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Which of the 3 Irish Schools????

Deep

Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 11, 2001
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Montreal, Canada
    Hi,
    I'm a Canadian studying at McGill right now. I just heard that I have been accepted into all three Irish Medical schools:Royal College of Surgeons, UCD, and Trinity. However,I'm having a very, very difficult time deciding which offer to accept. I've heard mixed reviews about each of the schools. I'm sitting at a crossroads right now, completely lost. I have to accept an offer soon becase RCSI deposit is due by March 16th. The main reason I'm thinking of turning down RCSI is because of the high tuition in comparison to UCD and Trinity. I've heard RCSI better catered for International students in comparison to the other two... but I just don't know. The Atlantic Bridge correspondent suggested UCD, somebody else told me Trinity was an excellent school by reputation, while others have told me going to RCSI will offer me the best shot at getting back into a North American hospital.... PLEASE, PLEASE HELP ME!

    -Deep

    btw for anyone randomly reading this message for info on Irish medical schools... I'm graduating with a B.Sc Major in Microbiology and Immunology with a minor in Economics from Mcgill... GPA 3.5, MCAT 35..... interview was in NY at the Sheraton on Feb 14th, 2001... Interview was very laid back...interview by Alan Johnson(Dean) and Dr. Windsor(associate Dean)... very friendly people... felt like a conversation... didn't feel as if I was even being asked any questions... they told me they would get back to me in 2-3 weeks... I heard on March 7th from RCSI, 9th from Trinity and Dublin is in the mail.... feel free to ask me any questions...

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    tussy

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    1. Attending Physician
      I'm just curious ... why do you want to go to an Irish medical school rather than a North American one? I've just heard that it's very difficult to get into a Canadian residency after attending the Irish schools. With your marks you should have no trouble getting accepted to Canadian or American school. I'm not writing to criticize your decision, I'm just curious is all.
       
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      Deep

      Junior Member
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      Mar 11, 2001
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      Montreal, Canada
        Well... my stats are only borderline entry for Canadian med schools... I've also spent a lot of my childhood traveling(13 schools in 3 countries). I guess you could say, the experience of traveling and living in Ireland is the driving factor behind my decision. I'm actually in a mini-battle with my parents of where to attend school. Ultimately, I don't see re-entry into Canada as a problem. It is difficult, and it might take me a while, but I'm in no rush to return to Canada to practice. As long as I can reenter the States, I'll be satisfied.
         

        Deep

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        Mar 11, 2001
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        Montreal, Canada
          RCSI's fees are considerably higher than the other two, which in my books has struck a big blow against it. However, the other two still seem very similar to me. I'd really like to be able to create a greater distinction between those two...

           

          cjw0918

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            I know what you mean about the high tuition at RCSI. I just sent in my deposit a few days ago.
            smile.gif
            I have never been to Ireland, but I have always wanted to study abroad and I know RCSI is an excellent school. It is true that RCSI would offer you excellent prospects of coming back to the States- just look at their matchlist! I don't know much about the other 2 schools, except that I recall someone on a message board from UCD encouraging others to go to RCSI because, according to him, it is "better for international students." I don't know exactly what he meant- I just remember him pointing this out.
            I'd like to know what else you've heard about RCSI. I'm wondering what kind of reputation RCSI has in the States. Judging from their matchlist, it must be pretty decent. Seems like most people don't know much about it, though.
            Well, good luck on making your decision. I would love to have you as a classmate at RCSI.
             

            Deep

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            Mar 11, 2001
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            Montreal, Canada
              Well, I've heard that students from RCSI are "snobby". Now I don't know how much weight to place on this comment but I have heard it from a few different sources. I'm told many of them come from very affluent backrounds and are "spoiled". RCSI does appear to have a slightly better reputation in the N.America than the other two schools, however, from what I've heard that really isn't a big deal.
              I've also heard that RCSI is better catered from international students because such a high proportion of the student body is from abroad. This is probably RCSI's greatest strenght from our standpoint.
              On a side note, I find it really annoying that all the information(ie: acceptance letters) is being sent to my parents and not to me. The scanned sheets that I did receive from my parents from the RCSI package showed a partial match list of a "partial list of residency posts secured by recent ATLANTIC BRIDGE PROGRAMME medical students" and not RCSI. A friend of mine's dad received his MD from RCSI, her brother is currently at UCD and she also just got accepted into all three schools. I haven't had a chance to talk to her yet because she is away for a couple interviews, but from what I've heard from friends she prefers UCD. This fact by itself forces me to question why I would pay approx 10000-15000 dollars more per year just to go to RCSI.

              Essentially what I'm getting at is that from what I've seen thus far, RCSI isn't worth the tuition...
              At this point, I'm fairly certain (but not entirely certain) that I'll be turning down RCSI in favour for UCD or Trinity... only because of the money.
              However, I'd still like more info on Trinity and UCD. So if anyone knows anything please share away....btw.. I'll be looking forward to seeing all of you in Ireland this coming october.

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              cjw0918

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                So are those matches on the Atlantic Bridge Program Matchlist from RCSI? If not, what schools are they from? I know you can apply to a verterinary school through Atlantic Bridge, but I didn't realize there were more medical schools you could apply to in Ireland through Atlantic Bridge. Is that how you apply to UCD and Trinity?
                As for the snob thing, I hope it's not true. I for one do not come from an affluent background, and I've got nothing to be snobby about, even if I wanted to be.
                smile.gif

                Well, I hope if you are in Dublin we still get to meet. I'll tell you if that snob thing about RCSI is true or not.
                smile.gif
                 

                Deep

                Junior Member
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                Mar 11, 2001
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                Montreal, Canada
                  Vet School? I had no idea you could apply for vet school through the A.B.P... that's pretty interesting.

                  I know you can apply to 3 med schools through the program, which is what I did. And I think the match list applies to all 3 schools; however, I am not certain as to what percentage of students come from where.

                  I think if the snob thing does exist it is limited to only a few individuals... if at all... but that's a trivial issue. I didn't intend for that much emphasis to be placed on that point...

                  thanks again

                   

                  roo

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                    Hi guys,

                    Bit late to help the original poster, since it is now past the 16th, but for others, or people finding this thread in the archives:

                    Education standard in Ireland is at the same level. External examiners go through the whole country for the oral exams at end of year and make sure the students are all batting at the same level for pass and the honours.

                    Check the CAO leaving cert scores (Irish students write a "leaving cert", something like a US MCAT except for more subjects) to see where the Irish students are trying to get into. Scores determine offers of admission to the school. All schools are within a few points--RCSI is currently has the lowest scores to get in, but they are all within a few points of each other. Can check the CAO scores somewhere in the bowels of ireland.com as well as the official CAO site.

                    I *think* Trinity med students get a honourary 4th degree in Arts, the same as either Cambridge or Oxford does (never verified that though). Trinity is a bit more formal and English in atmosphere, from my experience there.

                    The 3 Dublin colleges are within a few blocks of each other in the city center. Lots of students mix between the three in various social and academic events. Rivalry is friendly only, more between Trinity and UCD.

                    UCD (University College Dublin) has a plus of lots of residence for international students. All schools have some residence, but UCD actually has enough. 1000 some-odd punts in res vs. 6000 punts/yr for a Dublin apartment is nice.

                    Royal College has greatest % of international students in its class with the lowest % of Irish students. This is a nice international angle. Both UCD and RCSI have a handful of Malaysian students for either the clinical or preclinical years, since these 2 schools worked together to build a med school for Malaysia--the Malaysians' tuition is paid by their government for them to train and then return to improve health for Malaysia.

                    Trinity is more clinical problem based (as is Cork I believe), but all have some PBL component to varying degrees. Trinity is a small class also.

                    Don't know on % pass rate for USMLE for Ireland, which would be helpful (if find some published stats, will share them). I have a friend from the USA who came to Dublin for medschool; he wrote the first Step for US licensing last August and he got a 94, and his roommate got a 93, which he says were good scores. He also said that one of the guys in their class who sat the exam didn't pass at all, though, so I guess it matters how hard you work.

                    There are scholarships/medals/competitions for different subjects in which the medstudents from the different universities are eligible to compete. The list of winners is posted each year. The number of winners from each school is pretty equal among the universities. UCD wins the most since it has more students, vs. other Irish schools--but all win them pretty much in relation to the number of students they have enrolled.

                    Hope that can be of some help. Best wishes, roo

                    P.S. Happy St. Patrick's day
                    smile.gif


                    [This message has been edited by roo (edited 03-17-2001).]
                     

                    roo

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                      Hi Deep,

                      Glad that it could help. I said I'd pass on if any USMLE stuff came up.

                      An american student who was graduating this year did an info session for the American students to help prepare for their US licensing exams (and a handful of Irish students went too who were thinking about doing some post-grad training abroad in america). He told about his letters of reference, the Irish transcripts, these types of things, as well as his experience in the process and some tips and pitfalls to avoid. In his graduating class at University College Dublin there was 5 americans (out of a class of about 170). He said that all 5 of them matched to their residencies. He said one of the girls had to go into something called a scramble since she only applied to 3 programs instead of the normal 30-40 and didn't get one of those 3 in the first round. The others got one of their top 5 choices. The guy giving the advice talk went to Emergency, the scramble girl Pediatrics, 2 to Internal medicine, can't remember the last one. He said 2 of the 5 were given residency offers outside the match (don't know what they were, sorry, that might have been helpful to know) but those 2 students turned them down and did the match anyways. The guy giving the talk could talk the most about his own profile obviously. He was (I wrote these down):
                      -US citizen. Father was doctor. Parents from Ireland.
                      -He applied to 35 programs, was interviewed at 12.
                      -He got his #3 choice of program on the match list.
                      -His resume I would say was okay (not much done during medschool, more before), marks in medschool average to good, recommendation letters very strong, USMLE score very good 11th percentile on first one, 16th percentile on second. He said that his program was competitive and had USMLE cutoffs, so good scores for him were important.

                      Hope that helps. Best wishes, roo

                      [This message has been edited by roo (edited March 28, 2001).]
                       
                      K

                      kimberlicox

                        <font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">Originally posted by roo:
                        He said one of the girls had to go into something called a scramble since she only applied to 3 programs instead of the normal 30-40 [This message has been edited by roo (edited March 28, 2001).]

                        Geez...who gave her THAT advice?! I wanted to bump this back up to the top so that everyone could see this: DO NOT SUICIDE AND ONLY APPLY TO A COUPLE OF PROGRAMS. I DON'T CARE IF YOU ARE A HARVARD GRAD, YOU COULD VERY WELL BE LEFT UNMATCHED!!!

                         

                        leorl

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                        1. Attending Physician
                          Hi,

                          I'm not in med school yet, but thinking of applying to Trinity and RCSI. I just spent last year at Trinity for Junior Year Abroad, so favor it. RCSI is rather high for $$$ and if you can get the same education for such a very well reputed school such as Trinity, might be just as well to go for the cheaper option.

                          I LOVE TRINITY! IT's sooo beautiful, the people are wonderful, and I've met a lot of the med students. They're incredibly diligent, but fun at the same time. Some of the med students at US colleges lose the "fun" side of their personalities when they have so much stress surrounding exams and competition.

                          If I go back, I'd go to Trinity, since I've already made wonderful friends there. But I'm biased...I met this girl from RCSI who turned out to be one of the most abominable people I've ever met (and she did undergrad at McGill, btw) :D
                           
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