Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (UAG)

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by buglady, Aug 31, 2001.

  1. buglady

    buglady We need more cowbell

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    Hey everyone, I was just wondering if there was anyone out there who is attending or knows someone who is attending the medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico. If so, what kind of credentials (MCAT, GPA, etc.) does one need to be considered competitive? It sounds like an excellent opportunity to become bilingual...check out their webiste at www.uag.edu!
     
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  3. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    From what I've been told, due to more appealing opportunities in the caribbean, the UAG has lost its flavor with most US students. Some of the more reputable caribbean schools offer most, if not all, of the clinical rotations in the US in teaching hospitals. The students at UAG don't get to do rotations in the US. There are required mexican internships that all students must undertake BEFORE becoming eligible for the 5th pathway if they don't get it the first go-round. This 5th pathway thing has suffered. There used to be a bunch of US medical schools/hospitals that took 5th pathways from UAG, but now only NYMC holds the ONLY 5th pathway for US students. THere aren't enough spots for everyone, so if you didn't get a 5th pathway spot, you're stuck in mexico doing the internship and alot of other community work until they grant you your MD. You don't automatically get your degree when you graduate. Check into this. The 5th pathway isn't what it used to be. Might I direct you to the "Federation of Foreign medical schools" website? Just type that into Google and poof there you go! You'll get an interesting perspective of how students, both current and ex-, feel about the school. Now, since the school is not attracting many US students, admissions is relatively easy. I've been told that if you're competitive for Ross and AUC, you'll be competitive for the UAG (which is around a 2.5 gpa or higher). Also, if you plan on coming back to the US in the 5th pathway, make sure you have you MCATs on file. You are not eligible for the 5th pathway without them. Trust me. Alot of people are upset with the school because the front office tends to lose things and when they lose things it costs you money and sets you back. This is what I heard, so take it for what it's worth. I recommend that you talk to graduates of UAG. I know quite abit about the school because my doctor went there and he told me to investigate it. And, from what I've seen, many US students aren't happy and often end up transferring to the caribbean. But, who am I, right? I say check out the website I referred you to and talk to people who've been there! That's the best thing you can do. I wish you luck. If you have any questions I'll try my best to help.
     
  4. dwstranger

    dwstranger Senior Member

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    I'm a 5th semester (3rd yr) student at UAG. All you have to do to get into UAG is meet the admission requirements (i.e., pre-reqs), set up the interview and pay your $2000 inscription fee. Then you're in. You'll have to *take* the MCAT eventually (but not necessarily before you go -- you have to take it to be eligible for 5th Pathway), but it's easier in the long run to take it before you go. You don't have to achieve a certain score for admission. I know people here who have really low GPAs, so don't concern yourself with that, either. The reason we come here is because our numbers were too low to get into school in the US. One of the reasons I chose Mexico over the Carib was exactly what you mentioned -- being bilingual when I leave. I feel that I am being prepared well enough academically (although you have to do A LOT of work to be able to achieve this), in addition to becoming more fluent. I knew a little Spanish before I came, but now am doing a lot better. With the rest of this year, I hope to be moving right along (talking with the best of 'em).

    Another thing you have to remember is that a lot of people who come here are here by default -- because they couldn't get into a US school, as I said before. Also, it's a huge difference (culturally, etc.) between the US and Mexico -- that sounds simple enough, but many people expect that it'll be just like home except with more Mexican food... Since they don't embrace (or at least accept) the differences, they find it difficult to get along. And sometimes "getting along" also means going with the flow and biting your tongue about something when you really want to protest it. Consequently, many people hate it here.

    Verborrea -- en espa?ol -- means running off at the mouth... which I have become guilty of in this message. So if you have any specific questions, send me a private message and I'll respond with a more detailed note.
     
  5. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    I think it's great that dwstranger is a member of SDN and is willing to offer advice about UAG. I'm always more than willing to learn new things and I think having someone from the UAG around will benefit the network. I think it's good to see the diversity in here. I get tired of people talking about Hopkins or Harvard. I like to learn about foreign medical schools and would love to listen to any further advice you might have, dwstranger. I once considered the UAG, but I think the inscription fee is a complete rip-off. Just hearing that the school wants 2 grand just for an interview sounds fishy, you know? Ultimately, though, you'll more than get accepted. If for some freakish reason you don't, you're SUPPOSED to get your 2k back, but it won't be on rush delivery that's for sure. I'm fascinated by the UAG despite all of the negative things I've heard about it. There are quite a few docs in my area that graduated from there. So, naturally, I was inclined to investigate the school.
     
  6. buglady

    buglady We need more cowbell

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    Thanks, guys, for the input. I took my MCAT this past April. To make a very long story short, I'll be re-taking them in April 2002, or at least I hope to. I have just been looking at my options. I'm definitely competitive for US schools, but lately I haven't been too convinced I want to go to med school in the US. Call it my extreme sense of curiosity and adventure surfacing, but all of a sudden I am looking at studying in a foreign country. Hopefully this forum will prove to be very helpful...it seems to be already!
     
  7. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    Woah! Wait a minute! If you have the opportunity to go to med school in the US, take it!!! DO NOT risk going to a foreign school for the adventure. That's bonehead move number 1. You can visit Mexico anytime you want when you're a doctor and can afford to go on vacation. I forgot to mention that you MUST investigate pass rates for the USMLE and how many students ACTUALLY MAKE IT TO SIT FOR THE EXAM. This is important in your decision wherever you decide to go. If you are set on going to Guadalajara, don't sweat retaking the MCAT, but since you're still in the running for US schools, take your best shot at it. I'd also like to recommend St. George's in Grenada. Have you heard of this school? It's really a very respected off shore school with amenities, facilities, and a reputation similar to US medical schools. 93% of first time USMLE takers pass and 99.9% of US citizens that graduate and pass the "tests" get a residency. They also have a very solid list of residency placements might I add. But to show I don't work for them, I also recommend RCSI and Flinders. Both schools are top-notch and offer outstanding prospects when coming back for residency time. Then again, if you have a shot with US schools, focus on getting into them until you've exhausted ALL POSSIBLE OPTIONS in the US.
     
  8. dwstranger

    dwstranger Senior Member

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    I agree with Atlas -- if you have the chance to go to a US school, jump at it! Although I am happy with my choice to come here after not getting into a US school, if I'd had the option, *you know* that I would have stayed in the States. Besides the aggravation of the actual (physical) move to another country with all the rules and regulations you have to follow to get there and stay there, and all the hassle you encounter from various other sources, you have to jump through a lot of hoops to be able to practice as a physician in the States as a grad of a foreign school (even as an American). Not to mention that I had to pay $615 to take the USMLE Step 1, where students in US schools (even as non-Americans) pay $385.

    I say again, if there's a chance for you to get into school in the States, take it.
     
  9. buglady

    buglady We need more cowbell

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    Thanks for the concern, but don't worry everyone! I was thinking more along the lines of FLinders as one of my international choices.

    Going back to what I said earlier, I am competitive, as far as being a well rounded person. However, the situation of my mcat scores caused a bit of concern. If I don't get my mcat physical science score raised, I may have to look at other options! I really do hate relying on the success of a standardized test to determine my future. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
     
  10. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    It's good to keep your options open. Flinders (from what I've been told) is a grea international school. They are pretty selective and have only a handful of spots available to international applicants. Back in the 70's and 80's the UAG was the place to be. It was the main international school for US students seeking a medical education. It has grown significantly harder to come back to the US (as an IMG altogether) as a physician like dw said. I recommend to you what my doctor told me..."right now is time to study for MCAT. That is #1 priority." Make the MCAT your life until you get the score you want. You CAN do it. If I can teach japanese to a monkey, you can do well on the MCAT!!! :) Ok...maybe I can't teach the monkey japanese, but you can...anyone can do well on the test if they practice enough. You know the old addage...practice makes perfect!
     
  11. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Call it bullheaded, but I do NOT agree with jumping at the chance to go to a US school just because it's US or because the education here is supposed to be the best.

    I agree with buglady. I don't want to go to an American school because it's time I experienced an other scene, and not in a tourist capacity. I want to become fully integrated into another culture...frankly, I'm getting really tired of being in the US. And as unpatriotic as it sounds, it's because while the opportunities in the US are tremendous, it's rather limiting as well. The US is not the end-all, and I think it results in narrow-minded people.

    Having spent last year abroad, I've come to really appreciate things non-US, so am considering education primarily in Australia. Yes, as an IMG maybe I'll have less of a shot in competitive residencies and things, but I don't think it's going to be too much of a problem. Everyone I've talked to (countless advisors, SDN members, etc.) have only good things to say about the australian schools. The situation against IMGs is not as dire as you make it sound (well, depending on where you go). I would do anything to study abroad again, live life as a 20-something student in a completely different environment. I not only think it'll enhance my personaly life, but my doctoral skills as well.

    Having said all this, I know nothing about the UAG :D
     
  12. Sita

    Sita Senior Member

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    leorl...what age were you when you first went abroad on your own to study? I think you're really brave!! :D
     
  13. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    Everyone has their own reasons for choosing the paths they take. You'll see that the overall consensus is that if you're a US citizen, it's best to go to a US school for a variety of obvious reasons. Those who disagree have their own agendas. I don't know of anyone who would turn down a US med school seat for a seat at the UAG. You may be pro-international and that's fine. It should be known that staying in the US as much as possible is best.
     
  14. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    Also, of all the IMGs (US and native) that I've met and discussed the pre-med stuff with, all of them say to go US. There must be a reason why they tell me this. These are graduates from St. George's, AUC, UAG, Ross, and India. I wouldn't negate the overwhelming power of their words. But, those of you wishing to study abroad for just those reasons, more power to you. I'll gladly take your seat in a US med school! :)
     
  15. buglady

    buglady We need more cowbell

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    Going back to what Atlas said about the MCAT....The last thing I want to do is make the MCAT my life, again. I think that's the reason why I kind of freaked out during my physical science section (that and the annoying lecture and scraping of chalkboards that was taking place in the thin-walled classroom adjacent to ours!). But, yes, I agree, practice makes perfect, and I'm no stranger to that...I'm blessed with being an extremely stubborn person. However, i've never been one to be so narrow-minded on one thing, such as the mcat. During college, i studied, i competed in collegiate athletics, i worked a little and even managed to have a bit of social life. Perhaps this is my problem, though. I need to be narrow-minded. What about it? Do you guys think one has to be "narrow-minded" in order to get into med school (via your mcat scores?)?

    Regardless, I need to give the mcat another shot. And not exclude American Schools (or international ones) just because I'm somewhat scared and bitter about my chances of getting in. It's amazing how unsure one can suddenly be over a few questions of entropy and refraction....
     
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  17. i study abroad because i have too...but it would be a tough decision if a US school wanted me now!

    for many reasons, most people say go to the US. but these are simply reasons of convenience...it is much easier to go to school in the US (not academically, but practically).

    but, i like the idea of getting two educations for the price of half a US medical education. i learn all about a new culture, a new language, etc...not to mention that i learn a type of medicine that is much less dependant on technology. i do get the exposure to all the fantastic technology, but every knee injury does not get an MRI in Prague! i like the faith and dependance on the skill of the doctor.

    basically, if you are going to do primary care (FP, IM, Peds) being an IMG from a good school won't hurt you too bad if you do well on the USMLE. and good positions are possible. but if you have your heart set on Ortho or ENT, it is very difficult,if not impossible. good luck, and do not stress if you do go abroad. i have a feeling you will love it!
     
  18. Stephen Ewen

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    Excellent discussion here, folks.

    Here is a general idea to consider toward widening all possible options for medical school:

    Consider language school full-time for a year while in immerssion, AND THEN going to any of the med schools for the nationals.
     

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