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  1. #1
    drs_86 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Lublin vs. some carib schools

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    Hey everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone had opinions on which is a better choice--Lublin or AUC/Saba. I keep seeing people posting that the big 4 are better and I know that SGU and Ross provide more rotations and such...but what about the other two. Im currently leaning more towards Lublin because of location and price but I want to make sure none of the important things are compromised. To attend AUC or Saba I might have to wait 5 months to a year more. Is it worth the wait or does Lublin set you up well for rotations. My concern is mainly with rotations and residency placements. Leading up to that seems like its primarily about how hard I work. Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

    Thanks!

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    It is not even close, AUC and saba are better. They are designed for the american medical student who did not gain admission to the states. The have very high pass rates (90+) on the usmle exams. I am an auc grad who works with grads from the polish schools, while they are driven and good doctors, they will admit that the education they got in poland was second rate, had tons of cheating/academic dishonesty, and that the american students were an after thought that was strictly a source of revenue. These same residents said that most people did not finish the program, people often failed usmle, and they had few choices when is came to clinicals in the usa. My advice would be consider DO school vs. the big 4 if you cant get in the USA allopathic schools. The other options are risky, and provide a significantly lower chance of obtaining residency.
    Attending Physician

  3. #3
    drs_86 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thanks for your response. Would you say the problems with gaining residency are because of the reputation of the school or because of low Step 1 scores. I was always under the impression that most people who don't pass are just not working hard enough despite being presented with the information. Is this the case or are the lectures really that bad? I can't seem to figure out if the pass rates are lower because the school is not as well known, resulting in lots of unmotivated students being accepted, or because the classes are terrible.

  4. #4
    DrHokie. is offline Junior Member 525 points
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    Why Lublin?

    Hi there drs_86.

    The decision that you have in front of you is one of the most difficult ones that you will make for awhile.

    Going to school at Lublin is a great option that is best used once you exhaust your chances with the osteopathic and big 4 in the Carribian (St. George, AUC, Ross, SABA).

    I just recently started my rotations in the states, and I can tell you that everyone is on the same level when they get here. There will always be gunners who try to make their peers look bad, but ultimately the knowledge from step 1 keeps everyone in the same game.

    About the Lublin 4 year program:

    Nobody is going to MAKE you do anything. If you are alright with just getting by under the radar, Lublin is not for you. The majority of your education will come from you choosing to take the material seriously, finding study groups to keep focussed, and deciding not to cheat yourself even when the opportunity is there.
    One of the biggest differentiators of Lublin to Carib schools, is the final exam policies. In most european schools (including the polish program at Lublin) it is customary to have up two 2 retakes for final exams. The retakes dont get any easier, and, in fact, they are almost always more difficult than the first exam, but they give you a chance. There is no serious threat of "failing out" of Lublin. That being said, about half of my class did not graduate on time- meaning that they repeated enough classes to have to stay longer in Lublin.

    Lectures and Labs:
    The material covered is all very relevant and important for practicing medicine. If you pay attention, all the high yield items on step 1 are covered in depth. The only, substantial, problem with classes here are the types of questions on the tests. The current format is alot like undergrad type questions (shorter fact based questions and less differentials) and not so much the clinical vignettes that are needed to be comfortable with Step 1.

    It is because of this lack of comfort with the test that most MUL students take about 4-6 months off after year 2 to do Kaplan and prep for the step.
    Take this into account when scheduling your education.

    Rotations:
    MUL actually does a pretty great job with setting up rotation schedules. Many Caribbean schools will schedule rotations one at a time at distant hospitals as dictated by availability. This is typically not the case with Hope. For the vast majority, rotation schedules are scheduled for the entire year with little to no discontinuity between rotations. For example, I was just given my 3rd year rotation schedule. I am scheduled to do all of my core electives at Wyckoff Heights MC. Each of my core electives are scheduled back to back for an entire year. The stability that this provides is invaluable, because it allows an active student the opportunity to be very active at the hospital (outreach, research, connections, etc).

    Having said all of that, Hope currently only has active rotation spots in the suburbs of Chicago (Adventist Hospital systems in Hinsdale and La Grange), WHMC in NYC, Niagra Falls (only for Family med right now), and they are just about to open spots with Kalieda Health Systems in Buffalo (For electives only).

    One must also realize that Lublin and Silesia students are FAR outnumbered by the class sizes at Ross, AUC, AUA, and SABA. All Hope students put together at WHMC make up maybe 15-20 percent of the medical student population (most Hope students are rotating at WHMC), which is dominated by Ross and AUA.

    Residency options:

    From what I've seen and researched, there is not an additional stigma attached to students coming from Lublin as compared to any other FMG.
    In my opinion, scores on part 1 and 2 are the only significant differentiator between Polish and Caribbean residency applicants.




    Biggest Benefits of choosing Lublin:

    1) GradPlus Loans - This is a luxury that most Caribbean Medical Schools can not offer. This puts you in the same financial boat as most American Medical Students

    2) European Union Certification- By graduating from an EU accredited facility you add an additional layer of confidence that your school is legitimate. In addition, graduates of MUL can practice anywhere in the EU without having to take additional certification exams.

    3) If for some reason you have a tough time with Step 1, you can always (worst case senario) complete all of your rotations at Lublin (we have 4 different teaching hospitals that all work with American MUL students). You can always complete your steps after you do all of your rotations and then apply for a US residency. (The biggest reasons why people avoid this path are because you will have to learn how to speak Polish fluently, and that it is extra time away from home)



    Biggest Disadvantages of choosing Lublin:

    1) Not all of your peers will be as serious about their medical education as you think they should be.

    2) Cultural and Language barriers- There are some classes (mostly in your first year) where the professor's english skills will not be great. Having said that, it is no different than having a foreign TA teach you chemistry. (Its annoying but not insurmountable).
    Ironically, the cultural barrier I speak of in this situation is not Polish, but rather Indian. The vast majority of the American students at Lublin are of Indian-American descent. There can be alot of 'high-school' level drama that may keep you from finding the ideal study group situation (again its annoying but not insurmountable).

    3) Poland is cold.

    4) Poland is 5000 miles away from your family.






    Bottom Line:

    If you:
    1) have a strong background in Science (** in Biology etc.)
    2) are self motivated and do not require alot of guidance to read and learn material
    3) are mentally capable of living 5000 miles away from home
    4) WANT TO BE A PHYSICIAN

    then Lublin is a smart and very reasonable choice.
    Last edited by DrHokie.; 12-08-2010 at 02:48 AM.

  5. #5
    drs_86 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thank you so much Dr. Hokie. That was a very thorough and helpful response.

    So basically it comes down to how hard you work as an individual. If HMI is setting their students up in the same rotations as Ross and AUA students than the major difference must be the exam structure.

    With that being said, I keep reading that a few of the Caribbean schools try to weed out their students and that certain schools have limited rotation spots so sometimes students have to wait a few months before being placed anywhere. This is why I am not as concerned about a few months here and there. No matter which school, theres always a possibility of losing 5 or 6 months. Almost seems like either you lose a few months retaking semesters/waiting for rotations or you spend a few months at kaplan for step 1.

    Work ethic is not a problem. If I have a better chance at getting rotations through HMI then I don't mind taking a few months off to study for Step 1.

    If I'm misinformed or misinterpreting anything please let me know.

  6. #6
    Elssha's Avatar
    Elssha is offline Member 510 points
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    Hokie;
    can you tell me which of the hospitals you mentioned are green book? I know the ones you do in Lublin count since the school is accepted as greenbook, but someone told me only one of the US hospitals qualifies (and that that one has something like a 6mon waitlist).
    I tried speaking with some ed reps in Weiss over the phone while i was in Chicago this past summer, trying to find out about their rotations (the HMI website is lacking and outdated) facilities and perhaps getting a tour or some facetime. The reps couldn't tell me if they were green book or not, and the first one i spoke to didn't even know they Had rotations with HMI.

  7. #7
    DrHokie. is offline Junior Member 525 points
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    Greenbook vs. Bluebook

    This topic is often confused and misinterpreted by medical students everywhere.


    First, a hospital can NOT be considered Greenbook or Bluebook. Instead, each individual rotation that the hospital offers can be considered Greenbook or non-Greenbook approved.

    DEFINITIONS:

    Greenbook rotation: A rotation at a hospital that has a corresponding residency program at that hospital in that field of study. Example: Pediatrics at WHMC is a Greenbook rotation because there is a residency program offered in Pediatrics at WHMC that is ACGME approved. This can be confirmed by doing a search on FREIDA, which shows that WHMC is a participating institution in the Pediatrics residency program of Brooklyn Hospital Center (ACGME Program Number 3203511148)


    Bluebook rotations: Most states guidelines dictate that if a Hospital has an ACGME approved Family Practice Residency program --- then Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, OBGYN, and Surgery are Accredited by extension. These are called Blue Umbrella rotations. The big issue with Blue book rotations is that many states have a limit on the number of credits you can have from blue rotations. They vary from state to state.

    Exceptions: We currently have two rotations (Surgery and OBGYN) at WHMC that are AOA approved instead of ACGME approved. These are osteopathic rotations. (They are damned good though, and are probably the best rotations you could ask for as far as intensity and what you learn) Depending on the wording of the bylaws for the state in which you wish to practice, these can be treated as Greenbook because of the American Osteopathic Association approval, or as Blue Umbrella rotations since WHMC does have an accredited ACGME Family Practice rotation.



    Back to your question:

    Hope currently has active affiliations with

    1) Adventist hospital system near chicago.

    As far as I am aware, these two hospitals only have ACGME approved Family Medicine rotations, and offer blue umbrella Peds, OBGYN, and Surgery.

    Having said that, I have heard many reports that these hospitals were excellent and offered alot of hands on training and one on one teaching with the attending. (Great for LORs)

    2) Niagra Falls

    As far as I am aware, the affiliation with Niagra Falls is for their AOA approved Family Medicine rotation. I believe that this is the only one that is offered at Niagra Falls.

    I have also heard that this is an excellent rotation, where you are truly integrated as part of the staff and are actively depended on as a healthcare provider.

    3) WHMC

    Wyckoff has ACGME approved Family Med, Pediatrics and Internal Medicine rotations. They also have AOA approved OBGYN, and Surgery rotations.

    The hospital has many medical students, mostly from the carib. From what I have heard, the rotations are on par, with IM being the worst, and Surgery and OB being the best.



    Note: I'm leaving out buffalo because most states do not care if your electives are ACGME approved or not.




    As far as rotation availability goes, stop worrying. Hope has plenty of spots even at WHMC. Get done with your step 1, then worry about it. The worst case scenario is that you have to wait 6 weeks after you find out that you pass your step to get placed at your rotation. But even then its no big deal because you need like 3 weeks to move and get housing settled.

  8. #8
    drsherman is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrHokie. View Post
    Hi there drs_86.

    The decision that you have in front of you is one of the most difficult ones that you will make for awhile.

    Going to school at Lublin is a great option that is best used once you exhaust your chances with the osteopathic and big 4 in the Carribian (St. George, AUC, Ross, SABA).

    I just recently started my rotations in the states, and I can tell you that everyone is on the same level when they get here. There will always be gunners who try to make their peers look bad, but ultimately the knowledge from step 1 keeps everyone in the same game.

    About the Lublin 4 year program:

    Nobody is going to MAKE you do anything. If you are alright with just getting by under the radar, Lublin is not for you. The majority of your education will come from you choosing to take the material seriously, finding study groups to keep focussed, and deciding not to cheat yourself even when the opportunity is there.
    One of the biggest differentiators of Lublin to Carib schools, is the final exam policies. In most european schools (including the polish program at Lublin) it is customary to have up two 2 retakes for final exams. The retakes dont get any easier, and, in fact, they are almost always more difficult than the first exam, but they give you a chance. There is no serious threat of "failing out" of Lublin. That being said, about half of my class did not graduate on time- meaning that they repeated enough classes to have to stay longer in Lublin.

    Lectures and Labs:
    The material covered is all very relevant and important for practicing medicine. If you pay attention, all the high yield items on step 1 are covered in depth. The only, substantial, problem with classes here are the types of questions on the tests. The current format is alot like undergrad type questions (shorter fact based questions and less differentials) and not so much the clinical vignettes that are needed to be comfortable with Step 1.

    It is because of this lack of comfort with the test that most MUL students take about 4-6 months off after year 2 to do Kaplan and prep for the step.
    Take this into account when scheduling your education.

    Rotations:
    MUL actually does a pretty great job with setting up rotation schedules. Many Caribbean schools will schedule rotations one at a time at distant hospitals as dictated by availability. This is typically not the case with Hope. For the vast majority, rotation schedules are scheduled for the entire year with little to no discontinuity between rotations. For example, I was just given my 3rd year rotation schedule. I am scheduled to do all of my core electives at Wyckoff Heights MC. Each of my core electives are scheduled back to back for an entire year. The stability that this provides is invaluable, because it allows an active student the opportunity to be very active at the hospital (outreach, research, connections, etc).

    Having said all of that, Hope currently only has active rotation spots in the suburbs of Chicago (Adventist Hospital systems in Hinsdale and La Grange), WHMC in NYC, Niagra Falls (only for Family med right now), and they are just about to open spots with Kalieda Health Systems in Buffalo (For electives only).

    One must also realize that Lublin and Silesia students are FAR outnumbered by the class sizes at Ross, AUC, AUA, and SABA. All Hope students put together at WHMC make up maybe 15-20 percent of the medical student population (most Hope students are rotating at WHMC), which is dominated by Ross and AUA.

    Residency options:

    From what I've seen and researched, there is not an additional stigma attached to students coming from Lublin as compared to any other FMG.
    In my opinion, scores on part 1 and 2 are the only significant differentiator between Polish and Caribbean residency applicants.




    Biggest Benefits of choosing Lublin:

    1) GradPlus Loans - This is a luxury that most Caribbean Medical Schools can not offer. This puts you in the same financial boat as most American Medical Students

    2) European Union Certification- By graduating from an EU accredited facility you add an additional layer of confidence that your school is legitimate. In addition, graduates of MUL can practice anywhere in the EU without having to take additional certification exams.

    3) If for some reason you have a tough time with Step 1, you can always (worst case senario) complete all of your rotations at Lublin (we have 4 different teaching hospitals that all work with American MUL students). You can always complete your steps after you do all of your rotations and then apply for a US residency. (The biggest reasons why people avoid this path are because you will have to learn how to speak Polish fluently, and that it is extra time away from home)



    Biggest Disadvantages of choosing Lublin:

    1) Not all of your peers will be as serious about their medical education as you think they should be.

    2) Cultural and Language barriers- There are some classes (mostly in your first year) where the professor's english skills will not be great. Having said that, it is no different than having a foreign TA teach you chemistry. (Its annoying but not insurmountable).
    Ironically, the cultural barrier I speak of in this situation is not Polish, but rather Indian. The vast majority of the American students at Lublin are of Indian-American descent. There can be alot of 'high-school' level drama that may keep you from finding the ideal study group situation (again its annoying but not insurmountable).

    3) Poland is cold.

    4) Poland is 5000 miles away from your family.






    Bottom Line:

    If you:
    1) have a strong background in Science (** in Biology etc.)
    2) are self motivated and do not require alot of guidance to read and learn material
    3) are mentally capable of living 5000 miles away from home
    4) WANT TO BE A PHYSICIAN

    then Lublin is a smart and very reasonable choice.



    BTW, about the professor's English skills, a lot of professors teaching in the Caribbeans are coming straight from India and their English skills are not that great either.i heard some complains about professors who barely speak English.

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