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SGU vs Ross

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ERscribe91

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Hi everyone,

I am having a hard time deciding between the two. I do realize that these may not be the best options presented, but at least they are options. This is my second cycle applying. Last year, I was on the wait list at University of Arizona, but was ultimately denied. I am interviewing at Midwestern AZCOM next month, but by now, they have filled most of their class and would fight for a wait list spot. But, I also have to mentally prepare my self for another rejection as I know that AZCOM has changed their style of admissions and they now have very little movement from the wait list. Having worked as a scribe for 6 years and gotten a masters degree already, I need to start this year.

Does anyone have any extra insight? Ross is now on the island of Barbados and is a very nice island/more developed. The medical school is just a 4 story medical building and the villas where you live are brand new and apartment style, but is a 20 minute shuttle away. But might be cheaper (They gave me a $12k scholarship). Good match and USMLE pass rates and resources. SGU is similar in USMLE pass rates and match rates, maybe slightly higher because they have been around longer. SGU is on the island of Grenada which is definitely a 3rd world country. Beautiful campus. Tons of resources. Housing is on campus and eventually students move off campus to save some money. I am from Los Angeles and both schools have clinical hospitals in SoCal where I can do my rotations.

My top choice specialty at this point is EM. Again, I realize that these are Caribbean schools, but at least this year, there is something that actually came through. Does anyone have any helpful insight or friends who go there? Thanks!
 

lilqt123

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Hi everyone,

I am having a hard time deciding between the two. I do realize that these may not be the best options presented, but at least they are options. This is my second cycle applying. Last year, I was on the wait list at University of Arizona, but was ultimately denied. I am interviewing at Midwestern AZCOM next month, but by now, they have filled most of their class and would fight for a wait list spot. But, I also have to mentally prepare my self for another rejection as I know that AZCOM has changed their style of admissions and they now have very little movement from the wait list. Having worked as a scribe for 6 years and gotten a masters degree already, I need to start this year.

Does anyone have any extra insight? Ross is now on the island of Barbados and is a very nice island/more developed. The medical school is just a 4 story medical building and the villas where you live are brand new and apartment style, but is a 20 minute shuttle away. But might be cheaper (They gave me a $12k scholarship). Good match and USMLE pass rates and resources. SGU is similar in USMLE pass rates and match rates, maybe slightly higher because they have been around longer. SGU is on the island of Grenada which is definitely a 3rd world country. Beautiful campus. Tons of resources. Housing is on campus and eventually students move off campus to save some money. I am from Los Angeles and both schools have clinical hospitals in SoCal where I can do my rotations.

My top choice specialty at this point is EM. Again, I realize that these are Caribbean schools, but at least this year, there is something that actually came through. Does anyone have any helpful insight or friends who go there? Thanks!

Please, for your own sake, do not go to the Caribbean for medical school. You say that they are "something that actually came through" for you this year but they will always be there to "come through" because anyone can get accepted and they are willing and ready to prey on desperate applicants like you. Based on the fact that you received interviews to U.S. medical schools 2 years in a row, you are definitely a competitive applicant. Also, you still have the interview at AZCOM - don't count yourself out! If it makes you feel better, I'm planning on withdrawing my acceptance there soon and I'm sure more spots will open up this month or May. Focus on crushing the interview and getting that acceptance. If the AZCOM interview doesn't come through for you, I would apply again this coming cycle. The Caribbean should not be an option. If I were you, I would call the schools that rejected me and ask for feedback regarding how I can improve my application. You still have a chance!
 
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M&L

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look... this is my third year of applying. Last two years i didnt have a single interview. now i had SIX, and got 3 acceptances and 2 WL. PLEASE message me, and lets talk about your application. do NOT go to the Caribbean. DO NOT. I will help you look through things, and we will find what is wrong. lets talk about what you can improve. i WAS in your situation. I am also older - 33, with 2 previous degrees, including masters and i just wanted to finally start the medical career, but then i realized that i will do ONE MORE YEAR, and go ALL IN, and fix it. And i did. PLEASE message me.

also, are you considering DO?
 
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sc0rs

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look... this is my third year of applying. Last two years i didnt have a single interview. now i had SIX, and got 3 acceptances and 2 WL. PLEASE message me, and lets talk about your application. do NOT go to the Caribbean. DO NOT. I will help you look through things, and we will find what is wrong. lets talk about what you can improve. i WAS in your situation. I am also older - 33, with 2 previous degrees, including masters and i just wanted to finally start the medical career, but then i realized that i will do ONE MORE YEAR, and go ALL IN, and fix it. And i did. PLEASE message me.

also, are you considering DO?
Can I ask you for some feedback as well on what you did differently.
 

M&L

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Can I ask you for some feedback as well on what you did differently.
sure: 1st year: 498 MCAT, 3.65 GPA. No research experience, 400 clinical hours. Army veteran. No volunteering. No shadowing per se. Applied in August (i know. Stupid. ALL of it)
2nd year: 502 MCAT, and then third retake 502. 3.65 GPA. No research experience. 400 clinical hours. No volunteering. No shadowing per se. Added 1 semester of Learning assistant in a math department. Added one more job experience ( accounting assistant). Applied in OCTOBER (*****). Started BS in Biochemistry program (before that i had finance major, and just took a few courses for prerequisites. At that point i started giving up, so i wanted a plan B for my career option, and biochemistry seemed like a great option).
3rd year: retook MCAT the 4th time (in January) (i should mention that i actually took Biochemistry course only a month prior. So those three other MCAT attempts were VERY premature. I didnt know any better, - because of that i attached letter to my application explaining circumstances of my 4 MCAT attempts). Got 511 on MCAT. Found a job in addiction treatment facility, - 2000 clinical hours. Applied to NIH summer internship in pathology lab of National Cancer Institute. FIlled out and submitted my primary application 45 min after it was open :))). Started my NIH internship on May 20th, so that i could comfortably put it on the primary. Got 400 research hours there, and a poster presentation. Got 37 hours volunteering, - all i could squeeze in. By then i also already had 3 semesters of being a Learning Assistant in Chemistry department. Also i took some advanced biology and chemistry courses. I have no idea if that made any difference, but my LOR were from my professor in Advanced Anatomy and Physiology and from my Microbiology professor (he sent it to me as well, - after submitting it, - and i cried when i read it. My brother died 3 months before my last MCAT attempt, so the whole spring semester prior to application was very emotional). Also, - i submitted every single secondary within a day of getting it (i didnt want to take any chances), - i was pre-writing my secondary essays in June, so i was ready pretty much. I also applied VERY broadly, - 35 MD schools, no DO. In august - september i would watch every single interview prep video i could get my hands on. My first interview invitation didnt arrive till end of September, - it was ETSU :)) (more tears). And then EVMS. Then - silence. Was put on hold in ETSU, EVMS - WL. .... WAITING..... In november 2 more invitations, - Drexel and Vermont. Then two more, - VA Tech and WVU. by The end of February I had 2 WL, 1 hold, and 2 pending decisions (i ended up cancelling VA tech interview, - couldnt get off work). I was ready to give up.... And then the last week of February i got 3 acceptances out of nowhere (Vermont, ETSU, Drexel). Now i am hoping for WVU and EVMS waitlists to come through.

so, - what i've learned: DO NOT GIVE UP. Have a plan. Be willing to change when needed. I was ready to give up after the second year, and EVERYONE told me to just move on. But i am VERY stubborn. so, i decided that i will give it ONE MORE SHOT. and i am happy i did.
 
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sc0rs

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sure: 1st year: 498 MCAT, 3.65 GPA. No research experience, 400 clinical hours. Army veteran. No volunteering. No shadowing per se. Applied in August (i know. Stupid. ALL of it)
2nd year: 502 MCAT, and then third retake 502. 3.65 GPA. No research experience. 400 clinical hours. No volunteering. No shadowing per se. Added 1 semester of Learning assistant in a math department. Added one more job experience ( accounting assistant). Applied in OCTOBER (*****). Started BS in Biochemistry program (before that i had finance major, and just took a few courses for prerequisites. At that point i started giving up, so i wanted a plan B for my career option, and biochemistry seemed like a great option).
3rd year: retook MCAT the 4th time (in January) (i should mention that i actually took Biochemistry course only a month prior. So those three other MCAT attempts were VERY premature. I didnt know any better, - because of that i attached letter to my application explaining circumstances of my 4 MCAT attempts). Got 511 on MCAT. Found a job in addiction treatment facility, - 2000 clinical hours. Applied to NIH summer internship in pathology lab of National Cancer Institute. FIlled out and submitted my primary application 45 min after it was open :))). Started my NIH internship on May 20th, so that i could comfortably put it on the primary. Got 400 research hours there, and a poster presentation. Got 37 hours volunteering, - all i could squeeze in. By then i also already had 3 semesters of being a Learning Assistant in Chemistry department. Also i took some advanced biology and chemistry courses. I have no idea if that made any difference, but my LOR were from my professor in Advanced Anatomy and Physiology and from my Microbiology professor (he sent it to me as well, - after submitting it, - and i cried when i read it. My brother died 3 months before my last MCAT attempt, so the whole spring semester prior to application was very emotional). Also, - i submitted every single secondary within a day of getting it (i didnt want to take any chances), - i was pre-writing my secondary essays in June, so i was ready pretty much. I also applied VERY broadly, - 35 MD schools, no DO. In august - september i would watch every single interview prep video i could get my hands on. My first interview invitation didnt arrive till end of September, - it was ETSU :)) (more tears). And then EVMS. Then - silence. Was put on hold in ETSU, EVMS - WL. .... WAITING..... In november 2 more invitations, - Drexel and Vermont. Then two more, - VA Tech and WVU. by The end of February I had 2 WL, 1 hold, and 2 pending decisions (i ended up cancelling VA tech interview, - couldnt get off work). I was ready to give up.... And then the last week of February i got 3 acceptances out of nowhere (Vermont, ETSU, Drexel). Now i am hoping for WVU and EVMS waitlists to come through.

so, - what i've learned: DO NOT GIVE UP. Have a plan. Be willing to change when needed. I was ready to give up after the second year, and EVERYONE told me to just move on. But i am VERY stubborn. so, i decided that i will give it ONE MORE SHOT. and i am happy i did.
Super inspirational!! Glad you were able to learn from your mistakes and be flexible! Congrats!! Will def take your advice on some of the timing, and will start right now getting in more clinical and volunteer hours. Maybe some research hours as well. Thanks so much for your help!
 
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M&L

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Super inspirational!! Glad you were able to learn from your mistakes and be flexible! Congrats!! Will def take your advice on some of the timing, and will start right now getting in more clinical and volunteer hours. Maybe some research hours as well. Thanks so much for your help!
If I could turn it around , and get accepted- you can too !!!!
 
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M&L

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sure: 1st year: 498 MCAT, 3.65 GPA. No research experience, 400 clinical hours. Army veteran. No volunteering. No shadowing per se. Applied in August (i know. Stupid. ALL of it)
2nd year: 502 MCAT, and then third retake 502. 3.65 GPA. No research experience. 400 clinical hours. No volunteering. No shadowing per se. Added 1 semester of Learning assistant in a math department. Added one more job experience ( accounting assistant). Applied in OCTOBER (*****). Started BS in Biochemistry program (before that i had finance major, and just took a few courses for prerequisites. At that point i started giving up, so i wanted a plan B for my career option, and biochemistry seemed like a great option).
3rd year: retook MCAT the 4th time (in January) (i should mention that i actually took Biochemistry course only a month prior. So those three other MCAT attempts were VERY premature. I didnt know any better, - because of that i attached letter to my application explaining circumstances of my 4 MCAT attempts). Got 511 on MCAT. Found a job in addiction treatment facility, - 2000 clinical hours. Applied to NIH summer internship in pathology lab of National Cancer Institute. FIlled out and submitted my primary application 45 min after it was open :))). Started my NIH internship on May 20th, so that i could comfortably put it on the primary. Got 400 research hours there, and a poster presentation. Got 37 hours volunteering, - all i could squeeze in. By then i also already had 3 semesters of being a Learning Assistant in Chemistry department. Also i took some advanced biology and chemistry courses. I have no idea if that made any difference, but my LOR were from my professor in Advanced Anatomy and Physiology and from my Microbiology professor (he sent it to me as well, - after submitting it, - and i cried when i read it. My brother died 3 months before my last MCAT attempt, so the whole spring semester prior to application was very emotional). Also, - i submitted every single secondary within a day of getting it (i didnt want to take any chances), - i was pre-writing my secondary essays in June, so i was ready pretty much. I also applied VERY broadly, - 35 MD schools, no DO. In august - september i would watch every single interview prep video i could get my hands on. My first interview invitation didnt arrive till end of September, - it was ETSU :)) (more tears). And then EVMS. Then - silence. Was put on hold in ETSU, EVMS - WL. .... WAITING..... In november 2 more invitations, - Drexel and Vermont. Then two more, - VA Tech and WVU. by The end of February I had 2 WL, 1 hold, and 2 pending decisions (i ended up cancelling VA tech interview, - couldnt get off work). I was ready to give up.... And then the last week of February i got 3 acceptances out of nowhere (Vermont, ETSU, Drexel). Now i am hoping for WVU and EVMS waitlists to come through.

so, - what i've learned: DO NOT GIVE UP. Have a plan. Be willing to change when needed. I was ready to give up after the second year, and EVERYONE told me to just move on. But i am VERY stubborn. so, i decided that i will give it ONE MORE SHOT. and i am happy i did.
@golgi body
 
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Dr.Gains

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sure: 1st year: 498 MCAT, 3.65 GPA. No research experience, 400 clinical hours. Army veteran. No volunteering. No shadowing per se. Applied in August (i know. Stupid. ALL of it)
2nd year: 502 MCAT, and then third retake 502. 3.65 GPA. No research experience. 400 clinical hours. No volunteering. No shadowing per se. Added 1 semester of Learning assistant in a math department. Added one more job experience ( accounting assistant). Applied in OCTOBER (*****). Started BS in Biochemistry program (before that i had finance major, and just took a few courses for prerequisites. At that point i started giving up, so i wanted a plan B for my career option, and biochemistry seemed like a great option).
3rd year: retook MCAT the 4th time (in January) (i should mention that i actually took Biochemistry course only a month prior. So those three other MCAT attempts were VERY premature. I didnt know any better, - because of that i attached letter to my application explaining circumstances of my 4 MCAT attempts). Got 511 on MCAT. Found a job in addiction treatment facility, - 2000 clinical hours. Applied to NIH summer internship in pathology lab of National Cancer Institute. FIlled out and submitted my primary application 45 min after it was open :))). Started my NIH internship on May 20th, so that i could comfortably put it on the primary. Got 400 research hours there, and a poster presentation. Got 37 hours volunteering, - all i could squeeze in. By then i also already had 3 semesters of being a Learning Assistant in Chemistry department. Also i took some advanced biology and chemistry courses. I have no idea if that made any difference, but my LOR were from my professor in Advanced Anatomy and Physiology and from my Microbiology professor (he sent it to me as well, - after submitting it, - and i cried when i read it. My brother died 3 months before my last MCAT attempt, so the whole spring semester prior to application was very emotional). Also, - i submitted every single secondary within a day of getting it (i didnt want to take any chances), - i was pre-writing my secondary essays in June, so i was ready pretty much. I also applied VERY broadly, - 35 MD schools, no DO. In august - september i would watch every single interview prep video i could get my hands on. My first interview invitation didnt arrive till end of September, - it was ETSU :)) (more tears). And then EVMS. Then - silence. Was put on hold in ETSU, EVMS - WL. .... WAITING..... In november 2 more invitations, - Drexel and Vermont. Then two more, - VA Tech and WVU. by The end of February I had 2 WL, 1 hold, and 2 pending decisions (i ended up cancelling VA tech interview, - couldnt get off work). I was ready to give up.... And then the last week of February i got 3 acceptances out of nowhere (Vermont, ETSU, Drexel). Now i am hoping for WVU and EVMS waitlists to come through.

so, - what i've learned: DO NOT GIVE UP. Have a plan. Be willing to change when needed. I was ready to give up after the second year, and EVERYONE told me to just move on. But i am VERY stubborn. so, i decided that i will give it ONE MORE SHOT. and i am happy i did.

I wish I could like your post a thousand times. It is stories like these that motivate me to keep pushing and work hard every single day. I really appreciate you sharing this, it really made my day. :thumbup:
 
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M&L

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I wish I could like your post a thousand times. It is stories like these that motivate me to keep pushing and work hard every single day. I really appreciate you sharing this, it really made my day. :thumbup:
wow.... thank you so much! it has been a tough few years.. hahhaa :). you should have seen me when i got that first acceptance call.
 
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ERscribe91

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Please, for your own sake, do not go to the Caribbean for medical school. You say that they are "something that actually came through" for you this year but they will always be there to "come through" because anyone can get accepted and they are willing and ready to prey on desperate applicants like you. Based on the fact that you received interviews to U.S. medical schools 2 years in a row, you are definitely a competitive applicant. Also, you still have the interview at AZCOM - don't count yourself out! If it makes you feel better, I'm planning on withdrawing my acceptance there soon and I'm sure more spots will open up this month or May. Focus on crushing the interview and getting that acceptance. If the AZCOM interview doesn't come through for you, I would apply again this coming cycle. The Caribbean should not be an option. If I were you, I would call the schools that rejected me and ask for feedback regarding how I can improve my application. You still have a chance!

Thank you for your input. I really appreciate it. Trust me, this is difficult and I am trying to be as hopeful about AZCOM. Do you know what to expect for their interview that you could help with? All I know is that it's open file.
 

M&L

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Thank you for your input. I really appreciate it. Trust me, this is difficult and I am trying to be as hopeful about AZCOM. Do you know what to expect for their interview that you could help with? All I know is that it's open file.
go to youtube, google "Kevin Ahern interview". He is a retired pre-med advisor, and he recorded 3 interview prep sessions. They are incredible! i HIGHLY recommend them,
 
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lilqt123

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Thank you for your input. I really appreciate it. Trust me, this is difficult and I am trying to be as hopeful about AZCOM. Do you know what to expect for their interview that you could help with? All I know is that it's open file.
It's a panel interview, so you'll be interviewed by either two or three people. I was lucky enough to meet extremely friendly interviewers; my interview was pretty much a casual conversation. I don't know if this is the case for everyone, but after talking with other interviewees on my day pretty much everyone agreed that it was very low-stress. I would know every detail of your application and be ready to talk a lot about your experiences. Also be prepared for one or two interesting hypothetical questions unrelated to medicine or your application. I would take a look at the interview feedback page for AZCOM here on SDN. I found it super helpful when I was prepping, and I was asked a lot of the questions those students were asked! Good luck! You're gonna do great!
 
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br2pi5

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go to youtube, google "Kevin Ahern interview". He is a retired pre-med advisor, and he recorded 3 interview prep sessions. They are incredible! i HIGHLY recommend them,
this this this, his videos were so helpful!
 
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novins

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Caribbean grad here from SGU who matched into emergency medicine at a pretty good program. I'm gonna throw in my two cents regarding matching from a Caribbean school, particularly into EM and then Ross vs SGU at the bottom. *Ended up being a lot more than two cents, sorry for the long post* If anyone wants to talk to me personally about SGU or matching EM, shoot me a PM and we can chat.

First off, don't listen to people on SDN. Most people base their opinions on false information/misinterpretation of data and blogs written by the very few Caribbean students who did exceptionally poorly, nearly always because of their own poor study habits, who then go on to write things that are either blown way out of proportion or are outrageously false.

That being said, I'll be the first person to tell you that if you can get into a US med school, go for it. It's always the best option. But if you just can't get in and you're a person with good work ethic the Caribbean is a great option as long as you're not trying to go into something ultra competitive like neurosurgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, ortho etc.

And now I'll give my little spiel (with an emphasis on matching emergency medicine) that I give to students who have questions about Caribbean schools and matching (I volunteer as a mentor for SGU because there is soooo much false information out there).

Regarding matching from a Caribbean school. Residencies can essentially be broken down into three levels of competitiveness.

Low - specialties like psychiatry, family medicine, internal medicine, PMNR etc. From a Caribbean school you should have no problem matching into any of these fields. The reason being is that there are more spots available than there are people applying, therefore, programs aren't going to be very picky. The only people from the Caribbean that don't match are usually those with very subpar Step 1 scores, they're just weird, or some sort of red flag. Bottom line - if you plan on going into these specialties, I wouldn't worry about going to a Caribbean school.

Medium - emergency medicine, OBGYN, gen surg, etc. You are a bit of a disadvantage going to a Caribbean school for these specialties, but in my opinion, it's not a big disadvantage (may for gen surg, that's a tough one, but doable). Because these are more competitive, programs are looking for reasons to discriminate and whether or not they screen you out based on going to a Caribbean school is entirely dependent on the program director. Some really don't care, some do. So do your homework, find out which programs have taken Caribbean students in the past and apply there.

Side note about emergency medicine. Programs generally (not all) screen you based on your Step 1/2 score. If you hit their minimum score the next most important part of your applications are your SLOE's. Remember, EM is a team sport that requires a particular personality and whether or not you fit the bill will largely be determined by your SLOE. Killer step 1/2 score but average or subpar SLOE's? You're not gonna match. I asked program directors during my interviews what it was about my application that got me the interview (specifically so I can pass that on to people like you) and they all unanimously said it was my SLOEs (apparently I had really good SLOEs). I got a 248 on Step 1, not one person mentioned my step score, they didn't care. And I think, for the most part, the kind of person that goes into EM is the kind of person that really doesn't care if you went to a Caribbean school. They just want to make sure you're a cool person they can drink a beer with and that's willing to work hard. And I quote the APD during an interview, "You like to drink? Good. We expect our residents to be able to drink until 2am and come to work ready to rock and roll." I had 13 interviews (and I totally failed my standardized video interview, long story). My girlfriend got a 240 on step 1, no research, no extracurriculars, stellar SLOEs and got 16 interviews for EM. She had quite a few university program interviews to boot and successfully matched into EM. She also applied internal medicine for back up and got over 20 interviews, some of them at top notch university programs. All that is to say that you don't need to absolutely kill step 1 like everyone on SDN would have you believe. I'd say shoot for a 240+ (not that hard to obtain if you put in the work) and, presuming you do well on your EM rotations, you should be able to match EM.

High - Neurosurg, derm, ortho, ophtho, etc. If you have your heart set on one of these specialties, this is when I'll agree with everyone else and say you should try for a US school. Can you do it from a Caribbean school? Sure, but you better be in the top 0.1% of the nation in everything.

Regarding SGU vs. Ross. Both are good schools, both will get you where you want to go if you put in the work. As far as the match numbers they put up, be careful if you're planning on going into EM. Numbers that aren't reported, by either school, are how many people apply for EM vs how many people matched. I've talked to SGU about this, they simply aren't provided that data. But if 100 people applied and only 30 matched, that's not a very good match rate. So the best you can do is look at each school's match list and see how many people matched into EM. SGU usually matches around 30 per year, this year we matched a record high into EM at around 50 people. I can't say how many people applied, but anecdotally speaking it seemed like almost everyone I knew that applied for EM was able to match EM. Ross matched 24 into EM this year.

If you can, try to reach out to Ross graduates and get their opinion. Rumor and hearsay, so I say it cautiously, is that Ross doesn't setup your 3rd year clinical rotations, which can lead to a lot of headache, frustration, and in some cases completing some of your core rotations in 4th year. I don't if it's true, but I'd look into it.

Can't remember where I read this otherwise I'd post a link, but I remember reading that after DeVry bought out Ross they simply couldn't turn a profit and were hemorrhaging money. Might be worth looking into.

SGU is more expensive, but you get what you pay for ;) And I hear SGU has much more attractive students.

Lastly, gonna go on a rant about some rumors that bug me and get thrown around a lot (speaking only for SGU of course).

The attrition rate is not sky high. These rumored attrition rates of 30% are simply ridiculous from a common sense stand point. The school is a business and losing 30% of your business is not sustainable nor nearly as profitable. The real attrition rate is about 12% per officials. 4% drop out in the first semester for whatever reason (family member died, they changed their mind, can't handle the island etc), 4% fail out academically and 4% transfer to a US medschool after step 1. I double checked this with the roster for each class from the first semester to the last semester and the number I got seemed to match up with their report.

There are no "weeder" classes. If the school wants to weed people out they would grade classes on a curve, because grading on a curve is the best and most accurate way to weed people out. None of the classes are graded on a curve and the exams are all adjusted to have an average of roughly 80%. Hard to make a claim that a class is a weeder class when it's not on a curve and the average exam score is 75-80%.

At one point you did have to take an exam before you could take step 1, but honestly, if you failed that exam then you probably shouldn't be taking step 1 in the first place. The school was doing you a favor in my opinion. Anyways, they did away with that exam.
 
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Caribbean grad here from SGU who matched into emergency medicine at a pretty good program. I'm gonna throw in my two cents regarding matching from a Caribbean school, particularly into EM and then Ross vs SGU at the bottom. *Ended up being a lot more than two cents, sorry for the long post* If anyone wants to talk to me personally about SGU or matching EM, shoot me a PM and we can chat.

First off, don't listen to people on SDN. Most people base their opinions on false information/misinterpretation of data and blogs written by the very few Caribbean students who did exceptionally poorly, nearly always because of their own poor study habits, who then go on to write things that are either blown way out of proportion or are outrageously false.

That being said, I'll be the first person to tell you that if you can get into a US med school, go for it. It's always the best option. But if you just can't get in and you're a person with good work ethic the Caribbean is a great option as long as you're not trying to go into something ultra competitive like neurosurgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, ortho etc.

And now I'll give my little spiel (with an emphasis on matching emergency medicine) that I give to students who have questions about Caribbean schools and matching (I volunteer as a mentor for SGU because there is soooo much false information out there).

Regarding matching from a Caribbean school. Residencies can essentially be broken down into three levels of competitiveness.

Low - specialties like psychiatry, family medicine, internal medicine, PMNR etc. From a Caribbean school you should have no problem matching into any of these fields. The reason being is that there are more spots available than there are people applying, therefore, programs aren't going to be very picky. The only people from the Caribbean that don't match are usually those with very subpar Step 1 scores, they're just weird, or some sort of red flag. Bottom line - if you plan on going into these specialties, I wouldn't worry about going to a Caribbean school.

Medium - emergency medicine, OBGYN, gen surg, etc. You are a bit of a disadvantage going to a Caribbean school for these specialties, but in my opinion, it's not a big disadvantage (may for gen surg, that's a tough one, but doable). Because these are more competitive, programs are looking for reasons to discriminate and whether or not they screen you out based on going to a Caribbean school is entirely dependent on the program director. Some really don't care, some do. So do your homework, find out which programs have taken Caribbean students in the past and apply there.

Side note about emergency medicine. Programs generally (not all) screen you based on your Step 1/2 score. If you hit their minimum score the next most important part of your applications are your SLOE's. Remember, EM is a team sport that requires a particular personality and whether or not you fit the bill will largely be determined by your SLOE. Killer step 1/2 score but average or subpar SLOE's? You're not gonna match. I asked program directors during my interviews what it was about my application that got me the interview (specifically so I can pass that on to people like you) and they all unanimously said it was my SLOEs (apparently I had really good SLOEs). I got a 248 on Step 1, not one person mentioned my step score, they didn't care. And I think, for the most part, the kind of person that goes into EM is the kind of person that really doesn't care if you went to a Caribbean school. They just want to make sure you're a cool person they can drink a beer with and that's willing to work hard. And I quote the APD during an interview, "You like to drink? Good. We expect our residents to be able to drink until 2am and come to work ready to rock and roll." I had 13 interviews (and I totally failed my standardized video interview, long story). My girlfriend got a 240 on step 1, no research, no extracurriculars, stellar SLOEs and got 16 interviews for EM. She had quite a few university program interviews to boot and successfully matched into EM. She also applied internal medicine for back up and got over 20 interviews, some of them at top notch university programs. All that is to say that you don't need to absolutely kill step 1 like everyone on SDN would have you believe. I'd say shoot for a 240+ (not that hard to obtain if you put in the work) and, presuming you do well on your EM rotations, you should be able to match EM.

High - Neurosurg, derm, ortho, ophtho, etc. If you have your heart set on one of these specialties, this is when I'll agree with everyone else and say you should try for a US school. Can you do it from a Caribbean school? Sure, but you better be in the top 0.1% of the nation in everything.

Regarding SGU vs. Ross. Both are good schools, both will get you where you want to go if you put in the work. As far as the match numbers they put up, be careful if you're planning on going into EM. Numbers that aren't reported, by either school, are how many people apply for EM vs how many people matched. I've talked to SGU about this, they simply aren't provided that data. But if 100 people applied and only 30 matched, that's not a very good match rate. So the best you can do is look at each school's match list and see how many people matched into EM. SGU usually matches around 30 per year, this year we matched a record high into EM at around 50 people. I can't say how many people applied, but anecdotally speaking it seemed like almost everyone I knew that applied for EM was able to match EM. Ross matched 24 into EM this year.

If you can, try to reach out to Ross graduates and get their opinion. Rumor and hearsay, so I say it cautiously, is that Ross doesn't setup your 3rd year clinical rotations, which can lead to a lot of headache, frustration, and in some cases completing some of your core rotations in 4th year. I don't if it's true, but I'd look into it.

Can't remember where I read this otherwise I'd post a link, but I remember reading that after DeVry bought out Ross they simply couldn't turn a profit and were hemorrhaging money. Might be worth looking into.

SGU is more expensive, but you get what you pay for ;) And I hear SGU has much more attractive students.

Lastly, gonna go on a rant about some rumors that bug me and get thrown around a lot (speaking only for SGU of course).

The attrition rate is not sky high. These rumored attrition rates of 30% are simply ridiculous from a common sense stand point. The school is a business and losing 30% of your business is not sustainable nor nearly as profitable. The real attrition rate is about 12% per officials. 4% drop out in the first semester for whatever reason (family member died, they changed their mind, can't handle the island etc), 4% fail out academically and 4% transfer to a US medschool after step 1. I double checked this with the roster for each class from the first semester to the last semester and the number I got seemed to match up with their report.

There are no "weeder" classes. If the school wants to weed people out they would grade classes on a curve, because grading on a curve is the best and most accurate way to weed people out. None of the classes are graded on a curve and the exams are all adjusted to have an average of roughly 80%. Hard to make a claim that a class is a weeder class when it's not on a curve and the average exam score is 75-80%.

At one point you did have to take an exam before you could take step 1, but honestly, if you failed that exam then you probably shouldn't be taking step 1 in the first place. The school was doing you a favor in my opinion. Anyways, they did away with that exam.

People on SDN are prestige obsessed. I go to a USMD but have friends from high school and college who go to Caribbean and they’re doing just fine. Sometimes you’re ready to start your path now and don’t want to wait another year+ to start. That’s okay. Just make sure you do your research first, and I don’t mean internet searches. Actually talk to real Caribbean students and see what they think
 
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lilqt123

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People on SDN are prestige obsessed. I go to a USMD but have friends from high school and college who go to Caribbean and they’re doing just fine. Sometimes you’re ready to start your path now and don’t want to wait another year+ to start. That’s okay. Just make sure you do your research first, and I don’t mean internet searches. Actually talk to real Caribbean students and see what they think
It's not about prestige. Not everyone on SDN is obsessed with prestige. Go look at the help me decide pages and you can see plenty of people suggesting to attend a cheaper school over one that's higher ranked. This discussion is about the low success rate of those who do attend the Caribbean. Obviously some students who attend a Caribbean school are successful; I personally know people who have been. However, new NRMP match data from this year showed about a 57% match rate for Caribbean graduates compared to ~87% for DO students and 90-something% for US MDs. I personally would rather take my chances at a US DO or MD school based on these indisputable facts and statistics rather than anecdotes from a few successful students. Obviously if a person has absolutely no chance to matriculate at a US school, the Caribbean remains an option, but it should only be a last resort. The OP still has a shot at gaining acceptance to a US school.
 
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novins

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People on SDN are prestige obsessed. I go to a USMD but have friends from high school and college who go to Caribbean and they’re doing just fine. Sometimes you’re ready to start your path now and don’t want to wait another year+ to start. That’s okay. Just make sure you do your research first, and I don’t mean internet searches. Actually talk to real Caribbean students and see what they think
It's not about prestige. Not everyone on SDN is obsessed with prestige. Go look at the help me decide pages and you can see plenty of people suggesting to attend a cheaper school over one that's higher ranked. This discussion is about the low success rate of those who do attend the Caribbean. Obviously some students who attend a Caribbean school are successful; I personally know people who have been. However, new NRMP match data from this year showed about a 57% match rate for Caribbean graduates compared to ~87% for DO students and 90-something% for US MDs. I personally would rather take my chances at a US DO or MD school based on these indisputable facts and statistics rather than anecdotes from a few successful students. Obviously if a person has absolutely no chance to matriculate at a US school, the Caribbean remains an option, but it should only be a last resort. The OP still has a shot at gaining acceptance to a US school.

And this is a good example of what I mean by either misunderstanding, misinterpreting, or misrepresenting the data.

Yes, the NRMP match data shows an overall 57% match rate for US IMGs in 2018, however, it's important to recognize that this does NOT specify match rates for Caribbean students. In fact, the word Caribbean is not mentioned anywhere in the data for either 2018 or 2019. This 57% match rate is for ALL IMGs, not just Caribbean students.

In other words, it's an average match rate for all IMGs from all international medical schools which includes medical schools in India, China, Russia, Mexico, Ireland, the Caribbean, etc. Some international schools will have a very low match rate, some will be very high. It doesn't make sense to take this generalized average and apply it to a specific school like SGU or Ross (especially when match rates are already posted for these schools and is over 90%). That's kind of like saying, "Well, the class average on an exam is 57%, therefore, all students failed." Obviously, there are probably some students that got A's, others F's, and everything in between.
 
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Isoval

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Caribbean grad here from SGU who matched into emergency medicine at a pretty good program. I'm gonna throw in my two cents regarding matching from a Caribbean school, particularly into EM and then Ross vs SGU at the bottom. *Ended up being a lot more than two cents, sorry for the long post* If anyone wants to talk to me personally about SGU or matching EM, shoot me a PM and we can chat.

First off, don't listen to people on SDN. Most people base their opinions on false information/misinterpretation of data and blogs written by the very few Caribbean students who did exceptionally poorly, nearly always because of their own poor study habits, who then go on to write things that are either blown way out of proportion or are outrageously false.

That being said, I'll be the first person to tell you that if you can get into a US med school, go for it. It's always the best option. But if you just can't get in and you're a person with good work ethic the Caribbean is a great option as long as you're not trying to go into something ultra competitive like neurosurgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, ortho etc.

And now I'll give my little spiel (with an emphasis on matching emergency medicine) that I give to students who have questions about Caribbean schools and matching (I volunteer as a mentor for SGU because there is soooo much false information out there).

Regarding matching from a Caribbean school. Residencies can essentially be broken down into three levels of competitiveness.

Low - specialties like psychiatry, family medicine, internal medicine, PMNR etc. From a Caribbean school you should have no problem matching into any of these fields. The reason being is that there are more spots available than there are people applying, therefore, programs aren't going to be very picky. The only people from the Caribbean that don't match are usually those with very subpar Step 1 scores, they're just weird, or some sort of red flag. Bottom line - if you plan on going into these specialties, I wouldn't worry about going to a Caribbean school.

Medium - emergency medicine, OBGYN, gen surg, etc. You are a bit of a disadvantage going to a Caribbean school for these specialties, but in my opinion, it's not a big disadvantage (may for gen surg, that's a tough one, but doable). Because these are more competitive, programs are looking for reasons to discriminate and whether or not they screen you out based on going to a Caribbean school is entirely dependent on the program director. Some really don't care, some do. So do your homework, find out which programs have taken Caribbean students in the past and apply there.

Side note about emergency medicine. Programs generally (not all) screen you based on your Step 1/2 score. If you hit their minimum score the next most important part of your applications are your SLOE's. Remember, EM is a team sport that requires a particular personality and whether or not you fit the bill will largely be determined by your SLOE. Killer step 1/2 score but average or subpar SLOE's? You're not gonna match. I asked program directors during my interviews what it was about my application that got me the interview (specifically so I can pass that on to people like you) and they all unanimously said it was my SLOEs (apparently I had really good SLOEs). I got a 248 on Step 1, not one person mentioned my step score, they didn't care. And I think, for the most part, the kind of person that goes into EM is the kind of person that really doesn't care if you went to a Caribbean school. They just want to make sure you're a cool person they can drink a beer with and that's willing to work hard. And I quote the APD during an interview, "You like to drink? Good. We expect our residents to be able to drink until 2am and come to work ready to rock and roll." I had 13 interviews (and I totally failed my standardized video interview, long story). My girlfriend got a 240 on step 1, no research, no extracurriculars, stellar SLOEs and got 16 interviews for EM. She had quite a few university program interviews to boot and successfully matched into EM. She also applied internal medicine for back up and got over 20 interviews, some of them at top notch university programs. All that is to say that you don't need to absolutely kill step 1 like everyone on SDN would have you believe. I'd say shoot for a 240+ (not that hard to obtain if you put in the work) and, presuming you do well on your EM rotations, you should be able to match EM.

High - Neurosurg, derm, ortho, ophtho, etc. If you have your heart set on one of these specialties, this is when I'll agree with everyone else and say you should try for a US school. Can you do it from a Caribbean school? Sure, but you better be in the top 0.1% of the nation in everything.

Regarding SGU vs. Ross. Both are good schools, both will get you where you want to go if you put in the work. As far as the match numbers they put up, be careful if you're planning on going into EM. Numbers that aren't reported, by either school, are how many people apply for EM vs how many people matched. I've talked to SGU about this, they simply aren't provided that data. But if 100 people applied and only 30 matched, that's not a very good match rate. So the best you can do is look at each school's match list and see how many people matched into EM. SGU usually matches around 30 per year, this year we matched a record high into EM at around 50 people. I can't say how many people applied, but anecdotally speaking it seemed like almost everyone I knew that applied for EM was able to match EM. Ross matched 24 into EM this year.

If you can, try to reach out to Ross graduates and get their opinion. Rumor and hearsay, so I say it cautiously, is that Ross doesn't setup your 3rd year clinical rotations, which can lead to a lot of headache, frustration, and in some cases completing some of your core rotations in 4th year. I don't if it's true, but I'd look into it.

Can't remember where I read this otherwise I'd post a link, but I remember reading that after DeVry bought out Ross they simply couldn't turn a profit and were hemorrhaging money. Might be worth looking into.

SGU is more expensive, but you get what you pay for ;) And I hear SGU has much more attractive students.

Lastly, gonna go on a rant about some rumors that bug me and get thrown around a lot (speaking only for SGU of course).

The attrition rate is not sky high. These rumored attrition rates of 30% are simply ridiculous from a common sense stand point. The school is a business and losing 30% of your business is not sustainable nor nearly as profitable. The real attrition rate is about 12% per officials. 4% drop out in the first semester for whatever reason (family member died, they changed their mind, can't handle the island etc), 4% fail out academically and 4% transfer to a US medschool after step 1. I double checked this with the roster for each class from the first semester to the last semester and the number I got seemed to match up with their report.

There are no "weeder" classes. If the school wants to weed people out they would grade classes on a curve, because grading on a curve is the best and most accurate way to weed people out. None of the classes are graded on a curve and the exams are all adjusted to have an average of roughly 80%. Hard to make a claim that a class is a weeder class when it's not on a curve and the average exam score is 75-80%.

At one point you did have to take an exam before you could take step 1, but honestly, if you failed that exam then you probably shouldn't be taking step 1 in the first place. The school was doing you a favor in my opinion. Anyways, they did away with that exam.

It's always nice to hear a viewpoint that goes against the grain and I'd first like to offer thanks for that.

With that being said, I still have a handful of major problems with the Caribbean schools:
1) I've seen match rates advertised as 87 to 90%. This is still abysmally low compared to almost all US schools. In fact, there is a US school matching about 85% of its class...and its accrediting agency is watching it like a hawk (they may actually have been put on probation? haven't been keeping up).
2) There is a staggering percentage of Caribbean students that match to transitional year programs. Double what even the worst DO schools are pulling. I'd like to throw up a quick defense by saying that I recognize it's not inherently bad considering that some schools may lump these together alongside a match radiology or some other residency that requires an internship year...but god, some of those caribbean schools match a lot of them and there's no way you can convince me all of those kids got a surgical specialty.

Neither is to say that Caribbean is a definitively bad option for everyone all of the time. But it's always worth noting that the risk is exponentially higher than attending a US medical school.
 

masterchiefk57

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And this is a good example of what I mean by either misunderstanding, misinterpreting, or misrepresenting the data.

Yes, the NRMP match data shows an overall 57% match rate for US IMGs in 2018, however, it's important to recognize that this does NOT specify match rates for Caribbean students. In fact, the word Caribbean is not mentioned anywhere in the data for either 2018 or 2019. This 57% match rate is for ALL IMGs, not just Caribbean students.

In other words, it's an average match rate for all IMGs from all international medical schools which includes medical schools in India, China, Russia, Mexico, Ireland, the Caribbean, etc. Some international schools will have a very low match rate, some will be very high. It doesn't make sense to take this generalized average and apply it to a specific school like SGU or Ross (especially when match rates are already posted for these schools and is over 90%). That's kind of like saying, "Well, the class average on an exam is 57%, therefore, all students failed." Obviously, there are probably some students that got A's, others F's, and everything in between.

Lol “misrepresenting the data”? Look at this ad that is exploiting the “misunderstanding” it is blatantly curating from Ross themselves.

This match rate of “99 %” doesn’t take into account the portion that fails or is kicked out (due to insane performance requirements) or the other portion that has to take a year off. Saying “99% of 2014–2015 graduates that passed step exams on their first attempts ended up matching by 2016” is NOT a 99% match rate. This is saying that these students were:

  1. people whom graduated in BOTH 2014 AND 2015 (644 students out of how many that started in 2010/2011/2012)
  2. that were allowed to take the step exams (AFTER all the weeding out, students having to sit out or repeat a year)
  3. and were able to pass the step exams on their first attempt
....got matched by 2016. And then look at WHERE they matched and WHEN. By 2016? That's 1 to 2 years AFTER graduating without even mentioning the likelihood of having to repeat a year. That's ****ing horrific.

OP, look at the TRENDS, not anecdotes of the few people that do make it to the low desirable residencies, when making this decision. And certainly don’t take these for-profit institutions at their word.
 

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It was also stated that high attrition rates are bad for business....

Actually, it would be the perfect business model to have students pay you hundreds of thousands of dollars for two years (or three if having to retake a year) and save on the back end by not having to utilize the resources to secure them rotations. They purposely over admit more students than rotation spots they have available because they know this will be the case. You know why they don't care if you fail out? Cause there's another thousand or more students lined right up to be in their entering class next year that they can milk for another 200K-300K before dropping them too.
 
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masterchiefk57

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OP, read these.






 
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OP, read these.







:claps:
 

lilqt123

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And this is a good example of what I mean by either misunderstanding, misinterpreting, or misrepresenting the data.

Yes, the NRMP match data shows an overall 57% match rate for US IMGs in 2018, however, it's important to recognize that this does NOT specify match rates for Caribbean students. In fact, the word Caribbean is not mentioned anywhere in the data for either 2018 or 2019. This 57% match rate is for ALL IMGs, not just Caribbean students.

In other words, it's an average match rate for all IMGs from all international medical schools which includes medical schools in India, China, Russia, Mexico, Ireland, the Caribbean, etc. Some international schools will have a very low match rate, some will be very high. It doesn't make sense to take this generalized average and apply it to a specific school like SGU or Ross (especially when match rates are already posted for these schools and is over 90%). That's kind of like saying, "Well, the class average on an exam is 57%, therefore, all students failed." Obviously, there are probably some students that got A's, others F's, and everything in between.
I agree that the 57% statistic represents all US IMGs and not just Caribbean graduates, but let's be honest... How many US students do you think are attending school in the UK/China/Russia/Mexico? I would say that the vast majority of the students represented by that statistic are Caribbean students. We can try to pick apart the little details but at the end of the day, whether that 57% is actually 60% or 70% or whatever, it's still much lower than the match rate for US DO and MD graduates. Add this uncertainty for matching along with living on an island, setting up your own clinical rotations, lack of support from school administration, iffy curriculum, and the way Caribbean graduates are perceived by residency program directors and it's enough to make a lot of people lose hope/drop out. Med school is hard enough, and you don't want to have the cards stacked against you before you've even started. The Caribbean may have worked out for you, and I respect your opinion and the work you put in to match, but it also does not work out for many people, so we shouldn't be swaying prospective students toward a sketchy decision when better options exist in the US.
 
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M&L

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sure: 1st year: 498 MCAT, 3.65 GPA. No research experience, 400 clinical hours. Army veteran. No volunteering. No shadowing per se. Applied in August (i know. Stupid. ALL of it)
2nd year: 502 MCAT, and then third retake 502. 3.65 GPA. No research experience. 400 clinical hours. No volunteering. No shadowing per se. Added 1 semester of Learning assistant in a math department. Added one more job experience ( accounting assistant). Applied in OCTOBER (*****). Started BS in Biochemistry program (before that i had finance major, and just took a few courses for prerequisites. At that point i started giving up, so i wanted a plan B for my career option, and biochemistry seemed like a great option).
3rd year: retook MCAT the 4th time (in January) (i should mention that i actually took Biochemistry course only a month prior. So those three other MCAT attempts were VERY premature. I didnt know any better, - because of that i attached letter to my application explaining circumstances of my 4 MCAT attempts). Got 511 on MCAT. Found a job in addiction treatment facility, - 2000 clinical hours. Applied to NIH summer internship in pathology lab of National Cancer Institute. FIlled out and submitted my primary application 45 min after it was open :))). Started my NIH internship on May 20th, so that i could comfortably put it on the primary. Got 400 research hours there, and a poster presentation. Got 37 hours volunteering, - all i could squeeze in. By then i also already had 3 semesters of being a Learning Assistant in Chemistry department. Also i took some advanced biology and chemistry courses. I have no idea if that made any difference, but my LOR were from my professor in Advanced Anatomy and Physiology and from my Microbiology professor (he sent it to me as well, - after submitting it, - and i cried when i read it. My brother died 3 months before my last MCAT attempt, so the whole spring semester prior to application was very emotional). Also, - i submitted every single secondary within a day of getting it (i didnt want to take any chances), - i was pre-writing my secondary essays in June, so i was ready pretty much. I also applied VERY broadly, - 35 MD schools, no DO. In august - september i would watch every single interview prep video i could get my hands on. My first interview invitation didnt arrive till end of September, - it was ETSU :)) (more tears). And then EVMS. Then - silence. Was put on hold in ETSU, EVMS - WL. .... WAITING..... In november 2 more invitations, - Drexel and Vermont. Then two more, - VA Tech and WVU. by The end of February I had 2 WL, 1 hold, and 2 pending decisions (i ended up cancelling VA tech interview, - couldnt get off work). I was ready to give up.... And then the last week of February i got 3 acceptances out of nowhere (Vermont, ETSU, Drexel). Now i am hoping for WVU and EVMS waitlists to come through.

so, - what i've learned: DO NOT GIVE UP. Have a plan. Be willing to change when needed. I was ready to give up after the second year, and EVERYONE told me to just move on. But i am VERY stubborn. so, i decided that i will give it ONE MORE SHOT. and i am happy i did.
Btw - I got into my top choice ! April 24th, I got acceptance to EVMS!!!!! I am saying this as a proof that things will work out , you just need to keep working at it ! And don’t loose hope!!!
 
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Walter Raleigh

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Congratulations! Anyone going to the Caribbean is flipping a coin: heads, they become a doctor, most likely primary care. Tails, they don't get a residency and are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt with no doctor job. And that is being generous with the odds.
 
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I feel like the only thing getting controlled is your bank account.
These are the kind of blanket immature/inaccurate comments all over SDN that are the exact reason everyone is so clueless about what reputable offshore schools are really about. Here you have an SGU alumni who posted an incredibly accurate/honest account of SGU and what it's really like (I can attest that it is spot on) and yet you make comments like this. Have you attended or do you have more experience regarding SGU? From your previous postings I can see that you are a DO student feeling some regret about the initials after your name (and likely are the people who liked your comment). Learn better and more acceptable ways for a physician to carry themselves. You'll be working side by side with foreign trained MDs all through your career once you finish medical school.
 
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Deecee2DO

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Caribbean grad here from SGU who matched into emergency medicine at a pretty good program. I'm gonna throw in my two cents regarding matching from a Caribbean school, particularly into EM and then Ross vs SGU at the bottom. *Ended up being a lot more than two cents, sorry for the long post* If anyone wants to talk to me personally about SGU or matching EM, shoot me a PM and we can chat.

First off, don't listen to people on SDN. Most people base their opinions on false information/misinterpretation of data and blogs written by the very few Caribbean students who did exceptionally poorly, nearly always because of their own poor study habits, who then go on to write things that are either blown way out of proportion or are outrageously false.

That being said, I'll be the first person to tell you that if you can get into a US med school, go for it. It's always the best option. But if you just can't get in and you're a person with good work ethic the Caribbean is a great option as long as you're not trying to go into something ultra competitive like neurosurgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, ortho etc.

And now I'll give my little spiel (with an emphasis on matching emergency medicine) that I give to students who have questions about Caribbean schools and matching (I volunteer as a mentor for SGU because there is soooo much false information out there).

Regarding matching from a Caribbean school. Residencies can essentially be broken down into three levels of competitiveness.

Low - specialties like psychiatry, family medicine, internal medicine, PMNR etc. From a Caribbean school you should have no problem matching into any of these fields. The reason being is that there are more spots available than there are people applying, therefore, programs aren't going to be very picky. The only people from the Caribbean that don't match are usually those with very subpar Step 1 scores, they're just weird, or some sort of red flag. Bottom line - if you plan on going into these specialties, I wouldn't worry about going to a Caribbean school.

Medium - emergency medicine, OBGYN, gen surg, etc. You are a bit of a disadvantage going to a Caribbean school for these specialties, but in my opinion, it's not a big disadvantage (may for gen surg, that's a tough one, but doable). Because these are more competitive, programs are looking for reasons to discriminate and whether or not they screen you out based on going to a Caribbean school is entirely dependent on the program director. Some really don't care, some do. So do your homework, find out which programs have taken Caribbean students in the past and apply there.

Side note about emergency medicine. Programs generally (not all) screen you based on your Step 1/2 score. If you hit their minimum score the next most important part of your applications are your SLOE's. Remember, EM is a team sport that requires a particular personality and whether or not you fit the bill will largely be determined by your SLOE. Killer step 1/2 score but average or subpar SLOE's? You're not gonna match. I asked program directors during my interviews what it was about my application that got me the interview (specifically so I can pass that on to people like you) and they all unanimously said it was my SLOEs (apparently I had really good SLOEs). I got a 248 on Step 1, not one person mentioned my step score, they didn't care. And I think, for the most part, the kind of person that goes into EM is the kind of person that really doesn't care if you went to a Caribbean school. They just want to make sure you're a cool person they can drink a beer with and that's willing to work hard. And I quote the APD during an interview, "You like to drink? Good. We expect our residents to be able to drink until 2am and come to work ready to rock and roll." I had 13 interviews (and I totally failed my standardized video interview, long story). My girlfriend got a 240 on step 1, no research, no extracurriculars, stellar SLOEs and got 16 interviews for EM. She had quite a few university program interviews to boot and successfully matched into EM. She also applied internal medicine for back up and got over 20 interviews, some of them at top notch university programs. All that is to say that you don't need to absolutely kill step 1 like everyone on SDN would have you believe. I'd say shoot for a 240+ (not that hard to obtain if you put in the work) and, presuming you do well on your EM rotations, you should be able to match EM.

High - Neurosurg, derm, ortho, ophtho, etc. If you have your heart set on one of these specialties, this is when I'll agree with everyone else and say you should try for a US school. Can you do it from a Caribbean school? Sure, but you better be in the top 0.1% of the nation in everything.

Regarding SGU vs. Ross. Both are good schools, both will get you where you want to go if you put in the work. As far as the match numbers they put up, be careful if you're planning on going into EM. Numbers that aren't reported, by either school, are how many people apply for EM vs how many people matched. I've talked to SGU about this, they simply aren't provided that data. But if 100 people applied and only 30 matched, that's not a very good match rate. So the best you can do is look at each school's match list and see how many people matched into EM. SGU usually matches around 30 per year, this year we matched a record high into EM at around 50 people. I can't say how many people applied, but anecdotally speaking it seemed like almost everyone I knew that applied for EM was able to match EM. Ross matched 24 into EM this year.

If you can, try to reach out to Ross graduates and get their opinion. Rumor and hearsay, so I say it cautiously, is that Ross doesn't setup your 3rd year clinical rotations, which can lead to a lot of headache, frustration, and in some cases completing some of your core rotations in 4th year. I don't if it's true, but I'd look into it.

Can't remember where I read this otherwise I'd post a link, but I remember reading that after DeVry bought out Ross they simply couldn't turn a profit and were hemorrhaging money. Might be worth looking into.

SGU is more expensive, but you get what you pay for ;) And I hear SGU has much more attractive students.

Lastly, gonna go on a rant about some rumors that bug me and get thrown around a lot (speaking only for SGU of course).

The attrition rate is not sky high. These rumored attrition rates of 30% are simply ridiculous from a common sense stand point. The school is a business and losing 30% of your business is not sustainable nor nearly as profitable. The real attrition rate is about 12% per officials. 4% drop out in the first semester for whatever reason (family member died, they changed their mind, can't handle the island etc), 4% fail out academically and 4% transfer to a US medschool after step 1. I double checked this with the roster for each class from the first semester to the last semester and the number I got seemed to match up with their report.

There are no "weeder" classes. If the school wants to weed people out they would grade classes on a curve, because grading on a curve is the best and most accurate way to weed people out. None of the classes are graded on a curve and the exams are all adjusted to have an average of roughly 80%. Hard to make a claim that a class is a weeder class when it's not on a curve and the average exam score is 75-80%.

At one point you did have to take an exam before you could take step 1, but honestly, if you failed that exam then you probably shouldn't be taking step 1 in the first place. The school was doing you a favor in my opinion. Anyways, they did away with that exam.
Sorry to dig up an old post but a 240 isnt that hard to obtain if you work hard? lol I wish that were true lol i heard a 230+ is hard the test itself is a beast. Im an M2 and already kind of nervous for this test and i dont take it until May 2020. What kind of student were you to pop a 240 and say it “wasnt too hard” with hard work
 
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deleted804295

wow.... thank you so much! it has been a tough few years.. hahhaa :). you should have seen me when i got that first acceptance call.
Wow. I know this is months late but your story has me teary eyed. Med school admissions is so tough. I'm on my first application cycle and only a month in and I'm completely drained of all my energy. You give us all hope. Thanks for sharing your story <3
 
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M&L

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Wow. I know this is months late but your story has me teary eyed. Med school admissions is so tough. I'm on my first application cycle and only a month in and I'm completely drained of all my energy. You give us all hope. Thanks for sharing your story <3
Yeah ... I am on my first month of medical school and I am teary eyed too . From all the studying . It is crazy . It is so much worse than I could ever imagine . But it is amazing . Totally worth it .
 
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Deecee2DO

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Yeah ... I am on my first month of medical school and I am teary eyed too . From all the studying . It is crazy . It is so much worse than I could ever imagine . But it is amazing . Totally worth it .
Lol when you think first year couldn't get any harder you hit second year and you get thrown on your a$$. Its all doable and by then you'll be numb to it. 2nd year however is considerably more interesting.
 
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medhopeful305

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look... this is my third year of applying. Last two years i didnt have a single interview. now i had SIX, and got 3 acceptances and 2 WL. PLEASE message me, and lets talk about your application. do NOT go to the Caribbean. DO NOT. I will help you look through things, and we will find what is wrong. lets talk about what you can improve. i WAS in your situation. I am also older - 33, with 2 previous degrees, including masters and i just wanted to finally start the medical career, but then i realized that i will do ONE MORE YEAR, and go ALL IN, and fix it. And i did. PLEASE message me.

also, are you considering DO?
Can I message you?
 

saadabdullah100

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look... this is my third year of applying. Last two years i didnt have a single interview. now i had SIX, and got 3 acceptances and 2 WL. PLEASE message me, and lets talk about your application. do NOT go to the Caribbean. DO NOT. I will help you look through things, and we will find what is wrong. lets talk about what you can improve. i WAS in your situation. I am also older - 33, with 2 previous degrees, including masters and i just wanted to finally start the medical career, but then i realized that i will do ONE MORE YEAR, and go ALL IN, and fix it. And i did. PLEASE message me.

also, are you considering DO?
Could you please help me too? It’s not letting me message you
 
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