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Slightly Discouraged and need advice

Discussion in 'Caribbean' started by Kussemek, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. Kussemek

    Kussemek Senior Member
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    Hey guys,
    I have been volunteering at a free medical clinic for about 4 months now and have been talking to a doctor about my medical school prospects. He pretty much told me that if I attend SGU or any other carribean school that i would be shooting myself in the foot. Now, before I liked what I was reading about the big three...but after talking to him I am rethinking everything. I have a decent gpa, good research/volunteer, my mcat could definately be better and ive taken it twice without much movement. Ideally I would like to be in Israel or carribean. After hearing about this view of caribbean, i am thinking of just going to law school...everyone says i should do that anyhow. I am sorry if I am rambling. Can someone tell me what the real deal about caribean is?

    thanks in advance
     
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  3. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body
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    I would suggest law school.

    The Caribbean is only for those who are 100% confident in their goals and choice. If you have any doubt, then it will eat away at you and drag you down. You might end up one of those 20-30% who ends up with 50k debt, and no prospects after a few semesters.
     
  4. Kussemek

    Kussemek Senior Member
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    But, up until I heard this view there was little doubt. Aside from normal fear of actually potentially going to medical school.
     
  5. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body
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    Doctors are humans and as humans they are fed misinformation about issues they know little about. The doctor may believe that they are giving you sound advice but they may just be passing on their own ill researched bias. By comparing SGU to any other Carib school he shows that he has little information to offer you because SGU/Ross/AUC are different.

    In other words, if you go to SGU you will face problems, but they are mostly limited to professional bias, lack of access to ultra-competitive residencies, living in a developing nation and moving around for clinicals.
     
  6. FlStudent

    FlStudent Junior Member
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    How can you decide to just move onto law schooll? Just b/c of some bias or what one doctor says to you? You feel really good about the carib until one person said differenlty? I don't know, this seems shaky. You will be investing mucho money, time, emotion, and energy if you go to a carrib school, and you need to have lots of determination to succeed. Make sure you head is right before you enroll.

    I had a friend graduate from SGU that got residency in the US and is very successful now. I have two friends as MS1s over there now. Their class sizes are pretty large, and it is quite competitive, so nobody will be holding your hand over there tellling you it will all be OK.

    PM if you have more questions.
     
  7. Kussemek

    Kussemek Senior Member
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    i know what you are saying, i think i may have just been stressing. its been a few doctors...but this doc is someone who i think knows his stuff...so i guess i took his bias for more than what i hear from others.

    thanks for your insights...
     
  8. FlStudent

    FlStudent Junior Member
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    ALso, I have just found out about this Rosalind Franklin AP program (check it out on the post-bacc forum, thread RFUMS VS G-Town). You apply for the 1 year Applied Physiology Master's program. You take many classes with the MS1 students, and If you do well in the program (3.0) for one year, it seems you have a really good shot of getting in their MD program. They used to guarantee acceptance, and though they don't do that anymore, it is pretty close I hear. This is another seemingly strong option to consider. I don't know how competitive it is to get in this AP program, so if you find out, let me know!

    It usually is for people with low GPA and high MCAT to prove to people they can get good grades, but I'm sure there are a diversity of students there. With your EC's you might have a good shot of getting in! They start accepting apps for this program in December, so you could still apply really early to it!

    Carribbean Med School seems tough to me too. I think I would prefer this US route. If this didn't work, I would go down there.
     
  9. novacek88

    novacek88 Senior Member
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    I'm a DO and I considered foreign schools at some point so I think I can offer a different perspective than some of the pro-IMG people in here.

    Your doctor is wrong. You won't be screwed by attending SGU or a foreign medical school. In fact, I would be more than happy to send one of my own children to this school if he or she had no other options. You will become a physician. You will easily find residency in the U.S. And you will be able to practice medicine. All these other "fears" or myths about how by attending SGU or Ross will prevent you from practicing in the U.S. is bunk.

    That being said, you will have to endure more hurdles than even a DO. Attending medical school in the U.S. offers many advantages. For one thing, you will be able to do 3rd and 4th year clinical rotations in any city in the U.S.. SGU and Ross grads also rotate in the United States but they don't have as many choices as to where they can rotate particularly during their third year. So I hope you really like New York City and New Jersey because in all likelihood that's where you will being doing your clinicals. If you like New York, that's great. If you are from the west coast like me, it wasn't an option particularly since I knew I wanted to come back home for residency. I had the ability to rotate at west coast programs during third year and network with hospitals that I wouldn't have been able to had I come from the Caribbean. Also, some states can be picky about licensure issues. Normally this isn't a problem but it is an extra issue you have to be concerned about when filing paperwork. Then there is the discrimination factor. You have to be twice as good as any U.S. grad to get into a competitive residency. And that too, you must be very selective about which programs you apply to because some programs have more of history of accepting IMG's than other programs. Again, these IMG friendly programs are almost exclusively on the east coast or in rural towns in the South that have trouble filling their program with U.S. graduates. DO's endure discrimination as well but less than IMG's because they know we went to school in the U.S. and that U.S. medical schools have some reliable standards.

    In the end, it's a great option if you know you realistically can't get into a U.S. school or it will take 3 years or more of post-bac and you don't want to wait that long before you start medical school.
     
  10. vtrain

    vtrain Senior Member
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    Read the address below. It's the address Steve Jobs gave to the graduating class of Stanford this year.

    I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. Just three stories.
    The first story is about connecting the dots.
    I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
    It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him??They said: “Of course.?My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers.She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
    And 17 years later I did go to college. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
    I loved it.
    "....If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
    Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

    I found what I loved to do early in life.Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out.And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

    During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the world’s first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
    I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
    >>>> My third story is about death.
    When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like:
    "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself:
    “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today??And whenever the answer has been “No?for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
    Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
    About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
    Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. My wife told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.
    This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades.
    Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
    No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
    Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.
    Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
    This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
    "........Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry.Stay Foolish.?It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
    Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. Thank you all very much.


    Paraphrasing what Mr. Jobs said, basically, is if you love medicine and it is what you want to do, don't let anyone stop you from doing it. You're not going to find any answers on this message board because the answer is within yourself. You know what to do deep down, you just haven't listened to your gut yet. Follow your instincts and you won't go wrong. I looked into carib schools and I know that SGU is a solid option. So from that standpoint, you shouldn't have to worry about landing a residency, licensing, etc. Several thousands of docs are practicing right now, so the SGU path is well trodden. The real question is, is this what you really want? Or is it law? If you go into law are you settling for something you don't really want? I faced the same questions as you are right now. Everyone does. But not everyone listens to what their gut is trying to tell them - and that leaves them miserable and with a ton of regret. Never live with regret - it will eat at you and make you very unhappy. You know the answer already, but the question is, are you willing to listen to YOURSELF?
     
  11. vtrain

    vtrain Senior Member
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    Double post. Sorry.
     
  12. Kussemek

    Kussemek Senior Member
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    very well put, thank you!
     
  13. leviathan

    leviathan Drinking from the hydrant
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    I know I'm making assumptions here, but if you're juggling between going to a caribbean school or going to law school, it sounds like you just want to get a job that will earn you respect and money. If that's the case, you won't get that by going to a caribbean school, so just go to law school.
     
  14. vtrain

    vtrain Senior Member
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    As you get older, you'll realize that the respect that leviathan is taking about is all crap anyways. Do what you love and don't worry how ppl perceive your choice. Good luck
     
  15. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body
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    Excellent post. His words do ring true.
     
  16. RossFamily

    RossFamily Member
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    I didnt read thru all the posts so forgive me if I repeat anything. I think that this doctor is doing you a diservice. He probably doesnt understand the whole caribbean school experience. If you really want to go to medical school just go. You can have a great experince or a lousey one. It is what ever you make of it. I know on a personal and professional level very sucessful doctors that graduated from foriegn schools. One is an ER doc, another- critical care assistant director, two cardiologists, one radiologist. They are all very sucessful and smart well informed people. I would see any of them in a minute. I have actually refered friends and family to them. Just go for it, if you really want to do medicine................
     
  17. Kussemek

    Kussemek Senior Member
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    it was a huge assumption. i was a political science major...so thats why everyone thinks it makes more sense for me to go to law school.
     
  18. aks47

    aks47 Member
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    What Jobs said is very interesting...it goes to figure why many of the ad coms want the student to answer the question "WHY MEDICINE" in their personal statements...if you can't convince yourself that medicine is not for you, then you will not be happy! simple.

    Good Luck.
     
  19. hotdocmitch

    hotdocmitch Dermatopathology Fellow
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    It sounds to me, and I may be crazy, that you really don't know what you want. Medical school is a ridiculously difficult journey in many different ways. Yes, the Carib is 10X harder than the US for various reasons, but allopathic/osteopathic school isn't a piece of cake either. If you're not 100% sure about being a doctor then don't waste your time and money. Especially don't take a US med school spot from someone who has dreamed of being a doctor his/her whole life. Just because you talked to a couple of biased doctors shouldn't make you want to do a 180 and jump into law (just because "it makes more sense"). Every doctor I talked to before med school (my parents included) told me NOT to go into med school. That didn't change my determination one bit because I knew what I wanted. If you're willing to drop medicine with this little bump in the road then you probably would not last very long in any med school-foreign or domestic. My advice to you is take a little time off, don't listen to anyone else and do some soul-searching. What career will make you happy? What can you see yourself doing for the rest of your life? You should base your career choice on something more than prestige and money.
     
  20. ezal36

    ezal36 Member
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    have you triedth DO route: vcom,unecom,pscom,lecom wsvom?
     
  21. erichaj

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    Very poor advice. If I were anyone I would not listen to you advice. It lacks caracter.
     
  22. erichaj

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    No one has the right to tell you what you should do with your life.

    No one knows you well enough. especially on a website.

    The doctors that say IMG is a bad choice have a personal bias. some of the best doctor I know are IMG. They have employees that are US grads. They train US medical students. Don't pay attention to them.

    what is really important is what makes you happy. Law school or medical school, It's all very difficult. Happy means , long term happiness, not a short term emotion you get because you have to study for 3 days for an exam.

    Find out what makes you happy at the core. Then go after it and don't look back.

    What you are experiencing is growing pains. Pain is good somtimes.

    Good luck, I'm sure you will find what you are looking for.
     
  23. vtrain

    vtrain Senior Member
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    Actually, I had to cut chunks of the address out to get it under the post size. But yes, his words are very true indeed. It really boils down to it doesn't matter what you do in life. As long and you find something that you love to do, and I mean really love to do, be it a doctor, firefighter, teacher whatever, that's all that matters. It all ties into finding your true self, which is probably THE hardest thing to do in life - but if we came with an instruction manual telling us what it is and how to find it when we're born, it wouldn't be called a life. I have a cousin who is a hairdresser and he LOVES being a hairdresser - and it really shows. I cannot begin to tell you how much respect I have for this guy; he's found that holy grail that the OP is looking for - something that we're all looking for. Steve Jobs has found it. Ive watched interviews with Bruce Lee and he found it. He once said that (paraphased) "...to truly express oneself, openly and completely, not lying to oneself; that my friend, is very hard to do."
    Good luck
     
  24. PoorPerson

    PoorPerson Junior Member
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    Hi.
    First off, I am an AUC student and I love it. Second; my best advice is to only take advice from people that actually experienced what you are wanting to do.
    If you are taking advice from a MD that is a US graduate then expect a negative answer. The default setting for people is to say "no" when they don't know or understand anything about the question.

    Just go back and ask this doctor very nicely, "Can you tell me exactly why you think it's a bad idea?, you seem so confident in your answer your must know alot about foreign schools. I would like to know as much as possible." See what he says to that. I bet his answer is short and sweet and that's the end of it because he doesn't know. Try it and then consider who you get advice from and how you let others influence your life choices.
     
  25. psychedoc2b

    psychedoc2b Senior Member
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    RETAKE the MCAT!!! I posted this another forum.

    I truly don't understand the reasoning people have by just assuming the MCAT is insurmountable because they took it twice. I know of people who took the MCAT more than 3 times and got into a U.S. med school. I hope this is not offensive to the people in this forum??? Sorry in advance.

    Just focus on the MCAT ONLY for about 3 months.

    If the MCAT is the only thing stopping you from getting into a US. med school, then reake it again.
    "Geez!

    Don't despair!

    Now, think if Kaplan did not work for you the first time, then why did you use them again! Go to princeton review also and check them out. I recommend you take the MCAT again and focus on it only.

    This is how it goes: You do all of the example problems in princeton review and know them backwards and forwards. The formulas must also be at your fingertips.

    Do as many Q's as possible this is where Kaplan comes in. Do all of the AMCAS review exams and see how you are doing. If on the princeton review exams you are scoring in the 30's, then you are ready to go and take the exam.

    Verbal seems to be a problem too, I bet. Do passages and learn the tips from princeton review on how to conquer these insane passages!!

    Remember the MCAT is not insurmountable. You need to think like the MCAT, breathe the MCAT, and ace the MCAT.

    Go back to your plan on studying for the MCAT. If you have to sign up for Kaplan and princeton at the same time, then do it! You want to go to medical school, right?!!! So, spend a little money now and the rest should come down the pipe.

    Again,take some time off and focus ONLY on the MCAT!! Forget about extracurricular activities, phlebolomy, and shadowing if you already have some.

    You have another shot at this MCAT so go out and CONQUER it!!

    Nobody comes out of the womb doing well on the MCAT. They just prepared and studied for it.

    And, if you seem depressed, then know that there are others out there that took the test more than three times and got into medical school.

    Put MCAT as your first priority and everything else second!

    If you need a cheerleader and need support, I suggest some therapy or exercise or something to help you focus and not burn out.

    Cheers!"


    Retake the MCAT: it is not insurmountable. Just study for it for about 3 months if you have too. Go to the princeton review course and know the example questions backwards and forwards for chem. and physics. Know the example problems so well you can do them in your sleep. Know the formulas at your fingertips. For biology and organic chem. Focus more on the organic and know the paths really well. But, still know the princeton review notes for bio really well.

    Verbal passages can only be conquered by doing as many passages by using the tips from princeton review.

    Do sample passages from Kaplan or the princeton review and do as many as possible.

    I would listen carefully to the examples given out in class. Yes, go to class for the princeton review course.

    Do all of the AMCAS exams.

    See how you do on the Princeton review simulated exams. You should get a score in the 30's on them then take the real thing.

    I recommend going all out for the MCAT. Make a study plan for the 3 months and take one day off per week to have fun.

    If you did Kaplan and have a guarantee from them you can use their center for taking passages then use it. But, the best recommendation I can offer is to know the notes and example questions of princeton review and do as many questions from the princeton review question books. Don't do all of them just do the ones they recommend in class but know these questions down pat. repetition does not hurt.

    I wish you well. Come back here and post again to tell me if my advice worked.

    psychedoc2b
     

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