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Wait for US school or go to Australia?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by chury, Dec 25, 1999.

  1. chury

    chury Member

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    Hi guys!
    I have a "small" problem. I came to the US only 4 years ago. I graduated with overall
    3.54, science 3.53. I went to college while working a full time job at a night shift at a
    major medical institution in NYC. (laboratory technician). ( worked from 40-60
    hours per week ). Also, I commuted 4 hours each day!

    Now, I took the April MCAT. I scored 6 in Verbal because I could not finish all
    passages. (did not finish about 18 questions) English is my second language which I
    have started learning only 5 years ago.

    I was sure that the US medical schools would eliminate me as soon as they see my
    verbal score. However, I still decided to apply to many schools.

    I also applied to an Australian medical school. In Australia there are only 10 medical schools. I think that Australian medical schools have an excellent 4 year program which is very similar to one in the US.

    They accept only 25 international students per year and 55 Australians.(80 per year).
    Curriculum is pure PBL (Problem-based learning). And yes, they want your MCAT
    scores and require at least score of 8 in each section and M in writing in order to get
    an interview(they interview you in Chicago, NYC, and LA). (USMLE passing rate for
    this school: step 1 95%. step 2 99%).

    As you can see, according to their rules I would not make their initial cut.
    Nonetheless, they accepted me immediately. They were very impressed with my
    credentials and they also understood the circumstances behind my verbal reasoning
    score.

    The school in Australia starts on February 7 because Australia is in the Southern
    Hemisphere.
    What should I do? I had two interviews here in the US. One is with an average med.
    school, and the other is with the top school.
    The average one put me on hold, while I am still waiting to hear from the top one. Let
    say the top one puts me on hold too. I have to be in Australia on February 2nd. Is it
    worth to jeopardize a place in Australian med. school in order to see what is going to
    happen here in the US?

    Thank you for your input!
     
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  3. chury

    chury Member

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    I forgat to say that, back in my country, I worked as an O.R. technician for three years.
     
  4. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    Well what's the "average" school and what's the "top" school?

    Regardless, Australian programs are good. It's your decision to make. If you can handle the stress of being in Australia and studying in a new environment, then go right ahead.


    Tim of New York City.
     
  5. chury

    chury Member

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    Thank you Tim. Where did you hear about Australian schools?
    The top school is the one in the Bronx, and the average one is MCP Hahnemann.

    Maybe I should not divide schools this way, but I just wanted to bring the picture more realistic. MCP, with their average GPA of 3.35, has put me on the waiting list. I can only hope that AECOM will give me some credit for what I did. If not, then I will probably watch Sydney Olympic Games live.
     
  6. chury

    chury Member

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    Tim, also, I graduated three subway stops southward from where you are currently
    going to medical school. I like your school, the tuition is cheap, etc. I would probably
    go there if I get accepted. However, I have not heard from them. That Verbal
    Reasoning score of 6 is bothering them.

    I understand that changing environment is stressful. However, I am very familiar with
    the environment surrounding Downstate. Because of that, you cannot compare your
    school environment with Australian school one. A plenty of sun, white sand beaches
    with palm trees, no need to purchase a jacket, no poor areas, no homlesness(they take
    care of their people), no crime, no guns(you cannot own a gun in Australia), and
    everything is so clean.
    Rent a house on the beach front for $200.
    1 bedroom apartment goes for $150 per month. Projected cost of living is about
    $350-400 per month.

    Australian medical school is not as stressful as American. Believe me, I talk to
    Americans over there. Some of them even work part-time jobs as research
    technicians while going to medical school. In addition, some of them even stay to do
    their residencies in Australia.

    On the interview they told me that I should expect to have a plenty of free time. They
    wondered how am I going to use it?

    My point is that, yes it may be stressful to fly so many hours. Yes, there may be some
    other disadvantages I do not know about. However, the "good" and "bad" balances,
    and I think when considering Australia, the "good" wins by a big difference.
    Yes,Australia is a foreign medical school, but it is not Mexican or Carrib.
    Returning to the US should not be a big problem.


     
  7. Paul's Boutique

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    Be sure to check other posts on this site regarding FMGs (foreign medical (school) graduates). I do not myself know much about the issue, but from what I've read can be pretty difficult to get back "in" to the US. Just find out some more info for yourself...
     
  8. bDOc03

    bDOc03 Member

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    C,

    I guess an important thing to know would be:What are your plans after attending medical school? Do you want to return to the US? Would you want to stay in Austrailia or go to another country?

    I would try to stay in the US if that is where I wanted to ultimately practice. Let us know what it is that you are thinking about doing.

    Sincerely,

    bDOc03
    MS-1, UHS
     
  9. chury

    chury Member

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    Well, I will be forced to come back to the US since I will get only a temporary, student visa in Australia. (4 years) However, maybe I can stay somehow.

    Will I jeopardize my addmission there in order to see what these US-mostly statistics concerned schools decided? A BIG NO!!!!

    If I get in before I leave then I will stay in the US. However, I might be accepted after I leave. Too late. I will be gone.


     
  10. bDOc03

    bDOc03 Member

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    C,

    Then take the bird that you have in your hand my friend and throw a shrimp on the barbie for me when you get there!

    Best of luck!

    bDOc03
    MS-1, UHS
     
  11. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    Chury,

    I had a friend in college who had to go to Australia for med school even though both her GPA (>3.8) and MCATs (>33) were excellent. She went because without permanent resident status, she wouldn't have been considered by ANY medical school, allopathic or osteopathic, here.

    So she now attends the University of New South Wales for an MBBS. It's an excellent school with an excellent reputation in Australia. I haven't heard of Flinders, although I do remember that article in that Premed Journal.

    MCP-Hahnehmann is a good school. Is there such a thing as a bad medical school? I don't know how their waitlist goes. If you don't find Australia to be stressful, and truth be told my friend doesn't find it stressful, then head out to Australia. If you want to wait it out, you'll always have the following year for applications.

    I personally think that living in a new environment would be difficult, even if the pastures are greener. I had an acceptance from a med school that was about 75 miles from a major metropolis, and while its hospital was considered one of the best in the region, I couldn't do it. It was too far from any environment that was remotely recognizable to me. When I drove down for my interview, I saw farm land to the right, left, in front, and in back. I was surrounded by cows. Needless to say, I didn't take them up on their offer. It was too difficult a transition to make.

    It's a tough decision.

    Where do you ultimately want to practice?

    I grew up in New York. I'm still not used to the area surrounding Downstate, but right now, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.


    Tim of New York City.
     
  12. drr

    drr Junior Member

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    As someone already noted, you should also take applying to residency programs in the U.S. into consideration. It is difficult to get into a residency program if you went to a medical school outside the U.S., regardless of the quality of the medical school. A large number of residency programs don't even consider non-U.S. medical school applicants, even if the applicant is a U.S. citizen. If you're interested in a competitive field (i.e., non primary care field) you may be shooting yourself in the foot. I know someone who is a US citizen but went to a non-US medical school (and did well) who has applied to over 40 family practice programs on the west coast & has rec'd only 2 interviews. That's quite worrisome considering FP is a relatively non-competitive residency program. On the other hand, there are always unfilled spaces after the match somewhere in the country, so if you don't care where you match for residency and/or about the quality of the residency program, then you'll be ok. Good luck with the decision.
     
  13. avi newman

    avi newman Member

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    i wanted to post a reply to this thread, instead, by mistake, i started a new thread entitled australia...if you want to see it, go there...i hope this is the last mistake i make this millenium...regards, and good luck! avi

    ------------------
    avi newman


     
  14. chury

    chury Member

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    AWI, I will transfer it for you. Thanks for your reply.
    CHURY

    AWI NEWMAN WROTE:
    a year ago i bumped into an australian physician in the upenn hospital
    cafeteria...he was doing some research in neurology...bright, friendly person...personally, i have never met an australian i did not like...he told me that
    two more medical schools - in addition to flinders - were setting up graduate medical programs, which would, it was being planned, admit americans...he also told me that australia and canada are the only countries whose medical education credits are taken on a "full faith and credit basis" by the u.s. dept of educaction...if that is true or not, or what it means, i don't know, but it sounds
    impressive...another time i ran into a recent australian med school graduate who seemed to me to be one of the most well-trained and interested-in-medicine people i have ever met...a real credit to his country...he did however, tell me that australia is no paradise, that there is crime and a drug problem of major proportions, particularly in sydney....adelaide, where flinders is located, has a reasonable climate, but is no part of the tropics...it seems that the tropical areas -the habitat of crocidile dundee and his wrestling partners - are in the extreme northeast of australia...good luck on the odyssey!....regards....avi

    ------------------
    avi newman
     
  15. chury

    chury Member

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    Avi, sorry I misspelled your name. Do you think I would have hard time when getting residency position here in the US(If I get an Australian MD degree)?
    Yes, Adelaide is not tropical, but has a Mediterranean climate. I never said that Adelaide is a tropical region, but they have palm trees and 32 kilometers of white sand beaches surrounding the city. I was also born and raised in the European Mediterranean region.
    Crime is not even close to the one in the US.
    Yes, there is crime. My American friend who went there to medical school said that they try to rob a gas station with a screwdriver as well as that murder is a national news.
     
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  17. avi newman

    avi newman Member

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    will you get a residency...unfortunately, i do not know the future, nor have i met anyone who i think has...my impression is that an australian student gets a world-class medical education, and world-class clinicals...imagine that a student has a world class background, gets good scores on the usmle's, and has a real interest in medicine shown by a genuine "can do" attitude and good performance in his clinicals...why wouldn't that student get a residency, why wouldn't that student be sought after...there are those who say there will be no room...i do not ascribe to that view...everyone needs good people...if you are concerned about what it is like, why not take a trip over to check it out...probably costs about $2k all told which, when you add the opportunity costs of lost potential income during your medical school years to the costs of tuition and books, etc., is chicken-feed...i obviously can not tell you what to do, but i know from my personal experience that whenever i have taken what seemed to be to be an opportunity, my life has been better for it...good luck to all people who want to take care of the sick...avi
     
  18. chury

    chury Member

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    Avi, thanks for your reply. Right now I am waiting to hear from Einstein. If they reject me or put me on the waiting list, then on February 1st., 2000 I will jump on the plane for Australia. The classes start on February 7th. NO, I WILL NOT PASS THIS OPPORTUNITY. I DO NOT NEED TO CHECK AUSTRALIA. I have a couple of friends who live there. They say it is a fantastic country(they are recent immigrants). And people are very pleasant. I met my two interviewers here at the Australian Consulate in New York. WOW!!! On the interview I was sooooooooo relaxed. During the most of the interview they joked and tried to entertain me. I also met a couple of other Australians. I have the same experience like you: I HAVE NOT FOUND ONE AUSTRALIAN WHO WAS NOT PLEASANT!

    Anyway, I am confident in their world-class education. However, PBL worries me a bit. No separate courses in pharmacology, or psychiatry for example. How do we learn all material for the USMLE step 1? How do we learn all medications, theory about them, and their actions?

    PBL is something new in the world of medical education. To me it is a logical way to learn medicine, but only if there was no need to take that step 1 exam, which tests a very picky details. I heard thet PBL students score less on the step 1.

    For Step 2 I am not worried at all. I know that their passing rate is close to %100.

    If case that I fail to secure a residency position in the US, then I will practice medicine in Australia or Europe.

    Take care
     
  19. S?ren

    S?ren Junior Member

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    After hearing about this place, I looked it up myself, and wrote to one of the admissions dudes... I guess since you got admitted, you know what is up, but she wrote and said:

    *All of the American students at Flinders who
    have taken the exams have passed USMLE Steps1&2 and the CSA."

    By passing those tests and the CSA, doesn't that put you in good position? She also made it seem that there is not much difficulty getting a good residency graduating from Flinders. I guess I don't recognize the difficulties about coming back (mostly because I am Indian, and so much of my family completed their med school in India and practice in the USA), but this place seems sooo much more reputable than Carib or East European schools or even India.
    The reason I am interested in it, and I know this might sound dumb, but it sounds like it would be amazing going to med school there. I am studying in Denmark right now (as an undergrad), and my hunger for travel and exposure to other cultures is not close to sated. I think it sounds pretty damn cool, as long as it isn't a shady money making operation that screws over their students.
    If you go, tell me about it, I am definitely interested.

    Simul
     
  20. argonx

    argonx Senior Member

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    Maybe the schools in the Carb, are money makers but people still get into red. And those schools claim that 90+% of thier students pass the exams as well. Also the students get rotaions in the US and England. Do they do that in Austraila? I still think going there is a good choice tho but i think the options are still ok.

    ------------------
    There is more joy in giving then there is in recieving.
     
  21. Sheon

    Sheon Senior Member

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    Churry,

    How is the Austrailian education viewed outside of the US and Austrailia?

    My guess is that there are a lot of European and Asian nations that need physicians. If your education has marketability elsewhere, that provides you with some options should you not be able to obtain a US residency and Austrailia makes you leave.
     
  22. chury

    chury Member

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    Australian education is of high quality, sought anywhere in the world. However, I will not go to Flinders medical school since I just found out that I got in into Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

    My advice when applyimg to Foreign Medical school. Always try to apply to Australia, England, or Israel. Never apply to Carrib.!!! If you speak french, apply to France or Belgium, if Italian, than Italy, if German than Germany, if Danish, than Denmark etc.
    In all of these countries medicine is developed to the same level as in the US.
    However, you will be better off if the language of instruction is English, as in England, Australia, or Israel.
    BUT PLEASE, DO NOT GO TO CARRIB. EVERYBODY COUD GET ACCEPTED THERE WHICH SUCKS. IN CONTRAST, THE EUROPEAN AND AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS ARE QUITE COMPETATIVE.
     
  23. S?ren

    S?ren Junior Member

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    I talked to a graduate from Flinders, and his views were very interesting. He loved the program (totally PBL), and the city, Adelaide. He did many of his rotations (24 weeks) in the States, and received numerous interviews for residency, but he accepted outside the match (Penn State - Medicine). His friend was interviewing at Mayo, UCSF, Harvard, UCSD, etc. for orthopedic surgery, so he probably will match okay. 2 of his classmates didn't even apply out and decided on internship in Australia, which will allow them to practice there. The final one applied for Medicine and Pathology, but she went to Alaska so they don't know what happened.
    He claims: "But I don't think it is as rigorous as the US. But that doesn't imply a bad thing. We certainly cover the same material and are equally prepared by the time we graduate. In fact, I truly feel we are better clinically trained than most US schools - we begin seeing patients in the second week of class"
    But he says: "I don't think any of the Americans would be there if they could instead attend school in the US (that is just my opinion)."
    His year there were only 6 students.
    The admissions lady told me for this year's freshman class there was 70 international applicants, and 25 were accepted.
    I guess, if I had no choice, I would go there over Caribbean, but like he said, it is obviously best to go to US school.
    Simul
     
  24. argonx

    argonx Senior Member

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    25 out of 70 that does not ound very competive.
     

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