So you want to go to the Caribbean

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by lucas, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. lucas

    lucas Member
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    Friends, Read between the lines before jumping into one of these Caribbean schools.
    1. They state 99% of their students pass the USMLE, but is that after the first try or repeated attempts, I bet the percentages dip down for first time taking the USMLE. These programs dont train you for the exams as well as American school, so you may be on your own in this department.(and failing the boards does not look good for residency!)

    2. They state 99% of their students receive residencies, but how many residencies are categorical or preliminaries only. The differnce is huge! Preliminary residency is a one year contract, after which, you have to either reapply elsewhere or hope to be kept on staff at the hospital. Categorical is a full 3-5 year contract which most American students get.

    Maybe someone from the Caribbean can answer these questions.
     
  2. ApacheIndian

    ApacheIndian philomath
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    Two very salient points...
     
  3. Stormreaver

    Stormreaver The Blade of Tyshalle
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    Oh boy... Here we go again!
     
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  4. ApacheIndian

    ApacheIndian philomath
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    LOL! No way man... I'm done venting ;)...
     
  5. Renovar

    Renovar Senior Member
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    I know for one thing that St. George's have 90+% pass rate first time in the USMLE. I dont know what their average (mean) score is - it's probably a lot lower compared to the US student average, but according to their website, their passrate is comparable to AMG pass rate. Now, the catch is, not everyone who enroll in the school is qualified to take the boards. Many fail out during first 2 years or in other ways "not qualified" to take the boards which boosts their average. So say if a class of 200 people enroll during orientation, maybe 150 out of the 200 successfully pass their first 2 years and thus "eligible" to take the boards, and 135 out of 150 passes for a pass rate of 90%" among those who qualify". However if you look at the overall pass rate per matriculant, it's closer to 0%. Compared to the 93 or 94% US med school pass rate, where attrition is almost non-existent.

    As far as residency is concerned, I dont think the point you raised is the issue. However, a lot of the hospitals shown on the St. George's and Russ's "match list" are not NRMP-registered hospitals, which means that many carribean grads obtained those residency spots directly with the hospital in a sort-of under the table deals. As far as that goes, I dont know how the contract is negotiated. As far as that goes, I think the standards are different from person to person, as there is no regulatory agency to regulate these contracts. Therefore, presumably, there is a less of a guarantee that one will receive as good of a training as one from a residency spot thru ERAS.

    Just my 2 cents...
     
  6. lucas

    lucas Member
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    Good point Renovar, I went to the SGU and Ross web sites and at least SGU backs up their claim of 95% pass rate for first time USMLE I test takers. Ross makes no such claim. As far as the residency issue goes, hmmmmmm, just so happens that the NRMP is BANNING under the table residency deals as of next years match. The only non-NRMP hospital residencies I have ever heard of are ones like Harvard Urology who dont cater to under the table deals, if you cathc my drift.

    just to reiterate my former question and maybe someone can exapand on this point:
    What happens to those students who only get prelim positions and never get categorical positions. You could be out of the job afterone year of work. I wonder how often this really happens.
     
  7. Pureride

    Pureride Membership Revoked
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    Thomas Jefferson.
     
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  8. resident Q

    resident Q Junior Member

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    Those stats are always good to consider.
    SGU (I?m only familiar with SGU ? don?t know the situation with other universities) has pretty good figures. Pass rate, mean score, and percentage of the class that makes it to the USMLE ? most of a class will take the USMLE, and take it on schedule.

    [As a sort of embarrassing side note, the family gossip is that one of my physician relatives flunked out of the first year of med school (an American school), but the school let him redo everything. But all?s well that ends well, he?s a respected ophthalmologist now.]

    As far as residencies, most of the SGU students go through the Match, and end up in categorical residencies (or prelim and categorical for the specialties that start at R2) at hospitals unaffiliated with SGU. But as of this year, no more ?signing outside of the Match? I think they called it, unless the program doesn?t use the Match at all.

    To expand on your doctor-without-a-residency question:
    I?ve never heard of this happening, unless it was voluntary, e.g., they went off to do research or something. But with all those thousands of doctors out there, it must happen to somebody. My guess is that doctors who enter a preliminary residency, and cannot subsequently obtain a categorical residency, probably eventually enter residencies in uncompetitive fields/regions. You always hear about how most of the primary care fields never fill all their residency slots. So, either that, or declare bankruptcy to get rid of all the loans and find another line of work. Work as an administrator at an HMO, join the dark side ? :).
     
  9. lucas

    lucas Member
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    Thanks for the reply resident Q, in the end, I'd say SGU is probably the only legit Carribean program out there right now.

    Pureride, are you answering a question on Weakest Link or do you have Tourettes Syndrome?
     
  10. resident Q

    resident Q Junior Member

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    Slightly off-topic, but I thought of 3 nonpracticing doctors, who may or may not have done residencies. I'm not sure.

    Michael Crichton
    Walker Percy (another writer, literary type)
    David Kessler (MD JD, former head of the FDA)

    So, if you don't get a categorical residency, you can be famous!

    Kessler, if I remember the story right, as a medical student in clinical rotations, chewed out an attending for blowing off a patient, and demanded that he treat the patient. So, regardless of whether or not he did a residency, I'd call him a real doctor. He's probably a high-powered medical administrator now.

    I've had a good impression of SGU, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's the only legit medical school in the Caribbean. I'd say it provides a good education and has fewer issues than the others, but I've seen/heard of grads from other ones doing well, too. Though I must admit, some of the obscure Caribbean schools look kind of shady, while others are more established and reputable. In the end, it really is up to the individual student to do well.
     
  11. Skip Intro

    Skip Intro Registered User
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    Are you speaking from experience, or are you just talking out of your @ss?

    My vote is the latter.

    -Skip Intro
    MS2 Ross University
    Portsmouth, Dominica
     
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