ANNE82

anne82
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Hey guys, just looking for a little advice, since everyone on here seems to have alot of info about US vs.Caribbean med schools. Ok, here’s my situation. I’m about to graduate and have been accepted into grad school (here in Texas where I’m from) & would start in August- both science degrees. I have also recently submitted an application to SGU. Any advice on if I should get my masters here and then apply to US med schools in about 2 yrs after I finish the master’s program, or, assuming I get accepted to SGU, forget about the masters and go straight to SGU?
 

Skip Intro

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Assuming you are about 23-years-old (right?) and you either did not apply to U.S. medical school this year because you knew you were unlikely to get a spot, or you did apply and know you will not get a spot...

This is what you need to ask yourself at this point: Can you burn-up two years of your life for a degree you aren't likely to use and/or are only getting to try and improve your chances of getting into a U.S. med school? Can you afford it both in time and money?

These are important questions because it would mean, at best, you are 25 starting medical school. You are then 29 when you graduate. Tack on a 3-year residency program (at a minimum), and now you are 32 when you're finally out practicing on your own as an attending.

Also...

Do you want to get married? Do you want to have a family? How much of a life outside of medicine do you want potentially over the next 7-10 years? Do you already have an idea about what type of doctor you want to be (e.g., a family practice doc vs. a super-sub-specialist, etc.)? Why do you really want to become a doctor in the first place? Is it really going to be worth a lot of extra hardships (i.e., either a 2 year Master's vs. going Caribbean) to get this degree?

That's the way you need to think about this. These are the rhetorical questions you have to answer in your own mind. A lot of prospective students do not before making the difficult decision to go to the Caribbean to get their degree.

If the answer to the predominate question is "yes, I want to go gung-ho to get a spot in a U.S. allo school", then get the Masters, make some connections and get some good recommendations, re-take the MCATs (if necessary), and re-apply to U.S. allo school. If the answer is "no, I want to finish my medical degree as soon as possible and will be content with a residency in a not-as-competitive specialty", then SGU would likely be the logical next step.

Either way, if you are not doing your masters at a U.S. medical school where you can make connections, then I'd strongly re-evaluate what you hope to gain from it. Not saying it would be valueless, but you need to be prepared to be in the same shoes in two years that you are now... except you might be asking yourself, "why did I waste the last two years of my life?" However, if you can deal with the potential answer to that question (given the considerations above), then it certainly won't hurt you to get the masters. Otherwise, none of us can really definitively answer these questions for you - it's your life, after all. :)

Good luck.

-Skip
 

dbiddy808

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I am currently a PGY-3 in IM. In the hospital I ran into my former chemistry lab partner who happens to be a nurse (she was a nurse when she was my chemistry partner).

After graduating I went to Saba (I never applied to US med schools because I knew I wouldn't get in and didn't want to take the MCAT). She went on to do a masters in public health because she didn't get in to med school. She went on to get a masters in public health and applied to US med schools a total of 3 times and was never accepted. She eventually went to Ross. Now she is waiting to see what happens in the match.

This just illistrates a point that skip mentioned earlier in this thread. You have to think about how much it will help your application to have a masters and then decide what is best for you.
 

Marsdgrove33133

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The young mind. I can understand why you would think this way. Skip is right but you know what? Once your inside a program and you are studying your a$$ off, you are not going to think about any thing. Just how awesome it is and what an adventure it has become. Are you worried about getting matched? Let me put it to you this way. My best friends (Ross grad) mother is going to get a second angioplasty done and it just so happen that the surgeon is from ACU.

Once you’re in, you won’t think about it anymore but...... in grad school, you’re going to start to hear things and you are going to say to yourself one day "why did I listen to my girl friend?"

Just do it. What counts is a residency and you will find one. Do more research. =)
:cool:
 

IMbound

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I think everything posted thus far is very good advise. Just to add my 2 cents, I'm an MSIV at SGU. I am now awaiting the match for an IM spot. I got great university based interviews and hopefully will be going to one of them. I do want to reiterate the idea that the grad school/post-bac way is good only if you have an application that is strong to begin with. If you flat out get a rejection/no waitlist, it might be difficult to turn things around if you don't have a high MCAT/increased MCAT score. There is a good thread to look at on the "re-applicant" form on students who got in to a US school after previous attempts. Most of the applicants did retake the MCAT and increased their score by a couple points. Having said that, it is very difficult to place in highly competitive residencies out of SGU. Those are: Neurosurg, Urology, Plastics, Ortho, Derm, Optho. If you are not headed for one of these SGU may be a very good option.
 

Phil Anthropist

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IMbound said:
Having said that, it is very difficult to place in highly competitive residencies out of SGU. Those are: Neurosurg, Urology, Plastics, Ortho, Derm, Optho. If you are not headed for one of these SGU may be a very good option.
I'm glad you brought this up, IMbound. While I completely support students getting foreign medical education, it is important for prospectives to know this should they decide to matriculate at the Caribbean med schools. I also know it's not impossible to get these residencies and the Carib schools boast some unbelievable matches each year, but it's very difficult. Oh and I'd also add Oto, Radiology and Radiation Oncology on your list.

My best friend is a 2nd year at SGU and he's very satisfied with his education, but in the past year he got interested in rads after doing a practice residency program called MECO. This is a big switch from his original intent (Family Practice!) so he's going to try and transfer. He might have a shot even if he stays at SGU, but he's a little worried about his chances. He has all As and one B (non-science course...health policy or something???) and takes the Step I this Summer. I'll see how things turn out for him...

So just to reiterate your point, prospectives considering highly competitive specialties might want to try a postbac/reapply once or twice to US med schools before opting for the Caribbean.

P.S. Good luck on Match Day!
 

IMbound

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P.S. Good luck on Match Day![/QUOTE]

Thanks Phil
 

Shay1116

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Phil Anthropist said:
I'm glad you brought this up, IMbound. While I completely support students getting foreign medical education, it is important for prospectives to know this should they decide to matriculate at the Caribbean med schools. I also know it's not impossible to get these residencies and the Carib schools boast some unbelievable matches each year, but it's very difficult. Oh and I'd also add Oto, Radiology and Radiation Oncology on your list.

My best friend is a 2nd year at SGU and he's very satisfied with his education, but in the past year he got interested in rads after doing a practice residency program called MECO. This is a big switch from his original intent (Family Practice!) so he's going to try and transfer. He might have a shot even if he stays at SGU, but he's a little worried about his chances. He has all As and one B (non-science course...health policy or something???) and takes the Step I this Summer. I'll see how things turn out for him...

So just to reiterate your point, prospectives considering highly competitive specialties might want to try a postbac/reapply once or twice to US med schools before opting for the Caribbean.

P.S. Good luck on Match Day!

I have an interview with SGU in a few days with a radiation oncologist. She graduated from SGU in '99, so I guess it's not impossible to get a residency in rad but I know it's not easy. :luck:
 

Phil Anthropist

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Shay1116 said:
I have an interview with SGU in a few days with a radiation oncologist. She graduated from SGU in '99, so I guess it's not impossible to get a residency in rad but I know it's not easy. :luck:
HAHAHAHA!!! YEAH RIGHT!!! Let me guess, next thing you'll tell me is she did her Rad Onc residency at Johns Hopkins?! :laugh: :smuggrin:

Oh...you mean you're serious?! :confused: So am I! :D I bet you're talking about Steph . She's an SDN and ValueMD mod (Radiation Oncology and SGU, respectively). She seems pretty cool from my SDN encounters with her and she is very helpful. She also had some impressive publication in Cancer, if I remember correctly. I also hear she's quite attractive, but I have yet to confirm this! :p

Seriously though, I hope all goes well with your interview! :luck:

P.S. But I guarantee you she'll tell you it's much harder for FMGs to get into rad onc now. ;)
 

JohnB79

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Lol someone is actually going to see Steph in the flesh... I thought she was a myth to give us all IMG's hope, sorta like Santa Claus