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  1. #1
    bmdboy is offline Newbie 510 points
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    some info about AUA

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    Hi all!

    I just wanted/hoping you are willing to share you honest opinions about AUA.

    If you don't want to post here, just PM me
    because I really just want to know what you think about AUA - the goods and the bads.

    I have a decision between St. George, AUC, a program in Europe and AUA

    I'm just trying to find out about as much as possible for each school before making
    a decision and I want to give each of them an equal chance. I am aware that AUA
    is private loan so please don't mention that- what matters to me most is
    atmosphere, students, teachers, cheating, other policies, etc. Because as much as we
    work hard and try to stay on track, we mess up somewhere along the way and how
    the school handles it matters. Getting residencies is a valid point, I get that but as I
    see it, it's really on you and how well you do on the Step 1. If you manage to get a 240+,
    who will turn you away from interviews?

    but yeah, please be brutally honest

  2. #2
    thxleave is offline Elite Member 7201 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmdboy View Post
    Hi all!

    I just wanted/hoping you are willing to share you honest opinions about AUA.

    If you don't want to post here, just PM me
    because I really just want to know what you think about AUA - the goods and the bads.

    I have a decision between St. George, AUC, a program in Europe and AUA

    I'm just trying to find out about as much as possible for each school before making
    a decision and I want to give each of them an equal chance. I am aware that AUA
    is private loan so please don't mention that- what matters to me most is
    atmosphere, students, teachers, cheating, other policies, etc. Because as much as we
    work hard and try to stay on track, we mess up somewhere along the way and how
    the school handles it matters. Getting residencies is a valid point, I get that but as I
    see it, it's really on you and how well you do on the Step 1. If you manage to get a 240+,
    who will turn you away from interviews?


    but yeah, please be brutally honest
    And yes if I won the lottery, I wouldn't have to worry about the money. Then unicorns can dance over rainbows and we can all laugh and celebrate.

  3. #3
    pepsatrap is offline Junior Member 513 points
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    AUA was a great school back when I was in the old curriculum. Teachers really cared but when the new campus was constructed and new curriculum was implemented it really became a business. I heard the school takes in 100s of students and really can't handle that much. Back in the old curriculum there were barely 100 students in med 1 and eventually a few students left but a really small class where teachers really cared about students' weak points and worked with them making sure students did well and the step 1 pass rates were high. But eventually, it became a business and tons of students were admitted and the faculty can't really handle and manage that many students. So cheating ensures students pass through class but the step 1 pass rate plummets (as witnessed by the low comp shelf scores by the most recent batch who took it). Residency wise, I passed step 1 on my first attempt and with the "Cheating" scandals and AUA losing NBME accredition, to be brutally honest Residency directors will think twice NOW to choose an AUA student.

    Education in all caribb schools is the same. You just have to pass step 1. But now AUA losing credentials due to cheating scandals, it got harder to get residency. I would choose AUC or st. georges if you solely aiming at residency and now AUA has now become a business motto and no longer is the small school which cared about students. So overall, AUC or st. georges over AUA.

  4. #4
    bmdboy is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thanks pepsatrap! It sucks about the cheating scandals, hopefully AUA is able re-establish the faith lost although I don't know how.

    Thxleave - I understand your skepticism and it is very easy to give in to that kind of attitude. but the way I see it, the average Step 1 score for american grad is lets say 220 - that means any carib student automatically has to score at least 230 to just be considered. Now if we can work our a## off and get a 230, a 238-240 shouldn't be out of reach should it? if I said 250 or 260 then ok yeah that is very unrealistic, but a 240 should be doable. Am I wrong? If I am, please let me know because I need to set these standards for myself now, before I start, and need to know how to approach it.

  5. #5
    pepsatrap is offline Junior Member 513 points
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    >230 is doable. Know that majority of the top scorers on Step 1 are IMGs - those who come from India or the caribbean. Key is to not only to work hard but to work smart. learn the basic sciences. Truth is IMGs who gain residency are far more successful than their American counterparts because they scored higher on the steps and work harder. Having the proper approach is key. An american medical student would just read text books, review books and be content with it. Where as an IMG would need to read textbooks and correlate the info learned with practice questions (AND LOTS OF THEM). Advantage of AUA (when I was there) was Professors used to help students approach questions and answer them. I know students who scored 99 with the help of AUA professors. But it is a lot of hard work.

  6. #6
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Ultimate Member 12699 points
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    Which program in Europe, OP?

    Also, you are throwing around Step scores like they are just numbers. All things are not created equal, and the same goes for medical students. Some people can crack 240 without sweating too hard, and other people will fail the same exam three times before squeaking over 200 with three times the effort.

    Step scores will depend on your raw abilities, your work ethic, your study habits, and your life (i.e. not having diarrhea, not having your significant other dump you three days before the exam, not having your dog get hit by a car, or whatever).

    Additionally, if the AAMC and ACGME are accurate in their predictions, there will be applicants with excellent scores who end up not matching. Hell, there already are... and the closer it gets to a 1-to-1 ratio of US grads to US internship positions, the more (really good) FMGs are going to have unsuccessful match experiences.
    Last edited by devildoc8404; 08-06-2013 at 05:46 PM.

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  7. #7
    Arkie, M.D.'s Avatar
    Arkie, M.D. is offline Elite Member 6139 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by devildoc8404 View Post
    ... and the closer it gets to a 1-to-1 ratio of US grads to US internship positions, the more (really good) FMGs are going to have unsuccessful match experiences.
    This is the main reason I would think twice (or 3 times) before running off to the Caribbean to study medicine in 2013. Residencies are funded primarily by medicare. Medicare is going broke. As devildoc said, as the number of residency slots stays the same and US medical school class sizes swell to head off physician shortages, residency positions will be harder and harder to secure coming from overseas.
    Step 1 [x] Step 2 CK [x] Step 2 CS [x] Prematch [x] M.D. [x] Step 3 [x] PGY-1 [x] PGY-2 [x] PGY-3 [x] ED Attending [2015-]
    ☤ + ☭ = N
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  8. #8
    bmdboy is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I got into a program in Prague

    i wouldn't say I was throwing around the numbers, but perhaps I misunderstood how the scores are used. I assumed the residency directors are looking to train people who either have a sure thing of doing well (those above >240) and those who are competent enough to be able to do good and become better (220<x<240) and anything below you will really have to blow their socks off in the interview if given the chance. I am basing this off of my volunteer experience and speaking with the residents at a New York Hospital - it could be outdated, it could be wrong, I don't know. It's best bang for the buck kind of thing since money is a big issue as Arkie said.

    But if there is one thing I know, the fact that any medical student got in and started to study, I know that every one of us has the ability to buckle down and study hard - get the stuff we need to get done, done. If we want a 240, all of us have the means and willpower to do it- it just takes time and on your own personal abilities as devildoc said. More importantly, how we realize those abilities and our own limits.

    I can only hope that if there is to be a 1:1 ratio, then step 2 scores will be looked at more closely as another tiebreaker, am I right? Can someone explain the reason for the 1:1 ratio because I did not read the article (I would love to if someone can reference it). Isn't competition the best way to get the best students into residency spots (economics theory)? Aren't these physician shortages in primary care? If so, wouldn't it be more prudent to make that field more lucrative?

    Anyway, if I was to go to a Carib school, I am leaning toward AUC (St. George is giving me a bad vibe - I just can't pinpoint where it is coming from)

  9. #9
    Arkie, M.D.'s Avatar
    Arkie, M.D. is offline Elite Member 6139 points
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    I'm a PGY-2 at a FM program in Arkansas and I can tell you UAMS had quite a few graduates who didn't match anywhere this year. Residency isn't a guarantee for anyone these days, even US graduates, but it will no doubt be getting tougher for foreign grads in years to come. Just keep that in mind. If you must go offshore for your training, keep that tucked away in the back of your mind and work extra hard. Simply graduating from medical school will not be enough. You need to stand out from the herd.
    Step 1 [x] Step 2 CK [x] Step 2 CS [x] Prematch [x] M.D. [x] Step 3 [x] PGY-1 [x] PGY-2 [x] PGY-3 [x] ED Attending [2015-]
    ☤ + ☭ = N
    Liberty or Death


  10. #10
    Arkie, M.D.'s Avatar
    Arkie, M.D. is offline Elite Member 6139 points
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    Cost should also be a major factor in making your decision. When I was at AUC, it was much cheaper than St. George's. Then when I was at AUA, it was a little cheaper than AUC. Not sure how they all stack up now. In my experience, most program directors have no idea which carib schools are the "best". An applicant from an unknown carib school with decent step scores will be just as competitive as an applicant from St. George's (the "Harvard of the Caribbean") with decent step scores...at least in my region. Ross and SGU may have more name recognition in the northeast though. Ideally, you will come out of whichever program you choose with as little debt as possible and as good of scores as you can achieve. Then you MIGHT get a decent residency and you might not. One of our new interns this year had decent scores coming out of AUC and still had to reapply 3 years in a row before securing a spot.
    Step 1 [x] Step 2 CK [x] Step 2 CS [x] Prematch [x] M.D. [x] Step 3 [x] PGY-1 [x] PGY-2 [x] PGY-3 [x] ED Attending [2015-]
    ☤ + ☭ = N
    Liberty or Death


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