NBME exams.
     
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    VeitVat

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    Oct 20, 2014
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      I know there's already a thread like this but it's from 5 years ago and there's a lot of arguing about legitimacy of PR schools and such... anyway I need to make a decision here, and I hope someone with knowledge about the PR schools can help me.

      I am an OOS applicant, fluent Spanish speaker with 95% of my family living in PR (San Juan area). I was just accepted off the wait list at San Juan Bautista SOM, and I am currently wait listed at Universidad Central del Caribe. I am also wait listed at Ponce, but I didn't think the school was a good fit and I didn't like the location, so I will probably withdraw from the wait list soon.

      UCC was originally my first choice, because it starts in August and will allow me to finish my master's program, which ends in July, whereas SJB starts at the end of June. Another reason is that SJB has had issues with accreditation, but I know that they've done a lot to avoid that in the future.

      Basically I want to know if I should keep trying for the UCC acceptance (by sending a LOI and updates) or start planning for attendance at SJB. What are the pros and cons of each school? Thanks!



      The decision you are about to make will impact the rest of your life - have patience.

      A brief background on the three private schools in PR.

      University of Puerto Rico is is bound to take Puerto Ricans. And that is that.

      Universidad Central del Caribe was first, followed a year after by Ponce School of Medicine and one year after by San Juan Bautista.

      Since their first graduating classes UCC and PSM had LCME accreditation, and for a couple of generations now their graduates have been entering ACGME residencies just like any school stateside.

      SJB - which is not located in San Jusn, btw - but in Caguas, had operated without having being able to attain LCME accreditation by virtue of Puerto Rico's "peculiar " political status ... for 30 YEARS.

      The school was authorized to operate by the Puerto Rican Education Department, and their graduates were allowed to obtain a license to practice in the island (or the Federal VA, prison system, etc) by passing a local medical examination board (for countless of years it was tacitly known by locals to have a questionable standard - definitively proven by a scandal in the late 2000's which let to its quasi final dissolution) as well as a one year internship which may or may not be accredited.

      To enter the US education system it's graduates had to go through the ECFMG like any other FMG. The only medical school on "U.S." soil, to operate as a foreign school.

      After 30 years or so, in 2007, 2008 or thereabouts it obtained LCME accreditation- and has been shaky ever since. Which is why, for locals who read these boards with students unaware of all of this, find it perplexing when mainlanders speak of SJB as being interchangeable with the other private schools which had somehow managed to maintain LCME standards for 30 years.

      For Stateside students who are considering one of the 3 private schools for whatever reason know this:

      Having some sort (marriage, employment, etc, or ethnic ties to Puerto Rico) is NOT mandatory- but does work on your favor.

      You need to be bilingual in English and Spanish. Educational materials and many faculty do English, but the rest of your world for 4 years - will only do the Puerto Rican version of Spanish.

      In terms of quality, reliability, history and everything else the order has always been and still remains:

      1) Ponce or UCC

      2) SJB
       
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