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  1. #1
    aucsxm is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Safety on the island

    The so-called "Friendly Island" of St. Maarten is not as advertised! After spending some time on the island, I have come to learn that the local islanders are far from accomodating and hospitalbe. Not only are many of them rude (of course, there are exceptions - albeit, very FEW!), but they are also violent.

    The island is not nearly as safe as prospective students are led to believe. There have been 2 car-jackings within the past month alone at gunpoint and knife-point! Innumerable others have been mugged, robbed, physically assaulted, and have had their cars/scooters stolen. Police are either apathetic or simply too lazy or understaffed to patrol the area around the medical school. I have not seen one police car within the vicinity of the school in months, even after the crimes. What makes matters even worse for the medical students is that the Locals seem to think that all of the students are wealthy and carry a lot of money - hence, they become their prime targets!

    I must say, however, that the school itself is well guarded and the security staff is extremely vigilant. However, no students spend their entire days and nights on campus and are therefore subject to whatever dangers that may greet them beyond the school gates.

    This is an important consideration for any students looking into the Caribbean schools. I am sure St. Maarten is not the only island with such problems, but I can only speak from my personal experience.
    Last edited by aucsxm; 01-17-2006 at 12:24 PM.

  2. #11
    Skipper is offline Elite Member
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    hmm the cow graduate to the meat packing facility
    11 months until the end of PGY 3
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    Skipper's Medical Univeristy of the Dutch West Indies--SMU-DWI
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    If you fail at AUC, SGU, or Ross why not transfer to SMU, if you fail at SMU, why not try another SMU.

  3. #12
    DrShikima's Avatar
    DrShikima is offline Elite Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AssyrianSkipper
    hmm the cow graduate to the meat packing facility

    Is that for the combined path and anatomy lab?

  4. #13
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    my opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by Shikima
    It's not about the island being dangerous. The first sentence of his post is that the island is not as friendly as they advertise it to be.

    Just so you know, a fellow fifth semester was attacked in P-burg on Friday night, being punched in the face in their car for asking a person spewing sexually inappropriate saying at them to shut up. like i said, my appartment was broken into on friday (though nothing was taken). we have been targeted as students over last weekend and the police, when trying to report do very little, or nothing at all. Please, Please, Please... students be careful when travelling at night. And, try to travel with others.

    Good Luck,
    Nagy
    Combined Med-Peds residency at Michigan State University/KCMS on inpatient peds right now and loving it!

    ...Winners don't even realize they are in a race... they just like to run.

  5. #14
    FOID's Avatar
    FOID is offline Ninja Moderator 9413 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by AssyrianSkipper
    hmm the cow graduate to the meat packing facility
    as a wise professor said... "put it in a hot dog!"
    Posterior Fornix!

    ValueMD Super Moderator

  6. #15
    doctorcop is offline Newbie 510 points
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    There has been an unusual rash of crime recently, and it's unfortunate that students were targeted.

    Fortunately, with the advent of my new position with Skipper's university we will be addressing our students concerns in a group meeting, to be held in the anatomy-histology-pathology-cafenasium room at 0600, unless the local choir is practicing in which case it will be rescheduled as time permits. Thanks
    Director of Security & Freelance vigilante
    Skipper's Medical University of the Dutch West Indies--SMU-DWI

  7. #16
    stateofequilibrium's Avatar
    stateofequilibrium is offline Super Moderator 6105 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnagy54
    Just so you know, a fellow fifth semester was attacked in P-burg on Friday night, being punched in the face in their car for asking a person spewing sexually inappropriate saying at them to shut up. like i said, my appartment was broken into on friday (though nothing was taken). we have been targeted as students over last weekend and the police, when trying to report do very little, or nothing at all. Please, Please, Please... students be careful when travelling at night. And, try to travel with others.

    Good Luck,
    Nagy
    Indeed, this is one of the best safety advices when you're out and about. Also always know where you're going and try to stay where it's well lit and people about.
    Posterior Fornix.

  8. #17
    Laurie S is offline Senior Member
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    robbed

    Were you robbed on the night of the white coat ceremony?

    Don't the locals know when half the students will be out of their apartments?

  9. #18
    Scientific is offline Senior Member 531 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by aucsxm
    The so-called "Friendly Island" of St. Maarten is not as advertised! After spending some time on the island, I have come to learn that the local islanders are far from accomodating and hospitalbe. Not only are many of them rude (of course, there are exceptions - albeit, very FEW!), but they are also violent.

    The island is not nearly as safe as prospective students are led to believe. There have been 2 car-jackings within the past month alone at gunpoint and knife-point! Innumerable others have been mugged, robbed, physically assaulted, and have had their cars/scooters stolen. Police are either apathetic or simply too lazy or understaffed to patrol the area around the medical school. I have not seen one police car within the vicinity of the school in months, even after the crimes. What makes matters even worse for the medical students is that the Locals seem to think that all of the students are wealthy and carry a lot of money - hence, they become their prime targets!

    I must say, however, that the school itself is well guarded and the security staff is extremely vigilant. However, no students spend their entire days and nights on campus and are therefore subject to whatever dangers that may greet them beyond the school gates.

    This is an important consideration for any students looking into the Caribbean schools. I am sure St. Maarten is not the only island with such problems, but I can only speak from my personal experience.
    I definately wouldn't consider St. Martin to be the safest place in the world, but compared to any major US city, it's not all that bad. I know I went to sxm thinking the Caribbean would be so much safer than home, but in reality you still have to use your street smarts.
    As far as the "locals" being rude, just realize that you are comparing the "locals" (St. Martiners is the politically correct version) to Americans. Although they may not be as bubbly as Americans that doesn't mean they don't like you or are trying to be rude. It's a different culture. Second a lot of the St. Martiners don't like tourists because tourists don't respect the island ie walking around in peoples' stores in wet bathing suits, and treating them like "the locals". It's important to pay attention not only to what you say but how you say it. Just as you feel that they were being rude to you, they probably feel the same way about us. Lastly, again about the street smarts, there are theifs on the island and they don't know if you are a tourist, student, etc. All they know is that you are American and they assume that Americans have money. That's pretty much universal in any country. I had someone who has been living on the island almost her entire life tell me that Cupecoy is one of the most dangerous areas because of this. Just be careful. Don't go out alone at night, lock your doors, etc. Just some things to keep in mind.
    Last edited by Scientific; 01-17-2006 at 07:46 PM.

  10. #19
    grace's Avatar
    grace is offline Elite Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by aucsxm

    I must say, however, that the school itself is well guarded and the security staff is extremely vigilant.
    Well, while I was still in St. Maarten the school security was pretty patchy. Sometimes they would hassle anyone without an ID badge, other times you could bring a guest with you without being stopped. Unless the school has tightened things up, the 5th semester sale is the ultimate display of poor security since there are always a ton of locals that were never at school.
    Last edited by grace; 01-18-2006 at 02:13 AM.

  11. #20
    Scott1981's Avatar
    Scott1981 is offline Super Moderator 10511 points
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    id like to comment about the tourists. lets be honest here. without tourism, st maarten would be nothing more than haiti or dominica.

    the story during high season-- the locals know tourists and students have money so they target them.

    the story during low season-- the locals are hard up for cash because of slow business so they target students and the few tourists that are here.
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