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What's wrong with Caribbean schools?

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LoveandhopefulMD

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I see a lot of stigma about Caribbean medical schools.. Why is this? I want to eventually become a specialized surgeon btw. Would this make it harder to get into a residency program?


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Mikkus

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The stigma comes from a few different avenues. Carib schools are known to be second class to US MD and DO schools. The carib match rate is much lower then any US school, so your chance of gaining a residency after medical school is questionable. There is also a huge amount of attrition in the carib, my class had around 33% who did not finish 2nd year on time/ at all. Those who failed out ended up with 100-200k in debt with no way to pay off their loans. US MD and DO schools do not have anywhere near this deplorable attrition rate. Having just matched and being a carib graduate, I would push anyone away from the Caribbean route if they have any other options.
 
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candbgirl

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    I see a lot of stigma about Caribbean medical schools.. Why is this? I want to eventually become a specialized surgeon btw. Would this make it harder to get into a residency program?


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    Have you bothered to do a search on SDN at all? This topic has been discussed ad nauseum . Aren't you the person with a 490 MCAT? You'll probably be accepted because of your very high GPA but you'll have to write a big check and there is a significant chance you will never graduate. There is a huge chance you won't pass the USMLE and that's if the school even lets you take it. Caribbean is never a good idea and for someone with a 490 MCAT ..,


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    Faha

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    The Caribbean schools could be obsolete in a few years. From 2015 to 2020 it appears there will be another 18 US MD schools and at least 12 DO schools opening up. The eventual enrollment in these schools will be at least 4,000 which far exceeds the number of US citizen foreign medical graduates who match each year (less than 3,000). In the future those US Caribbean students will be attending US MD and DO schools and the residency match for MD and DO schools will be merging in a few years.
     
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    LoveandhopefulMD

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    I appreciate your post Mikkus. Candbgirl, I have done my own research even outside of here but I also have read many conflicting things. I even know someone who's in Caribbean school right now, but she doesn't know yet since she is just in her first year. I did get a 490 MCAT score which I realize is horrible, but I was beyond nervous, so I don't appreciate your rude attitude. I'm sure you're not perfect all the time either, and I feel we should be encouraging and trying to help each other here, not trying to beat someone down.


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    Mikkus

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    If you felt a 490 mcat score is the top of your range, what are you going to do when you need to pass the 1000 tests in a Carib school? This might sound harsh, but if you score around the same % on a single test in medical school as you did on the mcat you will fail out. There are no retakes. Those that seem to prosper in the Caribbean are those who have a good mcat and poor gpa. Of course you will find outliers, but they are rare. They have the test taking ability, maybe just partied too hard in undergrad. Med school is test after test, with the MCAT being the easiest starting block.

    Someone in their first year is not a good information source. Wait until after they take their step, or better yet, after they match to ask a Caribbean grad if they would recommend Carib medical school.
     
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    LoveandhopefulMD

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    I definitely know 490 is not acceptable. I have put a lot more study hours and preparation into this second time I took it. I have a good idea that I improved my score, if not dramatically. After many practice tests, I was usually getting 510 -512. This would be much more competitive for US med schools, correct?


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    candbgirl

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    Oh definitely but remember schools will see both of your scores and several schools average multiple MCATs when evaluating applications.


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    LoveandhopefulMD

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    I'm hoping that they will see improvement since They're human too, along with my background and experiences, which will allow me to get into med school. Thanks


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    mitch8017

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    Often times an issue that comes with having a bad MCAT score or having a criminal offense or some kind of negative like that isn't as much the fact that you have that negative, it is the fact that other students don't. We all try for a certain scores and whatever but what it boils down to is how competitive you are relative to the next guy. People think a certain score will get you in, but if 200 applicants have those same or better scores and there are only 100 seats, they won't create extra seats for those students, they will just dish out more rejection letters.
     
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    zobay

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    I'm hoping that they will see improvement since They're human too, along with my background and experiences, which will allow me to get into med school. Thanks


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    I hope you realize if you have a criminal offense, you're basically off the table?


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    PKU

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    Not sure how a high mcat correlates to success in med school as a user pointed out above. There's people that score 24 on the mcat but 90th+ percentile on the USMLE.

    The people who prosper in carribean schools and that DO match are those that belong in medical school but couldn't get in their respective countries due to the competitiveness of these schools. Of course if you can't manage a 3.0+ gpa in undergrad, you'll most likely have an extremely hard time in medical school (regardless of where you go). Those are usually the students that account for such high attrition rates of these carribean schools. Another reason why these schools have such high attrition rates is because if you can pay the tuition, you're virtually in. Then they weed out those that don't belong in med school. After all, it's a business.
     
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