Hello, so here's my situation in my early undergraduate I made some mistakes in general class's because I was facing some personal issues. So after that was dealt with I felt like was behind and needed to cram my classes to finish on time. I graduated with a cGPA of 2.90 and a sGPA of 3.5. I rushed the Mcat with about a month of studying time following graduation and got a 500. My advisor said I would not have a great chance if I applied, and I agreed so I did not apply. I applied to, and was accepted to the Geisinger Commonwealth's masters of medical science. However the the price is so high that I'm not sure if it's worth it. Retakes would be cheaper and easier, but do they really even prove or help that much? Then there's always the option of a Caribbean school which is my last option. I'm just not sure what to do and any advice would be a big help. Thank you!
You are the typical mark that the Carib schools prey upon, and indeed, their business model is dependent upon your weakness. So, here's a good dope slap for you :
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.
Quoting the wise gyngyn: 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 spots at US schools with grade replacement for these candidates.
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 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:
Million $ Mistake
I graduated from Carib, ask me why you should stay away
The truth about Caribbean medical schools
Medical School at SGU
Cue the lucky Lotto winners who bucked the odds, survived the thresher, and now will come in stuttering about NRMP and try to affirm their risky but successful choices.