FordPrefect

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I am 39 and have completed 2 years of med school. I did very well in my classes, and passed step 1. I cannot go on to clinicals because I cannot afford the tuition. My school has no fin aid (carib school), and private lenders are drying up left and right as a result of the current economy. The one lender that has worked with me raised its FICO criteria by 30 points a couple months ago and loans are now out of my reach for approval. Many of the homes in my neighborhood have foreclosed, bringing down my home value, so when I looked into an equity line of credit, there was nothing.

I was advised to transfer, and have an app outstanding at another carib school that has fin aid, that will allow transfer into third year, but they are having clinicals placement issues, and was told that even if accepted, I may not get to start until mid-late '09.

I looked into transferring stateside. One school looked hopeful, was impressed with my grades and step 1 score, but wants me to retake a few courses in their postbacc program before allowing me to rotate, at my expense. Sounds great, except that school is an 8-hour roundtrip commute, whereas their hospitals their students rotate through are only 10 minutes away from my home.

My state school told me that none of my basic science coursework nor my step scores will be considered, as foreign transcripts are not accepted for transfer. I would have to retake the MCAT, since my scores are 2 years shy from their cut-off time limit. Even if I retook it, there is no guarantee of acceptance. My last MCAT scores were in the low 20's (10,7,6,Q--hence going carib) and was told that I needed a 30 to be considered for acceptance. I don't feel confident that I can pull that off. I don't have the $$$ for a review course, but still have my old materials (TPR, EK and AAMC tests). And the thought of repeating the MCAT plus the first two years of med school just makes my eye twitch. What should I do?
 

J ROD

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I am 39 and have completed 2 years of med school. I did very well in my classes, and passed step 1. I cannot go on to clinicals because I cannot afford the tuition. My school has no fin aid (carib school), and private lenders are drying up left and right as a result of the current economy. The one lender that will work with me raised its FICO criteria by 30 points a couple months ago and loans are now out of my reach for approval. Many of the homes in my neighborhood have foreclosed, bringing down my home value, so when I looked into an equity line of credit, there was nothing.

I was advised to transfer, and have an app outstanding at another carib school that has fin aid, that will allow transfer into third year, but they are having clinicals placement issues, and was told that even if accepted, I may not get to start until mid-late '09.

I looked into transferring stateside. One school looked hopeful, was impressed with my grades and step 1 score, but wants me to retake a few courses in their postbacc program before allowing me to rotate, at my expense. Sounds great, except that school is an 8-hour roundtrip commute, whereas their hospitals their students rotate through are only 10 minutes away from my home.

My state school told me that none of my basic science coursework nor my step scores will be considered, as foreign transcripts are not accepted for transfer. I would have to retake the MCAT, since my scores are 2 years shy from their cut-off time limit. Even if I retook it, there is no guarantee of acceptance. My last MCAT scores were in the low 20's (10,7,6,Q--hence going carib) and was told that I needed a 30 to be considered for acceptance. I don't feel confident that I can pull that off. I don't have the $$$ for a review course, but still have my old materials (TPR, EK and AAMC tests). And the thought of repeating the MCAT plus the first two years of med school just makes my eye twitch. What should I do?

I would not give up. I would first try and get into the stateside school because it is US MD. Just rent an apartment while you take those classes in the postbac. Then, you will be okay because the clinicals are close.

If that does not work out, I would transfer to another caribbean school and just sit out. I would not do the two years over. Apply to ROSS, AUC and SGU.

Forget about the MCAT and focus on trying to finish a MD program somewhere. You still have those two years of high debt to pay off might as well get the degree somehow so that you can actually pay it off.

Tough situation. Hang in there!!
 

gman33

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I looked into transferring stateside. One school looked hopeful, was impressed with my grades and step 1 score, but wants me to retake a few courses in their postbacc program before allowing me to rotate, at my expense. Sounds great, except that school is an 8-hour roundtrip commute, whereas their hospitals their students rotate through are only 10 minutes away from my home.
Is this a guarantee of acceptance once you finish the postbacc courses?
If so, I'd go this route. Rent an apt in the area of the school. The school should have some financial aid options for you. Even if this adds another year to your education, you will be in MUCH better position as a US MD grad.

Now if there is no guarantee, I'd just try to get into another carib school. It's great if you can get into a US school, but as you know this is usually a longshot for a carib student. :luck:
 
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FordPrefect

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Thanks JDub. I have been away from my family before and it was something I vowed I would never do again.
 
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FordPrefect

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Is this a guarantee of acceptance once you finish the postbacc courses?
If so, I'd go this route. Rent an apt in the area of the school. The school should have some financial aid options for you. Even if this adds another year to your education, you will be in MUCH better position as a US MD grad.

Now if there is no guarantee, I'd just try to get into another carib school. It's great if you can get into a US school, but as you know this is usually a longshot for a carib student. :luck:
Like I stated in the previous post, I would have to leave my spouse and kids. Again. This didn't work out too well before, so the notion of doing it again is very difficult. I'd be in their postbacc (that does not guarantee acceptances), but may be able to place out of some courses, making my involvement 1 or 2 semesters rather than the required 2 years. Upon completion, I would go on to clinicals and would not have to repeat M1-M2. No financial aid would be awarded to me in this PB program as a student-at-large, unless I do sign up for their MS program and complete it. The potential problem here, again, is money. We cannot afford an apartment plus our mortgage.
 

helpfuldoc2b

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I am 39 and have completed 2 years of med school. I did very well in my classes, and passed step 1. I cannot go on to clinicals because I cannot afford the tuition. My school has no fin aid (carib school), and private lenders are drying up left and right as a result of the current economy. The one lender that has worked with me raised its FICO criteria by 30 points a couple months ago and loans are now out of my reach for approval. Many of the homes in my neighborhood have foreclosed, bringing down my home value, so when I looked into an equity line of credit, there was nothing.

I was advised to transfer, and have an app outstanding at another carib school that has fin aid, that will allow transfer into third year, but they are having clinicals placement issues, and was told that even if accepted, I may not get to start until mid-late '09.

I looked into transferring stateside. One school looked hopeful, was impressed with my grades and step 1 score, but wants me to retake a few courses in their postbacc program before allowing me to rotate, at my expense. Sounds great, except that school is an 8-hour roundtrip commute, whereas their hospitals their students rotate through are only 10 minutes away from my home.

My state school told me that none of my basic science coursework nor my step scores will be considered, as foreign transcripts are not accepted for transfer. I would have to retake the MCAT, since my scores are 2 years shy from their cut-off time limit. Even if I retook it, there is no guarantee of acceptance. My last MCAT scores were in the low 20's (10,7,6,Q--hence going carib) and was told that I needed a 30 to be considered for acceptance. I don't feel confident that I can pull that off. I don't have the $$$ for a review course, but still have my old materials (TPR, EK and AAMC tests). And the thought of repeating the MCAT plus the first two years of med school just makes my eye twitch. What should I do?
Wow your post was sad. I say DONT GIVE IT UP. You invested TOO much time, effort, and money at this point. I am curious to what carib med school lost its loans like that, was it SABA? I am also curious if you talked to the carib medical school administration to see if they have any tips, or help they can provide for you, maybe in school loans like SGU offers to some limit in extreme cases. I also recomment talking to banks or the lender and explaining your situation, also find family members to Co-Sign immediately.

By the way, which state school said it will allow you to rotate at their university, I would jump on it immediately, especially if you can get US loans through that school which tend to be more of MED loans or guaranteed loans. Who cares if you have to commute, you lived all the way in the carib and maybe once your in the loop it would be easier to do your clinicals closer to home. Heck even if it requires you sell your house and have your family move closer with you. Its worth it, DONT GIVE UP!!! Please think of it, if you give up what will you go back to? You invested 100K+ in loans, interest and time just to go back to what you were doing and with the baggage of loans on your back for something you earned no benefit for...
 

gman33

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Like I stated in the previous post, I would have to leave my spouse and kids. Again. This didn't work out too well before, so the notion of doing it again is very difficult. I'd be in their postbacc (that does not guarantee acceptances), but may be able to place out of some courses, making my involvement 1 or 2 semesters rather than the required 2 years. Upon completion, I would go on to clinicals and would not have to repeat M1-M2. No financial aid would be awarded to me in this PB program as a student-at-large, unless I do sign up for their MS program and complete it. The potential problem here, again, is money. We cannot afford an apartment plus our mortgage.
This program sounds shady to me. Not sure why they would want you to take postbac classes and then move straight to M3. I'd try to find out if anyone else was done this and also if anyone else tried and then was rejected. I'd only go for it if I was guaranteed admission upon completion of postbacc and some predetermined GPA. Basically a linkage agreement.

For FA, you should be eligible for $10500 in Stafford Loans if you have never previously been a postbacc student. Check with the school again.

If you can't get some type of guarantee, I'd try to transfer to a carib or see if you can get some funding to complete at your current school. If your credit score just needs to boost by 30 points, you could do that in a short amount of time by paying down some revolving debt (if possible).

:luck::luck:
Don't give up. You've come to far. BTW - I totally understand the family thing. I couldn't imagine being away for that long and then doing it again.
 

Law2Doc

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This program sounds shady to me. Not sure why they would want you to take postbac classes and then move straight to M3. I'd try to find out if anyone else was done this and also if anyone else tried and then was rejected. I'd only go for it if I was guaranteed admission upon completion of postbacc and some predetermined GPA. Basically a linkage agreement.
Yeah, that doesn't sound quite right. Most schools don't take offshore transfers, and those that do wouldn't have them take postbac courses (which aren't even really applicable to med school); if anything, they would have you start over as a first year. Are we talking an LCME accredited allo school? Are you coming from a Puerto Rico school (which doesn't count as "carribean"?)
 

Lacheln

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I don't have much to add to the good advice others have offered, I just had to say your story breaks my heart. :( I wish you and your family the best of luck - if this is still what you want, you will find a way.
 

DrMidlife

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Yeah, that doesn't sound quite right. Most schools don't take offshore transfers, and those that do wouldn't have them take postbac courses (which aren't even really applicable to med school); if anything, they would have you start over as a first year. Are we talking an LCME accredited allo school? Are you coming from a Puerto Rico school (which doesn't count as "carribean"?)
He wouldn't be having federal loan trouble in PR.
 
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FordPrefect

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Thank you for the replies, I appreciate them.

The med school that is willing to accept me as a clinical transfer *officially* only does so when spots are available. The explanation I got was to prove my ability and build a relationship with the school's admin and profs. Guess passing step 1 of the USMLE on the first attempt with a competitive score isn't worth that much to them. You would think I would not have to prove myself at this point.

My other option is to retake MCAT and do my first two years over at a US school. This is the option I am leaning more towards. Hopefully something will come through for me financially and will allow me to continue with my current program. Or I'll get accepted into the other carib program that has fin aid. And if none of these work, I'm done.
 

brookliner7

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wow, this is a horrible situation!
I am so sorry you have to deal with this!
I understand your frustration, the USMLE is a little more difficult than some post bacc classes, no?
If you transferred to other carriebean school, starting in 09 for rotations is still less time than starting over in an American MD school.
A year off with the family might be good!
You wouldn't have to retake the MCAT, do silly post bacc classes that are just hoops to jump through...

GOOD LUCK AND KEEP YOUR CHIN UP!
You have accomplished way to much to give up now!
 

Excelsius

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I agree. You have pulled off 50% of your education. Is this the time to give up now? I don't think so. Think about all the benefits after graduation. If you switch your focus to the future a little, it might help you get motivated. Just after two more years you will be a doc and eventually will make decent money to comfort your family and yourself for all the past troubles. If you give up now, you are throwing away everything - not just money, but hard work.
The other thing I wanted to mention: you have completed two years of arduous med school. Are you sure your fears of MCAT are founded? You probably should be able to almost double your bio score alone.

For those considering Carib schools they should read posts like this more often. It seems the attrition factor is real. I'd say it's probably better to delay school and properly prepare for MCAT than choose Carib because of these issues with attrition (someone mentioned this in another thread and now I get what he was saying).
 

OncoCaP

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Transfer to the other school with fin aid, whether Carib >> post-bacc >> whatever. This will buy you time. You need to be in school because otherwise you will need to start paying back your loans, which you cannot afford to do at all. You really have no other choice. US med schools are out unless you repeat the MCAT. Repeating the MCAT sounds like a great idea because you will almost certainly do better now that you are further along. You should not have to study very much for it and it might create some new options for you. Best wishes; I'll say a prayer for you.:luck:
 

chopstick1

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sorry to hear about your situation....I know you looked at carib schools, have you thought about guadulajara, mexico? they have a special deal for american students. it requires doing a 5th pathway (extra residency year per se) and give you a diploma from ny.
loans- if you can't get a private lender, considered the military? or working with federal health service? maybe they've got some kind of contract you can sign in return for working for them. try the VA hospitals too. I can't think of anyone else that would front you tuition in an instant. tried writing to corporations and grants that'll give you money? there's a book that has a category for everyone. like if your parents worked at X the kids get $$$ or certain organizations like daughters of american revolution, coke, religious affiliates.
taking the mcat's again, that's quite a painful long shot. whatever you decide, DON'T GIVE UP!! good luck :thumbup:
 

montessori2md

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Are there any other US schools that could take you? No hope of renting the house? (I'm guessing your spouse is paying the bills and needs to stay there for work)

It seems like it would be totally worth spending 3rd year away from the fam, because you're super busy anyhow. Spending a year away from the fam to take random courses while you wait for someone to drop out and make a space available is a whole other set of poo, especially w/ no guarantee or fin aid. Don't trust ADCOM.

Don't give up with a decent Step score. You've already proven to yourself that you can do it, and the longer you wait to go forward, the more interest accrues on those loans. Unless I was sitting vigil by my child/spouse's bedside, I'd finish -well, assuming you actually want to practice medicine and all that : )