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  1. #1
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    Living Conditions In Grenada/DO or SGU?

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    Hello,

    I've recently been accepted to SGU for the August '05 class, however I'm starting to have some second thoughts about whether or not I should attend. The reason as to why I'm a bit confused right now, as you can see from my name, is because I was also accepted to a DO school close to my home.

    I've already tried to rate the pro's and con's of each, but I still cannot decide completely. The bad thing about this is that I need to turn in my SGU deposit (the initial 1K) by tomorrow, and I was only notified a few days ago of my acceptance.

    Anyhow, from my own perspective, I would rather go to the DO school, since it is close to home, has modern facilities, small class sizes, the rotations are done locally, the attrition rate is nearly zero, and it is becoming more widely accepted nowadays. I talked to a program director of an internal medicine residency at UCLA (my school), and a plastic surgeon, and both told me to stay in the states. The PD told me they don't look at IMG's at all, but they accept DO's and don't consider them any less than their MD counterparts.

    So, everything sounds good so far, right? lol. Well, the problem I'm having is that I really don't want to encounter any stigma, and even though I will never practice internationally, I think it would be very unfair to work that hard to not be recognized outside of your own country. The other things include having to learn OMM, which although I believe it in, I feel it could take away from my other studies, and also the fact that osteopathic med. students have to take more board exams (USMLE + COMLEX). Also, I really don't want to take part in the AOA (DO) residency programs, and in the end, would rather have an ACGME accredited residency at a university hospital (vs. a community one).

    Wow. This post is getting really long. I'll try to make the rest of it short. I have no qualms about the quality of an SGU education and all the great matches the graduates obtain back here. I would go to SGU in a hearbeat if it were not for a few things, which are scaring me away from it right now. I keep hearing about how living in Grenada is not like living in a resort (which I would expect), but moreso for the fact that quality goods are hard to obtain on the island, the locals appear to be lazy and fail to do their jobs in a timely manner (food takes too long to prepare, bus drivers take breaks whenever, etc.), there are numerous insects, spiders, palmetto bugs, etc all over the dorms and outside the campus (I really, really despise roaches and spiders), and other situations related to SGU life. Other minor things also include large class sizes (you must admit, 300+ peope for one term is a lot), and whether or not the SGU USMLE pass rate is skewed due to withdrawals/decelerations. I've heard the attrition rate is less than 10%, but I would appreciate if it someone could confirm this.

    OK, so my main dilemma is now picking the DO school close to home or SGU. I would appreciate if stephew or Nimitt would please not close this thread. I know there are many others like it, and I have been an avid lurker, so I have read probably all of the threads this could potentially be locked and linked to, but I am still very very confused.

    As I said, I would pick SGU in a heartbeat, but I would really like someone to alleviate my doubts about living in a third world country and the conditions that are associated with it (water, food, bugs, etc.). Mind you, this is coming from a person who has never stepped foot in a dorm in my undergraduate classes. This will be my first time moving away from home (not counting my lovely 3 month summers in India).

    Thanks everyone for reading this long post! I would appreciate any feedback

  2. #2
    ikep is offline Member
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    problems

    I had similar questions that are related to your thoughts.
    Here is what I found:
    According to USMLE reports the passing rate on the first board is 70% for DO.
    I don't believe in the manipulation stuff that DOs boast, ie stay away from my spine...
    But then again I don't believe in anything concerning eastern medicine such as rocks with vibrational emanations...or putting needles in certain parts of my body...until the FDA approves them (which prevents me from getting sued in the future)

    Even though you may not practise medicine abroad try explaining what a DO is to a european while on vacation abroad...I was unsuccessful at doing that with my parents.

    As far as the bugs are concerned: the bugs are attracted to food or shall I say to cleanliness challenged individuals who would rather wait for the cleaning lady to come next week than clean two plates by themselves. I saw more bugs in our lovely state of Illinois than Grenada.

    The attrition rate is skewed by decels and what not but I wish it was higher. Some people around here are motivationaly challenged. This means party, go back home for a couple of weeks, sleep until 12pm, skip classes (and then try to figure out why you failed Physio)

    and then study on the side.
    One of the disadvantages of having a huge class i guess. According to valueMD Ross had its own USMLE crisis. SGU's one is on its way...

    The locals can be nice or annoying to say the least. just like living back at home in the States. The only difference is that in the States we have something called suburbs in case you want to get away from the locals.

    Anyway I personally think that SGU has a lot to offer, my experience has been very positive so far. The classes are huge but the professors are very approachable and if you are motivated enough then one day you will be an MD with the same rights and responsibilities as US MDs and then I personally plan to go and talk to the professor at Washington U in St Louis who laughed when I told him I was going to SGU....to ...Well I'll tell you when I get there in a couple of years.
    Cheers

  3. #3
    mdsh00 is offline Newbie
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    I'm in the same boat

    Hi DazedNCOnfused,

    I guess I can relate to since I am accepted both at WesternU and SGU while I am waiting to hear from US Allo Schools.

    Going the DO route seems easier because I will get to stay in the United States and may have less of a hassle getting into a residency. Not only that, but I live only 30 minutes away from Pomona.

    A few things that make me hesitant about the route is the potential stigma. I know that DO's are just as capable as any other MD (US or IMG), but living in CA, I know that DO's don't have the same exposure that they do in the Midwest.

    My personal goals in medicine are right now geared toward either IM or a subspecialty like Cardio. From what I have heard from people, MDs face less of a stigma than DOs.

    As for getting a residency, I think that if trends stay current, I should not have too much of a problem getting into an IM program back in the US. I might not be able to get one in California (where I want to prectice eventually) but I will probably be able to get one around here.

  4. #4
    tiredintern is offline Junior Member
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    Bottom line DO will give you a better chance are more competetive residency than sgu. I met quite a few do's on the interview circuit and they were getting interviewed in programs most fmg's couldnt dream of. I know a few people who would trade their md's for do's in a heartbeat if it meant they could have gotten ent or ortho instead of having to go into IM and GS.

    Living in the US is a huge advantage.. as does getting established in 1 area and doing clinicals close to home. Most of the residents in my hosptial are US grads with spouses and mortages and kids. The handful of carib grads here are all single and struggling to pay rent with MUCH more debt.

  5. #5
    stacy_de_lin is offline Member
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    re

    The biggest deciding factor for me was that I didn't want to spend the same amount of time in school and then for the rest of my life be asked, "What's that? Are you a doctor?" To avoid this question, I am willing to travel many miles away and spend lots of money and live in a foreign country. Seriously, I just figured that if I'm going to go all the way, I might as well have the initials of M.D. in return. I have spoken with a few people who have experience in the medical field that say if they look down a list, they will pick the MD first before going to see a DO, even though they know good DOs. This was a big wake up call for me when deciding.

    Both SGU and DO will get you equal shots ot good residency and good board prep skills. I'm lucky in that I ONLY applied to allopathic and SGU so now I don't have to make the tough decision that you do; I too have a DO school about 30 minutes away that I'm sure I would have gotten into had I applied. Hope my thoughts helped a little but you're sure to hear just as many opposing ideas, so good luck on your decision. Maybe I will see you in August-- let me know!

    Stac'

  6. #6
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    vtrain is offline Senior Member
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    As an SGUer about to finish up his second term here, I can assure you that your concerns are not as bad as you think. Yes, things are slow down here, the buses may not run on time, etc. but the thing is, its not as bad as ppl make it out to be. Bug and roaches - Ive seen maybe 2 since I've been here and none in the superdorm that i stay in. Only go DO if you truly believe in their philosophy - from the sounds of it, it doesnt look you really. Dont go DO because you couldn't get into an MD school. Living down here is an adjustment for the first few months, but once you get into a groove and figure out how things work down here, everything will be fine. Another thing is that once you are down here, TIME FLIES! I cant believe Im almost done my first year here. And finally dont worry about the class sizes - yet. The library may occaisionally get crowded, but youll always be able to find a place to study and as for office hours, there's never a struggle to get an appt. Good luck
    "Remember your Hippopotamus Oath."
    -H. Simpson

  7. #7
    NataliaLL is offline Newbie
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    SGU vs DO - based on residency match

    I am faced with the same dilemma... going to DO school right here, in NY, 30 mins from my house or moving the Grenada to pursue the magical MD... My concerns, however, go well beyond the bus schedules and the bugs (no offense to DazedNConfused09, I am just as confused ), I am afraid that after graduating SGU I won't be able to find a decent residency position unless I decide to go to IM or peds.

    Does anyone know what our chances are at getting a good residency in (for example):
    Anesthesiology
    Cardiology
    Neurology
    Radiation / Oncology

    As I found out so far, DOs get much better matches for a variety of competitive specialties at a number of very good hospitals, but at the end of the day I just don't want to be a DO...

    Any input is appreciated!

    -Thanks in advance

  8. #8
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    drnick07 is offline Senior Member 514 points
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    Re: SGU vs DO - based on residency match

    Quote Originally Posted by NataliaLL
    I am faced with the same dilemma... going to DO school right here, in NY, 30 mins from my house or moving the Grenada to pursue the magical MD... My concerns, however, go well beyond the bus schedules and the bugs (no offense to DazedNConfused09, I am just as confused ), I am afraid that after graduating SGU I won't be able to find a decent residency position unless I decide to go to IM or peds.

    Does anyone know what our chances are at getting a good residency in (for example):
    Anesthesiology
    Cardiology
    Neurology
    Radiation / Oncology

    As I found out so far, DOs get much better matches for a variety of competitive specialties at a number of very good hospitals, but at the end of the day I just don't want to be a DO...

    Any input is appreciated!

    -Thanks in advance
    Some of those you listed are actully fellowships/subspecialties. Here's a link to SGU's 2004 residency match list. http://www.sgu.edu/website/sguwebsit...ySpecialty.htm
    If you search around on the site you should find other match results. Also, for any residency that starts the second year after graduation (PGY2) the school often has a hard time collecting that data and you'll see those people listed as Transitional or Preliminary.

    here's a link to the list compiled post-2005 match. http://www.valuemd.com/ftopic31531.html The official results should be posted by SGU sometime before the end of the world.
    Hidden Content
    PGY-3 Pediatrics
    SGU graduating class of 2007
    Pediatric hematology/oncology fellow starting July 2010
    drsforamerica.orgHidden Content

  9. #9
    andrew is offline Junior Member
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    DO vs. SGU

    I think that the issue isn't so much where you go to school, as what you do with your opportunity. There are some options that might be available to a DO grad, but not to an "average" SGU student. But who says you have to limit yourself to being average. And while going to Grenada is no small hardship, in the context of the rest of my life, it's not really that big of a deal. I never considered the DO programs, because honestly, I'm kind of vain, and don't think that I'd like having the DO label follow me for the rest of my career. Also, I think that it's important to distinguish between residencies (where you go after medical school), and fellowships (where you go after residency). As far as I know, the IMG stigma becomes much less of an issue when you're applying for a fellowship.

    -A

  10. #10
    stephew is offline Moderator Guru 512 points
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    Re: SGU vs DO - based on residency match

    Quote Originally Posted by NataliaLL
    I am faced with the same dilemma... going to DO school right here, in NY, 30 mins from my house or moving the Grenada to pursue the magical MD... My concerns, however, go well beyond the bus schedules and the bugs (no offense to DazedNConfused09, I am just as confused ), I am afraid that after graduating SGU I won't be able to find a decent residency position unless I decide to go to IM or peds.

    Does anyone know what our chances are at getting a good residency in (for example):
    Anesthesiology
    Cardiology
    Neurology
    Radiation / Oncology

    As I found out so far, DOs get much better matches for a variety of competitive specialties at a number of very good hospitals, but at the end of the day I just don't want to be a DO...

    Any input is appreciated!

    -Thanks in advance
    that really makes little sence. if you believe DO affords so much of a better oppertunity you should do that. you practice the same thing. but your assesment that DOs get much better residencies is in err; it depends upon the IMG and DO school are comparing.
    Steph
    If you get a warning, put on yer manpants and stop whining about it.

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