Aug 3, 2020
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I have been admitted to SGU for Fall 2021 and wanted to create a thread for others like me. We all have our reasons for deciding to go to the Caribbean to obtain our medical education. Whether it be low GPA, low MCAT, or you're a non-trad and tired of waiting to be admitted by a program in the States, we are all in the same boat now.

If you want to interact with this thread please include
Why SGU
What are your concerns about going to SGU
What field you want to complete your residency in

Why SGU:
I am from California. I completed undergrad in 2016 with a GPA far below a 3.0. Truth of the matter is I did not know how to study and my focus was on other things. Since then I have been in graduate school pursuing a dual MS/MBA, which I will be completing May 2021. Over the years I have been able to interact with, work with, and befriend many SGU alum who have told me the good, the bad, and the ugly about SGU. I am in my mid/late-20s and was aware that my chances of getting into a US program were slim. I did not want to complete another masters or post-bacc and hope that then I would finally be admitted.

Concerns: I am concerned about the impact Step 1 changing to P/F will have on my chances of obtaining a residency spot.

Residency of Interest: As of right now I am interested in completing a residency in pediatrics or IM, followed by a CVD fellowship
 
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Gambino.

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If your intent is to interact with your classmates, than this type of post would be better served in your cohort's Facebook, GroupMe, or WhatsApp chat instead of on here. You won't find too many classmates on SDN.

Your reasons for coming to the Carib are your own, but in all honesty I'd probably keep the reasons to yourself on a public forum.

As a fellow Carib, I'd also advise you to not get too into thoughts of fellowship prior to matching in general. Just focus on doing well and surviving the 1st semester culling of students.
 
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Jul 8, 2020
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Hi! I also got accepted to SGU at the beginning of this week. To be completely honest with you, I'm still waiting on responses from U.S. MD and DO schools and plan on attending SGU as a last resort (if even, might consider taking a third gap year). I've been reading a LOT about SGU, and I've become wary of a lot of the... concerns (to say the least) of attending a Caribbean school. I'm actually in the dilemma of deciding whether or not to submit the deposit to reserve my seat, as I really believe I may have a shot at a DO school at least (500 MCAT, 3.4 cGPA, 3.1 sGPA, extensive clinical/research experiences). It's my third time reapplying, and I can't stress enough how drained and exhausted I have been from filling out these applications - and the waiting sucks...but at the same time, I really do want the best for my future. So, all this to say, not sure where I stand with SGU, but it is definitely a last resort option.

*I'm also kinda new to SDN, so maybe more informed members can provide some good feedback on what they think about this route.
 

Goro

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Hi! I also got accepted to SGU at the beginning of this week. To be completely honest with you, I'm still waiting on responses from U.S. MD and DO schools and plan on attending SGU as a last resort (if even, might consider taking a third gap year). I've been reading a LOT about SGU, and I've become wary of a lot of the... concerns (to say the least) of attending a Caribbean school. I'm actually in the dilemma of deciding whether or not to submit the deposit to reserve my seat, as I really believe I may have a shot at a DO school at least (500 MCAT, 3.4 cGPA, 3.1 sGPA, extensive clinical/research experiences). It's my third time reapplying, and I can't stress enough how drained and exhausted I have been from filling out these applications - and the waiting sucks...but at the same time, I really do want the best for my future. So, all this to say, not sure where I stand with SGU, but it is definitely a last resort option.

*I'm also kinda new to SDN, so maybe more informed members can provide some good feedback on what they think about this route.
Since you asked....

The point here isn't that there are successful Carib grads. The point is how many additional obstacles to success you face by going to a Carib school.

The pool of US applicants from the Caribbean is viewed differently by Program Directors. The DDx for a Caribbean grad is pretty off-putting: bad judgment, bad advice, egotism, gullibility, overbearing parents, inability to delay gratification, IA's, legal problems, weak research skills, high risk behavior. This is not to say that all of them still have the quality that drew them into this situation. There is just no way to know which ones they are. Some PD's are in a position where they need to, or can afford to take risks too! So, some do get interviews.

Bad grades and scores are the least of the deficits from a PD's standpoint. A strong academic showing in a Caribbean medical school does not erase this stigma. It fact it increases the perception that the reason for the choice was on the above-mentioned list!

Just about everyone from a Caribbean school has one or more of these problems and PDs know it. That's why their grads are the last choice even with a high Step 1 score.

There was a time when folks whose only flaw was being a late bloomer went Carib, but those days are gone. There are a number of US med schools that will reward reinvention.

It's likely you'll be in the bottom half or two thirds of the class that gets dismissed before Step 1. The business plan of a Carib school depends on the majority of the class not needing to be supported in clinical rotations. They literally can't place all 250+ of the starting class at clinical sites (educational malpractice, really. If this happened at a US school, they be shut down by LCME or COCA, and sued.

The Carib (and other offshore) schools have very tenuous, very expensive, very controversial relationships with a very small number of US clinical sites. You may think you can just ask to do your clinical rotations at a site near home. Nope. You may think you don't have to worry about this stuff. Wrong.

And let's say you get through med school in the Carib and get what you need out of the various clinical rotation scenarios. Then you are in the match gamble. I don't need to say a word about this - you can find everything you need to know at nrmp.org.

You really need to talk to people who made it through Carib threshing machine into residency, and hear the story from them. How many people were in their class at the start, how many are in it now? How long did it take to get a residency, and how did they handle the gap year(s) and their student loans? How many residencies did they apply to, how many interviews did they get, and were any of the programs on their match list anything like what they wanted?

A little light reading:

The PD's guide tells you how how leery PDs are at even considering Carib grads:

http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/NRMP-2018-Program-Director-Survey-for-WWW.pdf


Million $ Mistake

"Why didn't I Match?"

The ugly truth about Caribbean medical schools | Pamela Wible MD
 
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Jul 8, 2020
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Since you asked....

The point here isn't that there are successful Carib grads. The point is how many additional obstacles to success you face by going to a Carib school.

The pool of US applicants from the Caribbean is viewed differently by Program Directors. The DDx for a Caribbean grad is pretty off-putting: bad judgment, bad advice, egotism, gullibility, overbearing parents, inability to delay gratification, IA's, legal problems, weak research skills, high risk behavior. This is not to say that all of them still have the quality that drew them into this situation. There is just no way to know which ones they are. Some PD's are in a position where they need to, or can afford to take risks too! So, some do get interviews.

Bad grades and scores are the least of the deficits from a PD's standpoint. A strong academic showing in a Caribbean medical school does not erase this stigma. It fact it increases the perception that the reason for the choice was on the above-mentioned list!

Just about everyone from a Caribbean school has one or more of these problems and PDs know it. That's why their grads are the last choice even with a high Step 1 score.

There was a time when folks whose only flaw was being a late bloomer went Carib, but those days are gone. There are a number of US med schools that will reward reinvention.

It's likely you'll be in the bottom half or two thirds of the class that gets dismissed before Step 1. The business plan of a Carib school depends on the majority of the class not needing to be supported in clinical rotations. They literally can't place all 250+ of the starting class at clinical sites (educational malpractice, really. If this happened at a US school, they be shut down by LCME or COCA, and sued.

The Carib (and other offshore) schools have very tenuous, very expensive, very controversial relationships with a very small number of US clinical sites. You may think you can just ask to do your clinical rotations at a site near home. Nope. You may think you don't have to worry about this stuff. Wrong.

And let's say you get through med school in the Carib and get what you need out of the various clinical rotation scenarios. Then you are in the match gamble. I don't need to say a word about this - you can find everything you need to know at nrmp.org.

You really need to talk to people who made it through Carib threshing machine into residency, and hear the story from them. How many people were in their class at the start, how many are in it now? How long did it take to get a residency, and how did they handle the gap year(s) and their student loans? How many residencies did they apply to, how many interviews did they get, and were any of the programs on their match list anything like what they wanted?

A little light reading:

The PD's guide tells you how how leery PDs are at even considering Carib grads:

http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/NRMP-2018-Program-Director-Survey-for-WWW.pdf


Million $ Mistake

"Why didn't I Match?"

The ugly truth about Caribbean medical schools | Pamela Wible MD

Thanks @Goro -

"Bad judgment, bad advice, egotism, gullibility, overbearing parents, inability to delay gratification" - sheesh, quite a spot-on list there, almost felt like a personal attack lol. But I do appreciate the much-needed honesty with all this info, especially as I fall in their target audience. Part of me really wants to believe that I can succeed and become a unique exception to their statistics, but sadly I'm not that optimistic lol.

On a random positive note though, SGU's application process has been extremely quick, efficient, and easy. I love the idea of having a personal admissions counselor assisting throughout every step and serving as a liaison between you and the adcom. Also, I had the interview via FaceTime, so that was...different I guess.
 

Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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"Bad judgment, bad advice, egotism, gullibility, overbearing parents, inability to delay gratification" - sheesh, quite a spot-on list there, almost felt like a personal attack lol. But I do appreciate the much-needed honesty with all this info, especially as I fall in their target audience. Part of me really wants to believe that I can succeed and become a unique exception to their statistics, but sadly I'm not that optimistic lol.

If you look at some of the reactions SDNers bound for the Carib give over the years, you can see that they don't merely fail to live down these expectations, they actually live up to them!

On a random positive note though, SGU's application process has been extremely quick, efficient, and easy. I love the idea of having a personal admissions counselor assisting throughout every step and serving as a liaison between you and the adcom. Also, I had the interview via FaceTime, so that was...different I guess.
See how badly they want your money?
 
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Aug 3, 2020
44
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Since you asked....

The point here isn't that there are successful Carib grads. The point is how many additional obstacles to success you face by going to a Carib school.

The pool of US applicants from the Caribbean is viewed differently by Program Directors. The DDx for a Caribbean grad is pretty off-putting: bad judgment, bad advice, egotism, gullibility, overbearing parents, inability to delay gratification, IA's, legal problems, weak research skills, high risk behavior. This is not to say that all of them still have the quality that drew them into this situation. There is just no way to know which ones they are. Some PD's are in a position where they need to, or can afford to take risks too! So, some do get interviews.

Bad grades and scores are the least of the deficits from a PD's standpoint. A strong academic showing in a Caribbean medical school does not erase this stigma. It fact it increases the perception that the reason for the choice was on the above-mentioned list!

Just about everyone from a Caribbean school has one or more of these problems and PDs know it. That's why their grads are the last choice even with a high Step 1 score.

There was a time when folks whose only flaw was being a late bloomer went Carib, but those days are gone. There are a number of US med schools that will reward reinvention.

It's likely you'll be in the bottom half or two thirds of the class that gets dismissed before Step 1. The business plan of a Carib school depends on the majority of the class not needing to be supported in clinical rotations. They literally can't place all 250+ of the starting class at clinical sites (educational malpractice, really. If this happened at a US school, they be shut down by LCME or COCA, and sued.

The Carib (and other offshore) schools have very tenuous, very expensive, very controversial relationships with a very small number of US clinical sites. You may think you can just ask to do your clinical rotations at a site near home. Nope. You may think you don't have to worry about this stuff. Wrong.

And let's say you get through med school in the Carib and get what you need out of the various clinical rotation scenarios. Then you are in the match gamble. I don't need to say a word about this - you can find everything you need to know at nrmp.org.

You really need to talk to people who made it through Carib threshing machine into residency, and hear the story from them. How many people were in their class at the start, how many are in it now? How long did it take to get a residency, and how did they handle the gap year(s) and their student loans? How many residencies did they apply to, how many interviews did they get, and were any of the programs on their match list anything like what they wanted?

A little light reading:

The PD's guide tells you how how leery PDs are at even considering Carib grads:

http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/NRMP-2018-Program-Director-Survey-for-WWW.pdf


Million $ Mistake

"Why didn't I Match?"

The ugly truth about Caribbean medical schools | Pamela Wible MD
What's your opinion on the outcome for students that attend programs like SGU that have primary care fields (IM, FM, Peds) as their end goal?
 

mark v

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What's your opinion on the outcome for students that attend programs like SGU that have primary care fields (IM, FM, Peds) as their end goal?

Certainly achievable, and much more likely than a more competitive specialty but still no guarantee. MANY will go unmatched every year with no support from the school.
 

Groove

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Congrats! Best of luck to you. This thread reminded me of how I felt when I started my first term at SGU way back in 2005. It seems like so long ago, yet I can still remember the details as if it was yesterday. All that anxiety, stress, fear and excitement. I'm sure things have changed since I came along and this post isn't mean to lecture you on the evils or merits of a Caribbean school but rather to wish you the very best of luck. It's a tough road, but doable!
 
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shouldigomd

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What's your opinion on the outcome for students that attend programs like SGU that have primary care fields (IM, FM, Peds) as their end goal?

Good odds. Many of my peers that did average (B/Cs) with average step got into a IM/FM/Peds programs.
 

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