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What's so bad about Ross?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by blkizs, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. blkizs

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    I noticed that many people on here and other places don't think highly of Ross. I was wondering why, because I applied there and would love to know more about it (good and bad) than what I have researched myself. I have never been to the island to visit. Thanks!
     
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  3. Moonpaw

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  4. Max Power

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    Regardless of what others say, plenty of people go down there, get a great hands-on education, do their clinicals in the U.S., and become excellent veterinarians. All you need to think about is the cost, an extra exam, and the idea of living in a foreign country. Besides, sometimes it's your only option as far as vet school.
     
  5. runnerDC

    runnerDC Tufts - class of 2011

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  6. Hopeful07

    Hopeful07 SGU SVM c/o 2012

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    I'm not sure if you have looked at the post below this named "?'s with Caribbean vs American schools". There are some great responses to my questions about Ross as well.

    What I can put together through talking to many people and some people that know Veterinarians that have gone to Ross is that Ross is a great University that gives their students an opportunity to get a DVM. However, it is more so of a developing island compared with St George's and especially St Matthews. The crime rates are a bit higher in St Kitts.

    That's about what I have heard.
     
  7. aggiegolf

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    There is no doubt in my mind that Ross University is a fantastic school. However, after a personal visit and researching some surrounding issues, I chose St. Matthew's. I am in no way trying to advocate my school over the others. You will make the best decision by keeping an open mind when research SGU, Ross, and SMU.


    St. Kitts is in a major transitional phase. For a very long time, the island grew sugarcane and that was their primary export and means of economic survival. However, as the demand for sugarcane decreased, St. Kitts shut down their sugar cane farms and turned to tourism instead.

    Now with tourism at the forefront, St. Kitts is experiencing a lot of contstruction. A very nice hotel and golf course has been built, and more hotels are in planning (or some might already be there since last summer when i visited).

    When an island in the caribbean embraces tourism, it takes a lot of adjustment. They have to be taught how to effectively deal with their customers, which are primarily American. American culture is very different from caribbean culture, therefore it takes a while for everything to fall into place. Grand Cayman, however, has been in the industry for years and has developed an very amiable relationship between their country and its visitors.

    It is my belief that an increased crime rate at St. Kitts could partly be due to the changes currently being made in their country.


    Max Power said:

    All you need to think about is the cost, an extra exam, and the idea of living in a foreign country.



    I have to disagree here. I think you should look at the whole picture in order to arrive at the best decision.


    While Grenada (SGU) and St. Kitts (Ross) may not have the greatest living conditions, there is no doubt that you will receive a very high quality education. The professors at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine even boast about Ross's surgical program, which brings me to another point.


    Whether you attend SMU, SGU, or Ross, you will receive more hands-on experience than most US veterinary schools. This can be attributed to PETA, which lobbied for legislation to be passed to restrict the use of terminal surgeries in US veterinary schools. In the 70s, students would do several surgeries on a perfectly healthy animal, and then euthanize it in the end. Now that they can't do that, they use other models, like styrofoam bones. While it is unfortunate for the animal, this type of experience is extremely important in your veterinary education. And you're likely to save more lives in the end because you won't make as many mistakes.

    SGU, SMU, and Ross are not affected by PETA, so terminal surgeries are a part of the curriculum.


    Finally, in order to provide some balance, I will list some disadvantages of the school I attend:

    1. St. Matthew's currently runs out of leased office buildings. It originally started in Belize, but relocated for several reasons (stability being a primary one). Some students do not like this because owning your own facilities reflects stability. However, SMU has been purchasing land and a veterinary surgical clinic is expected to be completed in the summer. You can see pictures of it under construction at www.stmatthews.edu.


    2. SMU does not have as many clinical affiliations as St. George's or Ross. However SMU is a very new school, so it's only a matter of time until we gain more clinical affiliations. Currently your clinical year can be at North Carolina State, University of Pennsylvania, Purdue University, or the University of Florida. 2 more clinical sites are expected to be released soon. A new website will be launched around May 1st so it might be announced then.


    3. St. George's and Ross are more established than St. Matthew's, which implies that the educational level might be higher there. But several transfer students from SGU and Ross feel that St. Matthew's is equivalent. I guess only time can tell.


    Hope this helps. Sorry for writing such long posts. Have a great day!
     
  8. Max Power

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    Max Power said:

    All you need to think about is the cost, an extra exam, and the idea of living in a foreign country.



    I have to disagree here. I think you should look at the whole picture in order to arrive at the best decision.

    I think what I was saying is that you have to mostly look at the island life and excess costs (monetary and otherwise) since they are quality schools
     
  9. aggiegolf

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    I see what you're saying. I haven't compared the tuition fees from each school recently, but I want to say that St. Matthew's tuition is cheaper. But I'm not entirely sure. However, living in Grand Cayman is more expensive than living in St. Kitts or Grenada. So the slightly lower tuition fees may be offset due to this.
     
  10. blkizs

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    thanks so much for your responces. i'm trying to decide between ross and PEI they are both such different schools and both have positives and negatives. it's a hard decision for me because when will i ever have the chance to live in the caribean again and the same goes for canada.
     
  11. Max Power

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    hmmm canada or the caribean...why is that a tough choice? :D
     
  12. silverelf

    silverelf Tufts Class of 2011

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    PEI is reallyyyy nice. i went up there and visited during spring break last year...my friend was a 4th year from st. george doing her clinical year there. she absolutely loved it.
     
  13. bubbles525

    bubbles525 Member

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    Many great vets have come out of the Caribbean; there is no doubt in my mind you can get a great education going to any one of the schools located there. I decided, after looking at all my options, that the easier acceptance was not worth the extra cost, extra exam, and red tape of going to a non-AVMA accredited school. I also considered that going to Murdoch (which is where I'm heading in July, an AVMA accredited school in Perth, AU) is going to cost me less than any of the schools in the Caribbean, and less than any of the schools that I could have attended in the US. Plus I've met enough vets that strongly and openly favor AVMA graduates over non-AVMA graduates (and this is only my experience) that I did not want to lower my job prospects upon graduation.
     
  14. blkizs

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    haha i know when you make it sound like that is seems easy. i'll figure it out soon enough
     
  15. birdvet2006

    birdvet2006 Glasgow c/o 2006

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    This is the only thing I dislike about the Caribbean schools. Terminal surgeries are absolutely not better than other methodologies, IMO. "And you're likely to save more lives in the end because you won't make as many mistakes"...well I must disagree. I have yet to make a life threatening mistake on any animal! Yet, it happens to every vet at some point in their career. I have practiced on models and live, owned, still living animals. All of veterinary medicine is "practice". IMO, the more "progressive" schools have said NO to terminal surgeries.
     
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  17. wildfocus

    wildfocus DVM/PhD student

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    i agree. not one of your own doctors will have ever performed a terminal surgery on a human before they see you. well said, all medicine IS practice.
     
  18. twosoakers

    twosoakers Addict & Western U '11

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    the veterinarian i worked for in indiana told me that he wouldn't want a doctor touching his animal who had not performed terminal surgeries. it's the scary old-school thinking of the good-old boys.

    western's dean spent fifteen minutes of her pre-interview speech discussing western's policy of 'reverence for life.' i asked my interviewers how much this would harm me in the workforce. they said it might, but there is such a need for veterinarians in CA right now that i shouldn't have a problem advocating my non-terminal surgery experience.

    but i doubt i'd want to work for an old-school good-old boy anyway.
     
  19. Max Power

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    I just don't see how models can prepare you as well as terminal surgery. A few vets I've talked to, and some of my physiology teachers, have this is the reason they've seen such great surgical technique from caribbean grads as opposed to ones who graduated from some of the top US schools.
     
  20. AuburnPreVet

    AuburnPreVet AU CVM Class of 2011

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    There are many other options, I personally don't feel that terminal surgeries are required to get initial surgical experience.... Altough, AU does still do terminal surgeries in junior year surgery lab. Maybe I'll change my mind after having gone through the process...

    It just seems that the a lot of the basics (for that initial sx experience) could be learned from spaying/neutering some shelter owned animals. Seems like a win-win situation.
     
  21. cyrille104

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    I don't know...I really don't think I could do a surgery on patient without having done a real surgery before.
     
  22. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian

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    Do not worry, you will do a ton of surgeries (just not to learn, the animal will need it). I have been told by many vets that they are shocked about how many procedures I have done in vet school and my level of comfort in the OR. All this and no terminal procedures...
     
  23. twosoakers

    twosoakers Addict & Western U '11

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  24. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane

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    first time for everything.
     
  25. AuburnPreVet

    AuburnPreVet AU CVM Class of 2011

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    No one is advocating limiting the number of surgical experiences students are getting - Its whether or not the "practice" surgery needs to be terminal. A highly supervised procedure on an animal NEEDING the surgery would be just as useful, no? That's just my thought at this point, in a few years we'll see what I think. :p
     
  26. birdvet2006

    birdvet2006 Glasgow c/o 2006

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    What about using medicine? No one says "I really don't think I could prescribe medication to a patient without having done so before"....and medicine is easily as dangerous to our patients as surgery.

    On models, I learned to suture. It's not *that* much different on live animals. I am one of the best interns at hand-tying at my hospital - and I didn't learn on real animals. I practiced with my shoe laces! I had many experiences as AuburnPreVet mentioned: highly supervised, individually taught on real live animals that required the surgery.

    I don't think that having done a gastrotomy, enterotomy, splenectomy, spay and neuter once or twice on an animal (that was euthanised afterwards) gives you enough confidence. I think you just need to do more surgery to gain confidence and skill - on an animal that will live or that will die, it doesn't matter. For myself, I feel happy that no animal was used for my learning experiences and had to die as a consequence.
     
  27. cyrille104

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    Yeah but medicine can be learned from a textbook and does not require technical skill. You can also reference any number of sources at any time to make the correct decision, and it is not time-sensitive. It's totally different actually, I'm not sure why you made that comparison.
     
  28. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian

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    Believe it or not, surgery can be learned from a textbook also. I had done multiple soft tissue surgeries so knew how to do certain things. A cat came in that was caught in a fanbelt of a car. Had a broken humerus, and broken patella, both which needed to be surgically repaired. It came down to a $ issue for the owner and I was the only option as a surgeon at the time. So I had the surgery technician hold open a surgery textbook with the diagrams in my view to make sure I was doing the proper techniques so not to damamge the radial nerve and to make sure I opened and closed the knee properly. Yes this also involved skill, skill which I had to prove I had on a model, before I was allowed to do any surgery on an animal, but at any rate I did those surgeries off of a textbook, and the animal did great.
     
  29. cyrille104

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    Wait, so they charge less for you to do surgery?
     
  30. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian

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    No no! The hospital adopted the kitten and the surgery technician took it home. (this is a regular clinic, not a University hospital). I was the only one available at the time and the owners were going to euthanize because they could not afford the surgery. The technicain was very upset and asked me if I would do the procedure (I did not charge my surgery time as a surgeon, which is usually the most expensive part). She (the tech paid for the anesthesia, equipment, and meds.

    My point is that you can learn the technical skills (how to use the instruments etc.) other ways and yes it is possible to learn how to do a surgery out of a book.
     
  31. KittenKiller

    KittenKiller chop suey

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    I dont see what the big issue with terminal surgeries is anyway. Arent they generally unwanted dogs and cats slated for euthanasia anyway? Do terminal surgeries cause any more suffering than simply euthanizing an animal? Secondly, we kill animals to eat then, killing them for the sake of medicine doesnt seem any more cruel than that. Maybe its just disrespectful to rip a dog's nuts out as you kill it? ;)

    Whether or not its technically necessary is another story, I just cant see why its such a bad thing.
     
  32. AuburnPreVet

    AuburnPreVet AU CVM Class of 2011

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    My understading is that the animals are "purpose bred", and from the same source as research animals, etc. Not typically animals that would be euthanized regardless.

    It just seems if there are other methods that prove to be just as affective in teaching studens, and that aren't such a contradiction to the value we place on our pet animals - they should be explored. It just seems that we could "learn" under great supervision on shelter animals or other animals that are in a needy situation and get just as good of an educaton. In fact, maybe a better education because we will be able to handle their recovery, and any complications that arise post-op...

    With all of that said, what schools are doing now-a-days is leaps and bounds better than what went on not all that long ago... where students would take a healthy animal, and perform serial procedures on the animal... allowing it to wake, recover, then on to another procedure the next week. The person that told me this story graduated vet school in the early 90's - so, it wasn't all that long ago. To me this approach is MUCH worse than the standard terminal surgeries schools are doing now, but I still think other (more progressive) options are available.

    My .02 cents...
     
  33. silverelf

    silverelf Tufts Class of 2011

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    i think my big problem with terminal surgeries is basically that we're all in this to be saving animals. Not killing them...regardless of the learning that goes on in the process. To me, performing a terminal surgery as a veterinarian is just fundamentally wrong.
     
  34. birdvet2006

    birdvet2006 Glasgow c/o 2006

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    For some reason, I thought this still happens. Maybe at Ross? I know someone who recently graduated from there and I got the feeling that they re-used their donkey many times. But I can't recall all the details.
     
  35. AuburnPreVet

    AuburnPreVet AU CVM Class of 2011

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    I didn't realize it still went on. Terrible.
     
  36. pressmom

    pressmom Third year!

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    I asked the doctor I work for how many terminal surgeries he did in school and what he thought about it. He's not old school, but he's not a recent grad either--he graduated from Auburn in the way late 80s or early 90s. Anyway, he said for most of 3rd year they'd do surgeries Tuesday and Thursday and euthanize on Thursday. He said they'd do a front end surgery on Tuesday--say an eye surgery--recover the animal, give it LOTS of pain meds, then on Thursday do a rear end surgery--say an anal gland extraction, then euthanize the animal. At the time, Auburn was using animals from the Mongomery pound, and he said he thought it was a noble use of an animal whose life would otherwise be wasted. I explained to him that Auburn uses animals bred specifically for terminal surgeries. I don't remember his opinion on that, but I think he reiterated that use for scientific purpose is a noble life and that animals should be well treated when used for science. As for me, I agree with him that it is a noble use for an animal, as long as they are well treated an given pain meds. I feel hypocritical eating animals that are bred for food whose housing and living conditions I know nothing about, and then drawing the line at animals I know are being well treated who are going to give their lives so I can help others. That last sentence is what I said in my Auburn interview. And I mean it. But if I do a terminal surgery at UTK, it won't be my favorite day.
     
  37. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member

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    Yeah, I don't quite get this transition, seems to have happened at a couple programs - used to do terminal surgeries on pound animals slated for euthanasia, but people were upset that little lost pets were being used for medical training, so the administrations decided to use purpose-bred lab animals since nobody cares about them. It's a shame, because that strikes me as running away rather than stepping up to educate and correct misguided public opinion. I'd guess the vast majority of shelter animals are strays or dumped rather than actual lost pets. If they're slated for euthanasia, they die that day regardless of whether they serve in surgical training first. Irrespective of personal feelings on pets, euthanasia, terminal training surgeries, and purpose-bred lab animals, how can *two* animals dying possibly be better than one?
     
  38. Azawakh

    Azawakh Junior Member

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    No one is condoning the euthanasia of pound animals however the overpopulation of shelters and the subsequent euthanasia due to overpopulation is a problem created by man. Continuing to further mistreat animals that have already been subjected to mistreatment is inhumane (prisoners on death row are not used in research; I know humans are different however), especially when there are other viable options that produce well trained veterinarians. None of the physicians that will be performing surgery on any one of us will have conducted terminal surgeries in their training.

    Propagating the idea that terminal surgeries are superior to alternative methods is ignorant as is offering anecdotal statements as evidence.

    Nothing is inherently wrong with Caribbean veterinary programs. They are unaccredited by the AVMA and thus are not held to the same standards of education as the other 28 AVMA accredited veterinary schools and it is anyones guess what kind of education someone who goes there is getting. Ross has the longest history of the Caribbean schools and is pretty good at getting their graduates placed in internships. The others are really too new. St. Matthew's doesn't even have a graduating class so I don't know how anyone can make any assertions about the education there. I am not disparaging anyone who goes to these schools because they are a great option for people who aren't accepted at U.S schools due to the keen competition but let us not misrepresent what is going on. An unaccredited Caribbean school in most cases is not a 1st choice for someone who wishes to practice in the U.S.
     
  39. pressmom

    pressmom Third year!

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    Actually they are used in research. Not terminal, but they definitely have been used in shady research in the past--non elective, that is. Now, if I'm remembering correctly and I tried to confirm on Internet, but prisoners can ELECT to be part of drug company trials now. I'm fascinated by prisons, but my knowledge is nowhere near encyclopedic.
     
  40. VetsRule

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    To get back to the original question 'what's so bad about Ross?' I think all students should question the crime rate on these poor islands - especially the crimes against the Americans. These islands are so poor, and the students are so rich, relatively, that personal attacks, buglaries purse snatchings are part of the equation of studying in poor country. If you visit the island, ask the current students about the crime rate.
     
  41. Normed

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    OUCH! There's nothing wrong with Canada! PEI is gorgeous!
     
  42. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member

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    Actually quite a number of them will have... on animals. It is not uncommon for companies that develop new surgical products to do physician training on dogs and pigs as part of the package. (The hospital buys some crazy expensive new surgical system, and to teach the docs to use it the company sets up a lab with something approximately human-sized to practice on - with a licensed vet doing the prep and monitoring.) As more and more procedures are done with robotic-assisted endoscopes, high-tech interventional radiology, etc., the need to train already-practicing physicians on new technology will only increase. And really, even if you knew he'd watched hours of video training and maybe even sat down at the console and pushed some buttons, would *you* volunteer to be the first living being the doc tries to use it on?
     
  43. silverelf

    silverelf Tufts Class of 2011

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    are you serious? PEI is so crappy/blah touristy compared to Cape Breton and Nova Scotia...
     
  44. Azawakh

    Azawakh Junior Member

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    Physicians do NOT routinely nor do they commonly perform terminal surgeries on animals or people as a part of their surgical training.
    This is why it is often joked in medical circles about how risky it is to have surgery done in a hospital in the summer when new doctors/residents are beginning their services because the chances of getting a new doctor/resident is increase along with your odds of a surgical complication.
     
  45. FriskyPony

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    Actually, maybe the doctors practicing now will have done terminal surgeries, but most US med schools do not use terminal surgeries in their programs anymore!

    Yes, I have to believe that as long as the student/doctor has learned and observed the procedure and has someone who knows what s/he is doing present for the first few surgeries in case anything goes wrong, I'd be mostly okay with it--you are right that I'd be a bit nervous, but this doctor has presumably gone through huge amounts of training and has tons of knowledge and a strong surgical background! I'd feel a bit more uncomfortable if there was no one in the surgery who'd done the procedure before, but it's not like these people have never performed medical procedures before.

    I want to be a vet, and I am against terminal surgeries, so that means that I would want to learn on animals who need the surgery anyway and under the watchful eye of an experienced surgeon in case anything goes wrong. So, if I expect to be able to learn this way, then I have to have faith in my own doctor or surgeon that s/he can learn this way too!
     
  46. Normed

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    maybe you hit a ****ty season if you were actually visiting, but hey - i'm allowed to be protective of insults towards my country!
     
  47. silverelf

    silverelf Tufts Class of 2011

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    for the most part i loveeee canada but when i visited PEI it was after seeing all this natural beauty on cape breton (the mountains and cliffs and whales and oceans....oh man, so awesome) and i got to PEI and it was like theme parks and souvenir shops and an elephant rock. Kind of a big letdown :)
     
  48. Quaggi

    Quaggi Member

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    doing surgery on an animal as practice for humans would be pretty much useless if you're concerned about the new doctor knowing where things are that they might not want to sever. if you think it will make them better prepared with the instruments, practice on cadavers. not sure what else you think is going to be the same there.
     

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