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Thread: AUA vs Saba

  1. #1
    positivedna is offline Newbie 510 points
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    AUA vs Saba

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    Hi everyone, I was recently accepted to both AUA and Saba. Weighing all my options. I like everything that AUA have to offer, but nervous with the new curriculum. Any advice would help. Thanks!

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    Shonk is offline Junior Member 515 points
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    I had a couple of friends go to SABA. Most matched and are practicing. When they reminisce about times there, the biggest con they all brought up was the remoteness of the island and the lack of amenities, which made life a little challenging. As far as school comparison, SABA is cheaper and class sizes are dramatically smaller compared to AUA. When my friends were there I think their class size was 30-40 (this was about 10 years ago though). From an academic point of view both will get you to your goal, but from a lifestyle perspective AUA definitely takes the edge. Hope this was of some help.
    PGY-5
    Vascular Neurology

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    positivedna is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thank you Shonk! This really does help. Best wishes to you.

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    positivedna is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Here is a list I made, please feel free to correct or add. Thanks!


    AUA:
    More self study (watch lectures online and meet 3x weekly in small groups)
    Connection with FIU
    Better island life
    More student support
    Attrition rate (30% at one time)
    Newer school


    Saba:
    Small class size traditional classroom lecture (attendance required)
    Cheaper tuition
    Write a term paper - may delay graduation
    Smaller island (5 miles)
    Less student support
    Attrition (40-50%)
    Older school


    USMLE and match rates are comparable
    Both approved for US loans
    Practice in 50 states

  5. #5
    med950041 is offline Newbie 514 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by positivedna View Post
    Hi everyone, I was recently accepted to both AUA and Saba. Weighing all my options. I like everything that AUA have to offer, but nervous with the new curriculum. Any advice would help. Thanks!
    I am almost done with basic sciences here on the Island so I thought it's best if I could give you some advice as well.

    AUA changed it's curriculum about 2 semesters ago, and most of the students that I have spoken to that are in first or second semester right now hate the fact that they don't have professors teaching them at all, and instead they have something called facilitating sessions in which you have to go to school for 4 days/week and sit through 4 hours of "discussion" of the taught (taught through video-recorded lectures) lectures WITH a professor who may have no clue about the subjects that you may be covering that block. There's about 10 kids to 1 facilitator and the facilitator does not change the entire semester. For example: you could be learning Biochemistry, Anatomy and Physiology in one specific block, but your facilitator is going to be a professor from Pharmacology department who obviously does not know all these 3 subjects in as much detail as the professors expert in these 3 specific subjects. The only plus side that there is to this new money-grab curriculum is that students get to do NBME exams and not in-house exams. Those NBME exams have questions that are better written than the in-house exams.

    Another gimmick that they are now playing ever since they changed the curriculum is that instead of 4 semesters, they have now broken down basic sciences into 1st year (comprising of 1st and 2nd semester) and 2nd year (comprising of 3rd and 4th semester). The most stupidest part being (which everybody, even the professors agree that is a way of money-grabbing) that if you fail the second semester, you go back to first semester, likewise, if you fail the fourth semester, then you go back to the third semester. For e.g. A few of my classmates who started AUA being in first semester with me, are now (wait for it...) back to being in first semester. So they literally wasted 4 semesters and are back at square one. The reason why they did the change (apart from all the ** that school officials will tell you about this curriculum being better) was because alot of people were failing the first semester (around a 70% attrition rate ever since AUA got Title 4) and then going back home and not having enough money to pay that 30k they took out of Title 4 for one semester. So now, their genius plan was to make the whole segregated semesters into 2 whole years of 4 semesters, and they promote ALOT OF PEOPLE who SHOULD NOT be in the second semester, to second semester. Now instead of people failing in first semester and going back home, they are going to fail the second semester and be forced to go back to the first semester (which obviously many people in the right minds wouldn't) and hence they would have given AUA fees worth two semesters instead of one, and got nothing to show for. If any official is reading this: well done with the executed plan! It's quite clever I must say.

    So in the gist of it all, I wouldn't want to go to a school that has this stupid policy of making people pass into the second semester when they really shouldn't be there, and then once they fail second semester, have them go back to the first semester.

    Also, just because there was some talk by some visiting guy a few years ago and not a lot of students chose to show up, the mighty Dean Mallin made attendance 100% mandatory for the entire school. I am sure if you were to check other schools, attendance is usually 80% or sometimes even lower.

    In the gist of it all, this school used to be a good school when I came here, and thank god I am not in this new curriculum **. This school was even better when they did not have Title 4.

    I personally like all of the professors and I feel that they do a great job in teaching their respective course, but I wouldn't want to pay 20k to a school to listen to video-recordings and be facilitated by professors who do not have a stellar amount of knowledge about the courses being taught.

    As much as I hate to say it, the good days of AUA are behind us now. It's mostly just a money-grab now and pretty much a kingdom where the ruler can make rules that make 0 sense and yet the management chooses to listen to him (hell, they made him a provost lol) than the students who pay ridiculous amount of money every semester.

    All being said and done, I would choose SABA if I were you. However, if you still want to consider AUA then that's your discretion.

    p.s. I feel that everyone on ValueMD writes with a certain sense of bias, which is human nature of course. Before I had started here, I read alot of posts about lots of things on here however I always took it with a grain of salt and visualized nothing but success for myself no matter what obstacles come my way. I have been fine so far, so I am sure if you have already chosen AUA/or are about to choose AUA then you will be fine as well. Just don't let the negativity effect you and have that gunner attitude when it comes to studying whether it be at SABA or at AUA.

    Good Luck!
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  6. #6
    med950041 is offline Newbie 514 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by positivedna View Post
    Here is a list I made, please feel free to correct or add. Thanks!


    AUA:
    More self study (watch lectures online and meet 3x weekly in small groups)
    Connection with FIU
    Better island life
    More student support
    Attrition rate (30% at one time)
    Newer school


    Saba:
    Small class size traditional classroom lecture (attendance required)
    Cheaper tuition
    Write a term paper - may delay graduation
    Smaller island (5 miles)
    Less student support
    Attrition (40-50%)
    Older school


    USMLE and match rates are comparable
    Both approved for US loans
    Practice in 50 states
    The connection with FIU will only be of your benefit if you have a certain GPA and Step Score (I can't recall the exact figures). Additionally, not all of the rotations at FIU are stellar, if that were the case then all of tha AUA Clinical students would be doing their clinicals at FIU.

    More student support? what's that supposed to mean? If you fail a semester, what's that student support going to get you? Each person for themselves.

    Attrition rate is 70%, not 30%. It varies however, semester-by-semester between 50-70%. However with this new curriculum, I am sure their attrition rate is definitely on the low side (probably even 30%) BUT that's because their second semester attrition rate when second semester finishes this year is going to be relatively close to 60-70%.
    positivedna likes this.

  7. #7
    TheFBguy is offline Moderator 518 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by med950041 View Post
    The connection with FIU will only be of your benefit if you have a certain GPA and Step Score (I can't recall the exact figures). Additionally, not all of the rotations at FIU are stellar, if that were the case then all of tha AUA Clinical students would be doing their clinicals at FIU.

    More student support? what's that supposed to mean? If you fail a semester, what's that student support going to get you? Each person for themselves.

    Attrition rate is 70%, not 30%. It varies however, semester-by-semester between 50-70%. However with this new curriculum, I am sure their attrition rate is definitely on the low side (probably even 30%) BUT that's because their second semester attrition rate when second semester finishes this year is going to be relatively close to 60-70%.
    Many people opt not to do FIU rotations because it is more expensive. Also, regardless of the state, not all rotations are created equally. A friend who rotated in NY told me his peds rotation was very limiting. I on the other hand had a fantastic peds rotation. The same cannot be said about my ob/gyn rotation. Again, not all rotations are equal, as with everything in life.
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