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gambino
04-20-2006, 11:32 AM
Hello,

I was a st. chris graduate from December 2005, I was not able to register for nor take either USMLE step 1 or Step 2 CK but did register for and pass the Step 2 CS last November. As of now, I have no idea when or if this issue with the ECFMG will be resolved.

Since there was no time frame given or made available as to closure on this matter, I have applied and been accepted to two American medical schools (one D.O. in the Midwest and another M.D. school in the South). The problem is that they want me to start all over from basic sciences as part of the admission, neither school gives advanced standing for any work already completed. They have given me until July to decide and let them know if I will take this offer.

My problem is is that I have $35,000 in federal Stafford loans from undergrad and about $189,900 in private loans (TERI and MedAchiever) that are now going to come due (in September). What factors should I weigh in making my decision one way or the other?
If I decided to take this offer what advice does anyone have that I could do to defer the private loans?

regards,
g

AUCMD2006
04-20-2006, 11:47 AM
military? sine you were accepted to a US school you have the option to get a commision in the Navy or Airforce as a doctor. Most loan programs that I have seen make a provision of deferement while you are serving in the military.

Even if the loans don't have deferement you get an education stipend every month of if I recall was over $2,000 that you can use to pay the loans and live while in school. Now you need to find out if the stipend is during school and residency or just one or the other.

Also when you graduate and work as a doctor in the military the pay isn't bad, malpractice is paied for and you get extra pay for being married, free housing, food, clothes etc.

something you may consider. good luck.

solideliquid
04-20-2006, 11:54 AM
I would think that your loans should remaine deferred as long as you are a full time student. If I were in your situation I would go the US MD route and start over. I feel for you, it is a tough decision and I have friends who graduated from St. Chris. There is no telling what will happen. Have you talked to the ECFMG recently? I heard the recent merger of MUA Belize and St. Chris now allows students to sit for the USMLE again.

Best of Luck!


Hello,

I was a st. chris graduate from December 2005, I was not able to register for nor take either USMLE step 1 or Step 2 CK but did register for and pass the Step 2 CS last November. As of now, I have no idea when or if this issue with the ECFMG will be resolved.

Since there was no time frame given or made available as to closure on this matter, I have applied and been accepted to two American medical schools (one D.O. in the Midwest and another M.D. school in the South). The problem is that they want me to start all over from basic sciences as part of the admission, neither school gives advanced standing for any work already completed. They have given me until July to decide and let them know if I will take this offer.

My problem is is that I have $35,000 in federal Stafford loans from undergrad and about $189,900 in private loans (TERI and MedAchiever) that are now going to come due (in September). What factors should I weigh in making my decision one way or the other?
If I decided to take this offer what advice does anyone have that I could do to defer the private loans?

regards,
g

solideliquid
04-20-2006, 11:57 AM
Doesn't he have to graduate first?



military? sine you were accepted to a US school you have the option to get a commision in the Navy or Airforce as a doctor. Most loan programs that I have seen make a provision of deferement while you are serving in the military.

Even if the loans don't have deferement you get an education stipend every month of if I recall was over $2,000 that you can use to pay the loans and live while in school. Now you need to find out if the stipend is during school and residency or just one or the other.

Also when you graduate and work as a doctor in the military the pay isn't bad, malpractice is paied for and you get extra pay for being married, free housing, food, clothes etc.

something you may consider. good luck.

gambino
04-20-2006, 12:09 PM
Not in the military, but for once I wish I had been :cry:
Joining now seems a bit of a dead end (no pun intended) and yes I have graduated already however unable to sit for any of the exams renders me helpless. Apart from consolidating my private loans what other options do i have? Secondly, which loan consolidation companies are worth pursuing?
Someone suggested that I try and wait this out by finding a research job but I have no idea how to find one (though I have sent my resume to 10-15 hospitals looking for research related work).

regards,
g



military? sine you were accepted to a US school you have the option to get a commision in the Navy or Airforce as a doctor. Most loan programs that I have seen make a provision of deferement while you are serving in the military.

Even if the loans don't have deferement you get an education stipend every month of if I recall was over $2,000 that you can use to pay the loans and live while in school. Now you need to find out if the stipend is during school and residency or just one or the other.

Also when you graduate and work as a doctor in the military the pay isn't bad, malpractice is paied for and you get extra pay for being married, free housing, food, clothes etc.

something you may consider. good luck.

gambino
04-20-2006, 12:13 PM
One other thing, I spoke to the dean of the U.S. osteopathic medical school that has accepted me, he is a former marine and has served in the armed forces for nearly 20 years. When I ran the idea by him, he said it is doubtful since St. Chris is not currently ECFMG approved even the military would have a hard time accepting my credits/diploma and would suggest that I start over.

regards,
g



military? sine you were accepted to a US school you have the option to get a commision in the Navy or Airforce as a doctor. Most loan programs that I have seen make a provision of deferement while you are serving in the military.

Even if the loans don't have deferement you get an education stipend every month of if I recall was over $2,000 that you can use to pay the loans and live while in school. Now you need to find out if the stipend is during school and residency or just one or the other.

Also when you graduate and work as a doctor in the military the pay isn't bad, malpractice is paied for and you get extra pay for being married, free housing, food, clothes etc.

something you may consider. good luck.

studentMD
04-20-2006, 01:04 PM
If you cant defer your loans while you are in school full time (which you should be able to do).. you can apply for economic hardship/forebearance while you are in school.

rokshana
04-20-2006, 02:11 PM
If you cant defer your loans while you are in school full time (which you should be able to do).. you can apply for economic hardship/forebearance while you are in school.

you should be able to do this and the amount you get to take out as a US student (gov't wise) will be greater, so while your debt load will be higher, you will probably get a lot of it at a lower interest than your present private loans.

but RUN, don't walk to the US MD program (congrats on that BTW!!) although it will take you longer- in the future you will have NO headaches when it comes to licensure!!

PathOne
04-20-2006, 02:57 PM
This is a very tough situation. You've spent four years and is 200K+ in debt, yet can't even apply for a residency due to the ECFMG suspension.

My best advice is painful, but would be to get into a US med school, and redo the whole thing.
Financing: As a student, you'd probably be able to continue deferment of repayment of loans. However, obviously, the clock will keep ticking (interest).

In order not to get yourself more into debt, I'd probably also, as others, recommend HPSP. That way, the military will pay ALL of your med school tuition, books etc. plus a scholarship worth abt. 16,400/year after tax. Of course you'd have to repay that through a service obligation, and there's a lot of talk currently about the sad state of affairs for military medicine. Still, it's probably the most viable option you have.

For further info on the HSPS:
Hpsp Faq - Student Doctor Network Forums (http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=118576)

gambino
04-20-2006, 03:12 PM
Still a little fuzzy on the details of exactly what is required when they mean a year of "service" for each year the military pays, does this "service" mean combat or combat related operations? Furthermore, which branch of the armed forces offers the best deal -- i've heard conflicting reports between the navy and the airforce.

I know of two army reserves who had signed up under the "one weekend a month two months a year plan" and are now both bitterly complaining about having to drive around in Humvees like sitting ducks thru parts of Iraq. Even though i've already lost a lot, i am not sure if losing an arm/leg is worth it.

Secondly, if i declared bankruptcy i understand it stays on your record for seven years and would impede my ability to ever get another home/car/private loan, but would this in any way impede my ability to get stafford loans? Would this issue come up during residency interviews or during licensure time?

Lastly, someone suggested pharmaceutical sales as a meantime to buy myself more time to see if the ECFMG might come around, again I am finding this a tough nut to crack, as I've emailed my resume out to temp/staffing agencies and all the major pharmaceutical companies i can find with no reply -- might be me, but somehow i think they prefer women to men for this job :(

thank you all very much for your input and any more ideas would help.

regards,
g


This is a very tough situation. You've spent four years and is 200K+ in debt, yet can't even apply for a residency due to the ECFMG suspension.

My best advice is painful, but would be to get into a US med school, and redo the whole thing.
Financing: As a student, you'd probably be able to continue deferment of repayment of loans. However, obviously, the clock will keep ticking (interest).

In order not to get yourself more into debt, I'd probably also, as others, recommend HPSP. That way, the military will pay ALL of your med school tuition, books etc. plus a scholarship worth abt. 16,400/year after tax. Of course you'd have to repay that through a service obligation, and there's a lot of talk currently about the sad state of affairs for military medicine. Still, it's probably the most viable option you have.

For further info on the HSPS:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=118576

PathOne
04-21-2006, 12:34 AM
1. I¨m no expert on military medicine. But no, you will not be required to do combat. You will obviously be working as a physician. Equally obvious, that can still put you in dangerous situations, especially in a country like Iraq. Also, remember that as far as I understand the system, you have to "give back" your four years of med school to the military, PLUS your time in residency, one-to-one, so that can quickly add up.

Regarding choice of service, I have heard a lot of criticism of the Navy, which often forces you to do a shipboard "GMO Tour" which is supposed to be boring beyond belief. In the Army, you can obviously risk being on unpleasant ground, so the Air Force is prob. currently best option.

2. Actually, I think a bankruptcy stays on your record for ten years, as far as I recall. Don't know if you can get Stafford loans, but I would imagine that getting ANY kind of loan would be extremely difficult with a bankruptcy on your records. However, IF you chose the mil option, you wouldn't have to get new loans...

3. Actually, job opportunities for a freshly minted MD is surprisingly limited, if you look outside the hospital world. Pharma and research institutions would usually either want a PhD or a Board Certified/Board Eligible physician, since they'd mostly need physicians for stuff like managing clinical trials and healthcare liaison, where you'd want somebody with experience and contacts. So I think that going that route would be very difficult. Best option would probably be a postdoc position, which you're eligible for. However, if you don't have research experience on your resume, you're again limited to postdoc positions where they'd need a MD for some reason.

More generally, I'd still advice to redo, with or without the military option. See, even IF ECFMG lifts the suspension, you still don't know if you can get a license in the state of your choice once you have completed residency. And if you can't, then you'll be in a truly bad situation.

Many people spend some years between graduating from college and entering medical school, sometimes doing things that really aren't that productive. If I was in your shoes, I'd look at St. Chris as such a period. Also, many people go heavily into debt, from starting a business, gambling, whatever. If you redo your medical school you'll get a mighty expensive medical education. But hopefully, it'll prepare you for an awsome USMLE score, and a free choice to get a residency and get licensure whereever you want.

dt
04-21-2006, 07:19 AM
You could go to the MD program and find part-time work to cover your cost of living or interest payment. You have already learned the course material, and while you are in the MD program you just need to review and do practice questions to maintain or improve your knowledge. The courses shouldnt be as hard for you now thats a second time around. So you should have spare time where you can work to meet your payments. maybe?

AUCMD2006
04-21-2006, 07:21 AM
One other thing, I spoke to the dean of the U.S. osteopathic medical school that has accepted me, he is a former marine and has served in the armed forces for nearly 20 years. When I ran the idea by him, he said it is doubtful since St. Chris is not currently ECFMG approved even the military would have a hard time accepting my credits/diploma and would suggest that I start over.

regards,
g


in order to join as a foreign grad you have to finish residency and be boarded. i meant join as a first year med student at your US school. Your best bet would be the Army. Someone in my family was a Capt 2 yrs ago and said they were giving PA's a $50,000 bonus paid over 4 years to join..i wonder what they would give a doc?

so anyway, I meant join up as a 1st year med student. When I looked into it 4 years ago they paid for your school and gave you a living stipend, a book and supply stipend and uniforms. During med school the only commitment was a few weeks during the sumer for officer training.

so you would join as a 1st year med student and probably have a 4 year comitment. It is a great deal for those willing to join....i would have done in but they don't allow foreign schools until after residency (there are many AUC grads serving in Iraq right now as doctors)

good luck

look on the internet for officer recruiting command for each service and call them up.

AUCMD2006
04-21-2006, 07:26 AM
Earn While You Learn

The Navy’s many scholarship and financial benefits can help you manage the monetary hardships that usually accompany a costly medical education. Below are a few of the programs the Navy has to offer:

Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP): If you are in medical school, the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (AFHPSP) can provide tuition assistance for up to four years. This includes all required fees and expenses, books and equipment. Also included is a monthly allowance of at least $1,279.
Financial Assistance Program (FAP): Already in or planning on doing your residency? The Financial Assistance Program (FAP) can help by providing an extra payment of at least $27,003, plus a monthly allowance of at least $1,279 for physicians in certain specialties

Good luck!

AUCMD2006
04-21-2006, 07:37 AM
ABout being on a ship...it is not bad at all. first off you don't do your entire time at sea. second of all it is a limited deployment usually 6 months. you don't spend the entiure time at sea..maybe a month at most, then you pull in to port and get leave for 2-3 days at a time...


it depends on what you prefer...yes the air force will keep you on land but you also gotta look at where the bases are...they are all over the place and many are deep inland and you will likely be as bored as being on a ship anyway.

being on a ship is different than it was 10 years ago, they have wireless internet, we had a petty officer rig up satellite tv back in the day..wonder if they have it now 'standard' and we had a NES64 in addition to a full gym and track...

i think either one is a decent choice both pay the same. as far as "serving" that would be full time on duty and while you wouldn't go into combat you may fly around it so that is all in the risk.

i am a bit biased because i personally think every man in the US should "serve" 2 years in the military because if the outllook it gives you on what it takes to enjoy 24 hour chinese restraurants and drivce through weddings... everyone should serve and consider serving a privilidge and an honor

Picard
04-21-2006, 06:24 PM
Worked with a few Navy doc's. Here's what they say.

Navy scholarship program while in med school (only US med schools) -- Navy will pay your med school tuition, books, equipment. And you will be paid a monthly stipend a little over a thousand dollars after tax. You are commissioned as an "Ensign" while in school with privileges of that rank. You can go into civilian residencies without military support (FAP) after graduation. After residency, you will pay back 4 years of "active duty" to the Navy (assuming Navy supported you for 4 years in med school). Whether you are deployed into combat zone depends on what is going on in the world at time. Your assignment is dependent on your unit. Most warzone deployments for Navy docs are aboard hospital ships. (Where as Army docs can be deployed into forward areas on the ground/MASH type of deal, a bit more "dangerous." Your residency time does not count as "active duty pay back." You are promoted to second Lt. when you graduate from med school, and can be expected to leave the military with a Lt. Commander rank. Once finishing residency and on active duty, navy docs make in the low 100,000's, with incentives/benefits/special pay... etc.


When you are in civilian residency, you can also apply for their FAP program (Financial assistance program). Navy will pay you a monthly stipend during residency in addition to your residency salary. You also owe one-for-one after residency (meaning, for each year Navy supports you during residency, you owe a year of active duty.)

Other branches of military have similar programs. I was told Navy docs have the highest chance of staying state-side.

As for Bankrupcy, I suggest you talk to a bankrupcy attorney first. I do not believe student loans are dischargable with bankrupcy.

P

AUCMD2006
04-21-2006, 09:38 PM
-there is no second Lt in the navy it is:Ensign then Lt Jr Grade, then Lt (this is equivalent to a capitain in the other services if i recall), then it is Lt Commander followed by Commander and Capt (this is a Lt in the other services if i recall)and finally all the Admirals (rear, vice, fleet, command)-if you are in command of a navy ship you are called capitain no matter your rank-anyway enough petty details, bankruptcy with student loans is very difficult to do. you need to have been paying your loans for 7 years and then demonstrate extreme hardship to be even considered for it. my father in law is an attorney and answered this for me when a student said you could just do a BK if you had financial problems at any time....not the case you gotta pay 7 years then be in super duper extreme financial hardship.this is why it is so easy to get student loans, it is VERY difficult for them not to get paid, even if you never make a payment they will garnish your paychecks and make them for you until they are paid off....</p></p>

gambino
04-22-2006, 11:28 AM
Thank you all sincerely for the information, while i am still not sure how i can manage my debts if i do decide to go ahead with starting over, at least now I have a better understanding of what the armed forces and possible bankruptcy are as options. the Dean at one of the schools has strongly suggested that I sue P. lay-oh-knee for the cost of the loans, -- at least that will buy me time from the creditors (TERI and MedAchiever) however knowing how he is and how he operates I will probably never get any money back.

The best I can hope for is that justice is done if not here in this time and life than god willing some time in the future. Lay-oh-knee should never be allowed to step foot in a hospital, clinic, or medical school as I strongly feel after having wronged close to 800+ students/graduates of this institution he feels little or no remorse, we were all just numbers and suckers to be exploited. His ex-wife's comments who is still answering phones in Scotch Plains, NJ office are extremely telling, "its all just business". If and when I ever finish I will extract justice from them for what they did.

thanks again to all...

regards,
g

aframe
04-22-2006, 12:24 PM
you could transfer to another Carribean medical school with advance standing. Once you transfer to a school with ECFMG authorization you will be allowed to sit for Step 1 and 2 via permission of the new school. Sint Eustatius is school that would at the least consider transferring your basic sciences and possibly clinicals; however the disadvantage of transferring clinicals is you disqualify yourself from qualifying for certain residency programs cause they do not allow clinical transfers. The school would know more about this.

IndianSClink
04-22-2006, 02:00 PM
As for Bankrupcy, I suggest you talk to a bankrupcy attorney first. I do not believe student loans are dischargable with bankrupcy.

P

TERI is a non-profit guarantor, so the TERI loans are non-dischargeable if you file bankruptcy.

Medachiever loans are guaranteed by Key bank, which is a profit guarantor, so it is dischargeable through bankruptcy. Look up case law on profit guarantors.

Bankruptcy is not a route that you should take lightly because it will stay on your credit reports for 10 years. You will be denied of loans for the next 10 years.

Defaulting a student loan is just as bad because they will take you to court and get a judgment against you. Judgment is renewable. It will affect your credit reports as well.

If you sue Mr. Liar, I believe his defense will be that why didn't you transfer to MUA UK because they claim that your SC credits are automatically transferred to MUA UK if you agree to it. Another defense is that why didn't you stay with SC-IMD (assuming that SC-IMD will be ok with ECFMG)? Also, it is your personal choice that you choose to start over with another medical school. Some lawyers offer free initial consultation, so you may want to check it out.

You may want to check out National Health Service Corps and Military scholarships.

9 months after you graduate, TERI and Medachiever want their money back. If you are not doing your residency, I don't think they will let you defer for 4 years.

It is very costly to start over when you are at the end of your 4th year.
Most 3rd and 4th year StChris students have no choice, but to stick around and support SC-IMD.
Some transferred to unapproved schools such as IAU, AUA, StEustasis, and St Martinus because they will accept all of your StChris credits. Some transferred to Ross and redo their clinical years.

Hope this helps.

Picard
04-22-2006, 03:55 PM
there is no second Lt in the navy it is:Ensign then Lt Jr Grade, then Lt (this is equivalent to a capitain in the other services if i recall), then it is Lt Commander followed by Commander and Capt (this is a Lt in the other services if i recall)and finally all the Admirals (rear, vice, fleet, command)-if you are in command of a navy ship you are called capitain no matter your rank-anyway enough petty details,

Sorry, "21st Military History" was my weakest subject when I went througth Star Fleet Academy. :oops: I always get "Second Lt" and "Lt. Junior Grade" confused. I should know better. Star Fleet follows the old Earth navy ranking system.

Yes, government goes after you for student loan defaults. Some states are even talking about going after your professional license if you default on student loans.

P

AUCMD2006
04-22-2006, 10:36 PM
petty officer 3rd class is mine and its not in star fleet..you guys only have chief

sgustudent01
04-30-2006, 10:36 AM
What happens to your student loans once the school is closed?

sgustudent01
04-30-2006, 10:37 AM
Cancellation Conditions Amount Forgiven Notes Borrower’s total and permanent disability1 or death 100% For a PLUS Loan, includes death but not disability of the student for whom the parents borrowed. Full-time teacher for five consecutive years in a designated elementary
or secondary school
serving students from low-income families Up to $5,000 of the aggregate loan
amount that is outstanding after completion of the fifth year of teaching.

A borrower might qualify for loan forgiveness under the Direct Consolidation
and the FFEL Consolidation Loan
programs. If so, only the portion of the consolidation loan used to repay Direct Stafford Loans or FFEL Stafford
Loans qualifies. For Direct and FFEL Stafford Loans received on or after October 1, 1998, by a
borrower with no outstanding loan balance as of that date. At least one of the five consecutive
years of teaching must occur after the 1997-98 academic year. (To find out whether your school is considered a low-income
school, visit http://www.studentaid.ed.gov. (http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/)
Click on "Repaying," then click on "Cancellation and Deferment Options for Teachers."
Or, call 1-800-4-FED-AID.) Bankruptcy (in rare cases) 100% Cancellation is possible only if the bankruptcy court rules that repayment would cause undue hardship. Closed school (before student could complete program of study) or false loan certification 100% For loans received on or after January 1, 1986. School does not make required return of loan funds to the lender Up to the amount that the school was
required to return. For loans received on or after January 1, 1986. 1Beginning July 1, 2002, a borrower who is determined to be totally and permanently disabled will have his or her loan placed in a conditional discharge period for three years from the date the borrower became totally and permanently disabled. During this conditional period, the borrower doesn’t have to pay principal or interest. If the borrower continues to meet the total-and-permanent disability
requirements during, and at the end of, the three-year conditional period, the borrower’s obligation to repay the loan is canceled. If the borrower doesn’t continue to meet the cancellation requirements, the borrower must resume payment. Total and permanent disability is defined as the inability to work and earn money because of an injury or illness that is expected to continue indefinitely or to result in
death. More information on this discharge can be found in the promissory note and by contacting the loan holder.

http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/images/repaying2003-2004/line.gif

Perkins Discharge/Cancellation Summary1

Cancellation Conditions
Amount
Forgiven
Notes Borrower’s total and permanent disability2 or death
100%
Service qualifies for deferment also. Full-time teacher in a designated elementary or secondary school serving students from low-income families
Up to 100%
Service qualifies for deferment also. Full-time special education teacher (includes teaching
children with disabilities in a public or other nonprofit
elementary or secondary school)
Up to 100%
Service qualifies for deferment also. Full-time qualified professional provider of early intervention services for the disabled
Up to 100%
Service qualifies for deferment also. Full-time teacher of math, science, foreign languages,
bilingual education, or other fields designated as teacher shortage areas
Up to 100%
Service qualifies for deferment also. Full-time employee of a public or nonprofit child- or family-services agency providing services to high-risk children and their families from low-income communities
Up to 100%
Service qualifies for deferment also. Full-time nurse or medical technician
Up to 100%
Service qualifies for deferment also. Full-time law enforcement or corrections officer
Up to 100%
Service qualifies for deferment also. Full-time staff member in the education component of a
Head Start Program
Up to 100%
Service qualifies for deferment also. Vista or Peace Corps volunteer
Up to 70%
Service qualifies for deferment also. Service in the U.S. Armed Forces
Up to 50% in areas of hostilities or imminent danger
Service qualifies for deferment also. Bankruptcy (in rare cases)
Up to 100%
Cancellation is possible only if the
bankruptcy court rules that repayment
would cause undue hardship. Closed school (before student could complete program of study)
100%
For loans received on or after
January 1, 1986.

sgustudent01
04-30-2006, 10:38 AM
http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/publications/repaying_loans/2003_2004/english/loan-discharge-cancellation.htm

gambino
04-30-2006, 01:18 PM
All of this only applies for FEDERAL loans not private ones (TERI, MedAchiever, etc.). So not relevant in this case but another reason why any good offshore school should have federal loans as it financially makes Uncle Sam your creditor (easier to deal with) than any private lender.

regards,
g



http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/publications/repaying_loans/2003_2004/english/loan-discharge-cancellation.htm







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