Should I apply to Carribean Medical schools in my current situation?

Aug 12, 2020
24
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey guys,

I have just completed my bachelors degree and now trying to figure out what the next step is for me. I have always thought I would be applying to medical school but there have been some setbacks to this journey. I have a 2.6 science gpa and 3.1 overall gpa. I had some extenuating circumstances during my first two years of college, which caused to be do poorly and fail some classes. I have significantly improved and have an upward trend. My gpa still hasn't raised up despite making all A's. I have not taken my MCAT yet because I have been discouraged my GPA. . I reached out to a couple MD/DO schools and was told that my stats are not competitive. They recommended that I enroll in a post-bacc or masters program and score high on the MCAT. If I do this route, it still may not guarantee admission into medical school. I have then considered going to optometry school. I shadowed an optometrist and enjoyed the field. Some optometry schools are willing to review my application with my current stats. If I were to do an additional 4 years of schooling, I would like to have a salary of at least 120k. I have heard that optometrists in the midwest make around 90k. I have worked in the healthcare field since I was 18 and have taken all the pre-reqs. I am choosing a career that will allow me to help people, have financial freedom, be my own boss, and have a great work/life balance. I have to talked to some doctors at the hospital I worked at and they told me to look into carribean medical schools. I did some research on them and it seems like its a major risk. I checked my hospitals residents and a lot of them come from carribean schools. Do you guys recommend playing it safe and applying to optometry schools or take the risk and go to a carribean school? Also with the new residency match system, does this put Caribbean students at a disadvantage? Looking for advice on what to do in my situation.
 

lumya

Indoor Cat
2+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2018
605
1,153
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
a) Don't go to a Caribbean school, there is plenty of information out there about how it is a huge risk. With step 1 being pass/fail they have eliminated one way for Caribbean students to demonstrate their skills. There's actual numbers out there, but I believe Caribbean schools have ~40% match, whereas med schools in the US have 95%+. Taking out 6 figure loans for not matching is not a risk you want to take.

b) Do you want to be an optometrist? There are plenty of healthcare jobs that are just as great. Medicine is put on this pedestal but if you find happiness in a different field, it is no less valid than being a doctor.

c) Check out Goro's guide for reinvention. With your GPA, depending on how many science credits you have, you may have to either take a lot of courses, or looking into a special master's program with linkage to a medical school. This path will take time, but it will pay off.

EDIT: I just read your other post. Are you interested in medicine or dental? In both posts you mentioned financial reasons for pursing a graduate degree. There are much easier ways to make a decent salary without having to go through years of schooling and hundreds of thousands in debt. It's definitely possible, but you should only pursue medicine if that is actually what you want.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Goro

SDN Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
64,541
99,268
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
Hey guys,

I have just completed my bachelors degree and now trying to figure out what the next step is for me. I have always thought I would be applying to medical school but there have been some setbacks to this journey. I have a 2.6 science gpa and 3.1 overall gpa. I had some extenuating circumstances during my first two years of college, which caused to be do poorly and fail some classes. I have significantly improved and have an upward trend. My gpa still hasn't raised up despite making all A's. I have not taken my MCAT yet because I have been discouraged my GPA. . I reached out to a couple MD/DO schools and was told that my stats are not competitive. They recommended that I enroll in a post-bacc or masters program and score high on the MCAT. If I do this route, it still may not guarantee admission into medical school. I have then considered going to optometry school. I shadowed an optometrist and enjoyed the field. Some optometry schools are willing to review my application with my current stats. If I were to do an additional 4 years of schooling, I would like to have a salary of at least 120k. I have heard that optometrists in the midwest make around 90k. I have worked in the healthcare field since I was 18 and have taken all the pre-reqs. I am choosing a career that will allow me to help people, have financial freedom, be my own boss, and have a great work/life balance. I have to talked to some doctors at the hospital I worked at and they told me to look into carribean medical schools. I did some research on them and it seems like its a major risk. I checked my hospitals residents and a lot of them come from carribean schools. Do you guys recommend playing it safe and applying to optometry schools or take the risk and go to a carribean school? Also with the new residency match system, does this put Caribbean students at a disadvantage? Looking for advice on what to do in my situation.
I can't advise on optometry, but I can't sugar coat this: the business model of the Carib predators is to rely on desperate, gullible marks like you.

Nothing guarantees admission to med school in the US. You have to build the best possible app and take your chances, just like the other 40% of applicants who are successful.

Read this:
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads

Goro

SDN Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
64,541
99,268
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
As to the risks of the Carib,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little light reading:

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

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


Million $ Mistake

"Why didn't I Match?"

The ugly truth about Caribbean medical schools | Pamela Wible MD
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Aug 12, 2020
24
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
a) Don't go to a Caribbean school, there is plenty of information out there about how it is a huge risk. With step 1 being pass/fail they have eliminated one way for Caribbean students to demonstrate their skills. There's actual numbers out there, but I believe Caribbean schools have ~40% match, whereas med schools in the US have 95%+. Taking out 6 figure loans for not matching is not a risk you want to take.

b) Do you want to be an optometrist? There are plenty of healthcare jobs that are just as great. Medicine is put on this pedestal but if you find happiness in a different field, it is no less valid than being a doctor.

c) Check out Goro's guide for reinvention. With your GPA, depending on how many science credits you have, you may have to either take a lot of courses, or looking into a special master's program with linkage to a medical school. This path will take time, but it will pay off.

EDIT: I just read your other post. Are you interested in medicine or dental? In both posts you mentioned financial reasons for pursing a graduate degree. There are much easier ways to make a decent salary without having to go through years of schooling and hundreds of thousands in debt. It's definitely possible, but you should only pursue medicine if that is actually what you want.
You stated "There are much easier ways to make a decent salary without having to go through years of schooling and hundreds of thousands in debt." May I ask what are those are careers?
 

Rogue42

2+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2017
662
865
Southeast
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
You stated "There are much easier ways to make a decent salary without having to go through years of schooling and hundreds of thousands in debt." May I ask what are those are careers?
Yeah, business, PA school, nursing school, engineering, etc.

Medicine is extremely difficult road with years of schooling beyond what ordinary people achieve coupled with hundreds of thousands in debt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Aug 12, 2020
24
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Yeah, business, PA school, nursing school, engineering, etc.

Medicine is extremely difficult road with years of schooling beyond what ordinary people achieve coupled with hundreds of thousands in debt.
I already have a bachelors degree in biology. I want a job that can guarantee at least 100k. With my stats, I am not competitive for PA school. For business, I don't know of any jobs that can guarantee 100k. I don't know how to proceed in my situation.
 

Rogue42

2+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2017
662
865
Southeast
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I already have a bachelors degree in biology. I want a job that can guarantee at least 100k. With my stats, I am not competitive for PA school. For business, I don't know of any jobs that can guarantee 100k. I don't know how to proceed in my situation.
You asked about jobs that make a "decent" salary, of which I listed some. If you aren't competitive for PA school, then you probably aren't competitive for medical school.

Further, business jobs will never guarantee 100k until you have put in the time and effort to deserve that money 5-10 years down the road with experience OR start your own business. An accelerated nursing program -> NP is another 3.5 years of school, but its less than medical school and NP's can easily pull over 100k.

But I can guarantee you that if you're pursuing medicine for money, then you will hate yourself. Guaranteed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

GreenDuck12

5+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
1,881
1,862
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I already have a bachelors degree in biology. I want a job that can guarantee at least 100k. With my stats, I am not competitive for PA school. For business, I don't know of any jobs that can guarantee 100k. I don't know how to proceed in my situation.
There. Is. No. Job. That. Guarantees. 100k.
You increase your earnings in a field by becoming more skilled and valuable. Right now, fresh out of undergrad with a 3.0 GPA, you aren’t yet either of those things. You can get there by learning new skills that are of high value in burgeoning fields.

As was mentioned in your prior post, you are not ready for medical or dental school because you do not yet have a competitive application. If you want to pursue medicine or dentistry you need to rehab your application. Don’t try to cut corners with the Caribbean route: it is much more likely that you will be left saddled with even more debt and a useless degree than be practicing physician.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 7 users

lumya

Indoor Cat
2+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2018
605
1,153
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
You stated "There are much easier ways to make a decent salary without having to go through years of schooling and hundreds of thousands in debt." May I ask what are those are careers?
As Rogue mentioned there are lots of alternatives in medicine that make "decent" salaries: nursing, anesthesiology assistants, healthcare technicians, as well as those outside of medicine such as business, analytics, finance, ect. Picking a job solely to make 100k in the next 5 years is absolute unrealistic. Right out of undergrad, you are going to be making 30-50k for awhile until you move up.

If making money is your only goal, then go into business. I work in healthcare consulting. I started at the bottom but now I make decent amount of money. I'm still pursing medicine because I want more out of my life. But you're going to have to really grind it out no matter what you do to make that much money.

Going to the Caribbean's isn't going to a guaranteed ticket to 100k. On average I would guess that Carib grads take out 300-400k in loans. You're most likely going to match into family medicine or internal medicine and make ~60k for 4 years in residency. Then you'll make around 100k, but don't forget your student loans that you will have to chip away at. Financially this is not smart if you don't find any specific enjoyment in medicine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users

Dantes

2+ Year Member
May 12, 2017
208
323
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Banking, software engineering, high level construction work, YouTube/social media, or real estate if you want the money. Anything managerial or entrepreneurial in most fields can get you a lot of money but you need to be good at it and hustle for it. Nothing is guaranteed, even medicine. Or, get a MHA/MBA, run the hospital, tell docs what to do and get paid more for less work.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Osminog

2+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2017
1,580
4,231
Pacific Ocean
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
RN -> NP. An NP working full time can net $120K/year depending on his or her specialty and practice location. But if you’re primarily interested in making money, don’t pursue a healthcare career; I promise you that you would hate your life.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

drducky.

2+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2018
274
519
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
As Rogue mentioned there are lots of alternatives in medicine that make "decent" salaries: nursing, anesthesiology assistants, healthcare technicians, as well as those outside of medicine such as business, analytics, finance, ect. Picking a job solely to make 100k in the next 5 years is absolute unrealistic. Right out of undergrad, you are going to be making 30-50k for awhile until you move up.

If making money is your only goal, then go into business. I work in healthcare consulting. I started at the bottom but now I make decent amount of money. I'm still pursing medicine because I want more out of my life. But you're going to have to really grind it out no matter what you do to make that much money.

Going to the Caribbean's isn't going to a guaranteed ticket to 100k. On average I would guess that Carib grads take out 300-400k in loans. You're most likely going to match into family medicine or internal medicine and make ~60k for 4 years in residency. Then you'll make around 100k, but don't forget your student loans that you will have to chip away at. Financially this is not smart if you don't find any specific enjoyment in medicine.

What kind of attending only makes 100k?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads