I WOULD go to SMU
I was thinking on going to SMU, but at the end. After 2 months of search and thinking, I made my mind.
I definitely would go to SMU.
I applied to 5 schools in January 2012. They are: SABA, SGU, MUA, AUA, SMU.
1st choice: SABA: I hope I can go there............................................. ..file pending MCAT scores
2nd choice: SGU: I wish I can go there, but I canít afford this...............Interview on 15-04-2012
3rd choice: AUA: Iíll probably finish there...........................................In terview on 13-04-2012
4th choice: MUA: backup plan.............................................. ...............file pending MCAT scores
5th choice: SMU: back up plan...................................interview in February, accepted in March
Until recently, I wasnít sure if Iíd go to SMU. However, after reading this tread I change my mind. Sometimes all it takes is a spark. http://www.valuemd.com/saba-universi...hool-grad.html
Reading that some decisions are taken up in The States, a lot of things became clear as the dean and admission staffs on the islands follow instructions from main office in The States. That could explain why one day the local admin said something and tomorrow this person say the contrary. May be its just not they call. That can also explain why they push couple of changes on the student without warning.
By reading the forum, I was totally confused by the pros and cons of SMU. It was hard to differentiate the true from the false. Itís was hard to take one side or another when we donít know where the truth is. At the end it seems less a matter of true and false but more a matter of perception.
I was scared of SMU. I fear to be lied to by the administration, I fear to fall short of money of the school make me fail. I fear to be used by the school. For this, the cons of SMU did a great job. They made me doubt! They outlined lots of negative stuffs and I thanks to them, I know what SMU is capable. In few words, I didnít trust SMU so I was scare of SMU.
I had the impression SMU was in a corner apart from the others. After the spark of the above thread, suddenly SMU doesnít seem to be that much in a corner but it seems part of the whole Caribbean system.
Thus, by looking through the treads, I realize most of the SMU ways are in fact ways of Caribbean medical schools.
Here what I found:
I feared to see passing notes changing after taking the test,
It seems that SABA change the NTSB required to pass after the test was taken... so this is nothing new to only SMU. Others seem to do that. Of course in US and Canada that would not be acceptable. But we are in the Caribbean! The school can always argue the initial decision was taken locally but the US offices decide differently.
So should we fear passing note changing after the score was taken? YES. Iím sure itís not the last time that happens. Being aware of it is better than being surprised by it.
I feared to see a bunch of change without warning from the school putting in jeopardy my training.
Having a bunch of changes without warning is sure no fun, but if the decision are taken in the states, chances are that the deans an island office have to push changes they were told to. It happens to SABA so itís nothing new to SMU. Dean, local admin, teacher are simply applying the rules made by the head office.
Moreover, Caribbean medical school is a business. That mean they have to be competitive. The drastic changes made are supposed to make the school more competitive. SMU does, SABA does and others do it to.
Should we fear theses changes? YES. Its not the last time they happen. I am sure the sure the administration in US does them to have a better reputation so they diploma worth more and favour they students.
I feared to be failed and stay longer on the island
The fear to be failed by the school is more subtle. The argument that more you stay on the island and more tuitions you pay is logical. On the other side, some people emphases that a student that pass the NBME at 65 could struggle to pass the USMLE. So is the school making them a favor by having them repeat to have stronger skills and to pass more easily the USMLE. This is logical to me also. I think the school is searching its own interest by acting unilaterally. They want to preserve the reputation of the school. This is good for the future alumni. Here again this is not limited to SMU. And if doing so could help the budget... why not!
I feared about not having sufficient rotation spots and having to wait in between. They are many threads from other schools where itís not that easy to have the rotation you want and where we want it.
I feared the high attrition rate. This not even necessary to talk about since Ross, SABA, AUA and most of the schools have an attrition rate around and above 50%. AUC is said to have a rate of 17% and SGU that would have 10%.Med School Caribbean Style: Comparing class size and attrition rate ---AUC, SGU, Ross, Saba(the figures are old but they seems accurate)
I feared the California disapproval.
Well for a school, that has California disapproval, the matching list is good. Students from many other countries donít need California approval so SMU could be a good choice to them. Students from Canada still can practice and have residencies there so Californiaís approval doesnít matter to them to.
In the states, itís another story I heard at least 13 states follow the California approval system. Still there are 37 states left to practice in the states. Sure you never know what state life can take you to. But you can chose where you want to live.
I think we should take the Caribbeanís medical schools as an opportunity. If I could get admitted in my state, I wouldnít go there. That not the case, and I have a second chance to realize my dream.
I fact, I feared SMU and I tend to idealize SGU, SABA, ROSS, AUA, AUC, MUA etc. After going through the treads, I still fear SMU AND I fear SABA, ROSS, AUA and MUA and the other Caribbean medical schools. I feel SGU at bit less but at what cost. And AUC seems very good, maybe it has something to do with the selection. http://www.valuemd.com/saba-universi...-saba-auc.html
At the end, SMU can take me where I want to go. SMU can give me a good education and good chances of residencies. This is what matters to me!
At the end SMU seems to be act accordingly with the other Caribbean medical schools. Is it the worst? Not to me. They have Florida, Ny approvals and many practicing physicians.
At the end, I think SMU still a valid option. Itís less good than a couple schools, but better than many others. You get what you pay for.
Would I sleep in peace if I go to SMU? No! Iím sure there is plenty change coming from the administration. What do you want, itís a business and itís the Caribbean, Itís an opportunity. Stay on your guard until you got into residency and even then...
Would I sleep in peace if I go to SABA? Sure not. With 50% of attrition? Sure not! It stills my 1rst choice though.
I wouldnít sleep in peace while attending any Caribbean medical schools.
With that being said SMU still a valid option to me and it stays on my list
What do you think?
Sounds about right. Just remember anywhere you go unless it's George's , you will have to supplement your learning.
Start watching the Kaplan videos early and prepare properly for each class. SMU will not teach you everything to get a 90 plus on the steps.
Remember that getting into a carribean medical school is nothing to celebrate and be happy about. It's your first failure and the sooner you recognise this the better because it will make you focus and study hard to get back to the path you ventured away from.
The more pain and suffering you go through on the island ( in terms of studying) the better you will be prepared for clinically.
Also stay away from all the gossip and complainers. Most of the people who did that either didn't graduate or got kicked out.
First time I heard about changes to SABA, but it makes sense since SABA and SMU are owned by the same company (R3 Education).
Dr.SK dean of basic sciences reversed the ruling and kept the passing score the same, helping the students.
It seems it was some administrative miscommunication.
Kudos to the school for fixing this issue and doing the right thing!!!
If anybody has any questions please PM me.
Good luck to SMU students. Keep your head down , work hard...and reach the goal of becoming a doctor.
Last edited by forced; 05-02-2012 at 10:44 PM.
Reason: Update to issue