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Ariee

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Chill out exPCM, I'm not arguing with you...I was just stating my thoughts...It's interesting how many folks get on here so angry they can't even think straight. Your title "fools" is offensive...especially since I'm agreeing with you.

Why are there so many AMG folks on the Carib board attacking the Carib? I think those of us on here who are actual Carib students can attest to you the difficulty and their thoughts about the experience and guide folks about the routes they should take. Read many of our posts on this board. This board wasn't meant to be a war field, at the end of the day we're all on the same team. Thanks for the warning. It's a little too late for some of us...we've already pre-matched with a debt in the 120-150's CDN$$ (thank you scholarships)...

With more US MD spots opening up, folks shouldn't have to go away to the Carib. PM me out there folks if you want my thoughts, I'll attempt to guide you with what I have been through. Lastly CDN folks, try US schools out there first, before Carib- absolutely, definitely, must, my biggest regret...


For every USMG that takes a year off there is likely a USMG that is coming back from taking a year off so the net effect of this is effectively zero.

Wake up people. The Carib schools are all terminally ill. US health reform just passed and includes $400 billlion in Medicare cuts. Medicare is what funds residency spots - hence no added funded for more residency spots will be happening.

Even the osteopathic schools are worried about their survival. Dr. Pletz who was an excellent President of KCUMB osteopathic school for 14 years admitted this in the following email and was later terminated for revealing the truth. Do you think Carib faculty will talk honestly about the fact that there schools are in death spirals? They don't want to lose their jobs either. Here is the email and link:

Link: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showpost.php?p=9006616&postcount=86

If anyone who reads this decides to spend big bucks to go to a Carribean school expecting to do a US residency do not say you have not been warned.
 

Ariee

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i don't see how it's harder for canadians to get into med school... ~17 canadian med schools and population ~33.5 milion canadians vs. ~114 us med schools and population ~300 million americans...

then consider an applicant such as myself... from california... we have 8 md schools and about 36 million people...

the ratios don't speak for themselves?

1 MD (number of seats = 112) school for a population of 5million from the province I'm from. How many total seats and avg seats for the CA med schools? Not running a 1 upmanship or anything, but purely intersted for my own brain. :)

There are only 14 english speaking canadian medical schools by the way, 3/17 are french speaking.

I think it would be wise to compare the number of applicants to us progrms in comparison to cdn programs...maybe I'll do this on a later date and post the info...
 

GatorHater

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I didn't want to start another thread for this but I have a question regarding this topic.
If someone is interested primarily in doing Anesthesia/Emergency room medicine, but also had interest in Family Practice, would going to SGU be a good option or no?

I did see on the SGU site that 6 % get Anesthesia and 5 % get ER but are these stats good or bad compared to the lower tier US schools?
 

RussianJoo

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I didn't want to start another thread for this but I have a question regarding this topic.
If someone is interested primarily in doing Anesthesia/Emergency room medicine, but also had interest in Family Practice, would going to SGU be a good option or no?

I did see on the SGU site that 6 % get Anesthesia and 5 % get ER but are these stats good or bad compared to the lower tier US schools?

if you can get into a US med school no mater how low tier it is you should go there. SGU will never compare to even the worst US med school when it comes to residency placement. schools like SGU are meant to be second chance schools for those that failed to get into a US med school, many students at SGU try multiple times to get into a US school and then go to SGU. 6% and 5% are of the percent of the class who go into those specialties. who knows maybe only 6% and 5% of the class apply to those specialties than that would mean 100% of those that wanted to do anesthesia or EM got it, but i don't think that's the case, and no one can tell if 5% of the class is good or bad.
 

GatorHater

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Yeah I did think about that after I posted. My question is, when is too much? Is it after you apply once, or after you go through it 5 times? I guess it would depend on your specialty interest. A few doctors that I have talked to say its best to just go wherever you can go as soon as you can get in, rather than waste a few years.

So in my personal case, I have not gotten into any US medical schools, and am pretty set on going to Carib in the fall if my jan MCAT is not raised to the high twenties. But I have this nagging feeling when I look around and see the people who apply year after year after year. Oh yeah, and this next MCAT will be my fourth
 

dragonfly99

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My undergrad premed advisor back in the day advised me to try at least twice for US schools before bailing to the Caribbean, if at all. Of course everyone's situation is different, but I think that barring extreme circumstances (say, you had a completely horrible undergrad GPA like 2.0 due to partying and immaturity, but then a really high MCAT score or something and GREAT standardized test taker) that was actually really good advice. Gator I think you try to collect as many volunteer hours in a hospital as you can get, and should try for DO schools and apply again to all your state schools, if your GPA, mcat and volunteer hours put you anywhere near their averages...I'd do that before I'd bail for the Caribbean if I were you.

If your MCAT score is really bad, you might have a worse problem with passing the US medical licensing exams, so it might be better to pursue something else if the MCAT is truly awful and can't be raised.
 

RussianJoo

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i agree with Dragonfly, it's the worst thing in the world to spend 2 years in med school busting your butt and paying over $100K in tuition and then not being able to pass the board exams because you're a poor standardized test taker. or fail the board exams and then barely pass it the second or 3rd time around. because your chance of getting a residency, any residency by then would be very low.

you say this is your 4th mcat and you're hopeing for a high 20's? that's pretty low for US schools i think the average is 30 if not higher. is your gpa also below the average of 3.5? if so then i really don't see how you would get into any US med school unless your family member is the dean of admissions. If your gpa and mcat are very close to the average but still below the average try applying to DO schools, i too think they offer a better alternative than carib schools. There are so many carib shools that many of them will accept you as long as you have good credit or a co-signer. but you have to be realistic if you can't pass the board exams and get into a residency then what's the point of going to that school. the well known carib schools have high admission standards which are on par with most US DO schools. the ones with low admission standards have a residency placement rate of well below 50%. Do you want to take that chance? not everyone can be a physician and i would much rather become a PA or a nurse practitioner than get an MD from a crappy carib school and not be able to get a residency afterwards.
 

GatorHater

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My GPA is not the problem (3.75 in Biochemistry at state university) the MCAT is the big problem with me. I see your point about the boards and all, but I am sure MANY people don't do well on MCAT and do very well on their boards. The test are extremely different from what I hear, though they are both standardized test.

The USMLE will test me on knowledge that I need to learn to become a good doctor right? Not on the speed of a sled at the end of an incline, or Shakespeare's critics throughout the years. I do better on test that actually contain material that is applicable to what I want to do
 

RussianJoo

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My GPA is not the problem (3.75 in Biochemistry at state university) the MCAT is the big problem with me. I see your point about the boards and all, but I am sure MANY people don't do well on MCAT and do very well on their boards. The test are extremely different from what I hear, though they are both standardized test.

The USMLE will test me on knowledge that I need to learn to become a good doctor right? Not on the speed of a sled at the end of an incline, or Shakespeare's critics throughout the years. I do better on test that actually contain material that is applicable to what I want to do

that's a good gpa. but for the most part standardized tests are all the same. they require a certain skill to take and that's why many times courses like kaplan teaches you how to take the test not the material that's going to be tested. sure the mcat doesn't test what you need to know for medical school, however it does test critical thinking that's needed to be a good physician and a good amount of the material tested on the mcat is taught in the courses that you've taken. the key to standardized tests is to do a lot of practice questions, like over a thousand, that's how you'll get better at taking them. with your gpa i would try a DO school before a caribbean school because you'll have a brighter future and more opportunity coming from a DO school than a carib school.
 

GatorHater

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would you go DO before trying another year? One option I am lucky enough to have is to do the Kaplan Summer intensive program if I need to for next year. I have already taken the Kaplan course and it has not helped me much yet
 

RussianJoo

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i would apply to both US MD and DO schools next year that way you'll have a DO back up if you don't get into a US MD school. you can always go to the caribbean, they have classes starting multiple times a year, but that should be your last option.
 
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GatorHater

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But if I were interested primarily in Internal Medicine then going to Carib would not be that bad of an option right? Not like I need really good board scores for those specialties right? Or does the problem run deeper that that and they just can't pass the boards period?
 

WNT Signaling

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But if I were interested primarily in Internal Medicine then going to Carib would not be that bad of an option right? Not like I need really good board scores for those specialties right? Or does the problem run deeper that that and they just can't pass the boards period?


But what if you end-up not wanting to do IM? What happens if you fall in love with a competitive specialty? Even if you do end-up wanting to do IM, not all programs are created the same, i.e. better locations, better training, better board passage rates, etc. Basically, the rule of the game is to keep your options as open as possible
 

GatorHater

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Another good point, I just want to start medical school and get on with my life.... just isn't that easy I guess
 

Ariee

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But if I were interested primarily in Internal Medicine then going to Carib would not be that bad of an option right? Not like I need really good board scores for those specialties right? Or does the problem run deeper that that and they just can't pass the boards period?

Ummm, very wrong friend. As a Carib who just pre-matched into IM at a great university program with intentions of subspecializing (maybe) you need great board scores. A post on here by aPD (who is a real PD= program director), said that he would overlook going to a Carib medschool if someone had high board scores (>260). You need EXCELLENT (>230-240) board scores coming out of the Carib to land decent residency. This is medicine, you don't want to be low-tier (I used the darn'd word) the rest of your career, you want to be the best you possibly can, going in thinking you don't need high board scores is really a bad plan. Also health care is changing and the Primary Care (PC) fields seem like they are becoming more popular to folks, we don't know yet until the 2010 NRMP match results are out, but a look over at the FM board (venturaprogram) makes it seem as if though PC is attracting back the brighter and talented folks. I read your other posts, it seems like the MCAT is the difficulty part for ya, I would work on this one more time and see what results it yields you. I went to the Carib with MCAT's in the 30's though and the USMLE scores I obtained were greater than 250's, so I don't know if they go hand in hand for sure, but I knew I could do academicaly well going in, if you're not so certain about this, I would not risk it. Also health care in the US was stable 4yrs ago when I entered medschool and there was not all this talk about more med seats, etc...Did you apply to DO schools?
 

howelljolly

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But if I were interested primarily in Internal Medicine then going to Carib would not be that bad of an option right? Not like I need really good board scores for those specialties right? Or does the problem run deeper that that and they just can't pass the boards period?


No. The problem isnt that they cant pass the boards. You need great board scores to get into Internal Medicine.
 

RussianJoo

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yep what people above have said is all true. im is less competitve than most specialties however, getting into a good university program is still very hard and requires very high board scores as a carib grad. also many programs will simply disciminate against IMGs and will filter out your application. you want to end up at the best residency because you'll get better training, will be a more compitent doctor, will have a much easier time getting into a fellowship for sub-specializing and will be able to get a job much easier and potentially a much better job once you're a doctor. even if you end up opening up your own office you'll most likely get more patients if you're say harvard trained or other big name university program trained than some small community hospital trained. in the end you want a big name behind you to build your reputation.
 

howelljolly

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This year nationally, Internal Med applications have increased by 20% from last year (according to the PD an one of my interviews). Even the small community programs can fill their interview slots with applicants scoring above 240.

Even if you're not looking to get into a university program, you still have some stiff competition from the thousands of applicants who have average to below-average records (no US clinical experience, no research...), but decided to rock the boards.
 

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Alright, so when is it OK to apply to Carib? I understand if I had a 2.0 I would probably go immediately...... but after how many years and how many MCATs do you finally just do it? I don't want to apply year after year and THEN go to the Carib, then I wasted a couple years of my life and STILL ended up in the same place. Oh and DO, is not an option for me.
 

howelljolly

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Essentially,
when life is not worth living unless you go to med school to have the chance to become a doctor,
AND
the pleasure youll have in the slim possibility that you'll become a physician trumps the pain you'll have in the greater possibility that you'll end up unemployed and in debt
AND
if you are in a position to support yourself financially and psychologically in the highly likely event that you'll be an MD, with about 300grand in debt, and wasted five years of your life to never get a residency.
AND
you are in a position to write of five years of your life.

If you can meet these four conditions, consider the Caribbean med schools as an option.
 
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thepoopologist

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Alright, so when is it OK to apply to Carib? I understand if I had a 2.0 I would probably go immediately...... but after how many years and how many MCATs do you finally just do it? I don't want to apply year after year and THEN go to the Carib, then I wasted a couple years of my life and STILL ended up in the same place. Oh and DO, is not an option for me.

Why?
 

dragonfly99

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just always wanted to go MD


That is a HORRIBLE reason not to consider DO schools. Of course, with that attitude, the DO schools probably would not take you anyway.
IM fellow (US trained at MD school).

You need to rethink your priorities, and fast. I think you've gotten a lot of good advice on this thread but you seem loathe to take it.
 

GatorHater

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Considered I never heard of DO before starting the medical school application process, and a lot of people I know haven't even heard of it, it seems at though the general public don't know much about what a DO is.

Now I know that there is pretty much no difference, but I would think that it wouldn't look good. But that's just my opinion, I know there is nothing wrong with DO, its just not for me.

And believe me, I am taking the advice on this board very seriously. I have all but decided to try another year.... but only to MD schools. I am thankful for all of the advice given to me as well, I now feel more informed on the entire ordeal
 

thepoopologist

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just always wanted to go MD
I think you should read about

1. The increasing number of seats in US MD and US DO schools

2. The lack of proportional increase in residency spots

3. The Carribean bias vs the DO bias come residency interview and match time

4. Consider that DO's have their own residencies as well as MD residencies and can sign outside the match for MD residencies (like Carribean grads and IMG grads)

5. Consider the support systems (should you struggle at any point in medical school) of DO schools vs that of Caribbean schools

Then, way farther down the list...

6. Location

7. Climate

8. Curriculum (preclinical and clinical)

Etc...



According to your post history you have a 21 MCAT right now. Nobody with a 3.75 in biochem should be scoring that. You need to think about test taking strategies, work on pacing, and apply them to the many, many practice tests you should be taking. You should be scoring at least a 10 on the BS section, a 8 on the PS, and a 9-10 on the VR.


Anyway if I were you I'd apply DO and Caribbean MD and consider the above before I made a decision. If you hit 27+ I'd also try for a few reachable US MD schools. You should not shut the DO option out. You have to weigh your desire for the MD initials with your ability to obtain the residency you want after you graduate.
 

thepoopologist

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Considered I never heard of DO before starting the medical school application process, and a lot of people I know haven't even heard of it, it seems at though the general public don't know much about what a DO is.

Now I know that there is pretty much no difference, but I would think that it wouldn't look good. But that's just my opinion, I know there is nothing wrong with DO, its just not for me.

And believe me, I am taking the advice on this board very seriously. I have all but decided to try another year.... but only to MD schools. I am thankful for all of the advice given to me as well, I now feel more informed on the entire ordeal


The "general public" will not be the people hiring you. Anyway I've been following an SGU 4th years posts, RussianJoo. He's interviewing for residencies right now so if I were you I'd get his opinion on the matter as well.
 

TruthMD

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I think you should read about

1. The increasing number of seats in US MD and US DO schools

2. The lack of proportional increase in residency spots

3. The Carribean bias vs the DO bias come residency interview and match time

4. Consider that DO's have their own residencies as well as MD residencies and can sign outside the match for MD residencies (like Carribean grads and IMG grads)

5. Consider the support systems (should you struggle at any point in medical school) of DO schools vs that of Caribbean schools

Then, way farther down the list...

6. Location

7. Climate

8. Curriculum (preclinical and clinical)

Etc...



According to your post history you have a 21 MCAT right now. Nobody with a 3.75 in biochem should be scoring that. You need to think about test taking strategies, work on pacing, and apply them to the many, many practice tests you should be taking. You should be scoring at least a 10 on the BS section, a 8 on the PS, and a 9-10 on the VR.


Anyway if I were you I'd apply DO and Caribbean MD and consider the above before I made a decision. If you hit 27+ I'd also try for a few reachable US MD schools. You should not shut the DO option out. You have to weigh your desire for the MD initials with your ability to obtain the residency you want after you graduate.

People keep suggesting the DO option instead of MD as if it was a simple thing. The person is saying she or he has never heard of DO yet you suggesting they apply to DO.

BTW, RussionJo, considering you go to SGU you are very negative about your decision. From my knowledge of reading your posts you have never been the most amazing student and SGU did give you a chance to become a doctor. Also you are having a lot of stress right now since you are waiting to find out if you will have a residency spot and all... but I am sure once you match you will start singing a different tune.
 

RussianJoo

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The "general public" will not be the people hiring you. Anyway I've been following an SGU 4th years posts, RussianJoo. He's interviewing for residencies right now so if I were you I'd get his opinion on the matter as well.


I was much like gatorhater, when i was applying to med school. the only DO interaction i had was with my undergrad's clinic physician was a DO and even though I didn't question him that much he made it seem like DO's only did primary care specialties. Today however, I see that DO's do everything, many choose not to practice the DO way and after residency are no different than MD's. I have met Critical Care DO's, ENT's, Neurosurgeon's, Orthopedic surgeons, radiologists, and many anesthesiologists. basically every single specialty out there you can be a DO and do it. DO's have increased by something like 300% in the last 4 or 5 years. Yes many places don't know about them but your patients for the most part won't care. What do you think is easier to explain, where Grenada is and why you went to medical school there or where NY is.

I am applying this year to Anesthesiology, the reason I didn't consider DO schools when applying to medical school was because the only DO physician I knew made it sound like if I wanted to do anything besides primary care I needed an MD, and I wanted to be an anesthesiologist, so at that time DO wasn't an option as well, however, now I am regretting that decision.

I am a slightly above average applicant to anesthesia when it comes to numbers i.e. board scores, gpa, I got straight A's i.e. honered all my core rotations (not too many can do that) and got some great letters of recommendation because of that. but because I am a carib grad I haven't gotten the number of interviews I wanted to get, and I am definitely worried that I won't reach my dream of anesthesiology and will have to settle for a specialty i don't like. but that's the gamble you take when going to a carib school. my school has awesome support on the island, and most students are very friendly and willing to help, especially the upper classmen. So it was a great experience, but on the interview trail I see a bunch of DO's and US MD's who have much lower boeard scores than me and are just worse students in general, but when I ask them about interviews they have twice as many interviews as me and applied to has as many residency programs and it truly sucks to see that. If I went to a DO school I would have no doubt that I would match a decent University based residency program. Residency program directors want people who went to med school in the US be it DO or MD, they trust the US education system much more than the caribbean system and also their program gets higher ratings if they match more US grads than IMGs. Also competition is increasing every specialty has more and more applicants, US MD and DO schools are expanding this will make it easier for those borderline applicants to get into US schools. there's also a lot of uncertainty with the health care system no one knows what will happen in terms of residency numbers, future salaries and the like, so it's just a very unstable time right now to gamble on your education. with a carib degree you can't really do anything unless you graduate from a residency, while you still have options to work for insurance companies or pharmaceutical companies with a US medical degree.

I am just one person, and I know plenty of people who went to SGU and are very happy that they did, but they were good students, top 10% of their class, last year was the first year I heard of people who were top 20% of their class and ended up not matching, this is probably due to increased number of applicants. but there really is just too much uncertainty with carib schools even ones that are very solid and have been around for 30+ years. So do some research about DO schools and then make your decision. If I was applying right now I wouldn't apply to the caribbean and would apply to DO schools, not because I had a bad experience with SGU but because a DO school can give me a much better chance of matching into a residency.
 
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RussianJoo

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People keep suggesting the DO option instead of MD as if it was a simple thing. The person is saying she or he has never heard of DO yet you suggesting they apply to DO.

BTW, RussionJo, considering you go to SGU you are very negative about your decision. From my knowledge of reading your posts you have never been the most amazing student and SGU did give you a chance to become a doctor. Also you are having a lot of stress right now since you are waiting to find out if you will have a residency spot and all... but I am sure once you match you will start singing a different tune.

yeah i had a tough time adjusting to the work load at first but i definitely over came my struggles. Like I said above I am applying to anesthesiology, and would only do that if I knew I was a competitive candidate. I got nothing to hide. my cumulative GPA is 3.34, my step1 score is 227/95, step2 score is 231/95, i am not amazing by any standards but i am slightly above average for anesthesiology. I applied to 70 programs and have 7 interviews, which gives me about a 60% chance of matching. I am very happy with my experiences at SGU, SGU is a solid school, they have a great support system and kind and understanding deans of students. However, this doesn't take away from the fact that if I was a DO student with those stats applying to anesthesiology I would have twice as many interviews and would have a virtually 100% chances of matching. Even if after I match I'll still be telling people to strongly consider a DO school over SGU, because your life when applying to residency programs will be much easier.

so just to say it again the only reason i feel negative about my decision to go to SGU is because right now based on the people I've run into on the interview trail I strongly believe that I would have more residency interviews and a much better chance of matching into the specialty of my choice, that's it. otherwise i had an amazing time on the island, and feel that the school does a great job at teaching and supporting it's students. It's not the schools fault that the residency program directors at many places discriminate against IMGs, and prefer to take DO's or AMGs with lower stats.
 

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Useful info as per usual

Do you feel that Emergency Medicine is as competitive for Caribbean grads? I am still strongly considering SGU for several reasons like my 3.2 GPA (bad freshman/sophomore years good junior/senior) and the fact that my girlfriend would be applying with me and she has even less competitive stats. I received a 33 on the MCAT and she got a 30 so we aren't bad standardized test takers. This makes me less concerned about failing the boards. What I mean is that I take tests well and I would pour my heart and soul into it as I did with the MCAT.

I have spoken with 10+ people that are friends of mine or friends of friends and they have loved their experiences down there and have gotten into residencies. I realize this doesn't mean that I necessarily would. I have no problem going to a DO school but I am already 26 years old. I would be 28 by the time that I start which I am not keen on.

TL;DR - I like Emergency Medicine, I do well on tests, and I don't want to wait but I am nervous about the caribbean.
 

howelljolly

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Considered I never heard of DO before starting the medical school application process, and a lot of people I know haven't even heard of it, it seems at though the general public don't know much about what a DO is.

Now I know that there is pretty much no difference, but I would think that it wouldn't look good. But that's just my opinion, I know there is nothing wrong with DO, its just not for me.

And believe me, I am taking the advice on this board very seriously. I have all but decided to try another year.... but only to MD schools. I am thankful for all of the advice given to me as well, I now feel more informed on the entire ordeal

If that's the attitude you have, I'll let natural selection take care of you. As RJ said, US residency programs would take a DO over a Carib MD any day. If you must have an MD, you are better off going to ANY other country besides one that's located in the West Indies.

Get this - I know a couple of Carribean MD grads who were at the top of their high school and college classes, and went to a Carib med school as their first choice because they were BORN and RAISED on that island. And they could barely get residencies. One might not have (I dont know). One did, but you could count the number of residency interviews he had on one hand. The Carribean schools are that bad.

Anyway.

DO - how much do you know? How much can you trust your own judgement about never having "heard of " DO? Im not being a wisenheimer. I'm asking you to think for a minute that your gut instinct is misguided, and you should take some extra advice from people like Dragonfly, and myself. How long have you worked in the healthcare field? Going to see your family doctor annually doesnt expose you to the healthcare field. What's your sample size of doctors? I've worked in healthcare for over a decade, and in an academic medical center for 3 years prior to going to the Carib for med school. I'm telling you that DOs are out there, in every specialty - and you just dont know it. People dont advertise their degree. You may not know if someone is an MD or DO. Even on white coats, a DO might put "Dr. John Smith", leaving out the DO. One of the Chiefs of Trauma and Critical Care in a world class hospital in NYC is a DO. If anybody knows, nobody cares. Do you care if your dentist is a DDS or DMD? Your personal experience should be taken with a grain of salt.

Anyway

The general public (including you!) may not know what a DO is. And it does not matter. The general public does not hire residents. The general public does not hire doctors. I know what you're thinking - and it is because youre inexpereinced. The general public does NOT hire doctors. the general public goes to a doctor based on who is hired at the local practice, who they are refered to, and who their insurance company sends them to. A DO has to be hired by - the local practice, the regional tertiary care center, and be affiliated with insurance companies. These three entities have heard of DOs and do not discriminate against them. The general public's opinion does not matter.
 

howelljolly

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Do you feel that Emergency Medicine is as competitive for Caribbean grads? I am still strongly considering SGU for several reasons like my 3.2 GPA (bad freshman/sophomore years good junior/senior) and the fact that my girlfriend would be applying with me and she has even less competitive stats. I received a 33 on the MCAT and she got a 30 so we aren't bad standardized test takers. This makes me less concerned about failing the boards. What I mean is that I take tests well and I would pour my heart and soul into it as I did with the MCAT.

I have spoken with 10+ people that are friends of mine or friends of friends and they have loved their experiences down there and have gotten into residencies. I realize this doesn't mean that I necessarily would. I have no problem going to a DO school but I am already 26 years old. I would be 28 by the time that I start which I am not keen on.

TL;DR - I like Emergency Medicine, I do well on tests, and I don't want to wait but I am nervous about the caribbean.

EM is very competitive for carib grads. The Carib school must be affiliated with a US teaching hospital with an EM residency program . You will need a Letter of Reccomendation (or two) from EM faculty. ER docs in a non-teaching community hospital dont count.

SGU may have these connections. Other schools may not.
 

howelljolly

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yeah i had a tough time adjusting to the work load at first but i definitely over came my struggles. Like I said above I am applying to anesthesiology, and would only do that if I knew I was a competitive candidate. I got nothing to hide. my cumulative GPA is 3.34, my step1 score is 227/95, step2 score is 231/95, i am not amazing by any standards but i am slightly above average for anesthesiology. I applied to 70 programs and have 7 interviews, which gives me about a 60% chance of matching. I am very happy with my experiences at SGU, SGU is a solid school, they have a great support system and kind and understanding deans of students. However, this doesn't take away from the fact that if I was a DO student with those stats applying to anesthesiology I would have twice as many interviews and would have a virtually 100% chances of matching. Even if after I match I'll still be telling people to strongly consider a DO school over SGU, because your life when applying to residency programs will be much easier.

so just to say it again the only reason i feel negative about my decision to go to SGU is because right now based on the people I've run into on the interview trail I strongly believe that I would have more residency interviews and a much better chance of matching into the specialty of my choice, that's it. otherwise i had an amazing time on the island, and feel that the school does a great job at teaching and supporting it's students. It's not the schools fault that the residency program directors at many places discriminate against IMGs, and prefer to take DO's or AMGs with lower stats.


Keep in mind that this is from SGU. I did not go to SGU. My GPA and USMLE scores are better than this, and Im applying for Internal Medicine. And I am having an infinitely harder time than RJ.
 

RussianJoo

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Do you feel that Emergency Medicine is as competitive for Caribbean grads? I am still strongly considering SGU for several reasons like my 3.2 GPA (bad freshman/sophomore years good junior/senior) and the fact that my girlfriend would be applying with me and she has even less competitive stats. I received a 33 on the MCAT and she got a 30 so we aren't bad standardized test takers. This makes me less concerned about failing the boards. What I mean is that I take tests well and I would pour my heart and soul into it as I did with the MCAT.

I have spoken with 10+ people that are friends of mine or friends of friends and they have loved their experiences down there and have gotten into residencies. I realize this doesn't mean that I necessarily would. I have no problem going to a DO school but I am already 26 years old. I would be 28 by the time that I start which I am not keen on.

TL;DR - I like Emergency Medicine, I do well on tests, and I don't want to wait but I am nervous about the caribbean.

unfortunately i don't know what the situation will be like in 4 years when you'll be applying for the match. right now EM is on par with anesthesiology in terms of competitiveness, maybe slightly less competitive, but the only reason i say this is because I know a current SGU 4th year who got 2 EM prematches which he turned down because he wants to go to a better program and feels that he has a great chance of matching at a better program, and I know 2 of my classmates with his same stats applying to anesthesiology and although they have interviews they haven't gotten any prematch offers.

I do know that your best chance currently and in the future will be a DO school, you might have an equally less chance coming from a carib school but you might not, with that said you can apply to brand new DO schools or a lower tier DO schools and and as long as your gf's gpa is above 2.8 she should get in as well.

also just to put things in prospective, SGU's average incoming class has a gpa of 3.34 and an mcat of 28. i think there are a few DO schools that have lower admission criteria than SGU.
 

RussianJoo

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Keep in mind that this is from SGU. I did not go to SGU. My GPA and USMLE scores are better than this, and Im applying for Internal Medicine. And I am having an infinitely harder time than RJ.

yeah i noticed that as well. I know a guy applying to anesthesia from SABA, who blows me away in terms of GPA, USMLE scores, and even has a publication or two and he might have at most 2 more interviews than me. also what I think provented me from getting a few more interviews is the fact that I took my step2cs exam late and just recently got my score, if this was available at the beginning of the season i think i would get at least 1 more interview.
 

howelljolly

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Also keep in mind that if you are a DO you WILL get a residency... especially because they have their own residency programs, and their own Match... in addition to being able to use the Allopathic match.

Last years match rate for US-IMGs... which include all the carib schools, plus many US students who go to the UK, Poland, India, etc... was 37%

This year's will be a bloodbath.
 

TruthMD

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Also keep in mind that if you are a DO you WILL get a residency... especially because they have their own residency programs, and their own Match... in addition to being able to use the Allopathic match.

Last years match rate for US-IMGs... which include all the carib schools, plus many US students who go to the UK, Poland, India, etc... was 37%

This year's will be a bloodbath.

Sometimes you have to take the chance and plan ahead. Getting a residency is a lot about who you know. Not just scores. It is easier if you graduate in the USA.

However, considering my own experience, I will tell you I am much happier being an SGU IMG MD than being a DO.
 

TruthMD

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yeah i had a tough time adjusting to the work load at first but i definitely over came my struggles. Like I said above I am applying to anesthesiology, and would only do that if I knew I was a competitive candidate. I got nothing to hide. my cumulative GPA is 3.34, my step1 score is 227/95, step2 score is 231/95, i am not amazing by any standards but i am slightly above average for anesthesiology. I applied to 70 programs and have 7 interviews, which gives me about a 60% chance of matching. I am very happy with my experiences at SGU, SGU is a solid school, they have a great support system and kind and understanding deans of students. However, this doesn't take away from the fact that if I was a DO student with those stats applying to anesthesiology I would have twice as many interviews and would have a virtually 100% chances of matching. Even if after I match I'll still be telling people to strongly consider a DO school over SGU, because your life when applying to residency programs will be much easier.

so just to say it again the only reason i feel negative about my decision to go to SGU is because right now based on the people I've run into on the interview trail I strongly believe that I would have more residency interviews and a much better chance of matching into the specialty of my choice, that's it. otherwise i had an amazing time on the island, and feel that the school does a great job at teaching and supporting it's students. It's not the schools fault that the residency program directors at many places discriminate against IMGs, and prefer to take DO's or AMGs with lower stats.

Good for you. You worked hard and you got more chances. Anesthesiology is a very competitive residency to get in to. So you are not surprises about the number of interviews you got. Also if you did do step2cs earlier you would have had more invites. Hopefully it works out.

I agree that the education at SGU is great and overall I am very satisfied with my Basic Science years and so far very impressed with clinics. I am rotating along US med student and I don't feel lacking in anyway. I actually feel very well prepared.
 

howelljolly

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Sometimes you have to take the chance and plan ahead. Getting a residency is a lot about who you know. Not just scores. It is easier if you graduate in the USA.

However, considering my own experience, I will tell you I am much happier being an SGU IMG MD than being a DO.

Food for thought. Also plan where the "who you know" will be in 5 years, if you know them from before med school.

All the whos I knew moved to higher or different academic positions where they can't help me, or have since retired.
 

GatorHater

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So the consensus is that US DO >> Carib MD?
Do DO schools start in Spring and Fall or just fall like MD? Also, is the application process the same as far as applying about a year ahead of time?
 

howelljolly

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So the consensus is that US DO >> Carib MD?
Do DO schools start in Spring and Fall or just fall like MD? Also, is the application process the same as far as applying about a year ahead of time?

Yes, maybe, and yes. Years ago, DO schools had the added requirement that one of your Letter of Recs had to be from a DO.... i dont know if that still applies.

Anyone who says that a Carib MD degree is worth more than a US DO degree doesnt know what theyre talking about.
 

RussianJoo

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So the consensus is that US DO >> Carib MD?
Do DO schools start in Spring and Fall or just fall like MD? Also, is the application process the same as far as applying about a year ahead of time?

i am pretty sure they only accept one class a year. but ask the DO forum because they would know better.
 

RussianJoo

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Good for you. You worked hard and you got more chances. Anesthesiology is a very competitive residency to get in to. So you are not surprises about the number of interviews you got. Also if you did do step2cs earlier you would have had more invites. Hopefully it works out.

I agree that the education at SGU is great and overall I am very satisfied with my Basic Science years and so far very impressed with clinics. I am rotating along US med student and I don't feel lacking in anyway. I actually feel very well prepared.

yeah but my point is DO's with the same stats are getting double the interview numbers and many with lower scores than mine have the same number of interviews as me, meaning it's only competitive for IMGs. if you're a US grad be it DO or AMG Ansethesia isn't that competitive, and is definitely not considered a very competitive specialty.
 

exPCM

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yeah but my point is DO's with the same stats are getting double the interview numbers and many with lower scores than mine have the same number of interviews as me, meaning it's only competitive for IMGs. if you're a US grad be it DO or AMG Ansethesia isn't that competitive, and is definitely not considered a very competitive specialty.

RussianJoo,
You are an excellent and insightful poster and I wish you the best of luck in the upcoming match.
 
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