What are the dissadvantages to going to a caribbean medschool?

Puppet

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Incase I were to have a hard time getting into medschool.
 

OSUdoc08

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Puppet said:
Incase I were to have a hard time getting into medschool.
1. Lower board pass rate than domesic MD's & DO's
2. Difficulty in securing a domestic residency
3. Difficult to be licensed in several states
4. Expensive
 

cornell2004

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OSUdoc08 said:
1. Lower board pass rate than domesic MD's & DO's
2. Difficulty in securing a domestic residency
3. Difficult to be licensed in several states
4. Expensive
5. Sunburns or the cost of suntan lotion
6. Having to concentrate while staring at women in bikinis
7. Drinking too many Margaritas
 

LSUwannabe

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In my opinion, the primary and most significant drawback of Caribbean schools (Ross, AUC, StG) is that you all but eliminate your ability to get into competitive residencies.

Sure, there's the occasional guy/girl who got ortho x or radiology y programs...but it's pretty rare. Ortho, rad, derm, EM, opthal, etc. can be plenty tough coming from US schools.

Example:
I was employed in a teaching hospital that had what's considered a low-tier EM residency program. Even there, they literally threw apps from foreign grads in the trash.


If you know you'll go into IM I wouldn't hesitate for a second to go south if you're unwilling to wait (w/ no guarantee of acceptance) another year.
 

virilep

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ok, so i was pondering the idea justy to ponder it last year and then I realized that I didn't want to do it. So then I like last week i finally realized the true reason. I mean, all of the above is definately true. but something happened to a friend of mine. I used to talk to her all the time and well... let's just say she's amazing. anyhow, we used to talk a lot and anyhow, one night i was talkin to her late at night while she was taking a break from studying and she hadn't slept and had a test the next day. 8 am. she slept past 8, completely exhausted, she went in in a hurry at the teacher said since she didn't come in, she failed the test, and that means 0/200. which means she failed the class. she talked to the dean and he said there's nothing he can do. So basically the endpoint is that the schools there don't care whether you do well or not. and i feel like going to a US school, they want you to succeed. they want you to pass. but i feel like there, they don't care. which definately sucks. so. the choice is up to you.
 

DoctorG

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Puppet said:
Incase I were to have a hard time getting into medschool.
I would consider Carribean or others only after 3 yrs of rejection from US medical schools. Stories from IMG applying for residencies are less encouraging. Some of them still find it difficult matching into competitive residencies even with stellar credentials (which is unfortunate).
 

Phil Anthropist

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First of all, there ARE LCME, AAMC-accredited Caribbean schools (Puerto Rican schools such as Ponce). These are to be viewed as the equivalent of any accredited US or Canadian allopathic medical school. I just wanted to make that distinction.

The board pass rates at the major non-AAMC Caribbean schools (i.e. SGU, Ross, AUC, and Saba) are surprisingly high [around 80% for AUC and higher for the others (higher than 90% in some)], if I remember correctly. HOWEVER, these numbers are misleading due to high attrition (read: flunking out) or deceleration (read: getting held back / forced to slow down). I've stated this before, but it is not fair to compare DO passing rates (COMLEX) with MD passing rates. You can argue that some osteopathic schools claim 90%+ pass rates on COMLEX, but when I last checked, the national first time pass rate on the USMLE Step I (the test for allopathic residencies) was 72%. Again, some Caribbean schools range from 80-90+ percent (but again, there's the issue of attrition, shelf exams, and deceleration so the numbers are misleading). The point is that this is not a comparison that is easy to evaluate.

The students at these schools who pass their USMLE Steps I and II and perform adequately in their rotations will match. They may have difficulty getting into specific residency programs or fields (ortho, rads, derm, urology, neurosurgery), but most qualified applicants don't really have that hard of a time getting matched.

Licensure is not as a big of an issue as most believe it to be. The states that are more strict on licensure issues are New York, California, and Texas. If you do the proper rotations, it shouldn't be as hard to get licensure in all 50 states (but check to be sure).

Pretty much all private medical schools cost an arm and a leg, Caribbean schools are no exception.

6 and 7 probably do not apply unless you're at AUC because it's a tourist spot. Dominica and Grenada are not exactly tropical paradises.

Caribbean schools vary greatly, so be careful about making generalizations.

SGU is more selective than the other well known Caribbean med schools. The others are not quite as selective. virliep's assessment, sadly, is true for some of these Caribbean schools. Essentially some of these schools will give you the opportunity (that US schools wouldn't) to be a physician. The administration/faculty may not care as much at some of these schools. The more students they get, the more money the schools pocket. It becomes a survival of the fittest and no one is going to be there to hold your hand, so proceed with caution.

LSUwannabe is pretty accurate; the primary (but far form the sole) issue is THE MATCH. A Caribbean student with the same basic science and clinical grades as well as USMLE board scores is typically NOT ON THE SAME PLAYING FIELD as his/her US MD and DO counterparts.
 

trinitrotoluene

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What numbers do you need to get into AUC, Ross, or SGU?

What does AUC stand for, anyway?
 

LVDoc

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trinitrotoluene said:
What numbers do you need to get into AUC, Ross, or SGU?

What does AUC stand for, anyway?
AUC stands for American University of the Caribbean. It's on a tourist island, probably the most attractive school in the Caribbeans to study (and party).

AUC and Ross have averages of 3.2-3.4 and 22-24. SGU has an average of 3.3-3.4 and 26.