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to go offshore or not?

Here is my situation:

I graduated UF 1997 with a 3.0 overall gpa and a 2.4 scigpa. Went to chiropractic school in Los Angeles and got a 2.9. Ive had a few blemishes on my undergrad record: D+ physics and an F in organic one, with a few W's on the transcript. In chiro school got 2 F's and 3 D's, though the D's are passing.

I left chiropractic school because of ideological problems i was having. Since the day i got there, i was having second thoughts about being there and what i have found is that when my heart is not totally into something i mess up. That is why i got those bad grades in chiro school and in college.

Im sure there are people out there that think im not smart enough to become a doctor, but i know that this is not true. I did have occasional flashes of brilliance in college, but i did not take my studies seriously at the time. I realize that when i put my mind to something that i do achieve my goals. I have made some terrible mistakes in the past, I have accepted this, and am willing to move forward.

I had some maturity issues in the past, but now realize that everything that i have ever done does affect my future. I want to go to medical school to achieve a lifelong dream and wanted to know of advice or success stories of persons who have gone from being down in the dumps to becoming a medical student.

I feel that i have 2 options: go to the carribean or take post-bacc and do extremely well on the MCAT. I feel that the latter is a gamble because i know of friends with better numbers than i who had trouble getting into medical school--it took some of them 2x going through AMCAS.

I am getting married in December of this year and that is another obstacle i am running into. I would rather not leave my wife behind, but am afraid of the carribean being my last chance of achieving my goals.

Constructive and helpful advice is much appreciated.



Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 15, 1999
Little Canada, MN
    Take the MCAT and see how you do first before deciding.

    I would have a hard time telling you not to go offsore. It' all subjective, but if you do go caribbean, do it NOW, there are future cutbacks in that area, Even though 25% of residents are FMG's, that won't be the case in 5 years.

    Good luck

    Stephen Ewen

    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    15+ Year Member
    Feb 5, 2000
    Somewhere in Micronesia
      Originally posted by georgia:

      I would rather not leave my wife behind, but am afraid of the carribean being my last chance of achieving my goals.
      A supportive wife can be a wonderful strength amidst less than ideal circumstances, and any stress that would come from such circumstances would very likely be less than the stress that would come through a seperation while you are in school.

      About the Ads
      Take the MCAT and see how you do. Study hard for it though! Then apply in the U.S., making sure to apply at all of the D.O. schools also. You will definately have some experience in the manipulative aspect involved in osteopathic medicine with your chiropractic experience. The techniques and philosophy in osteopathic medicine are differnt though, we would have to "un-train" you. But you would be a real doctor when you are done. It is much easier to get in an M.D. residency as a D.O. than a foreign M.D. from want I've heard. For more information and stats on osteopathic medicine, visit some of the web sites.


      SDN Super Moderator
      Moderator Emeritus
      15+ Year Member
      Jun 7, 2001
        Actually, the whole cut back thing is not what it was a couple of years ago. Back in '96 there was scare, congress et all trying to cut back residency spots from 125% of US grads down to 110% (ie 10% more spots than us grads). It didnt work> there is cut back but not near so far, and now its reexapanding. NY State led in the cut back-the gov;t gave them incentives to cut back but half who did decided it wasnt worth their while. See April 1999 NY Time for article on this.

        Its linked to my site http://travel.to/sgusom


        Senior Member
        10+ Year Member
        Mar 3, 1999
        Brooklyn, NY
          It doesn't appear to me that you have a realistic chance of getting into a US medical school even with fantastic MCAT scores.

          The grades you have put you in the "at risk of academic difficulty" category. Alone, this can be overcome. However, you have a history of academic difficulty at another professional school to boot. That is going to raise all kinds of red flags.

          To compound things, they will immediately recognize a pattern of not finishing what you start. You said you have a few withdrawls in undergrad (more than three would stand out) AND you left a professional school without completing it. This is another VERY bad sign to give an admissions committee, and is likely to be more compelling than the grades.

          Looking at your application they will see and underqualified applicant with a history of quitting. I am not saying that this is what you are. I am saying that on paper that is what they will see.

          Taking a post-bacc program probably won't do much for you because it will not raise your GPA enough to put you into the category of average, and it will likely be seen as too short to say much about your tenacity.

          Overcoming these problems is going to take years. This is a very time consuming risk to take. I don't know what time frame you are looking to attend school in, but you definately have 2-4 years of preparation ahead of you if you want to go US Medical Schools. Worst case senerio has you spending four years repairing your application and another year or two on fruitless applications (adding insult to injury).

          If you choose carribean, you have a good chance of starting in 2001. While there will be some adjustments that you and your family will have to make, your chances of becoming a physician are a lot greater using this route (assuming that you have truly exorcised your past demons).

          I realize that I may not have added anything that you didn't already know. I also realize that this post ma be a little discouraging. I apologize if this is the case.


          P.S. Ross (a carribean medical school) has plans of opening a campus in Wyoming. I would look into that as an alternative that may ease your distance concerns.


          Junior Member
          15+ Year Member
          May 25, 2000
            Though the particulars are different, your current situation sounds like mine...about 20 years ago. I have wanted to be a Doctor since high school, but suffered some horrendous academic setbacks in college due to emotional problems, my own immaturity and a lack of proper guidance. As a result, I felt I wasn't smart enough or able to work hard enough to become a Doctor.
            In the ensuing years I tried to put the dream out of my head, but it kept coming back. I finally decided to do something about it in 1995 when I began researching in earnest the options open to me. I decided then that the Caribbean route was best for me.
            Since then, I've gone back to school to complete my BS. I challenged myself with a rigorous academic schedule just to prove to myself that I am smart enough and can work hard enough to complete a medical curriculum. It has taken me so long because of family and work obligations, but believe me that it feels sweet to be on the verge of realizing a dream.
            I guess what I am giving you is a little "pep talk", but it comes from my own years of researching the subject and many, many nights of searching my soul. If you want to do it, and are willing to work hard, you can become a Doctor. I would suggest you continue to do your own research on the subject (as your post indicates you are currently doing) and come up with a realistic plan that fits your needs. Once you make your well-researched plan, just GO AND DO IT! Don't waste any more time second guessing yourself or making excuses for your past failure. Don't let others dissuade you from reaching for your goals. Each of us takes a different path. Go take yours.
            Best of Luck to You!

            (and thanks for listening)

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            Registered User
            15+ Year Member
            Apr 30, 2002
            1. Attending Physician
              Great post... shows how the same stuff gets recycled over and over and over again.

              It's funny how we have to relearn each time a new flock of newbies comes through. Thank goodness that medicine doesn't suffer such setbacks. :D
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