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02-15-2003, 04:48 PM
by Anonymous (no login)

I just visitied AUC,Ross. AUC has a very impressive facility . There are 4 large and comfortable lecture halls. There is a moderate size library with more books than I exected. There is also tables to sstudy. There was a full time librarian present. There was also a large modern computer room next to the library. There was a section of the building with individual faculty offices,large anatomy lab,other general function laabs, student lounge,note service office, cafeteria , admin. offices. Within the facility is a 5 room grammer school with teachers for the children of students and staff. It is called the American school. AUC was also completing research space (didnt see it however as that section of facility not open). The school is located at Cupecoy bay on Simpsons bay. It is next to the water and there is a golf course to its right.
There is also a retail area within a 5 min. walk
which also has the AUC bookstore. The airport is 10 min away. Traffic on st. martin was terrible.
The Island is beautiful,modern,friendly however.
We found places to eat for reasonable prices
The down side is loan situation.
They told us that they are working on getting the strafford loans back. They have bank of america loans. Guess will have to sell everything and ask
friends,family for help.
We also talked to students who were happy with the teachers and facility. However, many students had to take off semesters to work for tuition money. Some went to other schools that were cheaper. Some of the students considered Grace in st. kits but they felt it was a scam and lied to students about its"affilited hospitals". They also said that Grace is using a house as its school and is pretty hokey.
Visited Ross. Island very primitive.
Looks just like Jurassic park. It is beautiful if you like nature travel. Roseau the capital not as
destitute as I had read. People seemed indifferent to us. The air port(canefield) scary. Ross located about 45 min ride from the airport. Roads narow and winding going trough very poor villages.
Ross seems isolated within the jungle. The buildings are metal prefab. Looks loke a trailor park. Everything looks functionalhowever. They need to clean upthe place however, and replace some of the old furniture in the lib. and need to get new chairs for the lecture halls. The students dont seem happy being there . They say the classes are too large,dominicans are rude to them and try to cheat them, living conditions can be expensive. It didnt seem too bad to me however. I can function without too much typical
US comforts. They do have Straffords which helps
with tuition of course. You are in a 3 rd wold country and you will need to adjust your standards
Also I spoke to a student who visited St. Matthews inBelize. He said it is also a money scam.
Hope this helped. .

Posted on Jan 13, 1999, 8:13 AM
from IP address

More specific please
by Scott (no login)


Thanks for your informative email. I was wondering if you could be more specific about what your source said about St. Matthews. We haven't heard much inside info about this school, so any you could provide would be very helpful. Good luck to you.

Posted on Jan 14, 1999, 8:42 AM
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by Anonymous (no login)

I didnt visit St. Matthews. I only spoke to a Ross student who said he was not impressed. He said the facilities and equipment were sparse. He felt it was too shakey of a school. Stick with the established schools. Ross seemed ok except for the living conditions and large classes. St. Georges is the best all around. AUC has the best facilities,living conditions,easy access to the states. If they get back the straffords and try to get more us clinical sites it should be a very good place to study. Ross was having a hard time placing all their students in the US. I was told that some were waiting 4-6 months for a site. I dont know if they dont have enough sites or if the students wanted to be in a certain part of the country. Also not all their sites are are in hospitals with residencies which could be a problem later on,although I know of US medical students that spent some rotations in non teaching rotations. However, Foreign grads. are treated differently when it comes to individual state licensure. Check with the states where you intend to practice. Hope this helps.

Posted on Jan 14, 1999, 11:01 AM
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by Michelle (no login)

Hi Anonymous,
Your statement is very helpful to me as a student who is trying to transfer into one of the Carribean schools. Please tell me more about Grace-why do you call it a "scam"? I know only a little about the school and I was told they have a few affilitated hospitals. Please help me out about the various schools before I make a mistake! Thanks alot, Michelle

Posted on Jan 14, 1999, 11:02 AM
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by Anonymous (no login)

AUC has much nicer facility(new,well equiped,computer room, beautiful lib. with enough books that are needed,good teachers in general,and of course living conditions similar to US.) They
do have very good clinicals in the US but depending on number of students at time of clinicals not everyone will get core clinicals in the US. The top half of students should be no problem. The others can do their core rotations n England,Ireland or Scotland. Actually these hospitals are quite good. Elective rotations are not that difficult to get in the US. For cores you can arrange them yourself (with school approval) if you know someone or are lukcey to arrange on own. Ross has its pros and cons.
Like AUC it is one of the 3 established schools that has survived political and natural tormoil(govt.takeovers,hurricaines). The island of Dominica is a very hard place to live coming from the US. A completely different mentality. Living conditions are ok if you have the money to buy what you need but can be expensive. Locals such as cab drivers, landlords take advantage of students (you have money,they dont). The campus of Ross looks like a trailor park. The buildings
are one story prefab. The lib. and classroms are not kept up very well. Everything looks as if they havent replaced furniture in years. Everything is functional and they have built a new anatomy lab. They fail a lot of students from those I have spoken to(some say to make more money
others say because those students didnt belong).
The students didnt look happy. However, they do have stafford loans, and have us clinicals(although you might have to wait before they can place you in us). It is best if you investigate the schools yourself. You can get fly to st. martin and visit AUC then take LIAT or other airline to Dominica. You could alos check out St. Georges,Grenada. Hope this is of some help.

Posted on Mar 12, 1999, 4:26 PM
from IP address

Hmmm, so AUC Has a nice campus....
by Dominicanightmare (no login)

Please dont let a nice campus and a more civilized island be the determining factor in your decision.

I am doing clinicals with students from AUC who state out-rightly that they wish they attended Ross or St. Georges. They dont feel backed up by their administration, infact they feel down right abandoned. For example, when we have to apply to residency the school will have a deans letter made for us, the AUC students here said they had a very hard time getting the school to co-opperate with them on this matter, which held up their residency applications.

They also dont speak very highly of the quality of teachers, nor the schools pass rate on the USMLE. Other comments include "at least you dont have the word Carribean on you Diploma" implying that the stigma of a carribean medical education will haunt them when ever a pt looks at their diploma or asks which school they are from.

Then there is the whole loan mess which wont affect your decision if finances are not a problem.

Ross will fail 30% of the class, but it is hard to bag on that when the schools philosophy is to give every one a chance to become a physician---even those who may look like they cannot handle medicine on paper (low GPAs and MCATs). Many people with low GPAs do very well at Ross so you cant nock the philosophy, although it fits nicely with the profit side of the school.

I dont consider AUC to be on the same level as Ross, which is closely following St. Georges. I'd go to Saba before AUC anyday.

Mind you I enjoyed St Martin.

by ******* B., M.D. (no login)

I have done rotations with Ross Students in both Connecticut, Chicago, and Baltimore. I can also say that the Ross students didnt speak too highly of their school or teachers either. AUC and Ross seem to be on the same level to me. SABA a bit lower. All 3 are a far cry from St George's though.

BTW, ask any doctor how many times their patients ask them where they went to school. Guaranteed they will tell you that it is a rare occasion that they do. Treat you patients with compassion and be a good healer and they wont care where learned medicine.

In addition, dont try and put on a false persona and hide the fact that you went to a Caribbean school to your patients or anyone else. 99% of people will be fascinated to hear about your experience. I have yet to meet one patient who even had a hint of apprehension upon finding out where I went to school. Just because a Ross diploma doesn't say "Caribbean" doesn't mean you didn't attend an offshore school. Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments and people will respect you for it. Be ashamed of yourself and hide who you are and you won't feel right inside. Trust me.

******* B., M.D.

Posted on Mar 12, 1999, 11:13 PM
from IP address

Good points
by Dominicanightmare (no login)

I agree with 95% of your message.

And I dont remember saying anything about Ross students being overly happy about their experiences. I also did not say, nor was it my intention to imply that one should hide where one attended medical school. I was simply relaying what I continue to hear the AUC students say.

Maybe you can clarify the current USMLE pass rate at AUC and the average score of those that pass. I simply put Ross ahead of AUC for the fact that Ross has a first time pass rate on the USMLE of greater than 90%, and according to the AUC students currently in the clinical program here this figure is around 60% for their school.

I consider passing the boards to be pritty improtant. Not to mention the current problems AUC is having with finances....and this has really hurt the students here at least anyway. I see them spend so much time in the student room on the phone to Bank of America and other alternative loan companies when the rest of us dont have that added stress and spend any free time studying.

Why do you consider them equal??

Saba on the other hand is a smaller newer school, they have some loans, the students are happier in general than both AUC and Ross students, and their first time pass rate on the boards hovers between 75-85% (according to a recent grad now in his internship).

Posted on Mar 13, 1999, 9:10 AM
from IP address

How much is propaganda?
by MDM41 (no login)

I notice that the schools say things like passing rates are high 90% etc....One thing, how do we know its the truth, when the USMLE,won't tell us the scores of the schools?

Posted on Mar 13, 1999, 9:25 AM
from IP address

by Anonymous (no login)

Isnt it true that Ross requires a board review course as part of its preclinical program. Wheras
AUC and the other schools dont they let up to the students to prepare on their own.????

Posted on Mar 13, 1999, 11:21 AM
from IP address

by DRMED (no login)

Its true..the people who go down there are
NATIONAL MEDICAL School Review. These guys don't like going to Ross...They were talking about it this summer, at the review they did

Posted on Mar 13, 1999, 1:09 PM
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5th semester
by jimbo (no login)

My physiology teacher actually works for the company that does the reviews for students down at Ross. He told me that the 5th semester was added to give a review for the boards as well as to do ICM. Adding this 5th semester has really boosted board passing rates from about 50% before the 5th semesmter to 90+%. FYI, he said the last group had about an 85% pass rate.

Posted on Mar 13, 1999, 1:36 PM
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Does it really matter?
by Saba student (no login)

Residency directors are a littlebit more intelligent than I think you give them credit for. Put yourself in their position. You're looking to add a resident in your Internal Medicine (doesn't matter what specialty) rotation and it comes down to two candidates. One comes from UCLA the other from a Carib school (doesn't matter eiher). Your UCLA student scores 200 on the USMLE 1 (not really looked at, but is an indicator) and then does equally well on Step 2. Your Carib student gets 210, but wait a minute he/she is from Carib. Well let's see the clerkships. UCLA student does all the clerkships at UCLA and the Carib student visits a multitude of hospitals, both have the same cores, but Carib student did more Int. med. specialty electives. The UCLA student has excellent references from the usual sources sen coming out of UCLA, Carib student has excellent reference from Chief Resident of Internal Hospital from Jackson Park, in Chicago....
I'm not trying to throw an uneven bias to the Carib student, but maybe you can see the point I'm trying to drive home. Just because you come from one school or another doesn't determine whether or not you get a residency, but how you've performed since you've been in the clinical setting. I really can't stree this enough. I know students from Saba, SGU, Ross, and AUC, and they all say the same thing, if you're good enough you'll get the residency you want. Of course there is a tendency for students to get placements in places where they've done their cores or electives. But that's not 100%. For instance let's look at the places Saba students matched for 1997 or 1998 (this could apply to any of the top four):
St. Louis University
St. Michael's, Milwaukee
Wayne State University, MI
Butterworth Hospital, MI
Catholic Medical Centre, NY
Greater Baltimore Hospital, MD
Medical College, NY
Mercy Hospital, Chicago
University of NJ
University of Virginia
Tulane University
University of Mississippi
Medical College of Georgia
Temple University
University of Washington
University of Hawaii
Mayo Clinic, MN
Louisiana State

If you look at the range of hospitals and academic instiutions that these students find placements in, do you honestly think that it's only because all these places take a lot of IMGs. That would be ludicrous. I understand the stress that you're going through trying to decide which school to go to and you're obviously already worrying about where you're going to do your residency. If you think that you can pull of a 3.0 GPA in undergrad and that gets you into Med School, and then with the same sort of effort you can expect to graduate with your MD in hand you are greatly mistaken. Why do you think so many students fail there first semester at Ross (sorry Ross, not picking on you in particular)? It's going to take everything you've got and the key to success is in those damn USMLEs. Sure you'll get the occasional director that may pick a worse student over a Carib student because they went to the same school, but do you want to work in a place where they pride themselves on substandard physicians. I've stressed this already but I'll repeat myself. MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR CLERKSHIPS. Get contacts on your way to your residency.
Now evaluate the schools you're choosing between and see what advantages give as far as clerkships. (Don't forget that you've got to get those great marks on your Step 1). I don't want to offer advice on one school or another, but I will tell you things to look for that helped me make my decision.

1)Where are the affiliations for core rotations? Do you like any of the places where they have the cores? (Remember, you're not guaranteed where you'll go)
2)How does the school arrange electives for you? Do they alreadu have them set up or do they give you a list of possible locations and you seek out the ones you want? Saba does the latter. This may scare some but it does give you the freedom of going where you want to go which is all important for making connections in the places you want to do residencies (okay, so I threw in a little bias)
3)How large are class sizes? What are the failure rates? Are these predetermined, i.e., do they have quotas?
4)How did students from your undergrad institution do at that particular Carib school? (I found that students from my own undergrad had gone to Carib schools and usually Admin is happy to put you in touch with them)
5)Do students find residencies in places affiliated with Carib school or outside? Try to find a balance because then you know that although students are getting residencies because of contacts that they make during rotations, they are still competitive with other students in outside hospitals.

Each school has its own hospital affiliations and its own way of placing you in electives, but it all comes down to how bad you want it. As I mentioned above Saba lets you go out and get your own electives. For me that was key. Although Ross has excellent affiliations, with excellent USMLE scores anybody from Saba has the potential to do electives in any institution and thus explore more where they may want to do a residency. If you want to do pediatrics, wouldn't it look great to a director if you did your electives at Children's Hospital in Boston, or the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. Don't get me wrong, Ross, SGU and AUC students don't just stick to where they do there cores either. Speak to some graduates or final year students (Admin will put you in touch)and see what they think. You'll probably find that most of them will tell you that with superior grades, no one cares where you went. So if you plan on being mediocre then sure, I'd recommend going to a school with high placements in hospital where they have affiliations. After all, it's security, and one less thing you have to stress yourself out over. But I think starting off Med school with the plan of being mediocre throughout is really the wrong attitude and good luck to you where ever you go. So for me, I would say size the schools up, decide which is the best place to live for that 20 months, see if you like their rotation placements or if they have some flexibility, and then just pick one. If oyu had put in as much effort into your undergrad as you put into researching which school to go to you wouldn't have to worry. But you didn't, so now bite the bullet, pick a school, and study damn hard for your USMLEs. Didi I mention that these are the KEY?

Posted on Mar 30, 1999, 9:15 AM
from IP address

Thanks, Saba student
by Anon (no login)

It was an education.

You said: "So if you plan on being mediocre then sure, I'd recommend going to a school with high placements in hospitals where they have affiliations." Well, I don't plan on being mediocre, but just out of curiosity, which schools in the Carib have these affiliations besides Ross? SGU only, or AUC as well? Thanks again.

Posted on Mar 30, 1999, 1:26 PM
from IP address

On the other hand...
by John (no login)

i'm not too sure if i would agree completely with the response above. first of all, the statement on AUC, SGU, and SABA being accredited isn't all that true, they aren't recognized by medical organizations such as the LCME, or any other U.S. national or region accrediting bodies, except perhaps the DOE for loans (currently exculuding AUC). However i am a bit confused with ross's decision to pursue with the wyoming plans, because when i went up for my interview in late january, the assistant director i think that's who it was..(the old fart with the buck teeth) told us that dr. ross was going to bag the whole plan. and now there are reports from the AMA, as well as the local news affilates of MSNBC from casper, wy that ross does intend to build despite the opposition, via loop-holes in the system. it is true that u.s. schools, or more specifically the AMA doesn't want a non-accredited medical school coming into the states, but ross does have the money (since the campus does look like a trailer park... despite the new furbished libr. and new ana lab, where is all the money going to??), and they do have some political connections and they also have that working union/assembly up in casper, wy that actually sponsored and supported the idea for a new medical school to increased employment. my point is that, i don't think that this will hurt ross or any other school in the carribean in the long run. acutally ross did try this stunt before in idaho.. but does anybody remember that?? i didn't think so. AMA is afraid that the "pandora's box" is going to open for other forgein medical schools to land in the states, but then again how many other schools are as rich as ross to actually build a new campus including american payroll, and american land compared to the west indes... and how many school have some political ties? not many. if ross does succeed to build a new campus, who knows maybe it will get accredited with time due to increased demand for a new medical school from "over crowding" in conjunciton with its "comparable" quality standards. just imagine that if a rich buisness man created a private medical school in the states, later to be accredited with time and recorded quality education, how would that differ from a private medical school that ross would build (who already has very good knowledge on how medicine works in basic and clinical sciences)... the fact is that it shouldn't and will not differ at all.

Posted on Apr 12, 1999, 7:45 AM
from IP address

Econ 101
by DrB (no login)

The economics of these programs is VERY favorable. For example, suppose Ross is able to attract a class of 200 for 4 semesters at the WY campus at 12k a semester. That is a gross revenue of about 10 million. The expenses are relatively minor (say, 20 faculty at 60k apiece plus some administrative support) -- lets say 3 million a year. Also, Ross can minimize the risk by leasing the facilities. And the economies of scale make it even more attractive - you can teach 400 as easily as 200. So the AMA should be concerned -- there is money to be made on the unmet demand for medical education.

Posted on Apr 12, 1999, 8:38 AM
from IP address

Yes it is true!
by Anonymous (no login)

This is true. I called the DOE and they confirmed it. AUC has always been a good place to study.
The new campus is state of the art and was built as a medicaal school and not a hotel like some of the other schools. St. Georges is the best all around with regard to facility and reputation.
Ross in Dominica looks like a trailor park in the jungle they have white rectangle buildings that are prefab and looks chincy,although everything is functioal it is obvious that the campus is not kept up. IT looked like they havnt bought any new furniture since it opened. Some of the lecture halls have very uncomfortable chairs. The library
has a musty odor and just looks old. The only thing new is the portrait of the wife of the owner
dr. ross. ) Ross does have a lot of clinicals compared to other schools but even students have to wait. Some students say that Ross intentionally flunks students so they will have to repeat the whole semester and not just the class failed so they can get more money. Other students say that since they admit students that may not be ready for medical school these students fail because they wernt ready. At least they give people a chance. AUC and Ross admin. have bad reputation
for not keeping students informed or being friendly. However,except for St. Georges,the other schools are much worse. AUC has advantage of being in St. Martin which is easy to get to,beautiful living conditions,modern, and friendly compared to other islands especially to Dominica. Visit the schools but better to stick with the established schools of St. Georges,AUC,Ross. Good luck.

Posted on Apr 15, 1999, 2:46 PM
from IP address

I agree.
by Anonymous (no login)

I agree with everything in the above post. AUC will be a very popular school with their Staffords back. Ross certainly has that academic Darwinian thing going and their students have to work very hard, but they will give people a chance that they can't get anywhere else. SGU is king, but very expensive and competitive.

Posted on Apr 16, 1999, 5:14 AM
from IP address

by Tex (no login)

I believe the "ratings" for most US Med schools can be viewed as based on a)how hard they are to get into and b) how expensive they are; and that's just about it. Think about it.
Just one man's opinion.

The US NEWS rankings for undergrad schools is based, for the most part, on how much money spent/student which means nothing. If the school Derek mentioned spent 2.5 million on the parking lot, that would be considered capital outlay for however few students could now park and could subsequently raise their ranking dramatically.

Schools with Financial Aid for International Undergraduate Students
Some US schools are more likely than others to offer financial aid for international undergraduate students. The lists below indicate which schools offer aid (including grants, loans, and jobs) to the largest numbers of international students. The lists are based on a list compiled by Douglas C. Thompson, Associate Vice President for Enrollment, The Culinary Institute of America.

To be included in the following lists, the schools must have an average award that is greater than 1/5 of the cost of attendance. The financial aid may include grants, loans, and jobs, and often includes both merit and need-based awards. Within each group, schools are listed in alphabetical order.

(Remember that a much greater number of schools provide financial aid for international graduate students in the form of teaching and research assistantships. For information about financial aid for graduate study in the US, you should contact the schools that interest you even if they aren't included in the lists below.)

It a school is not listed here, it probably does not have much financial aid for international students. However, it is worth noting that some schools may have athletic scholarships that are open to both international students and US students. The lists below do not count the number of athletic scholarships awarded to international students.

Schools with Awards to More than 150 Students

Arizona State University (AZ)
Barry University (FL)
Clark Univ. (MA)
Eastern Michigan Univ. (MI)
Harding Univ. (AR)
Harvard (MA)
Illinois Inst. of Tech. (IL) Liberty Univ. (VA)
Louisiana State Univ. (LA)
Macalester College (MN)
Marquette Univ. (WI)
Mount Holyoke College (MA)
Ohio Wesleyan Univ. (OH) Princeton (NJ)
Univ. of Bridgeport (CT)
Univ. of Houston (TX)
Univ. of Pennsylvania (PA)
Univ. of South Florida (FL)

Schools with Awards to 100-149 Students

Brown Univ. (RI)
Calvin College (MI)
College of Wooster (OH)
Dartmouth (NH)
Dordt College (IA)
Eckerd College (FL)
Florida Inst. of Tech. (FL)
Georgia Southern Univ. (GA)
Graceland College (IA)
Luther College (IA)
Middlebury College (VT)
Northeast Louisiana (LA)
Oberlin (OH)
Savannah Coll. of Art (GA)
Slippery Rock Univ. (PA)
Smith College (MA)
Stanford (CA)
Texas Christian Univ. (TX)
Tri-State Univ. (IN)
Univ. of Miami (FL)
Univ. of Rochester (NY)
Yale (CT)

Schools with Awards to 50-99 Students

Abilene Christian Univ. (TX)
Allegheny College (PA)
Augsburg College (MN)
Beloit College (WI)
Bethany College (WV)
Brandeis Univ. (MA)
Bryn Mawr College (PA)
California Lutheran (CA)
Cleveland Inst. of Music (OH)
Colby College (ME)
Columbia Univ. (NY)
Concordia Coll. (MN)
Cornell Univ. (NY)
Denison Univ. (OH)
Franklin & Marshall (PA) George Wash. Univ. (DC)
Goshen College (IN)
Grinnell College (IA)
Houghton College (NY)
Ithaca College (NY)
Julliard School (NY)
Knox College (IL)
Lake Forest College (IL)
Lawrence Univ. (WI)
***** & Clark (OR)
Lynn Univ. (FL)
Maharishi Intl. Univ. (IA)
Monmouth College (IL)
North Park Univ. (IL)
Principia College (IL) Rochester Inst. of Tech. (NY)
St. Augustine's College (NC)
St. Johns College (MD)
St. Lawrence Univ. (NY)
St. Olaf College (MN)
Tulane Univ. (LA)
Univ. of Maine (ME)
Univ. of Wisc./Eau Clair (WI)
US International Univ. (CA)
Washington College (MD)
Washington Univ. (MO)
Wesleyan Univ. (CT)
Western Maryland Coll. (MD)
Wittenberg Univ. (OH)

Schools with Awards to 15-49 Students

Albright College (PA)
Amherst College (MA)
Augustana College (IL)
Bard College (NY)
Bates College (ME)
Bennington College (VT)
Bowdoin College (ME)
CalTech (CA)
Central College (IA)
Coe College (IA)
Colgate Univ. (NY)
Davidson College (NC)
Dickinson College (PA)
Earlham College (IN)
Eastern Nazarene (MA) Elizabethtown College (PA)
Elmira College (NY)
Gettysburg College (PA)
Gustavas Adolphus Coll. (MN)
Hamilton College (NY)
Hampshire College (MA)
Hood College (MD)
Kalamazoo College (MI)
Kenyon College (OH)
Lafayette College (PA)
Messiah College (PA)
Michigan State Univ. (MI)
Mount Union College (OH)
Occidental College (CA)
Spalding Univ. (KY) Swarthmore College (PA)
Taylor Univ. (IN)
****** Aquinas Coll. (CA)
Troy State Univ. (AL)
Univ. of Chicago (IL)
Univ. of Colorado/Bldr (CO)
Univ. of Oregon (OR)
Univ. of St. ****** (MN)
Univ. of the South (TN)
Vassar College (NY)
Wabash College (IN)
Wellesley College (MA)
West Virginia Wesleyan (WV)
William Smith College (NY)
Williams College (MA)

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