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  1. #1
    realfacts is offline Newbie 518 points
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    TOP 10 MISTAKES made by FMG'S

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    Originally posted by the VMD Moderator 'dksamp' (see here).

    Quote Originally Posted by dksamp View Post
    The TOP 10 ERRORS/MISTAKES made by foreign medical students & graduates

    Hello,
    This is the good reverend with this week’s sermon. This compilation was YEARS in the making. The recipe was simple. One part observation and 2 parts personal experience. I now present the TOP 10 MISTAKES/ERRORS made by foreign medical students/graduates....FIRE UP THE ORGAN Deacon Durst. Neil C will be passing the collection plate around, and Stephew will lead the choir...LOL :-)

    #10-->Believing EVERYTHING you hear:
    As your mamma used to say, "DON'T believe everything you hear". It always amazed me the degree to which certain people were so gullible that they believed everything that they heard from other folks. During medschool at UNIBE, there was always a contingency of students (mostly transfers from Ross), who were the source of EVERY SINGLE rumor out there. Here is a brief sampling..
    -Tuition is going to be raised to $5000.00 per semester
    -Our graduates are only recognized in 4 states
    -The AMA is gonna pass a law preventing us from getting residency (Hmmmm..AS IF the AMA has any legislative power??? DUH) :-/

    #9-->Depending TOO MUCH on OTHERS for information:
    Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with asking questions and exchanging ideas, however, there is this tendency of some people on this forum to overstep that bound, and treat this as the "Miss Cleo Psychic Forum". Here are some examples:

    "I have a 78 and 82 on my boards. What are my chances of getting into XYZ residency?"

    "I have a 25 on my MCAT, what are my chances with XYZ School??"

    Do I look like Miss Cleo to you????...OK...let's try this...(putting on my turban and rocking my fake Jamaican accent)

    "Yees my chyld, wit dose board scores, you have a 65% chance of getting into Mass Generals Internal Medicine Program"

    "Yees my chyld, wit dose MCAT scores, you have a 80% chance of getting into the University of Michigan's Med school"

    (taking off the turban and back to my regular accent)

    Now, do you feel better?? Did your confidence go up because I threw out some numbers at you?
    A public forum is the absolute WORSE place to ask "What are my chances of XYZ ?". Even if you were to call the individual program itself and ask that very question, no one can tell you with metaphysical certitude what your chances are.

    Also, in a forum as EXTENDED and VAST in the DEPTH of information, NO ONE should be asking "what do I have to do to get a residency in the states? That means they have not lifted a finger to check out the basic information sources like the AMA, ECFMG, USMLE, all of which guide you through some of the basic fundamentals, and whose links are on this site.

    #8-->Putting TOO MUCH FAITH in superficial things as predictors of success
    In the world of daily private practice, NOBODY makes a distinction between who is US trained vs. foreign trained, MD vs. DO, Mass General trained vs. University of Arkansas Medical Center trained, Harvard med school vs. UCE med school. To me, they are just Ron, Waddah, Jen, Howard, Simi, Saad, Bernie, Robin, etc. I and others depend on these people for consults and help with patient care. I don't have the foggiest idea, nor do I care where each one of them trained or went to med school, and NEITHER DO THEY. All I see is a dependable consultant who is a colleague/friend and helps when asked.


    #7-->Depending too much on board review courses
    If basic science could be taught in 6 weeks, IT WOULD. Fact is, it CAN'T. Basic science takes 2 years to learn and process. I saw too many people neglect their basic sciences by trying to get by with old tests, not studying, cheating, etc. and expecting Kaplan, Arc Ventures, etc to fill in the gap, only to be disappointed with a low or failing board score.

    #6-->Too quick to transfer schools at the drop of a hat for "greener pastures"
    This is another disaster/tragedy I saw too much of. because of the aforementioned errors, people transferred to other places thinking that their chances for success in the US were going to be significantly better. Not only did most of these people not achieve a better outcome, many folks got outright SHAFTED
    Here's a sample of REAL-LIFE SHAFTINGS that took place...
    a) Many people transferred to school like UFHEC and UNIRHEMOS, and BOTH these schools were soon closed down, leaving many student's future screwed.
    b) Many people transferred to other school because of clinicals in the states and the perception of a better future only to get a residency NO BETTER/DIFFERENT than if they were to have stayed and graduated. In other words, the END OUTCOME is no better/different
    c) 2 friends I know transferred to St. Matts in Belize because of US clinicals only to be SCREWED by the Texas State Board of Medical examiners and have their training licenses REVOKED because of the curriculum at St. Matts. Result, they had to leave their residencies and find other places.
    Was the transfer REALLY worth it??
    Don't get me wrong, there ARE circumstances that DO warrant a transfer, but it should ALWAYS be a LAST RESORT.
    As a side note, if you are going to travel outside the US, DO NOT EXPECT XYZ country to be like the US. Constantly beefing and complaining about how "XYZ is not like the US" serves no purpose, and if you want the US so badly, APPLY TO A US SCHOOL...PERIOD...and stop complaining about the country that you are in. If you hate the place where you are, LEAVE. Nobody put a gun to your head and told you to enroll.

    #5-->NOT studying
    The thought of going to school in the Caribbean just makes you wanna think about beachside studying, island life, and one big happy adult playground...WRONG!!. Yes, there are PLENTY fun things to see/do in the Caribbean, but some people go way overboard on this and treat the med school years as an extended vacation. I recall folks that were CONSTANTLY in the casinos, or out partying, or juggling 5 different girlfriends. There is NOTHING wrong with any of the aforementioned things, especially the latter ;-)
    HOWEVER, too many ppl neglect their studies because of it and don't see the consequences until it is 3 years after graduation and STILL no boards passed (YES, there ARE people like that roaming around, and its a tragedy)

    #4-->Not visiting the school before enrolling.
    You wouldn't buy an expensive car without looking at it and test-driving it first. So why should an expensive 4 year commitment to medical school be any different?? The way some people ask questions in this forum, you would think that they want others to pick the school for them. If you ask 3 different people "should I go to school X vs. school Y vs. school Z, you will get 3 different answers, and NONE of them are going to be better advice. The only way you KNOW if the school is for you is if you visit. Why take a crapshoot on a 4-year investment that can potentially make you miserable?? VISIT, VISIT, VISIT the island and school before you enroll and ask yourself this..."Can I REALISTICALLY spend 4 years here and be HAPPY??"


    #3-->Limited view of the US
    OK, the USA consists of 50 STATES (plus Puerto Rico as a commonwealth). However, some FMG's think the US ONLY consists of New York, New Jersey, Florida and California, and apply to residencies accordingly. End result, you have a ZILLION people competing for a FEW spots in a LIMITED portion of the country. What about Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, etc They have programs too. THEN people wanna beef and moan about how "I need a big city", "I need to be close to XYZ, etc". But my point is, you were willing to forego these luxuries to go OUT OF THE COUNTRY to medical school for 2-4 years, so why are you complaining about a 3-5 year residency?? You don't have to stay after residency, you can pick wherever you want. I never been to the midwest, and I am not too crazy about the midwest (too cold for me), but I was ALL OVER IT when I was looking for a residency, cause I knew it was just for a limited time and afterwards, I can pick and choose where I want to go afterwards (which I did and came back to the east coast for private practice after 3 years in the midwest).

    #2-->Not properly researching the residencies available before applying.
    Instead of asking the forum "what are my chances of XYZ residency", why don't you contact the residency program and get DIRECT feedback on your chances. How is the percentage from a poster on a forum going to give you accurate answers?? Most programs have a website and list their criteria. Others will email you feedback on their criteria. To give an example, in my residency program that I graduated from, there was a STATE MANDATED limit on how many times one is allowed to fail the boards. In that state it was 3. Despite that, we STILL got tons of faxes and applications from folks that failed a part of the USMLE MORE than 3 times. This boggled my mind. It shows that there are many people who are not doing the proper investigations. You will see how much smoother/efficient the application process can/will be if you do the PROPER investigations and inquiries BEFORE applying.

    and for NUMERO UNO...drum roll.......

    #1-->Failing to conquer the demons that lie within BEFORE embarking on this long journey.
    This is a recurring theme on my postings. Demons that are not conquered properly Do come back and at the WORST possible time. The demons come in many forms...

    a) academic-if you have a poor standardized test-taking history (SAT, MCAT, etc) There is a SITGNIFICANT chance that your USMLE score will follow that same pattern. Most schools believe that there IS a correlation between MCAT performance and USMLE performance. If you are a POOR test-taker, PLEASE conquer that demon before committing yourself to 4 years of med school, cause nothing it more tragic than to see folks years after graduating doing nothing and letting their clinical skills slip because they can't pass the USMLE. Also in terms of studies, if you don't have the discipline to do well in premed, that same lack of discipline will hurt your chances of success in medical school.

    b) psychological-I have seen some people that literally SNAPPED after a few months in medical school due to the stress and preexisting psychological demons that existed prior to going to med school. If you are suffering from a psychological disorder, PLEASE GET TREATED and get the green light from the practitioner treating you before you go off to a foreign country. and when you do go, PLEASE stay on your treatment and maintain close contact with the one treating you in the states.


    Well congregation, that ends this weeks sermon, now back to our regularly scheduled programming :-)

    PEACE!!!

    Reverend Sampson
    Last edited by Doc; 06-04-2009 at 09:46 PM. Reason: Giving proper credit to the original author

  2. #2
    logo's Avatar
    logo is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Really... Well put.

  3. #3
    myth00 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    good post. good post.

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    MonAmiMD's Avatar
    MonAmiMD is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Standing Ovation

    Hey RealFacts,
    Thanks a lot for posting all that. It's a serious wake up call for some. I think we might be dozing off on the forums or it's a place for some of us to acceptably freak out on, hehe. The Miss Cleo part was hilarious, period.
    I still have to read the rest of the post, so let me go do that.
    Great job and thanks again.
    Last edited by MonAmiMD; 02-02-2009 at 12:40 AM.

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    IGoToIAU is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Cool thanks!!!!

  6. #6
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    eskimo2008 is offline Member 510 points
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    Lol... good post

  7. #7
    dr.thunder is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Must read for vmd shoppers... Lol

  8. #8
    Kronos's Avatar
    Kronos is offline Senior Member 535 points
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    I remember this post from a long, long time back! Glad to see it reposted for new students...
    The glass is neither half-full nor half-empty: it's twice as big as it needs to be.

  9. #9
    Knight__1's Avatar
    Knight__1 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Interesting

  10. #10
    cassaundradl is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Amen, brother preach!!!! Thanks for the info
    Live today as though it were you last, plan as though you will live forever.

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