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Will going to the Caribbean screw you over?

nysegop

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    Is it worth going to medical school in the Caribbean? I have heard two stories:

    A. Going to schools in the Caribbean isn't bad as it's easier to get into but most people will fail or drop out, the academics are virtually the same. Going to PR or DR med schools isn't as bad as you would think.

    B. Going to school in the Caribbean will ruin your career. You won't be able to get ANY competitive fellowships and you will be among the lowest paid, lowest respected doctors in the country.



    Which of these is true?
     
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    Hemorrage

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      Is it worth going to medical school in the Caribbean? I have heard two stories:

      A. Going to schools in the Caribbean isn't bad as it's easier to get into but most people will fail or drop out, the academics are virtually the same. Going to PR or DR med schools isn't as bad as you would think.

      B. Going to school in the Caribbean will ruin your career. You won't be able to get ANY competitive fellowships and you will be among the lowest paid, lowest respected doctors in the country.



      Which of these is true?

      US MD > US DO > Caribbean

      That said, there are plenty of successful american physicians who went to the caribbean.
       

      Shalashaska

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        I think if you are pondering going to the Caribbean right now, then now is the time to go. I think that when people start going there after the next 2 years, life will become much more difficult getting back to the United States and practicing. That being said, the future is unpredictable. I know several Caribbean grads who are successful physicians in America.

        People bash the Caribbean because of what they hear from other people. However, the Caribbean isn't going to be the most viable option in the next few years, so once again, if you want, go now or keep applying in the US if you want to practice here.

        SGU and Ross are two good schools down there.
         

        blizzah

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          There STILL aren't stats on the MONSTROUS attrition rates bandied about for the Caribbean.

          A is more true than B, but it lies somewhere in the middle.


          I am not suggesting anyone go to the Caribbean, but you look at the match lists for SGU and Ross and there are a ton of primary care (and some surgery, anes, etc.) matches into the US. Therefore, it isn't like you are throwing your life away going to the Caribbean since clearly, over a thousand students from the more respected Caribbean schools match every year.
           
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          druggeek

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            There STILL aren't stats on the MONSTROUS attrition rates bandied about for the Caribbean.

            A is more true than B, but it lies somewhere in the middle.


            I am not suggesting anyone go to the Caribbean, but you look at the match lists for SGU and Ross and there are a ton of primary care (and some surgery, anes, etc.) matches into the US. Therefore, it isn't like you are throwing your life away going to the Caribbean since clearly, over a thousand students from the more respected Caribbean schools match every year.
            Attrition + people not matched + number of lower/mid tier schools success rates = carribean gives you a poor chance overall.
             

            todds

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              At this point, I would say going to Caribbean is a very bad idea. Perhaps this was few years back it would be a different story. Even though this is unpopular, i would hesitant and brand new DO as well as brand new MD schools as well.

              I would go to a well established DO or an MD school thats not completely brand new. Things may change in the future, but you don't want to be in 200K debt and not have a residency to complete.
               

              druggeek

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                There was a news story of some random dude who got fired from somewhere (for faking his credentials) setting up a med school in St Kitts (2004-2007 I believe). The dude would run his own anatomy labs and toss pieces of the cadavers into the garbage bin (lolwut). Turns out he faked his MD and didnt even finish med school at some random unknown place. He pretty much ran away and the school obviously shut down, no one graduated (no ****).

                Imagine paying 40-50k in tuition to that place, wasting 2-3 years... and getting nothing in return at all except a middle finger (at best).
                 
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                KobeshouldbeaMD

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                  B. Going to school in the Caribbean will ruin your career. You won't be able to get ANY competitive fellowships and you will be among the lowest paid, lowest respected doctors in the country.



                  Which of these is true?

                  1. Yes, It has a higher chance of ruining your career because some of them close down or lose accreditation, and they aren't well respected in terms of residency placement.
                  2. Some people get into competitive specialties, some don't.. The majority of the people who graduate, mind you a lot of people drop out or get expelled, will not land super competitive specialties.
                  3. You will not be "lowest" paid.. That makes no sense. You will get paid like anyone else, you just have to make it thought residency and graduate.
                  4. You might get some disrespect from people, but you probably won't. I don't think other physicians care about alma mater, I think they'd care about how well you do your job.
                   

                  Finches

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                    There was a news story of some random dude who got fired from somewhere (for faking his credentials) setting up a med school in St Kitts (2004-2007 I believe). The dude would run his own anatomy labs and toss pieces of the cadavers into the garbage bin (lolwut). Turns out he faked his MD and didnt even finish med school at some random unknown place. He pretty much ran away and the school obviously shut down, no one graduated (no ****).

                    Imagine paying 40-50k in tuition to that place, wasting 2-3 years... and getting nothing in return at all except a middle finger (at best).


                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Theresa's_Medical_University_(St._Kitts)

                    News story: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_486515.html
                     

                    druggeek

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                      1. Yes, It has a higher chance of ruining your career because some of them close down or lose accreditation, and they aren't well respected in terms of residency placement.
                      2. Some people get into competitive specialties, some don't.. The majority of the people who graduate, mind you a lot of people drop out or get expelled, will not land super competitive specialties.
                      3. You will not be "lowest" paid.. That makes no sense. You will get paid like anyone else, you just have to make it thought residency and graduate.
                      4. You might get some disrespect from people, but you probably won't. I don't think other physicians care about alma mater, I think they'd care about how well you do your job.


                      maybe current 30 something year old and older attendings dont care but im sure with all the carribean talk... other attendings (people currently in med school/pre meds, as they become attendings) could make fun of a carribean guy behind the scenes.
                      I feel sorry for the graduates from that school. They just wasted a ton of money and time only to find out they can't be licensed physicians in many states.
                      well... i dont know if I feel sorry for them.
                      Would you feel someone for someone giving their bank account info. to some dude who emailed him from nigeria saying someone died and they now inherited a certain amount of money? :laugh:

                      People need to do IN DEPTH research on a situation before handing over thousands of dollars... this goes for anything. Instead, many people will just read some website and be convinced. Like some dude talking to me just yesterday:

                      "ya man im going to x (insert name of low-tier med school) school in the carribean, i think it's better man i dont know to do a 4 year degree then do another 4 years, im gonna save mad time and their website says it's accredited so ill be a doctor in Canada right away" (he's taken a year off from high school, had a low 60s average in high school, and doesnt know what residency is)
                       
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                      JCTWP46

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                        Although I doubt pediatric residencies are too competitive, I was surprised to see the medical schools attended by the peds residents at my local hospital. Of 24 residents, 7 went to medical school in the Caribbean, 3 in India, 1 in Australia, 1 in the Netherlands, and 4 are DO. Along with 5 from our state school, 1 from U of Illinois, 1 from U of Texas, and 1 from UNC. Just thought I'd share :)
                         

                        nysegop

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                          I suggest you guys do a little bit of research into geography. Even though Puerto Rico is a US territory, it is still part of the Caribbean. The Caribbean is an ocean. There are islands within that ocean. Puerto Rico happens to be in that ocean. Seriously, this is sixth grade geography. I can't believe we're having a debate about this.

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_islands_in_the_Caribbean
                          http://travel.answers.wikia.com/wiki/Is_Puerto_Rico_part_of_the_Caribbean
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean
                          http://www.spanishcourses.info/countries/puerto-rico-info-172-en.htm
                           

                          mmmcdowe

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                            I suggest you guys do a little bit of research into geography. Even though Puerto Rico is a US territory, it is still part of the Caribbean. The Caribbean is an ocean. There are islands within that ocean. Puerto Rico happens to be in that ocean. Seriously, this is sixth grade geography. I can't believe we're having a debate about this.

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_islands_in_the_Caribbean
                            http://travel.answers.wikia.com/wiki/Is_Puerto_Rico_part_of_the_Caribbean
                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean
                            http://www.spanishcourses.info/countries/puerto-rico-info-172-en.htm


                            I think people are mostly speaking in terms of the fact that PR medical schools are considered US medical schools, not carrib FMG schools like Ross, SGU, etc.
                             

                            theseeker4

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                              I suggest you guys do a little bit of research into geography. Even though Puerto Rico is a US territory, it is still part of the Caribbean. The Caribbean is an ocean. There are islands within that ocean. Puerto Rico happens to be in that ocean. Seriously, this is sixth grade geography. I can't believe we're having a debate about this.

                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_islands_in_the_Caribbean
                              http://travel.answers.wikia.com/wiki/Is_Puerto_Rico_part_of_the_Caribbean
                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean
                              http://www.spanishcourses.info/countries/puerto-rico-info-172-en.htm
                              The point isn't where it is located. The point is PR schools are fully recognized and accredited medical schools in the same category as other US med schools. Graduating from a PR school will make you an US med grad, graduating from a true Caribbean med school will make you a FMG. World of difference regarding residency matching.

                              And by the way, the Caribbean is a sea, not an ocean, per sixth grade geography. Couldn't resist.
                               

                              EBTrailRunner

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                                I have a co-worker who left last week to start at Ross. She's paying about $20K to get a head start on topics that will be covered during the first semester. Ross claimed that students who participate in this prep course have far greater success passing Step 1 than those who don't. When she told me all this, I had to shake my head.

                                OP, don't go to a for-profit, offshore medical school. They don't have your best interests in mind. If you're accepted to a US allopathic or osteopathic medical school, you can feel fairly assured that you'll pass your boards and graduate. Adcoms do their best to admit only students they believe will succeed. The same can't be said for adcoms at Caribbean medical schools.
                                 
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                                circulus vitios

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                                  I'm sorry, this is probably a really stupid question, but what is the difference between "step 1" and "step 2"? Do all schools have these "steps"?

                                  Steps are licensing exams: USMLE Step 1, Step 2CS, Step 2CK, Step 3. Step 1 is taken in the third year of medical school, I believe. If you do poorly on Step I, your chances of getting a competitive residency go down the drain. It's probably the most important exam a medical student will ever take.
                                   
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                                  nysegop

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                                    Steps are licensing exams: USMLE Step 1, Step 2CS, Step 2CK, Step 3. Step 1 is taken in the third year of medical school, I believe. If you does poorly on Step I, your chances of getting a competitive residency go down the drain. It's probably the most important exam a medical student will ever take.

                                    I still don't get it. So if you don't pass step 1 then you take step 2? and then step 3?
                                     

                                    druggeek

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                                      I still don't get it. So if you don't pass step 1 then you take step 2? and then step 3?
                                      No. Every exam is taken and must be passed to obtain your license. Step 1 is crucial in residency matching (and often getting a spot will need a solid score vs. a barely passing score, while getting a competitive residency spot will need a top notch score..) and is highly emphasized everywhere.

                                      Some carribean schools wont even let you take step 1 until you can prove you're ready... and most people there get like 6 months to study vs. 5 weeks in the US...
                                       

                                      nysegop

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                                        No. Every exam is taken and must be passed to obtain your license. Step 1 is crucial in residency matching (and often getting a spot will need a solid score vs. a barely passing score, while getting a competitive residency spot will need a top notch score..) and is highly emphasized everywhere.

                                        Some carribean schools wont even let you take step 1 until you can prove you're ready... and most people there get like 6 months to study vs. 5 weeks in the US...

                                        Ohh I see. So people's residency could potentially change if they got a lower or higher score on step 2?
                                         
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                                          KnuxNole

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                                            I wouldn't say it's trolling, a lot of pre-meds don't know what the Steps are. I was talking about Step 1 with a pre-med last year and they were shocked about all the standardized tests you take in med school.
                                             

                                            Whiskeypunch

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                                              Caribbean schools used to be an option, 4-5 years from now when you are matching it'll be a nightmare.

                                              There has been a shortage of spots in US medical schools for a long time, and there was a significant gap between the number of AMG's vs. the number of residency slots. That gap is closing dramatically as DO schools grow at a 300% rate/10 yrs and MD schools grow at a 15-20% rate over 5 years.

                                              These offshore schools are going to collapse. The smart investors sold their Caribbean schools to DeVry and have started for profit DO/MD schools in the U.S. (1 for profit DO school built, 1 in the works and 2 for profit MD schools in the works).
                                               
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