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Transferring to a US School

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Clarus

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Is it possible to transfer to a US school from the Caribbean? I know this is rare but I'm sure it's possible and been done before? Has anyone done this?
 
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gyngyn

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You would have to look through the MSAR to find the odd school that considers transfers at all.
It can be found under the "Application Deadlines and Requirements" tab.
In CA, for example only UCI leaves the door open for consideration of transfers. Once you have identified potential schools you would need to contact them individually to ask specifically about Caribbean transfers.
As good clinical sites become ever more precious, my impression is that it is very, very uncommon.
Do not go to a Caribbean school with the expectation that a transfer is possible.
 
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bedevilled ben

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Is it possible to transfer to a US school from the Caribbean? I know this is rare but I'm sure it's possible and been done before? Has anyone done this?

Really doesn't happen anymore, unless you or your family knows somebody in school administration. Used to be a lot more common, Drexel used to be the go-to school for transferring into a US program, but I haven't heard of anybody able to do it successfully in the last 4-5 years.
 
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fssca20

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I personally know 2 people who have done it. One from SGU and another from AUC. In both cases they had already taken step 1 and were almost done with M3. Both had to go back and start as an M2. (Essentially lost, and paid, for 2 extra years of med school). Both were good, though not particularly amazing students. It can be done, but it's a process and probably not really worth it unless you're aiming for a competitive specialty.
 
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ScubaV

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This was ~5 years ago, but I personally knew a guy who transferred from AUC to NEOUCOM/NEOMED between 2nd and 3rd year. He had 250-260 something on Step 1 and very high basic science grades.
 
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npappasan

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One of my undergrad classmates transferred from AUC to Univ of Miami as a 3rd year. He went on to do ophtho residency, which is fairly competitive.
 
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Dr.Jekyll75

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Talk about getting struck by lightning luck. I feel like if you're going to the Caribbean's only to try and do this , it's probably not gonna happen.
Swallow your pride, re-apply to both MD and DO

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jayw288

I asked this same question a few months ago. As said above, it's very rare. I'm an SGU student and talked a few schools in the US (Drexel, Tulane, Rutgers) who I was told had done it in the past and all of them said they wouldn't accept transfers. As Dr.Jekyll75 says, re-apply. As a current SGU student, I would advise against the Caribbean route. I really regret it.
 
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bedevilled ben

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I really regret it.

It gets better. Stay focused, work hard, have backup plans. Talk to somebody if you need to. I wish I had.

"If you're going through hell, keep going."
 
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the argus

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I asked this same question a few months ago. As said above, it's very rare. I'm an SGU student and talked a few schools in the US (Drexel, Tulane, Rutgers) who I was told had done it in the past and all of them said they wouldn't accept transfers. As Dr.Jekyll75 says, re-apply. As a current SGU student, I would advise against the Caribbean route. I really regret it.
It looks like you are a MS1 in your 2nd semester. Just wondering what about SGU you find so regrettable?
 
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doctorbunny

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One of my undergrad classmates transferred from AUC to Univ of Miami as a 3rd year. He went on to do ophtho residency, which is fairly competitive.

I know an AUC 3rd year who transferred into an MD school in Virginia just last year for the 2018 graduating class.
He is the exception though- outstanding grades, scores, and clinical honors. You cannot go Carib assuming you will be the one guy who gets this chance.


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Dr.Jekyll75

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I know an AUC 3rd year who transferred into an MD school in Virginia just last year for the 2018 graduating class.
He is the exception though- outstanding grades, scores, and clinical honors. You cannot go Carib assuming you will be the one guy who gets this chance.


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Thank you for pointing that out. People have this they are the exception that's not always true 90% a time. Make the best of your situation by doing exceptionally well on your boards and cozying up to PD's


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ScubaV

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Thank you for pointing that out. People have this they are the exception that's not always true 90% a time. Make the best of your situation by doing exceptionally well on your boards and cozying up to PD's


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Yeah, a lot of people that post on this subforum looking for advice are at least somewhat delusional about their chances of success (meaning getting all the way through residency). Usually they are people who "maxed out" their study capabilities in college and hit a wall as reflected in their GPA and MCAT. They think hard work and determination will allow them to succeed in medical school when in reality they can't plausibly work any harder or smarter than they already are.

As a very rough estimate, I would guess that 25% of Caribbean students should not have been accepted to any school and will invariably fail out, 25% should have been accepted to a US school but weren't for whatever reason and will invariably have success, and the middle 50% are borderline cases that are getting a chance to prove themselves with a variable chance of success.

Going Caribbean is a big risk, especially considering the cost of failure (huge non-dischargeable loans) and the people that post here looking for help are probably not in that top 25%. I personally would not recommend going to the Caribbean unless a person had exhausted all options and did not have a history of academic struggles in undergrad. On the other hand, I would not listen to various individuals here who have demonstrated significant negative bias. Hundreds of Caribbean students finish residency every year and hundreds also fail out every year. It's a decision that depends on honest self-assessment and level of risk tolerance. The former is very difficult to do.
 
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Bancrofti

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As a very rough estimate, I would guess that 25% of Caribbean students should not have been accepted to any school and will invariably fail out, 25% should have been accepted to a US school but weren't for whatever reason and will invariably have success, and the middle 50% are borderline cases that are getting a chance to prove themselves with a variable chance of success.

I've been saying this to others when the topic of Carib student competency comes up for a while now. Definitely agree with your post!
 
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Skip Intro

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Is it possible to transfer to a US school from the Caribbean? I know this is rare but I'm sure it's possible and been done before? Has anyone done this?

Mostly anecdotal. There are always a few that successfully did this... in the past. Similarly, a guy in my class transferred to University of Colorado and had to repeat MS-2, despite having already taken Step 1 and done quite well. He wanted Orthopedic Surgery, but I don't know if he ever got it.

Point is, it's anecdotal. That doesn't mean it's going to happen for you. And, the door is probably mostly shut at this point.

So, don't start at a Caribbean school with this in your head as a viable plan. If you start Caribbean, you're probably going to end Caribbean... if you actually finish.

-Skip
 
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learner01

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I asked this same question a few months ago. As said above, it's very rare. I'm an SGU student and talked a few schools in the US (Drexel, Tulane, Rutgers) who I was told had done it in the past and all of them said they wouldn't accept transfers. As Dr.Jekyll75 says, re-apply. As a current SGU student, I would advise against the Caribbean route. I really regret it.


Can you elaborate further why you advice against Caribbean? thanks
 

soop

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Here's the story that OP wants to hear.

I am a non-trad with a ****ty pre-med school GPA of 2.8. Took my post-bac science pre-reqs and got a 4.0 with a 34 on the MCAT but it wasn't enough. Ended up at SGU with the goal of transferring out after MS-2.

I busted my ass during MS-1/2 and transferred out from SGU after MS-2 in the summer of 2016 to a US MD school. I didn't have to repeat a year. My school accepted me before my Step 1 scores were released on the condition of a 230+ Step 1, I ended up in the 260-270 range. I have a couple of other transfer students in my class as well. A friend of mine transferred out of SGU to Drexel after MS-1 (2015), though I think she knew someone at the school. Transferring back to the US is not as impossible as people say. Policies change yearly. Keep your ears to the ground, make phone calls to schools and personally ask admissions if they accept transfers.

On SGU: I don't regret going to SGU one bit. I met a lot of smart, great people down in Grenada who I still stay in touch with on a regular basis. The material they teach is very relevant to both clinical medicine as well as Step 1. I feel better prepared than my peers at my current US school. You have to be motivated and be willing to teach yourself regardless of whether you end up in an US or Caribbean school. One major difference between SGU and an US medical school is that there is a lot less hand-holding at SGU. You're learning the same material with less support. If you fall behind, you'll have to catch up by yourself. Faculty will not be sympathetic to your plight. My time at SGU also made me realize how blessed I am to have the opportunity to study medicine and practice back in the US. I am where I am today because I took my chance with SGU and made the most of it.

In addition, ScubaV is right on point. Out of the 800 or so students who matriculated in my class, roughly 600 managed to finish MS-2 and take the Step 1. Being honest with your abilities is important.

Edit: Added my opinion of SGU
 
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learner01

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Here's the story that OP wants to hear.

I am a non-trad with a ****ty pre-med school GPA of 2.8. Took my post-bac science pre-reqs and got a 4.0 with a 34 on the MCAT but it wasn't enough. Ended up at SGU with the goal of transferring out after MS-2.

I busted my ass during MS-1/2 and transferred out from SGU after MS-2 in the summer of 2016 to a US MD school. I didn't have to repeat a year. My school accepted me before my Step 1 scores were released on the condition of a 230+ Step 1, I ended up in the 260-270 range. I have a couple of other transfer students in my class as well. A friend of mine transferred out of SGU to Drexel after MS-1 (2015), though I think she knew someone at the school. Transferring back to the US is not as impossible as people say. Policies change yearly. Keep your ears to the ground, make phone calls to schools and personally ask admissions if they accept transfers.

On SGU: I don't regret going to SGU one bit. I met a lot of smart, great people down in Grenada who I still stay in touch with on a regular basis. The material they teach is very relevant to both clinical medicine as well as Step 1. I feel better prepared than my peers at my current US school. You have to be motivated and be willing to teach yourself regardless of whether you end up in an US or Caribbean school. One major difference between SGU and an US medical school is that there is a lot less hand-holding at SGU. You're learning the same material with less support. If you fall behind, you'll have to catch up by yourself. Faculty will not be sympathetic to your plight. My time at SGU also made me realize how blessed I am to have the opportunity to study medicine and practice back in the US. I am where I am today because I took my chance with SGU and made the most of it.

In addition, ScubaV is right on point. Out of the 800 or so students who matriculated in my class, roughly 600 managed to finish MS-2 and take the Step 1. Being honest with your abilities is important.

Edit: Added my opinion of SGU



Thank you, this truly cleared many things... can you advice privately where you ended up transferring? was that transfer easy ? did you have to do anything special ?

Thanks
 

soop

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Thank you, this truly cleared many things... can you advice privately where you ended up transferring? was that transfer easy ? did you have to do anything special ?

Thanks
I'd rather not say where I transferred to because it's too easy to find out who I am after the fact and I'd rather stay anonymous for now. Transfer application and associated paperwork took a lot of time just like any other well-crafted medical school application. It required a leap of faith as my acceptance was contingent upon my Step 1 score. I didn't have to jump through rings of fire, dance in front of the admissions committee, or offer a blood sacrifice. So I guess I didn't have to do anything "special". I didn't know anyone at the school prior to my acceptance.
 
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Clarus

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I'd rather not say where I transferred to because it's too easy to find out who I am after the fact and I'd rather stay anonymous for now. Transfer application and associated paperwork took a lot of time just like any other well-crafted medical school application. It required a leap of faith as my acceptance was contingent upon my Step 1 score. I didn't have to jump through rings of fire, dance in front of the admissions committee, or offer a blood sacrifice. So I guess I didn't have to do anything "special". I didn't know anyone at the school prior to my acceptance.

Thanks for sharing your story! How does one go about transferring? Is it a similar process to applying to a school via AMCAS?
 

soop

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Thanks for sharing your story! How does one go about transferring? Is it a similar process to applying to a school via AMCAS?

They will have a transfer application you need to complete to begin the process. Most schools require your Step 1 score before you would graduate from MS-2 if you matriculated in the fall class. For example, I believe Drexel required your score by April 30th. This is one of the reasons why people tend to lose a year due to the waiting. Each school requires your score by a different date so call around and ask.
 
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npappasan

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I'd rather not say where I transferred to because it's too easy to find out who I am after the fact and I'd rather stay anonymous for now. Transfer application and associated paperwork took a lot of time just like any other well-crafted medical school application. It required a leap of faith as my acceptance was contingent upon my Step 1 score. I didn't have to jump through rings of fire, dance in front of the admissions committee, or offer a blood sacrifice. So I guess I didn't have to do anything "special". I didn't know anyone at the school prior to my acceptance.
Oh, we will find you....
 

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... don't start at a Caribbean school with this in your head as a viable plan. If you start Caribbean, you're probably going to end Caribbean... if you actually finish.

Just to reiterate.

-SI
 
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