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Thread: Got accepted to AUA THIS semester, should I go?

  1. #1
    sumbody1245 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Got accepted to AUA THIS semester, should I go?

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    Hey everyone. I have been out of college for a few years now, working, and applied to AUA back in college. I decided to finally complete the application and I got in for THIS semester, like in 2 weeks, to my surprise.

    I know I can save 2 years of my life getting a masters by going to an international med school, but I am worried about AUA since they are a lower tier international med school. I want to avoid Family Practice and Internal Medicine at all costs, and I know the odds are stacked against me going to AUA, but its not impossible to say the least. I was thinking of taking off work for a semester, sitting down for the MCAT, and trying to get into a higher tier international school to better my odds of not getting into a bottom tier residency. But would really make that big of a difference going to Ross over AUA that it warrants me spending an extra semester studying for the MCAT?

    Though the MCAT prep might be useful since I've been out of school for a while and barely remember anything, but I was under the impression that med school is there to prep you for Step 1 so they will teach you everything you need to know? Thanks beforehand for any replies!

    EDIT: Forgot to mention my stats, 2.8 GPA, AUA told me I need the MCAT so I sat down and took it blind and got a 22. I can't get into an American med school regardless of how high I get my MCAT.
    Last edited by sumbody1245; 01-29-2014 at 02:15 PM.

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    JCguy is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I am in the 4th semester at AUA (last semester on the island). I could list a number of reasons why not to come, but the reality is that going to med school anywhere is a challenge. I have friends that went to many US schools, and also Caribbean - and essentially it is all the same. You get a truck load of information and try to absorb and learn as much as you can a little time as possible.
    Of course island life has many more sacrifices and many more frustrating moments. For me, the school did not prepare me for the challenges on the island. It gave an image of luxury and ease, when in reality it was more like being dropped in the middle of nowhere. The best advice would be plan for the worst and hope for the best. And remember that Caribbean schools are FOR PROFIT, don't be surprised to see tuition increasing ~$500 every semester, and paying for the semester before you register for classes and late fees for everything and anything. One other thing, although online you might see small classrooms, the reality is they did not show you the big ones. There are two huge rooms that can fit ~300 students in which ~80-90 % of all teaching is done. My class size in 1st semester was ~450 (even though I was told ~250) and every semester we lost ~20% who either failed, dropped out, or could not get loans - sad reality. Also don't count or believe any statistics they give you. With a little modification, statistics can say anything you want them to say. This is not to discourage you, but to keep you in reality. There are many students who were ahead of me who are now in clinical rotations at various hospitals. The school has been improving many things since I started but at a very slow pace. Hope this helped, let me know if you have any specific questions.

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    Raj25 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCguy View Post
    I am in the 4th semester at AUA (last semester on the island). I could list a number of reasons why not to come, but the reality is that going to med school anywhere is a challenge. I have friends that went to many US schools, and also Caribbean - and essentially it is all the same. You get a truck load of information and try to absorb and learn as much as you can a little time as possible.
    Of course island life has many more sacrifices and many more frustrating moments. For me, the school did not prepare me for the challenges on the island. It gave an image of luxury and ease, when in reality it was more like being dropped in the middle of nowhere. The best advice would be plan for the worst and hope for the best. And remember that Caribbean schools are FOR PROFIT, don't be surprised to see tuition increasing ~$500 every semester, and paying for the semester before you register for classes and late fees for everything and anything. One other thing, although online you might see small classrooms, the reality is they did not show you the big ones. There are two huge rooms that can fit ~300 students in which ~80-90 % of all teaching is done. My class size in 1st semester was ~450 (even though I was told ~250) and every semester we lost ~20% who either failed, dropped out, or could not get loans - sad reality. Also don't count or believe any statistics they give you. With a little modification, statistics can say anything you want them to say. This is not to discourage you, but to keep you in reality. There are many students who were ahead of me who are now in clinical rotations at various hospitals. The school has been improving many things since I started but at a very slow pace. Hope this helped, let me know if you have any specific questions.

    Just to echo what JCguy said, the harsh reality of AUA or any other caribbean school for that matter can never be over emphasized - and that is the over inflated statistics presented on the school website or the adcoms. I just wrote my step 1 and passed it (just received my results last week) and I have to honestly say AUA is not a school to make physicians. I started out in August 2011 with a class size of 350 students. And so far (almost 3 years later) I can only see a maximum of 20-25 have passed step 1 - and that is a huge failure. Not to mention securing residencies with an AUA degree. Yes, reputation does matter for residency directors when choosing students with similar step scores. AUA is notorious for cheating the school lost nbme privileges completely, not to mention losing clinical spots in certain States in the U.S. That does go a long way in your residency application status.

    The clinical situation is not great - long waiting times and hardly anyone available (contrary to what the school website suggests) to help you along the way through your clinicals.

    In the end, what does even getting a stellar 240+ step score get you with an AUA degree? - tons of student loans with high interests unpaid, maximum family medicine residency or a bottom line internal med residency 4-5 years after writing step 1.

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    JM_MD2017 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I also atteded AUA and I couldn't agree more with JCguy and Krish123. I left after one year and retook the MCAT and applied to lower end MD and DO schools. Going to AUA will only bring you more debt and a very unfulling education. The reason for you "quick" admission is because of the small incoming class size this spring and if you need the private loan, you better beable to qualify for buying a house because you need a 700+ credit score. You are better off doing a Postbac and retaking the MCAT then going to caribbean. Trust all three of us. If you can;t get into ROSS, AUC, St. George or Saba save your self sometime and take our advise.

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    sumbody1245 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    The thing is I CAN'T go into a US med school. If I retake my MCAT, they won't give a DAMN how high I get in it with my GPA. Only way to go to a US med school would be to waste 2 more years getting a masters degree, at which point I would go into dentistry rather than medicine, because there's no residency period and the lifestyle of an non-specialized dentist>>>>non-specialized doctor.

    So its basically AUA this semester or Ross next semester, which would be the better option? If there's not a big difference b/w the 2 there's no point in wasting a semester.

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    JM_MD2017 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumbody1245 View Post
    The thing is I CAN'T go into a US med school. If I retake my MCAT, they won't give a DAMN how high I get in it with my GPA. Only way to go to a US med school would be to waste 2 more years getting a masters degree, at which point I would go into dentistry rather than medicine, because there's no residency period and the lifestyle of an non-specialized dentist>>>>non-specialized doctor.

    So its basically AUA this semester or Ross next semester, which would be the better option? If there's not a big difference b/w the 2 there's no point in wasting a semester.
    AZCOM has a one year Bio Med Program granting a Master of Arts in Science. So, don't say you can't b/c of your GPA. I had one of the better professors at AUA says that the DO programs do a better job in teaching system based medical school hands down. But if you have to go to med school in the caribbean, Ross is the best choice. Plus, they are Title IV funded. But remeber those schools weed you out. They accept 200 to 300 students at at the end 70 to 100 remian. You said your GPA was a 2.8 so taking upper division science courses probably wasn't your cup of tea. Honestly, a one year postbac is you best bet to a US med school and a MATCH. The Postbac will reflect how you will perform in med school and it will give you a new GPA for schools to look at. But in the end it's your choice to attend med school in a third world country.

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    sumbody1245 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thanks for all the replies everyone!
    Quote Originally Posted by JM_MD2017 View Post
    AZCOM has a one year Bio Med Program granting a Master of Arts in Science. So, don't say you can't b/c of your GPA. I had one of the better professors at AUA says that the DO programs do a better job in teaching system based medical school hands down. But if you have to go to med school in the caribbean, Ross is the best choice. Plus, they are Title IV funded. But remeber those schools weed you out. They accept 200 to 300 students at at the end 70 to 100 remian. You said your GPA was a 2.8 so taking upper division science courses probably wasn't your cup of tea. Honestly, a one year postbac is you best bet to a US med school and a MATCH. The Postbac will reflect how you will perform in med school and it will give you a new GPA for schools to look at. But in the end it's your choice to attend med school in a third world country.
    In the US my GPA is so damn low I can't even apply to bottom tier grad schools! I barely meet the MINIMUM requirement to APPLY to AZCOM's masters program. I don't know man, just getting into a US med school looks like a huge waste of time that will likely end up in me getting another undergrad because no grad school will take me.
    Last edited by sumbody1245; 01-29-2014 at 02:48 PM.

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    Raj25 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumbody1245 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies everyone!

    In the US my GPA is so damn low I can't even apply to bottom tier grad schools! I barely meet the MINIMUM requirement to APPLY to AZCOM's masters program. I don't know man, just getting into a US med school looks like a huge waste of time that will likely end up in me getting another undergrad because no grad school will take me.

    2.8 GPA is relative. If that was your GPA in a competitive State school of a hard undergrad program then it is understandable - you would have to speak with the graduate school admissions people to see where you stand. Remember, international students from India, China etc get into U.S. grad schools with less than stellar GPA. But I guess you would have to write the GREs + TOEFL (depending upon the standard of your undergrad institution) for Graduate school. Apply for Graduate programs + it helps if you have great LORs from professors or where you've worked.

    A 2.8 GPA can get you into a Medical program in the States - if not an MD (directly from undergrad, you may get into an MD by doing great in Masters and scoring high on MCAT), if not MD, you can try DO, Optometry, Dentistry (I know TONS of people with less than stellar grades getting into dental school - gonna be expensive to pay though), pharmacy schools, podiatry and the list goes on.

    Just don't make the mistake of hastily jumping to a caribbean school AUA or even ROSS just with a gut instinct of becoming a Doctor. In my class only 20-25 people passed step 1 almost 3 years after starting basic sciences. Think about the money and time wasted for those who didn't pass STEP 1 yet or got a low score or will never be able to match with an AUA degree.

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    JM_MD2017 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumbody1245 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies everyone!

    In the US my GPA is so damn low I can't even apply to bottom tier grad schools! I barely meet the MINIMUM requirement to APPLY to AZCOM's masters program. I don't know man, just getting into a US med school looks like a huge waste of time that will likely end up in me getting another undergrad because no grad school will take me.
    I see your point. But do what you can to get into ROSS or AUC. AUA has issues as a school and you won't be happy there, no one that goes there is! Like I said before, ROSS and AUC have funding. There program is faster so do your best to stay ahead. Rethink about the Postbac, it doesn't hurt to apply. The caribbean med market should be your last desperate attempt for med school. Futhermore, search all the DO programs. MD or DO its all the same, except that DOs do 400 hours of OMM whcih is awesome. I wish MD schools had the extra hands on time. Best of luck!!!

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    sumbody1245 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by krish123 View Post
    2.8 GPA is relative. If that was your GPA in a competitive State school of a hard undergrad program then it is understandable - you would have to speak with the graduate school admissions people to see where you stand. Remember, international students from India, China etc get into U.S. grad schools with less than stellar GPA. But I guess you would have to write the GREs + TOEFL (depending upon the standard of your undergrad institution) for Graduate school. Apply for Graduate programs + it helps if you have great LORs from professors or where you've worked.

    A 2.8 GPA can get you into a Medical program in the States - if not an MD (directly from undergrad, you may get into an MD by doing great in Masters and scoring high on MCAT), if not MD, you can try DO, Optometry, Dentistry (I know TONS of people with less than stellar grades getting into dental school - gonna be expensive to pay though), pharmacy schools, podiatry and the list goes on.

    Just don't make the mistake of hastily jumping to a caribbean school AUA or even ROSS just with a gut instinct of becoming a Doctor. In my class only 20-25 people passed step 1 almost 3 years after starting basic sciences. Think about the money and time wasted for those who didn't pass STEP 1 yet or got a low score or will never be able to match with an AUA degree.
    I'm a bit worried since my preferred specialty is emergency medicine, and it seems relatively straightforward to become an EM doc as a US grad but MUCH harder as a US IMG. Harder than non-US IMG's oddly enough.

    But a good STEP score is a good STEP score, did so many ppl do bad on the test because AUA just teaches badly, or the students didn't study/were dumb? If I am doing medicine, I really do feel cornered into AUA vs a high tier Caribbean school, the latter would make me delay school another semester to study the MCAT. Is AUA really so bad that its worth it to waste another semester to get into another international school?

    EDIT: and to the guy who said you get nothing after getting 240+ on step after going to AUA, there are several people who get into anesthesiology, neurology, etc every year.
    Last edited by sumbody1245; 01-29-2014 at 06:51 PM.

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