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Surgical Sales Rep Accepted into SGU, Wanting a Psych or Family Medicine Residency- is SGU Right?

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truckboat

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Hello All,

This forum is absolute gold. I appreciate the information, thank you for offering this much value to the process.

Quickly, my stats:

MCAT: 492
GPA: 3.69

Background: Have worked in orthopedic/spinal implant sales since 2005. I wanted to get into a psychology grad program to get a PhD - I was denied by the one program I applied to in 2008, but I was making such good money I decided, "screw it," and continued working..

My desire to be a healer stims from a contrast of 2 aspects of the physicians I have worked with. I have seen surgeon after surgeon with bad ethics & a chip on their shoulder; Seemingly the most miserable people you have ever met. Surgeons who won't use the best product on the market because it won't pay them enough... I could tell you hours of stories of the f#@%*d up things iv'e witnessed in my business- but I will stop there.
Contrastly, I have also worked with a handful of physicians who are some of the most incredible men/women I have ever met. One surgeon, wil honestly tell you that if he won the lottery today, he would still come back to work tomorrow. Another told me that doing surgery is like getting high: The feeling is so euphoric and you go so deeply into the zone that you transcend yourself and become a part of something bigger than you. Your hands can heal. It is the most gratifying experience he has ever felt.
I don't know the feeling of doing surgery, but I have had over 10,000+ hours of patient interaction at this point in my life. The gratification is uncanny. if my brain knew what their Brain knew, my hands could do a much better job. (I'm not trying to sound cocky, this is said with confidence and unconditional love to all of my friends, colleagues and loved ones).

I have made plenty of money, and in 2011 I realized money truly doesn't buy happiness. I began night classes in 2011 and after 5 years of night courses, I had all my pre-reqs finished and took the MCAT last summer.

My job is amazing but it is not fulfilling. I remembered how much passion I had for different therapeutic technique's back when I as in college. I remember being excited about a new book I found in the library.. A new book I'd find online and hunt down in the library. I became utterly obsessed with the information. I transferred this knowledge of human behavior to my business in surgical implant sales & within 2 years of graduating, 2 years away from the library (I still lived closed to the college I did my undergrad in for 3 years after graduating & getting my B.A. In psychology). I began going to the library, by my house to see my friends studying. I would always grab a book and I began to grab inorganic chemistry books. My logic when my friends would ask why I'm reading about chemistry was, "I feel like I know a lot about why people act in certain ways... But I don't understand exactly what makes people tick. I don't know what is going on at microscopic and atomic levels. What causes emotions? What is a though?"

I began studying chemistry as a hobby before/during/after/and in between working and hanging out at the enormous cluster of bars full of tons of college kids down the street from the library. One day it clicked and I decided I'm going to get these pre-requisites done. I'm going to learn this stuff at my own pace & I'm going to enjoy what I am doing. I am diving into a selection of coursework that is required to be a doctor. I can use my obsession of thinking how peopl tick, into a very fulfilling career. I felt like I needed to get to the other side. I want to learn everything in the world. Medicine is so fascinating. And my number 3 goal is medical school.

Goal 1: don't stress.
Goal 2: if at any point I begin to HATE what I am doing- I will remain in sales and continue my career as a salesman (read, "how to sell your way thru life," by Napoleon Hill."). I can sell anything I absolutely love it. I Love all the great people you meet from providing value as a trusted, walking encyclopedia of information about products and programs. I don't even like the phrase "salesman," .. Yes people have to "buy," things. But a really good salesman, focuses on a product that is adding value to other people's life. Someone that addresses a need of another person in a very pleasant way (repeat customers).
Goal3: get into medical school.

1 and 2 are equal and more important than 3. I don't NEED to be a doctor to heal others, but I want it.

I finish all my coursework. I want to do a surgical rotation, and I want to do a psych rotation. I want to get hands on now. and after 5 years of pre-req coursework - I apply to medical school. While working a full time job (and not a mindless job: In commission only sales- you have to be creative to make sales. No sales = zero money in my pocket for 11 years) and being a full time student - I know I have the work ethic to get myself through medical college.

SO...in 2015- I applied to 5 US schools: Miami U, Tulane U, Arizona U, University of South Florida & The University of Oklahoma (hometown school).

Result
: I was rejected from all of them.

My little brother told me I should apply to SGU in Mar.16, a school he had just been accepted to-

I applied, and within 2 weeks I was contacted to setup a day/time to interview and I told them I can interview right now. We setup an interview for the next day (thursday).. My interview was with a surgery resident graduate of SGU, it lasted about an hour and a half on skype.
Within 24 hours I received the call saying I was accepted.
What a great day! Now it was time to research this whole Caribbean School thing.

The amount of mixed reviews are unbelievable. Carib grads absolutely rave and rave about it- but everyone else, US grads, seem to think Carib schools are absolute scum. That's the general vibe I get, please correct me if I'm wrong.

So the program is legit. The rotations are legit. I can say this after talking to about 12 different SGU grads on the phone.

SGU works with around 53 different hospitals in america for year 3 & 4 - depending on your scores, rank within the class & your personal skills- that determines where you will be able to do your clinical rotations. Sounds good right?

Well then I start talking to grads.. If you're not a champion, you're not getting the extreme awesome residencies.. I wasn't sure what those were... After some digging .. Those seem to be orthopedics, spine, basically anything that pays tons of money.

Then I realize holy crap... The specialty I LOVE and want to get into-- is actually considered absolute ****! ... my two favorites (in this order):
1. Psychiatry
2. Primary care (family practice... These seem to be the same thing?)

I think people forget that family practice doctors used to be considered very very high status, when the reimbursement dropped- so did their status. As someone who has made plenty of money; money is nice, but fulfillment in life CANNOT be bought.

Here is the list of SGU affiliate hospitals:
http://www.sgu.edu/school-of-medicine/affiliated-hospitals.html

Within that list are a few really good psych programs!
So, I have been getting more and more excited about the idea of going down to SGU.

Seeing that, mostly, no one wants the psych or family medicine residencies (relative to other residencies)... For me, this could be a good thing. By wanting to go into Primary Care or Psych, SGU could be an awesome place to get an MD. Can anyone dispute this statement?

I've researched the price, yes, SGU is quite more expensive than anywhere else.
But my argument against this is- I have lived a life full of money, I have everything I want right now. Big house, beautiful girlfriend, 5 digit paychecks every month.... But what I don't have--- is fulfillment.

I am not doing what I was put here to do. I do not feel I am following my purpose. I literally read books on different therapeutic methods for enjoyment in my free time. It is absolutely fascinating to me.

Psych is where I belong. ... BUT, to play devil's advocate- my hands need to be operating. I am absolutely in love with surgery. Hands down, the most fascinating profession to exist. In my opinion. I get so excited thinking about being a surgeon I could cry.

The real question I have after all this research is this,

Is a Caribbean school a good place to go for someone who wants to go into perceived, "low status residencies," such as psych or family medicine? .. BUT- if they do well, can also. Get into orthopedics?

When you are fulfilled in life with your career, you'll make plenty of money, but it wont matter. Its about the quality of life, how you feel when you go home

Are you miserable or are you satisfied? Are you happy and excited to goto work the next day... Life, is not about making millions... Don't get me wrong, money is GREAT.. And I have PLENTY, but I am NOT fulfilled, not even close to what I know I will be doing in my future.

I'm going to be a doctor & I'm going to heal people. I'm going to make a ripple in the universe. I have been accepted into a Medical Doctor 4 year program at St. George's University (SGU) in Grenada.

Is this the right path to take?
What would you do? Go and get your M.D. In the caribbeans now, or wait another year or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 .. You get the point. I'm going to apply until I die. This will happen. The goal has been reached on my first attempt at getting accepted. Should I decline my acceptance at SGU - or should I increase my MCAT score/resumé and apply to US Schools.. Always keeping SGU in the back of my mind as the back up back up back up back up plan?

Please only serious responses from people who have done their research, entered into a program like this, or have graduated from a Caribbean school and are doing what they want to do.

Thank you everyone so much. The value this forum offers is incredible.


Thank you,

-Truckboat
 
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gyngyn

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SGU's business model relies upon attrition of matriculants (susceptibles).
By accepting you with a score at the 26th percentile of everyone who took the MCAT, they are relying upon you to flunk out before you ever sit for the USMLE (but not before you have spent a pretty penny in tuition).

If you raise your MCAT to >500 you will be a candidate for onshore schools that will support your academic and professional success.
 
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deleted480308

DOs had our own batch of residencies protected for us that year.

OP, don't go to the carribean and if you have time to save your family member, stop them before they go
 
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gyngyn

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2016 was, indeed, the year that psych (and peds!) became competitive.
There were very few open positions in the SOAP.
 
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deleted480308

also, gotta ask......you had a <500 mcat and applied to 5 schools?
 
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truckboat

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Thank you so much for your responses. Thxleave thank you for the links! Negative reviews across the board completely, and I expected this... to all that replied, not one person mentioned it would be a good idea- yet I've seen multiple posts about Carib schools being a good idea. Confused about this disconnect. .. Due to my MCAT being below average, everyone assumes I'm going to fail out and I understand that. I don't feel the same way because I know my own work ethic. But I really really appreciate the responses.

I'm open minded and I am extremely cautious of this decision. I secured my seat because I was accepted. I may or may not go.

Sb247, yes I did apply to 5 school with less than 500 on the MCAT- why not give it a shot? A lot of US schools say they are looking at a lot more than just MCAT scores right now.

Regarding residency placement, The SGU website states this,

"As part of their post-graduate training, medical students do a residency: additional training in a clinical setting such as a hospital or clinic. The majority of SGU medical graduates are US. citizens or permanent residents, and therefore seek residency training in the US. St. George’s University is the #1 provider of doctors into first year US residencies for the last five years combined with nearly 830 residencies in the US in 2016."

That isn't a lie.
So why such a negative review from everyone. Most surgeons I work with have told me "it doesn't matter where you go to school, do well on step 1 & you'll be great with the connections you have and will have in your 3rd & 4th year.." They all seem to know 1 or 2 people who have done it from a Caribbean school & I also work with an orthopedic surgeon who graduated from Ross in 2000......

If it is such a bad idea to go, I'm very confused as to why they have such a large number of their graduates placed into residencies .... I just don't understand the disconnect between what the forum says and what the facts say.

I'm not saying anyone is wrong or right. I want to become a doctor and I am 100% willing to decline this acceptance if I have to. I want to do my research before I decline though. They have students in residencies. The website has a giant list of all their grads and what they're specializing in. While supporting myself I had to take the MCAT, if I had all day everyday to study for it with zero other priorities, I garantee my score would be higher. I don't have that luxury unfortunately.

I am currently in zero debt and have saved up a nice amount of money.

Can anyone give me a good idea of what they would do in my shoes? Get a different job (a mindless one that doesn't require creativity so my brain isn't trying to go 100% on 2 different things?). Can anyone describe what they would truly do in this situation as a 30 year old who knows he belongs in the world of medicine...?

I really appreciate the responses and would love to hear from any Carib grads on the forum. I've talked to 12 grads so far and am basically trying to talk to as many of them as I can. My work ethic is very strong and my ability to learn is high! I obviously want to get into medical school ASAP because I'm older... But I'm willing to wait if this really is a terrible idea and a waste of time/money ... More importantly is the waste of time.

This forum has helped me a lot and has turned my thinking from "hey I'm gonna be a doctor!!" Over to---- "this may be a bad bad idea."
 

truckboat

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Goro, I am not desperate and gullible, I am thinking very critically about this
 

UBC2014

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As long as you are willing to go anywhere in the country for FM or psych, you'll be fine. This is assuming you work hard and make through to 4th year. Again, if you make it through to 4th year, and apply broadly for FM and psych, the stats dont lie. You will probably match.

I know many many many Canadians at Ross and sgu who matched to FM all across the country in the US, with low step scores(205-220). They also required a visa. Which you won't


So yeah its not all doom and gloom, you already dont have to worry about the.money factor like.most premeds.

Dont think you're going to do surgery or anything. Maybe if you fluke out. But be happy with FM. More likely.than not in locations most dont gun for etc
 
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ThoracicGuy

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Thank you so much for your responses. Thxleave thank you for the links! Negative reviews across the board completely, and I expected this... to all that replied, not one person mentioned it would be a good idea- yet I've seen multiple posts about Carib schools being a good idea. Confused about this disconnect. .. Due to my MCAT being below average, everyone assumes I'm going to fail out and I understand that. I don't feel the same way because I know my own work ethic. But I really really appreciate the responses.

I'm open minded and I am extremely cautious of this decision. I secured my seat because I was accepted. I may or may not go.

Sb247, yes I did apply to 5 school with less than 500 on the MCAT- why not give it a shot? A lot of US schools say they are looking at a lot more than just MCAT scores right now.

Regarding residency placement, The SGU website states this,

"As part of their post-graduate training, medical students do a residency: additional training in a clinical setting such as a hospital or clinic. The majority of SGU medical graduates are US. citizens or permanent residents, and therefore seek residency training in the US. St. George’s University is the #1 provider of doctors into first year US residencies for the last five years combined with nearly 830 residencies in the US in 2016."

That isn't a lie.
So why such a negative review from everyone. Most surgeons I work with have told me "it doesn't matter where you go to school, do well on step 1 & you'll be great with the connections you have and will have in your 3rd & 4th year.." They all seem to know 1 or 2 people who have done it from a Caribbean school & I also work with an orthopedic surgeon who graduated from Ross in 2000......

If it is such a bad idea to go, I'm very confused as to why they have such a large number of their graduates placed into residencies .... I just don't understand the disconnect between what the forum says and what the facts say.

I'm not saying anyone is wrong or right. I want to become a doctor and I am 100% willing to decline this acceptance if I have to. I want to do my research before I decline though. They have students in residencies. The website has a giant list of all their grads and what they're specializing in. While supporting myself I had to take the MCAT, if I had all day everyday to study for it with zero other priorities, I garantee my score would be higher. I don't have that luxury unfortunately.

I am currently in zero debt and have saved up a nice amount of money.

Can anyone give me a good idea of what they would do in my shoes? Get a different job (a mindless one that doesn't require creativity so my brain isn't trying to go 100% on 2 different things?). Can anyone describe what they would truly do in this situation as a 30 year old who knows he belongs in the world of medicine...?

I really appreciate the responses and would love to hear from any Carib grads on the forum. I've talked to 12 grads so far and am basically trying to talk to as many of them as I can. My work ethic is very strong and my ability to learn is high! I obviously want to get into medical school ASAP because I'm older... But I'm willing to wait if this really is a terrible idea and a waste of time/money ... More importantly is the waste of time.

This forum has helped me a lot and has turned my thinking from "hey I'm gonna be a doctor!!" Over to---- "this may be a bad bad idea."

You really can't believe everything you read or see from SGU or the other Caribbean schools. They do not release graduation rates. They don't really let you know what your chances are from starting class, to graduating in four years, to getting a residency spot.

These schools are out to get your money. You did poorly on the MCAT. That bodes poorly for your Step 1 and 2 scores. Coming from a Caribbean school, you will need to do well on these tests to have a chance at a residency spot. Otherwise you will have spent $250k in loans and have no ability to pay them back as a doctor. There are tons of stories on here about people that have gone to these schools and have tried matching for 2, 3, or even more cycles, all ending in failure.

You say these things won't happen to you. That's what they all say though. Maybe you'd be one that can get through and be successful. Maybe you won't have any issues. Maybe you will have lots of problems.

You say you don't really want to wait since you are older. Let's say you start this fall at SGU, but it takes you 5 years to finish. Then you don't match the first time around and you have to go another round to get a match. That means from start to finish you've spent 6 years - if you manage to match the second time around. And that second time is always harder than the first. Now if, instead, you spend the time to improve your MCAT and retake to apply in the next cycle and get into a US MD/DO school? You'd graduate in four years and have >95% chance of matching. I don't know about you, but the answer seems pretty clear. Your GPA doesn't look like the issue. It is your MCAT.

Also, you need to apply to medical school the right way. Your five school selection doesn't look like a good selection for you, though with your MCAT, just about any list of schools would be bad. The good news is that you would only be a reapplicant to those five schools. You need to be open to DO schools as well. Unless you can do significantly better on the MCAT (>510 range), MD schools will be difficult. DO schools typically have lower MCAT averages. You need to invest in the MSAR and target your application appropriately. You can also get feedback and help on the pre-allo forums as well.

If you go through at least 2 serious cycles (I wouldn't count this last one in it), then you can consider SGU. Don't worry, they will always be there and if you have a bank account, you'll be accepted again in the future. Don't go there, realize it's a bad idea and quit, then come back to the US and try to get into a US MD/DO school. Your chances at doing that are slim to none.

Good luck.
 
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edgerock24

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Hello everyone,

This forum is absolute gold. I want to say I truly appreciate the information from some of the top posters, thank you so much for your contribution.

Quickly, my stats:
MCAT: 492
GPA: 3.7
Background: Have worked in orthopedic/spinal implant sales since 2005. I wanted to get into a psychology grad program to get a PhD - I was denied twice and then I was making such good money I decided, "screw it," and continued working.. after seeing surgeon after surgeon with bad bad ethics, I decided I should attempt to get into a surgical program. I have made plenty of money, and in 2011 I realized money truly doesn't buy happiness.. I began night classes in 2011 and after 5 years of night courses, I had all my pre-reqs finished and took the MCAT last summer. My job is amazing but it is not fulfilling. I remembered how much passion I had for different therapeutic technique's and after all the coursework - I wanted to go into psychiatry instead of surgery.

I understand that's not a desirable residency for most, but I am beyond passionate about psychiatry and family medicine. After working a full time job (and not a mindless job: In commission only sales- you have to be creative to make sales) and being a full time student - I knew I had the work ethic to get myself through medical college.

SO.... I applied to 5 US schools: Miami U, Tulane U, Arizona U, University of South Florida & The University of Oklahoma (hometown school).
Result: I was rejected from all of them.

My little brother told me I should apply to SGU, a school he had just been accepted to-

I applied, within 2 weeks I was contacted to setup a day/time to interview and I told them I can interview right now. We setup an interview for the next day (thursday).. My interview was with a surgery resident graduate of SGU, it lasted about 2 hours (I have worked in surgery for 11 years, we had a ton we could discuss and I had a giant list of questions).
Within 24 hours I received the call saying I was accepted.
What a great day! Now it was time to research this whole Caribbean School thing.

The amount of mixed reviews are unbelievable. Carib grads absolutely rave and rave about it- everyone else, US grads, seem to think Carib schools are absolute scum. That's the general vibe I get, please correct me if I'm wrong.

So the program is legit. The rotations are legit. I can say this after talking to about 12 different SGU grads on the phone.

SGU works with around 53 different hospitals in america for year 3 & 4 - depending on your scores, rank within the class & your personal skills- that determines where you will be able to do your clinical rotations. Sounds good right?

Well then I start talking to grads.. If you're not a champion, you're not getting the extreme awesome residencies.. I wasn't sure what those were... After some digging .. Those seem to be orthopedics, spine, basically anything that pays tons of money.

Then I realize holy crap... The specialty I LOVE and want to get into-- is actually considered absolute ****! ... my two favorites (in this order):
1. Psychiatry
2. Primary care (family practice... These seem to be the same thing?)

I think people forget that family practice doctors used to be considered very very high status, when the reimbursement dropped- so did their status. As someone who has made plenty of money; money is nice, but fulfillment in life CANNOT be bought.

Here is the list of SGU affiliate hospitals:
http://www.sgu.edu/school-of-medicine/affiliated-hospitals.html

Within that list are a few really good psych programs!
So, I have been getting more and more excited about the idea of going down to SGU.

Seeing that, mostly, no one wants the psych or family medicine residencies (relative to other residencies)... For me, this could be a good thing. By wanting to go into Primary Care or Psych, SGU could be an awesome place to get an MD. Can anyone dispute this statement?

I've researched the price, yes, SGU is quite more expensive than anywhere else.
But my argument against this is- I have lived a life full of money, I have everything I want right now. Big house, beautiful girlfriend, 5 digit paychecks every month.... But what I don't have--- is fulfillment.

I am not doing what I was put here to do. I do not feel I am following my purpose. I literally read books on different therapeutic methods for enjoyment in my free time. It is absolutely fascinating to me.

Psych is where I belong.

The real question I have after all this research is this,

Is a Caribbean school a good place to go for someone who wants to go into perceived, "low status residencies," such as psych or family medicine?

When you are fulfilled in life with your career, you'll make plenty of money, but it wont matter. Its about the quality of life, how you feel when you go home- are you miserable or are you satisfied? and are you happy to goto work the next day... Life, is not about making millions... Don't get me wrong, money is GREAT.. And I have PLENTY, but I am NOT fulfilled, at all.

Please only serious responses from people who have done their research, entered into a program like this, or have graduated from a Carib school and are doing what they want to do.

Thank you everyone so much. The value this forum offers is incredible.


Thank you,

-Truckboat
How did you prepare for the MCAT?

What were you scoring on practice exams?
 

gyngyn

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What they do not tell you is the denominator for the number of grads that find a residency. Their classes are huge.
Almost all US grads get a residency, more than half of US seniors match into their first choice program, not just their preferred specialty!
 
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UBC2014

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In general i don't support carribean schools, except for those whom are very likely to make it through to M4 and will likely then match primary care.

OP, if you can retake your MCAT, and wait, you should be able to get into a DO school somewhere in the US. This would be a safer bet all around than the carribean. If you still didnt get into a DO school this upcoming cycle, then by all means head to SGU and be willing to work hard. You need to sit down and properly study for the MCAT and do well in it. If you are able to do this, and still don't get into a USMD or USDO program, then by all means head to SGU, and you will likely be fine - i say this because at least you will have proven to yourself you have the ability to do well and succeed. There are plenty of people with **** MCAT scores in US programs, and they make it through just fine.

To be fair to the OP, they have a few things going for them:

1. Age - they aren't some 22 year old who ended up in the carribean because their parents wanted them to go there to make the family proud and be a doctor. Presumably they will be less distracted by partying, drinking on the beach while "studying" etc etc.

2. Financial security - they have no debts, and presumably have decent savings. And they have something to fall back on, should SGU not work out etc.

3. Proven motivation and work ethic.


Sure their MCAT sucks, but really the MCAT is a poor metric all around anyways. Now, if they can't get through STEP 1, then they will be screwed.


As for matching, i can list off at least 30 Canadians who graduated from Ross or SGU this year who matched all over the US for FM and IM and on J1 visas with step 1s between 205-220. So if they can all match fine, a US resident with at least an average step score(230 ideally, but lower is definitely doable with proper auditions) ranges.

Lets not treat OP the same as the average uninformed SDN poster in their early 20s is all i am saying.

TLDR: Retake the MCAT, Apply USMD and USDO broadly for at least 1 proper cycle with good MCAT score, if no luck go SGU, keep your head down and do average.
 
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Dreamislandcaptive

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Hello, You've gotten some excellent advice to far. I'd like to add that if you can spare a year then study for that mcat and reapply next year. The Caribbean schools are not recommended because in general they really don't care about your academic success. So save your money, retake the mcat and apply broadly to least 20 school. Good luck and keep us posted :thumbup:
 
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thxleave

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I really don't have a problem with the quality of training SGU provides. I felt the school did it's best to teach kids, and not fail people out. I went in with a 24O(11VR,7BS,6PS) in 2012. Graduated within 4 years, but didn't match Psychiatry this year if you read the links I posted. Rotations were at solid places with residency training programs. There was no hassle in setting stuff up. School basic science was solid, nothing too extreme. If you are doing poorly you know early on so you can correct your mistakes, or seek help.

The real issue though is as you will notice is the huge stigma coming from the Caribbeans. Simply noted, you are at a huge uphill battle. For every story you hear about the Canadian with 205-220 J1 visa matching, there is going to be more stories about them not matching. Then you are going to hear about the 220's-230's US Citizen not matching, if you read the ones I posted about Psychiatry (IE me and my classmates). I also know some that applied to Peds and not matching with similar scores this year.

I'll be honest. I came from government housing, and didn't know too much about entering medical schools when I started. DO's weren't as well known compared to as of right now (they are even merging AOA and ACGME spots). I didn't even know about URM status for AAMC. So I ended up at SGU, since I knew some doctors I shadowed from SGU. The one thing I notice though is the stigma of being from Caribbeans is worse though compared to when I was growing up. Trust me, I seen the stares when people know you live in government housing or when you use food stamps (when they were colorful, before this beautiful EBT business). People will treat you negatively and just associate you with all sorts of vile stuff worse then what I grew up with.

I just don't know why, sometimes when I get on SDN I feel less the human, by the type of speech people give about IMGs. I can understand why they might have problems with how some of the schools are, or the for-profit business practices, but you are just simply treated really bad here and in real life sometimes. Maybe I am sensitive to this stuff, and that's why I avoid this forum mostly. But I recommend against going to SGU or any other Caribbean schools base on that discrimination and feeling. You aren't in it yet, haven't been in rotations, or applied for ERAS yet. But when you are, you realize that the stigma is real, and the venom that you get for being an IMG is just a horrible feeling.
 
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Dreamislandcaptive

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I really don't have a problem with the quality of training SGU provides. I felt the school did it's best to teach kids, and not fail people out. I went in with a 24O(11VR,7BS,6PS) in 2012. Graduated within 4 years, but didn't match Psychiatry this year if you read the links I posted. Rotations were at solid places with residency training programs. There was no hassle in setting stuff up. School basic science was solid, nothing too extreme. If you are doing poorly you know early on so you can correct your mistakes, or seek help.

The real issue though is as you will notice is the huge stigma coming from the Caribbeans. Simply noted, you are at a huge uphill battle. For every story you hear about the Canadian with 205-220 J1 visa matching, there is going to be more stories about them not matching. Then you are going to hear about the 220's-230's US Citizen not matching, if you read the ones I posted about Psychiatry (IE me and my classmates). I also know some that applied to Peds and not matching with similar scores this year.

I'll be honest. I came from government housing, and didn't know too much about entering medical schools when I started. DO's weren't as well known compared to as of right now (they are even merging AOA and ACGME spots). I didn't even know about URM status for AAMC. So I ended up at SGU, since I knew some doctors I shadowed from SGU. The one thing I notice though is the stigma of being from Caribbeans is worse though compared to when I was growing up. Trust me, I seen the stares when people know you live in government housing or when you use food stamps (when they were colorful, before this beautiful EBT business). People will treat you negatively and just associate you with all sorts of vile stuff worse then what I grew up with.

I just don't know why, sometimes when I get on SDN I feel less the human, by the type of speech people give about IMGs. I can understand why they might have problems with how some of the schools are, or the for-profit business practices, but you are just simply treated really bad here and in real life sometimes. Maybe I am sensitive to this stuff, and that's why I avoid this forum mostly. But I recommend against going to SGU or any other Caribbean schools base on that discrimination and feeling. You aren't in it yet, haven't been in rotations, or applied for ERAS yet. But when you are, you realize that the stigma is real, and the venom that you get for being an IMG is just a horrible feeling.
Did you match anywhere?
 

Dreamislandcaptive

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Ahhh well keep your head up and apply next year. Good luck and keep us posted.
 
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deleted480308

OP, everyone thinks they are the special snowflake that will beat the carribean odds and get the residency

Learn from tjxleave and apply all that drive and motivation you say you have to getting into a US school
 
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gyngyn

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I really don't have a problem with the quality of training SGU provides. I felt the school did it's best to teach kids, and not fail people out. I went in with a 24O(11VR,7BS,6PS) in 2012. Graduated within 4 years, but didn't match Psychiatry this year if you read the links I posted. Rotations were at solid places with residency training programs. There was no hassle in setting stuff up. School basic science was solid, nothing too extreme. If you are doing poorly you know early on so you can correct your mistakes, or seek help.

The real issue though is as you will notice is the huge stigma coming from the Caribbeans. Simply noted, you are at a huge uphill battle. For every story you hear about the Canadian with 205-220 J1 visa matching, there is going to be more stories about them not matching. Then you are going to hear about the 220's-230's US Citizen not matching, if you read the ones I posted about Psychiatry (IE me and my classmates). I also know some that applied to Peds and not matching with similar scores this year.

I'll be honest. I came from government housing, and didn't know too much about entering medical schools when I started. DO's weren't as well known compared to as of right now (they are even merging AOA and ACGME spots). I didn't even know about URM status for AAMC. So I ended up at SGU, since I knew some doctors I shadowed from SGU. The one thing I notice though is the stigma of being from Caribbeans is worse though compared to when I was growing up. Trust me, I seen the stares when people know you live in government housing or when you use food stamps (when they were colorful, before this beautiful EBT business). People will treat you negatively and just associate you with all sorts of vile stuff worse then what I grew up with.

I just don't know why, sometimes when I get on SDN I feel less the human, by the type of speech people give about IMGs. I can understand why they might have problems with how some of the schools are, or the for-profit business practices, but you are just simply treated really bad here and in real life sometimes. Maybe I am sensitive to this stuff, and that's why I avoid this forum mostly. But I recommend against going to SGU or any other Caribbean schools base on that discrimination and feeling. You aren't in it yet, haven't been in rotations, or applied for ERAS yet. But when you are, you realize that the stigma is real, and the venom that you get for being an IMG is just a horrible feeling.
It takes courage to post when you are in a painful place. I appreciate your contribution.
 
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gyngyn

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Goro, I am not desperate and gullible, I am thinking very critically about this
I strongly suggest you take a look at @thxleave's thread.
His scores were very good for Psych. This year there were essentially no available openings after the Match. The Caribbean is an independent risk factor for failure to match. Please reconsider. You apparently have what it takes to get into an accredited school. Do what it takes to make it happen.

SOAPing is excruciating. I can't even imagine how awful it must be to SOAP alone.
 
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NotAProgDirector

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As you can see from the responses you've gotten, the Carib is a "mixed bag" at best. Obviously it's not a complete scam -- some people who graduate get residencies and do well. Others don't. The concern is that the percentage of people who fail out / withdraw / don't match is much higher than reported by these schools by using "creative accounting". If you do well at SGU -- and by well I mean well above the national average -- you'll be fine in Psych or FM. But it's much easier to talk about being above average than actually doing so.

Confused about this disconnect. .. Due to my MCAT being below average, everyone assumes I'm going to fail out and I understand that. I don't feel the same way because I know my own work ethic. But I really really appreciate the responses.

Your MCAT score is the one objective measure of your performance we have. Sure, you think that you can do better with more time to study. So does everyone else. It's a common excuse. Prove it. Do better on the MCAT. Decrease your work effort and make less money. Use the extra time to study for the MCAT and improve your score.

Sb247, yes I did apply to 5 school with less than 500 on the MCAT- why not give it a shot? A lot of US schools say they are looking at a lot more than just MCAT scores right now.

I believe SB's concern was not that you applied to 5 schools, but that you didn't apply to 50 schools with those stats.

"As part of their post-graduate training, medical students do a residency: additional training in a clinical setting such as a hospital or clinic. The majority of SGU medical graduates are US. citizens or permanent residents, and therefore seek residency training in the US. St. George’s University is the #1 provider of doctors into first year US residencies for the last five years combined with nearly 830 residencies in the US in 2016."

That isn't a lie.

You are correct. It's true. It's also a clever deception.

From an absolute standpoint, SGU places more students into residency programs than any other school. What they don't tell you is what the denominator is -- How many people fail out of SGU in the first two years due to failing a course? How many pass all of their courses but don't meet the minimum GPA to sit for Step 1? How many don't score high enough on the COMP to take Step 1?. How many of these residencies are prelim only, and don't necessarily lead to board certification? How many of these residencies are in the field that the student wanted?

Unlike US schools, SGU and Ross use a "pyramidal" system -- they accept more students than they can handle in their clinical years and then assume that some large number will fail out. Whether this is "predatory education" or "giving lots of people a chance" depends upon your POV.

So why such a negative review from everyone. Most surgeons I work with have told me "it doesn't matter where you go to school, do well on step 1 & you'll be great with the connections you have and will have in your 3rd & 4th year.." They all seem to know 1 or 2 people who have done it from a Caribbean school & I also work with an orthopedic surgeon who graduated from Ross in 2000......

If it is such a bad idea to go, I'm very confused as to why they have such a large number of their graduates placed into residencies .... I just don't understand the disconnect between what the forum says and what the facts say.

Because these are anecdotes. Of course there's always someone who makes it.

And let me be 150% clear. Your connections from being a sales rep will be of zero, if not negative, value when you apply to residency programs. You've mentioned that you have no interest in surgery or ortho. If you change your mind in medical school, you'll end up with an even more uphill battle. But assuming you don't, program directors (like me) will care less about "some doctors you sold stuff to". And in fact, most of academic medicine isn't supportive of the drug/device rep business model -- we have banned all drug and device reps from the institution, essentially. So describing your prior experience as a rep could be a big negative -- unless you write about how horrible it was and all the terrible things you saw.

I'm not saying anyone is wrong or right. I want to become a doctor and I am 100% willing to decline this acceptance if I have to. I want to do my research before I decline though. They have students in residencies. The website has a giant list of all their grads and what they're specializing in. While supporting myself I had to take the MCAT, if I had all day everyday to study for it with zero other priorities, I garantee my score would be higher. I don't have that luxury unfortunately.

I am currently in zero debt and have saved up a nice amount of money.

Can anyone give me a good idea of what they would do in my shoes? Get a different job (a mindless one that doesn't require creativity so my brain isn't trying to go 100% on 2 different things?). Can anyone describe what they would truly do in this situation as a 30 year old who knows he belongs in the world of medicine...?

I really appreciate the responses and would love to hear from any Carib grads on the forum. I've talked to 12 grads so far and am basically trying to talk to as many of them as I can. My work ethic is very strong and my ability to learn is high! I obviously want to get into medical school ASAP because I'm older... But I'm willing to wait if this really is a terrible idea and a waste of time/money ... More importantly is the waste of time.

This forum has helped me a lot and has turned my thinking from "hey I'm gonna be a doctor!!" Over to---- "this may be a bad bad idea."

The "safest" plan is to retake the MCAT, do better, and apply to US medical schools. This will give you the most options. It's also the most time consuming. In general, if you go to a US school as long as you're not in the bottom 5% you'll end up being fine.

The faster, but less safe, option is to go to SGU. Should you choose this option, you should realize that there is a reasonably high chance you will fail out, or graduate and have difficulty getting a residency spot. You need to go to SGU and excel -- easier said than done.

And if you do fail out of SGU, you will be left holding the bill. If you can afford it and see it as money well spent -- i.e. you can say that you tried your best to follow your dreams -- then go right ahead. Unfortunately we tend to see people who follow this road and end up with an additional $150K of debt they are stuck with, and nothing to show for it.

Best of luck, whichever path you choose.
 
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deleted480308

Sb247, yes I did apply to 5 school with less than 500 on the MCAT- why not give it a shot? A lot of US schools say they are looking at a lot more than just MCAT scores right now.
as aprogdirector mentioned, I was questioning the tactics of applying to only 5 schools, and it appears all MD at that... It's less than the avg amount of schools applied to and by forgoing DO you made it even harder on yourself.

I know you think we're crapping on you but we're trying to save you from a dumb mistake. It's like you're about to take a girl we ALL KNOW has stds home from the bar and we're yelling at you to stop. We're not trying to make sure you die lonely, we're trying to save you a bunch of trouble you don't see coming because you're of a one track mind right now..
 
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You guys rule. I truly 100% appreciate every bit of feedback.

I understand that no one is crapping on me, everyone is giving their scientific, non emotional, logical explanations. That is why I posted this on here, because I knew I'd get the honest truth.. Not the "yay yay rah rah," type of, "DUDE YOU'RE GOING TO BE A DOCTOR," kind of chatter my friends and family tell me. I needed to see this, I've discussed this with multiple surgeons and the responses are exactly the same, mixed reviews completely.

The big red flag happened when I asked 2 doctors I worked with for the past 10 years, if they would accept me into their programs (one is head of neurosurgery residency & the other is head of orthopedic residency) they both told me they would not allow me into their program- at all, no matter what. This is what started my journey of asking these questions.

You have all given valuable information and I am extremely thankful. Thx, thank you for your story, that takes serious guts and I appreciate you sharing. UBC2014 I appreciate the words of encouragement and also the motivation. I appreciate every bit of feedback very much- I have worked extremely hard to get to where I am at, and I am not going to just go into this blindly. I'm doing my research, talking to physicians in my community & making sure this is something worthwhile.

I am fully prepared to turn this down, quit a job or 2- and reapply. I have no problem with that,

I have a great job & a nice nest egg saved. I refuse to ruin my finances & life because I was accepted into a **** school & can't specialize in something because I'm being descriminated.

I don't want to jump into something and not get the respect I deserve
 
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SB247, I understand i am no special snowflake. I understand I am 1 of many. If I choose to do this I understand I will be discriminated against and most likely not obtain a top notch residency of any kind. I am weighing my options 100%
 

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The big red flag happened when I asked 2 doctors I worked with for the past 10 years, if they would accept me into their programs (one is head of neurosurgery residency & the other is head of orthopedic residency) they both told me they would not allow me into their program- at all, no matter what. This is what started my journey of asking these questions.
This is the tell tale sign. Even after working with you for 10 years and getting to know the brilliant you, the future rejection because coming of coming from an off-shore medical school should tell you all you need to know.

You seem like a bright person. Don't throw that and the work you've done up to this point away because of wanting to rush into things at the last second. Bright people put themselves in situations that keep their options open and their trajectories on footing for the best. Its admirable that you want to do FM and psych at this point, but having just finished 4 years of school, I know that specialty decisions change more often than not. Some people in my class went from psych to surgery, others the reverse, etc. Point is, don't pidgeon toe yourself 0r your future because of what you think you want to do 5 years from now. You dont want to have that decision made for you based on what school choice you chose. The NRMP Match is a stressful process even for American Medical School graduates with great scores.
 
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deleted480308

SB247, I understand i am no special snowflake. I understand I am 1 of many. If I choose to do this I understand I will be discriminated against and most likely not obtain a top notch residency of any kind. I am weighing my options 100%
i'm rooting for you, just remember that if you have what it takes to make it through the carribean and get back here you have what it takes to work harder in undergrad and get into a US school with less risk.

keep your head up and play this smart
 
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truckboat

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thxleave, what residencies did you apply for?



I really don't have a problem with the quality of training SGU provides. I felt the school did it's best to teach kids, and not fail people out. I went in with a 24O(11VR,7BS,6PS) in 2012. Graduated within 4 years, but didn't match Psychiatry this year if you read the links I posted. Rotations were at solid places with residency training programs. There was no hassle in setting stuff up. School basic science was solid, nothing too extreme. If you are doing poorly you know early on so you can correct your mistakes, or seek help.

The real issue though is as you will notice is the huge stigma coming from the Caribbeans. Simply noted, you are at a huge uphill battle. For every story you hear about the Canadian with 205-220 J1 visa matching, there is going to be more stories about them not matching. Then you are going to hear about the 220's-230's US Citizen not matching, if you read the ones I posted about Psychiatry (IE me and my classmates). I also know some that applied to Peds and not matching with similar scores this year.

I'll be honest. I came from government housing, and didn't know too much about entering medical schools when I started. DO's weren't as well known compared to as of right now (they are even merging AOA and ACGME spots). I didn't even know about URM status for AAMC. So I ended up at SGU, since I knew some doctors I shadowed from SGU. The one thing I notice though is the stigma of being from Caribbeans is worse though compared to when I was growing up. Trust me, I seen the stares when people know you live in government housing or when you use food stamps (when they were colorful, before this beautiful EBT business). People will treat you negatively and just associate you with all sorts of vile stuff worse then what I grew up with.

I just don't know why, sometimes when I get on SDN I feel less the human, by the type of speech people give about IMGs. I can understand why they might have problems with how some of the schools are, or the for-profit business practices, but you are just simply treated really bad here and in real life sometimes. Maybe I am sensitive to this stuff, and that's why I avoid this forum mostly. But I recommend against going to SGU or any other Caribbean schools base on that discrimination and feeling. You aren't in it yet, haven't been in rotations, or applied for ERAS yet. But when you are, you realize that the stigma is real, and the venom that you get for being an IMG is just a horrible feeling.
 
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I'd also like to mention... My interview skills are absolutely top notch. I have worked with nothing but doctors in my 10+ years as a sales rep (Ortho & spine surgeons too.. The ones with the egos.. Haha, joke, only some of them have egos.. Most of them are incredible people). At first I was a nervous wreck around them, would start sweating, clam up, couldn't get out my sales pitch.. And as of now, I realize they are just regular people with a lot on their mind. My job is commission only, so if I don't sell- I don't eat. And I've done incredible for this long..

That being said, I'm completely fine going to thru a residency program that is not desirable (one that isn't in downtown Manhattan or south beach miami) . I'm okay being in a residency program in the middle of nowhere OKlahoma. I'd be just fine with that because I'd finally be fulfilled in life. The money will come when fulfillment is achieved.

Working in sales.. Surgical implant sales (total knees, trauma plates and screws, total hips, spinal fusion hardware etc.). I am not trying to brag at all, but I know that my interview skills may be equivalent to the best in the country. In the field I've worked, you have to be the absolute sharpest minded person you can be. I've talked my way into many many things I am not qualified for, I.e., Medical school acceptance.

Sb247, thank you for your support, everyone thank you for supporting me and giving me real honest advice. At my age now (30) my ego is basically gone.. I understand that I'm not fulfilled at what I am doing and I just want to help, I know that in order for me to be fulfilled in life- I need to be a healer. Family medicine was once regarded as the most noble profession. Docs making house calls, etc. Now it's something you do if you can't do anything else. I see that as ridiculous & would be absolutely thrilled with a spot in family medicine or psychiatry.
 
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"And let me be 150% clear. Your connections from being a sales rep will be of zero, if not negative, value when you apply to residency programs. You've mentioned that you have no interest in surgery or ortho. If you change your mind in medical school, you'll end up with an even more uphill battle. But assuming you don't, program directors (like me) will care less about "some doctors you sold stuff to". And in fact, most of academic medicine isn't supportive of the drug/device rep business model -- we have banned all drug and device reps from the institution, essentially. So describing your prior experience as a rep could be a big negative -- unless you write about how horrible it was and all the terrible things you saw"

You mentioned this in your post.. And while I realize some reps are a burden, a lot of the time they are an extreme asset to the team. Try to do a total hip or a total knee without the product rep in the room and an inexperienced tech staff.. Know what I mean?

I truly appreciate your detailed feedback. Thank you so much for helping me out with your opinion. I just talked to 2 surgeons today. One told me that he went to ROSS & got into the orthopedic surgery program at OU.. The other told me that there are tons upon tons of residencies in the United States right now that are starting the year with unfilled spots.... I just don't understand the disconnect between opinions.

What is your take on this disconnect? The fact that so many people are polarized in different directions?

I've seen hospitals try to kick out the surgical reps. . . And have one of their own take care of the implants and billing etc.. It is just too much work and that person has ended up quitting or the hospital retracted their stance on a "no reps policy."

I doubt your surgical program has banned the surgical reps, am I correct? I appreciate the feedback, but from my experience I have gained the insight that I want to goto medical school .. I wouldn't mention it as a good or a bad during an interview. I'd mention it as something I did, that propelled me to get out of the business--- because it is a backstabbing group of shady shady horrible people (for the most part). So I understand why you said this. But I cannot see it having a negative effect on an interview.

This Caribbean School topic Has such ridiculous polarized responses as to whether or not it's a good idea, it has really made my head spin. I posted a list of 2016 residents from SGU, it's enormous... How do all those people get residencies, yet everyone on the forum says I'm about to throw my life away. Can anyone explain that to me? There is over 100 people on that list, whom graduated in 2016 and matched a residency. Can anyone explain this?
 
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deleted480308

"And let me be 150% clear. Your connections from being a sales rep will be of zero, if not negative, value when you apply to residency programs. You've mentioned that you have no interest in surgery or ortho. If you change your mind in medical school, you'll end up with an even more uphill battle. But assuming you don't, program directors (like me) will care less about "some doctors you sold stuff to". And in fact, most of academic medicine isn't supportive of the drug/device rep business model -- we have banned all drug and device reps from the institution, essentially. So describing your prior experience as a rep could be a big negative -- unless you write about how horrible it was and all the terrible things you saw"

You mentioned this in your post.. And while I realize some reps are a burden, a lot of the time they are an extreme asset to the team. Try to do a total hip or a total knee without the product rep in the room and an inexperienced tech staff.. Know what I mean?

I truly appreciate your detailed feedback. Thank you so much for helping me out with your opinion. I just talked to 2 surgeons today. One told me that he went to ROSS & got into the orthopedic surgery program at OU.. The other told me that there are tons upon tons of residencies in the United States right now that are starting the year with unfilled spots.... I just don't understand the disconnect between opinions.

What is your take on this disconnect? The fact that so many people are polarized in different directions?

I've seen hospitals try to kick out the surgical reps. . . And have one of their own take care of the implants and billing etc.. It is just too much work and that person has ended up quitting or the hospital retracted their stance on a "no reps policy."

I doubt your surgical program has banned the surgical reps, am I correct? I appreciate the feedback, but from my experience I have gained the insight that I want to goto medical school .. I wouldn't mention it as a good or a bad during an interview. I'd mention it as something I did, that propelled me to get out of the business--- because it is a backstabbing group of shady shady horrible people (for the most part). So I understand why you said this. But I cannot see it having a negative effect on an interview.

This Caribbean School topic Has such ridiculous polarized responses as to whether or not it's a good idea, it has really made my head spin. I posted a list of 2016 residents from SGU, it's enormous... How do all those people get residencies, yet everyone on the forum says I'm about to throw my life away. Can anyone explain that to me? There is over 100 people on that list, whom graduated in 2016 and matched a residency. Can anyone explain this?
http://www.sgu.edu/about-sgu/medical-students-enrollment.html

they claim an enrollment of 5,000. that (if they were actually getting all those to graduation, which they aren't) would mean they should graduate 1250 every year. Do you see 1250 names on the match list this year? that's why we are warning you
 
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NotAProgDirector

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I also want to add something.. Here is a list of all the SGU grads who matched, where & which specialty they are doing their residency in:

https://postgrad.sgu.edu/ResidencyAppointmentDirectory.aspx?year=2016

You should look at this list carefully. Importing it into Excel makes life a bit easier.

First of all, there are 868 PGY-1 matches. 760 of those are Categorical matches -- i.e. they will lead to complete training. Add on 9 more which were Canadian matches which are not classified but probably categorical, so a total of 769. The rest are prelim matches -- some of those people will have matched into Advanced residency spots to complete their training, but SGU doesn't make it easy to count how many (although, now that I think about it, if I import their PGY-2 list into Excel, a bit of Excel wizardry will tell me that).

Anyhoo, lets round up to 800 "real" matches. Now we need some denominator to compare that with. How many SGU 4th year students tried to match somewhere? You might think that SGU would publish this, but they don't. Which should make you nervous. But we can imply the answer from several sources:

1. SGU itself. On their website, they claim a current MD student population of just under 5000. Last I checked, medical school was 4 years long. 5000/4 = 1250. That assumes that the classes are all the same size. If we assume that there are people who fail out in the first 2 years (which we know to be the case), then the number of 4th year students might be lower -- perhaps 1500 per class in years 1 and 2, and then 1000 per class in years 3 and 4. Using a conservative estimate of 1000, you can see that the match rate is 80%. (Please note, I just made up the distribution of 1st/2nd years and 3rd/4th years -- this is purely for example's sake). Regardless, if you make the "fail" rate lower, then the match rate also drops as there are more 4th year students coming through. In my hypothetical example, any random person at SGU would have a 20% chance of failing out in the first 2 years, and then a 20% chance of not matching.

2. Charting Outcomes for IMG's. A publication from the NRMP describing how IMG's do in the match. This trove of data has all sorts of useful information in it that you should review. However, for now we're going to skip to page 22 / Chart 15, which describes outcome by country. SGU is the only school on Grenada, so the data from Grenada is SGU's performance. There are two tables, one for US-IMG's and the other for Non-US. You're a US citizen, so you'd be in the first table. We can see the "match" rate for US IMG's is 534 / (534 + 258 = 792) = 67%. The total number of applicants from Grenada that year was just over 1000, so matches my estimates in #1. However, these numbers are skewed by 1) repeat applicants (people who didn't match one year are applying again and count again), and 2) the NRMP considers a "successful" match as one where you get the field you ranked #1. So if you rank Ortho #1 but then match to General Surgery, as far as this report is concerned that counts as "unmatched". Both of these skews will tend to make the "real first-time" match rate for SGU better than this.

How many are Ortho? 2 -- One in Canada, one in the US. How many are Neurosurgery? One. Bottom line -- it's unlikely to be you.

Now look carefully at the IM matches. You'll see that many of them are in smaller programs, or more community based programs. Those that look like they are at major medical centers can be deceiving -- as usually they are at their community affiliates. Icahn / Mt Sinai is a good example. They matched 2 into their main program. They matched lots more into their Elmhurst, Englewood, and Queens programs. Not to say that these programs are poor -- they may be totally fine. But they are not the main Mt Sinai program you think about.

So the SGU match list shows you the same thing we are saying. If you go to SGU, your first order of business is not to fail out of the first two years, something that probably happens to 10-20% of the class. Perhaps more. Then, you need to do well on the USMLE -- just passing will come back to haunt you, and you can only take it once (unless you fail) -- you're not allowed to take it again to try to do better. Once you do OK on Step 1 and make it to the clinical years, it is probably relatively smooth sailing -- do well on your clinicals, get good LOR's, and then do well on Step 2. Overall your chances of matching to something are probably about 80% -- but the 20% that don't match includes people who score badly on Step 1 and 2.

Last, you'll set your sights on IM, FM, Psych (although that appeared more competitive this year), all based at lesser known / more community based hospitals. That's not bad, but be certain that's what you want. Getting a top name residency program or one of the competitive fields involves some combination of: being a top dog at SGU, arranging some clinical rotations on your own at top programs, impressing them, having connections, and luck. This also assumes the residency situation (i.e. numbers of spots and applicants) doesn't shift in the next 4-5 years, which is anyone's guess.

So:

Will you be able to be a practicing doc if you go to SGU? Yes, if you don't fail out in the first two years, don't fall in love with a competitive field, and do well enough on your grades/steps.

Is this a smart idea? Depends upon your level of risk tolerance, and how certain you are of what you want.

We are worried because, so far, the only thing you have told us is that 1) you are good at selling things; 2) your MCAT was 497; and 3) you work hard. Neither 1 nor 2 predict success, and everyone going to SGU thinks they work hard. Will you succeed there? Maybe. Depends upon how much better you can really do than a 497 MCAT score on the USMLE, how hard you're really willing to work, and what your definition of "success" is.
 
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NotAProgDirector

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NotAProgDirector

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You mentioned this in your post.. And while I realize some reps are a burden, a lot of the time they are an extreme asset to the team. Try to do a total hip or a total knee without the product rep in the room and an inexperienced tech staff.. Know what I mean?

I'm not a surgeon, so I can't really comment. But rep's main job is to sell things. Not to help me. And as far as I am concerned, inexperienced staff should not be doing surgery with equipment they are unfamiliar with. That should be done in the sim center first, until everyone is comfortable with the equipment.

I truly appreciate your detailed feedback. Thank you so much for helping me out with your opinion. I just talked to 2 surgeons today. One told me that he went to ROSS & got into the orthopedic surgery program at OU.. The other told me that there are tons upon tons of residencies in the United States right now that are starting the year with unfilled spots.... I just don't understand the disconnect between opinions.

What is your take on this disconnect? The fact that so many people are polarized in different directions?

Let's be clear about my opinion. I am not saying that going to SGU or Ross is a bad idea. Clearly, a majority of people are successful in doing so. And, full disclosure, I've taken SGU and Ross students into my program occasionally. And, top dog SGU students do just as well, if not better, than the rest of my US grads. So going to SGU is not a completely stupid idea.

But it's important that you look at this with eyes open, and know how the game is played. Now you know that somewhere around 20-25% of students who start at SGU end up failing out or not matching. Are you willing to risk tuition for those odds? There's no right answer -- it totally depends upon you.

I've seen hospitals try to kick out the surgical reps. . . And have one of their own take care of the implants and billing etc.. It is just too much work and that person has ended up quitting or the hospital retracted their stance on a "no reps policy."

We have a no reps policy in the IM clinic. Reps are highly monitored if they are allowed at all. None in the OR, ever. And they are not involved in billing. They can do educational sessions although these are highly regulated and monitored.

I'd mention it as something I did, that propelled me to get out of the business--- because it is a backstabbing group of shady shady horrible people (for the most part).

This is exactly what you should say in your personal statement. Don't forget to say "present company excluded"

I truly appreciate your detailed feedback. Thank you so much for helping me out with your opinion. I just talked to 2 surgeons today. One told me that he went to ROSS & got into the orthopedic surgery program at OU.. The other told me that there are tons upon tons of residencies in the United States right now that are starting the year with unfilled spots.... I just don't understand the disconnect between opinions.

As mentioned, the number of Ortho matches from SGU this last year was 2, and 1 was in Canada. Things have changed. Believe it or not, ortho didn't use to be as competitive as it is now. The person telling you there are tons and tons of open spots is full of crap. Take a look at the NRMP data reports for this year. In SOAP (after the actual match completes), there were 975 PGY-1 openings left. 922 of them were filled in SOAP. 975 - 922 = 53 open positions. There are NOT tons and tons of open positions to start this July. That's pure crap.

This Caribbean School topic Has such ridiculous polarized responses as to whether or not it's a good idea, it has really made my head spin. I posted a list of 2016 residents from SGU, it's enormous... How do all those people get residencies, yet everyone on the forum says I'm about to throw my life away. Can anyone explain that to me? There is over 100 people on that list, whom graduated in 2016 and matched a residency. Can anyone explain this?

I am hoping these last two posts have clarified issues. Going to the carib is NOT throwing your life away. It's also not a golden ticket to being a physician. It's somewhere in between. Whether it's a good choice for you really depends upon you.
 
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Grenada Campus Enrollment: 796
% Accepted Who Matriculate: 47%

http://www.sgu.edu/about-sgu/medical-students-enrollment.html

they claim an enrollment of 5,000. that (if they were actually getting all those to graduation, which they aren't) would mean they should graduate 1250 every year. Do you see 1250 names on the match list this year? that's why we are warning you

I think that 5000 is the whole school.. for the medical school the numbers above are correct.. that 47% is quite alarming.

I want everyone to know i'm not arguing or fighting your opinions. I enjoy the open discussion of the facts, as I have 2 months to decide if this is going to be where I'll spend my next 2 years, then the final 2 in america.


aProgDirector.. Doc, you are AWESOME! Thank you so much for your input!!! Incredible. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. Shows me you care about people who are really passionate about medicine... and I am very certain. i'd love to do surgery, but 100+ hours per week just isn't part of what i want my lifestyle to be. Even though I would absolutely LOVE ortho- I can't tolerate those hours.. but if i can- look at how many people were accepted into general surgery.. quite a few. and yea I could definitely shoot for the hail mary of being one of the 2 that gets into orthopedic surgery haha. who knows.

I just looked at the USMLE type questions... I'm not sure which MCAT everyone here took-- but the USMLE is nothing like the MCAT I took.. Nothing at all, honestly. USMLE type questions look a lot more "fun" than the MCAT garbage of explaining mile long buoancy physics equations and answering garbage biochem questions that take a Ph.D in Biochem to even comprehend what on earth they mean.. and don't even get me started on the absolute pitiful nature of the psych program - giving us flawed studies and answer choices that are almost identical expect for a word or two in the definition.

I truly appreciate the honest concern here for my future. I wasn't expecting this.
 

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aProgDirector--- in certain surgeries, it is almost vital that the rep has to be in the room. I've seen surgeons cancel certain procedures because the rep was unavailable. unfortunately, many of the smaller hospitals i work with don't have access to any kind of sim center.. and if you do an in-service for them, it doesn't matter because no one pays attention and expects the rep to get them thru a complex knee revision or hip revision etc.
 

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So, lets say I go to SGU, I go wildly into debt, and I don't match--- you absolutely cannot practice medicine anywhere after that? .. you have to have a residency, no matter what?
 

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So, lets say I go to SGU, I go wildly into debt, and I don't match--- you absolutely cannot practice medicine anywhere after that? .. you have to have a residency, no matter what?
You cannot practice medicine in the US without a residency.
AMG's can be licensed after a year of residency, but IMG's are not allowed independent practice without at least two years of residency anywhere I know. That is why we refer to surgical prelim positions as dead ends for IMG's. They don't lead to a license if you can't get another year of training.
 
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btw, I am definitely willing to risk the 15-20% odds of failing out. I am willing to accept a residency in a rural small town that is not a johns hopkins or anything like that. i'm comfortable coming back to oklahoma (home state) and getting in touch with my connections to try to obtain a residency here. I definitely have faith in myself that i wont be that 15-20% failing group.

thank you for the on the residency spots stats I was told today by an ortho surgeon being full of crap.

You cannot practice medicine in the US without a residency.
AMG's can be licensed after a year of residency, but IMG's are not allowed independent practice without at least two years of residency anywhere I know.

gyngyn can you explain further on what you've said... I don't fully understand what this means....
 
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gyngyn

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gyngyn can you explain further on what you've said... I don't fully understand what this means....
A medical degree (from approved schools) gives you the opportunity to apply through the Match for residency.
If you fail to match on the first try, your odds of matching go down and dramatically diminish with each year that passes.
The standards for independent practice differ if you attended a school that is not accredited by the LCME or COCA.
 
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thank you gyngyn, can you give an example of this, "The standards for independent practice differ if you attended a school that is not accredited by the LCME or COCA." ? ...

Also, what if someone doesn't want to come back to america? is it possible to get a residency in trinidad and tabago? or over in the english speaking countries of the UK?
 

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thank you gyngyn, can you give an example of this, "The standards for independent practice differ if you attended a school that is not accredited by the LCME or COCA." ? ...

Also, what if someone doesn't want to come back to america? is it possible to get a residency in trinidad and tabago? or over in the english speaking countries of the UK?
If one of my students (or a student from Touro) completed the first year of residency (in any specialty) he could apply for a license to practice medicine. Even if he quit his program, he could still write prescriptions and see patients, albeit most likely at an urgent care or something similar. If you, having graduated from SGU, were lucky enough to match into the same residency as my student, you would need to complete at least two years to have the same option. Please note, I am not recommending anything less than the completion of a residency. You won't be able to get hospital privileges just about anywhere without completion of a residency. This is just an example of how IMG's are viewed differently by licensing bodies.

Many developed countries restrict residencies to foreign nationals much more than we do. You may or may not be eligible to work in the country of your training. Laws vary.
 
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Let me make it very simple for you.

If you do not complete a full residency here in the US, you will be unable to get most physician jobs. Getting a job without board certification (which requires completion of a residency) is very difficult and very limiting.

Without any residency training, your best option will be returning to your sales job. Your MD will not open many new doors.

Physician training is mostly country specific. Unless you are already a citizen of another country, you are very unlikely to be able to train there. And, in general, training in one country does not allow you to work in a different country (with the US and Canada being an exception).
 
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I'd also like to mention... My interview skills are absolutely top notch. I have worked with nothing but doctors in my 10+ years as a sales rep (Ortho & spine surgeons too.. The ones with the egos.. Haha, joke, only some of them have egos.. Most of them are incredible people). At first I was a nervous wreck around them, would start sweating, clam up, couldn't get out my sales pitch.. And as of now, I realize they are just regular people with a lot on their mind. My job is commission only, so if I don't sell- I don't eat. And I've done incredible for this long..

That being said, I'm completely fine going to thru a residency program that is not desirable (one that isn't in downtown Manhattan or south beach miami) . I'm okay being in a residency program in the middle of nowhere OKlahoma. I'd be just fine with that because I'd finally be fulfilled in life. The money will come when fulfillment is achieved.

Working in sales.. Surgical implant sales (total knees, trauma plates and screws, total hips, spinal fusion hardware etc.). I am not trying to brag at all, but I know that my interview skills may be equivalent to the best in the country. In the field I've worked, you have to be the absolute sharpest minded person you can be. I've talked my way into many many things I am not qualified for, I.e., Medical school acceptance.

Sb247, thank you for your support, everyone thank you for supporting me and giving me real honest advice. At my age now (30) my ego is basically gone.. I understand that I'm not fulfilled at what I am doing and I just want to help, I know that in order for me to be fulfilled in life- I need to be a healer. Family medicine was once regarded as the most noble profession. Docs making house calls, etc. Now it's something you do if you can't do anything else. I see that as ridiculous & would be absolutely thrilled with a spot in family medicine or psychiatry.
Ill address the bolded:

1.Great. However, itll be hard to talk your way into having your application reviewed if its being disregarded by program directors because of the medical school you went to. Again, you dont want the decision made for you of what and where you go to. Life is too short and the process long and arduous to not have a say in it.

2. Again great for you. However, things change over the years and you don't want to be left wondering how you cant go to xzy for abc. Put yourself in the position to be able to choose rural Oklahoma or w/e over something else. You want to put yourself in a position to get the residency program that will help train you and give you the experience to be the best doc you want to be. No all family medicine and psychiatry programs are built the same way.

3. I'm sure you're a great talker and negotiator. However, the business model of SGU's medical school acceptance isn't on par to some of the deals you have probably scored or delivered.

4. Ego is what helps to drive you. dont lose it. Ego is what lets you push to try to be better than you thought you could ever be. Ego keeps your head up after a beat down of a day in medicine.

5. Family Medicine is fantastic. The full scope family medicine docs who deliver, do inpatient and outpatient work, and run procedure clinics are incredible. But there are some issues with this. A.) Not every program will train you to be able to be Doctor do-it all. B.)You can't be doctor do it all everywhere. C) The 90's was the train for family medicine and the appeal of great aspirations. however, changes in billing, insurance and evolution of specialties and organizational practices turned a lot of family medicine jobs into a distortion of what it used to be. Its no longer the image you or many other thought it was.

I'm not trying to be hard on you but medicine is not the career you should take short cuts with if you can avoid it. Decisions made entering it end up affecting outcomes way in the future and not many people go in thinking that.
 
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Gyngyn, arsene & aProgDirector... This feedback is the most valuable
Thing I've heard. I can't tell how much I appreciate your input and advice.

THANK YOU... You guys may have saved me
From an incredible irreversible costly
Mistake.

1 million thank you's .

Life is too short to not have a say in it. That is absolutely correct.

I 100% know I can increase this MCAT over the year. And thank you for mentioning I have a unique resume. I appreciate that feedback as well.

Should I attempt to apply this year ? There is definitely time to
Hit the deadlines

I'd Take the MCAT again, honestly- with minimal studying because I was expecting to goto st George's for the past 3 months. They sold it to me good.

I may not get a better score & I know some schools look at all MCAT scores. Does it look bad to have taken it a lot before getting that good score? Does it look bad to apply to Medical schools multiple years in a row ? Or does it look like I have persistence?

You guys save lives. You are doctors. I want you to know that you have given me the information to save my own life and ... I thank you.

Random strangers I met on the internet have truly saved my life- my parents would say you've been sent as god's messengers to warn me.

A wise man once said, "information is the currency of the future." -Milton Erickson, MD (godfather of hypnosis).

Information can also save life. Like my life has been saved by this information. I am not ruling out ST Georges. But knowing the risks has enlightened me. Thank you thank you thank you.

You are truly amazing people.
 
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