View Full Version : SGU vs Technion

06-26-2008, 01:31 PM
Hey guys, I'm having this dilemma of deciding which school is better St. George's University or Technion Medical Institute of Technology in Israel. I got accepted to SGU for their Global Scholars program where I would study my first year at Northumbria in Newcastle, England and the 2nd year in Grenada and the 3 and 4th years in the states. Technion is all 4 years in Israel. I think Technion is the better choice slightly but not sure. What you guys think. SGU and come back to states after 2 years or Israel for 4?

06-26-2008, 09:53 PM
I am a 2nd year Technion student and I would highly recommend the program.

I have heard good things about SGU and if you want to be a Doctor both schools will get you there. However, there are a few reasons I think you should consider the TEAMS program over SGU.

(1) The building. Sounds like a stupid reason, but the Technion American Medical Program is housed in the Rappaport building. This building has some of the greatest minds in Israel (and the world) working on cutting edge research. In going to school here, you will have these brilliant minds (Including 2 nobel prize winners, scheduled to lecture for TEAMS) in close proximity to you. For the most part, people in this building are VERY open to having people join in on their research. If you are serious about it and take some initiative you have the opportunity to research anything from Cancer to Stem Cells (etc...).

(2) The lecturers. The lecturers are very knowledgable and give you a VERY detailed understanding of the subjects you are studying. The workload and the schedule is VERY rigorous, but everyday you feel like you are learning something truly amazing. The lecturers tend to be researchers in the building, or Doctors in the nearby hospitals. They teach you the material necessary for the course, but also throw in their own research. It makes you feel that the things you are learning are truly cutting edge and not just what's in the textbooks.

(3) Class Size. Small class size, while at times has its social implications, are really conducive to a learning environment. If you want to approach a lecturer, you are 1 of 32 students in the class (1 of 200+ at St. George's).

(4) The Name. Although this shouldn't play the biggest role in your decision (in my opinion), The Technion name is known throughout the world as a top-rated research institute. It has Nobel Prize winners researching and lecturing here. To anyone that knows the school, there is a great sense of prestige in being a graduate of the Technion.

(5) Added Bonuses.
(a) Free Books. At the Technion you do not need to purchase your medical textbooks (unless you want a copy for yourself). You are given books for all classes that are yours for the semester. The student book store (in the lobby of the building), also allows for renting of books (by semester) for a reasonable price.

(b) Tuition. Even with the recent raise in tuition (from $22,000 to $25,000 per year - as the school is growing and making improvements)
the tuition is still $7,000 less than that of SGU ($32,000).

(c) Clinical Experience. I am not familiar with how SGU works, but at the Technion you get some clinical experience even starting your first year. There is an Exposure to Medicine course, which has the class travelling around Israel to different hospitals (or other medical related trips). During my time at this course we were shown first hand how to perform EKG's and Ultrasounds, got to watch a colonoscopy, and got to travel a little in Israel in the process. In the 2nd year we have a Introduction to Clinical Medicine Course where part of the course is spending 2 afternoons a week (1/week second semester) in a hospital. We learned first hand how to give physical exams and take histories (and got to practice on actual patients). We were guided by doctors in how to use the Physical exam and History to come to a diagnosis. The doctor's also taught us how to take blood and gave us the opportunity to come in on off days to take blood from patients. It was a VERY hands on introduction to clinical medicine that taught me a lot.

(d) The beach. Bat galim (the city the Faculty resides in) may not be the nicest beach in Israel, but it is still beautiful. Everytime I look out of my window at home (or even the classroom window) I am greeted with a beautiful view of the Mediterranean. I live practically on the water for 600$ a month in a 3 bedroom apartment.

(e) Israel and Travel. Israel is a beautiful country with lots to see. We will be slaving away as residents for years, it's nice to be somewhere new and see all the things it has to offer. I have travelled throughout a lot of Israel and I also use any trip to the US as an opportunity to travel through Europe. It is not difficult to get a connecting flight (through Amsterdam, Italy, England, France, etc...) and extend it so that you can tour the area for a few days.

(f) American Rotations. While I haven't started my rotations yet I have been made aware that there is a 6 month period between 3rd year and when you have to report back for electives in 4th year where you can schedule yourself in hospitals (both in the US or in Israel). So if you want, you can still have that US time (albeit not for 2 years).

Bottom line:
It depends a lot on you. You need to do some introspection and think about whether life abroad for 4 years (in a fairly aggressive beaurocratic, but wonderful, society) is for you. Maybe the 2 years of being in the states will play a big role in your decision (family/girlfriend/friends/etc...)

Both schools will get you where you're going. With hard work, good personal skills and competitive USMLE scores you can get the residencies that you want. But, in my opinion Technion offers some very special benefits that you will not get at SGU.

Best of luck in the decision process. If you have any questions feel free to email me. ([email protected])

06-27-2008, 08:41 AM
Thanks for the insight. What i've been hearing is that what matters the most to compare these 2 schools is the pass rate percentage for the usmle-1 and the residency match list. For SGU the pass rate is 90% and the match list are posted online. for technion i haven't found a percentage but i've seen the match list during my interview and seemed pretty competitive. TEAMS is def a better program but how much better is it. To be in israel for 4 years is a long time. If its only slightly better then sgu might fit my needs more to come home after 2 years

06-28-2008, 06:38 AM
When I applied to the Technion I read an article from the NAAHP (Nation Advisers for the Health Professions) that stated:

"The Technion - Israel Institute of Technology is the only medical school worldwide (including U.S. medical schools) with a published cumulative pass rate of 100% on all three steps of the USMLE exam. (For the purposes of statistical significance, this data excludes USMLE pass rates from medical schools that have fewer than 100 total students to have taken the USMLE. It also excludes medical schools that have been in existance for less than 10 years.)"

That was in 2006.

But here is the deal with pass rates on the USMLE. They don't tell you about repeating years/decels. They just tell you out of the students that took the boards from this school, how many passed. My opinion is that no matter where you go, you can pass the boards if you sit down and do the studying required for the months before the test. I don't know how well most schools prepare you for the boards. They teach you the information you need, but from my talks with a lot of other medical students, most felt that they opened up First Aid (a USMLE review book) and used that to guide them throughout there studying and review for the boards. With that in mind, I suggest you don't look at the USMLE pass rate (because both of these schools have a good reputation in that aspect). Look at the program itself. Compare classes, time in the clinics, and talk to graduates and see what they have to say.

As far as being in Israel, that is something you need to work out on your own. Only you can decide whether or not you can handle 3.5-4 years abroad.

Either way, best of luck in the coming months, whatever decision you make, you'll be fine.

06-30-2008, 03:24 AM

06-30-2008, 05:20 AM

06-30-2008, 05:23 AM

06-30-2008, 05:46 PM
...for the record. I am an accepted applicant scheduled to matriculate in august, and am still considering matriculating at an SMP program instead. All the people i personally know with 30 plus mcats at technion are doing fine, but have told me they work their tails off. I was told to go US if I can, b/c my residency options will be better. I have also been told the pre-clinical education is incredible if not better than many US schools. Is this true? I can not answer that question, but med school IS med school and Israel IS a foreign country, i.e. a mentally grueling transition. It seems that this program is very hard. from my understanding levtechnion is one of the innocent bystanders of this program. This person probably would have been better off going SMP and then US MD or DO. If you have borderline numbers for med school in the US (3.2 or lower cGPA and sGPA, 28 or less mcat, in other words GPA X 10 + MCAT less than or equal to 60), check out the SMP programs at Boston University, Georgetown, Cincinnati, and Drexel. Those are the best SMPs around. Some say to start med school asap b/c it is a long journey. I disagree. What is one-year? Honestly? Technion is NOT a good choice for all people. levtechnion is evidence of that. This is my gut feeling, so take it with a grain of salt. It is also my gut feeling that if you are a legitimate candidate for US schools, i.e. received an interview from at least one US allopathic school, then you can chalk it up as a wise decision to study medicine in Israel. If not, take a year off, call an audible (preferably a time-out). Talk things over with your offensive coordinator, and make sure you throw a touchdown pass on your next possession, i.e. get accepted to an SMP, DO, or US MD program. I have a friend that just finished his radio residency. He turned down a $600K attending offer on the east coast, and could have worked in the midwest for $1M/yr. Do not ask me what he is making now. Of course, not all specialties command such a lofty salary. What is my point? Why be worried about only ONE-YR of your life when you could be making $600K - $1M after finishing your residency?

07-01-2008, 02:30 AM
Levtechnion is not just an innocent bystander. Students here are really suffering. 40% of the 2010 class has already failed exams, and according to the school, banned from taking the usmle this summer. These students will now be forced to take moed bet exams, which will impact their clinical studies. Who knows when they are going to be able to sit for the usmle? Even students with great drive and motivation on occasion require moed bets- it just happens.

There are students with poor mcats who are doing well and students with great mcats doing well. There is no correlation between mcat and performance here. There are tests where people don't study and they pass and those who study fail. This was witnessed by the recent high failure rate in the ICM course. These students will now need to sit for the Moed bet exam in September during their clinical studies, in lieu of sitting for the boards...about 14 out of 27 students, as of right now.

I can not tell you where to go. I never attended SGU, or another school. The match list for SGU is very impressive for a carrib; they have many academic residencies just like us. The Technion does not exactly have a match list, but truthfully, they only had about 7 or 8 people annually for the last few years (the Touro program shrank remarkably after 2000). The TeAMS program, just like any offshore school has its share of academic residencies as well as "lower presitge" community hospital spots. Just because one student grabbed an ENT position at Mayo does not guarantee you optho at Harvard. In the end I think the USMLE score is what will matter most, followed by your performace at American hospitals.

In closure, I will clarify my initial statements about suffering, and simply state that while some students will say they are happy, they still complain. I myself am not thrilled with the way things run here. For me as a Jewish student, living in Israel has its perks over the Carribs, and it is Israel. I also like the idea that I may be able to do research with established scientists (provided I was not in class from 830am until 630pm sunday thru thursday). But in reality, if all those factors have no impact on residency placement- then who needs the hassles students talk about on here?

Also, in a Carrib school, I don't think you will need to learn Spanish- you must learn Hebrew here; this does not come easy, and it will be difficult to learn it if you do not have a solid foundation.

I will state though, that SGU and Ross message boards have their fair share of complaints too- so if you are undecided, weigh your options carefully.

07-01-2008, 03:01 AM
I agree with Mr.Blackwell. Admittedly - while it is not impossible to do well in this program, at times it seems unnecessarily difficult. Obviously I have not attended other schools, so looking at it honestly I definitely am not able to compare one program to the next. So it is quite possible that other schools are fraught with organizational problems and all the other stuff we have posted here so far (feel free to read earlier posts). However, I think that other students should not come to this school (should they chose to do so) whilst being unaware of these issues.

As for levtechnion, while his/her/it's (angry automated robot?) responses seem harsh and bitter, I wouldn't write him off as a failing student who is just frustrated at his/her/it's own inadequacy. Even the top students in the class, who actually have come to post on these boards to defend the school, in person have told me how the problems in the school drive them crazy and they wish that they would have gone somewhere else. Don't forget that people who post positive stuff, don't necessarily do it because they honestly feel so, but possibly out of concern for their future residencies and reputations.

I personally would have made different choices had I been again chosing between my options those two years ago, but that's just me. For someone else this school and program might be a great experience, who knows. I just like to be treated with respect and as if my concerns, opinions and satisfaction matter - maybe I am just spoiled, but maybe it's normal to expect a certan level of care and attention.

I would just like to also mention that I agree with another poster above who mentioned that rushing into medical school may not be necessary. Even if it costs you another year but opens up some more option, that year may be worth it. Think about the money that you are about to invest in your medical education and the four years you are about to spend studying in one place and make a wise decision.

Anyways, I feel like I am losing my focus so I best sign off - good luck to anyone applying to schools or starting med school next year. I wish everyone all the best.

07-02-2008, 08:27 AM

07-02-2008, 08:48 AM
I have not heard anything about the school losing federal loans- this is a serious claim- what is your source for this?

True, there is a credit crunch in the states, as a result the school switched to sallie mae, bank of america and wakovia as lenders. (last time I checked).

07-02-2008, 09:25 AM
I understand that you are angry and frustrated with the program at the Technion, I myself will probably have to repeat a year. I even understand your claim that you want to inform others, nevertheless I think you have gone a bit beyond that. Potential students and applicants have already been made aware of some of the issues, but to begin with conjecture, such as the federal loan issue, is not being informative but is in fact disinformation. Unless you know what you are saying as a fact then you should not be printing it out.

Hagriz2 Mashgiach Ruchnie Technion TeAMS.

07-02-2008, 05:03 PM
Are there any other legitimate opinions out there? Tech is not Harvard. We get it. Objectivity wanted.

07-03-2008, 12:16 AM
In case you did not see me my post on the Sackler v. Technion thread, I provide you the following, with pleasure:

Levtechnion - It is clear that you were the instigator of this thread, so I will address you first. With all due respect, were you ever a Technion matriculant? Please be honest. Your ability to communicate on paper does not appear to be medical school material and surely not doctor material. You must know that your rants contain almost nothing of merit. I can sympathize with you. I can see why you would feel belligerent towards the administration if in fact you failed a year of medical school or were outright rejected.

Lev - Respectfully, this is not a personal attack, but I can not imagine that you are myopic enough to believe your own statements. Let's just be real. The administration is far from perfecto. They are understaffed. After the $3000 tuition hike, they have no excuses if they do not improve. The administration needs to realize they are dealing with spoiled Americans (that would be me). Cater to our needs. Thats what some say. I cant say I disagree.

You also mentioned something about Iran. The type of person too afraid to study in Israel bc of the prospect of war is probably not meant to study in Israel. People like this freak out and their marks reflect this distraction. Israel has been at war for the last 60 years. The Arabs are still trying to wipe Israel of the map. Nothing new. Business as usual.

theremba - Not everyone makes it through here. If youre afraid that you will not make it through, an SMP could save you some money in hte long run. If you waste two yrs here and dropout, thats a much bigger loss than a one or two yr SMP. I would conjecture that if you can survive an SMP you could survive TEchion. Depending on your #s, if you survive an SMP, you will likely gain acc into a US school.

spishan1 - With respect, I was too embarrassed to explore the carib route. The carib schools have much higher dropout rates than Technion. Something to consider. The carib schools literally accept anyone. Technion has respectable standards. The problem, ult a good thing, with FMS, esp Technion is that the curriculum is designed for people with 3.6+ GPA and 32+ MCATs. MOst people do not have these #s.

07-03-2008, 01:48 AM
It is very hard to tell Lev to cool it with the speculation if you are going to do the exact same thing and use it for personal insults. And no, saying that it is not meant as an insult or personal attack immediately before insulting or personally attacking them does not make it OK. I could also speculate about who you are based on your posts, but that wouldn't be fair to all the Secular Canadian liberals smokers who constantly show up late to ICM that don't agree with you. Do you see how stupid this is. If you have an Issue with the specific claim, let's here it. What is false, what is inaccurate, exaggerated? That is the way to get the best picture of the school out there. Constant petty insults and baseless accusations on the message board is no less damaging then Lev's demagoguery.
As for the prospects of war. If you are hesitant to come because of it, don't come, I don't want your type of trash in the school anyway.
Mashgeach Ruchnie,
Technion TeAMS Program.

07-03-2008, 05:55 AM
While I agree that people who are worried about the prospects of war, probably should not be coming to Israel - I don't think it's fair to refer to them as "trash." :shock: Not everyone has the desire to die for some cause.

As for the rest of your post - I agree, personal insults are a cheap argumentative tactic and while I also feel that Lev at times exaggerates certain facts, the issues that he brings up is what should be adressed, not his personal characteristics.

Secular Canadians that are late for ICM :p I chuckled ;)
Though I gotta tell you, the person that smokes is not Canadian, while the Canadian is not a smoker.

07-03-2008, 06:14 AM
Israel has been at war since the start, If you are considering coming to Israel it is always a consideration. then again, its not like there will be an annual hurricane to wash the schools and cities into the sea.

unlike some of you whiners, iv'e been practicing just in case of a nuclear war...duck and cover under the desk right?

07-03-2008, 06:18 AM
Now that's thinking ahead, just make sure you desk is made out of lead :D

07-05-2008, 10:40 AM
The problem, ult a good thing, with FMS, esp Technion is that the curriculum is designed for people with 3.6+ GPA and 32+ MCATs. MOst people do not have these #s.

I disagree. The problem with the Technion curriculum is that it's geared towards Israeli students and not for American students (even though the TeAMS program is for American students). This is not a knock against Israeli medical school curriculum or the curriculum at the Technion. The problem with having an Israeli-style curriculum that places such a heavy focus on basic science (e.g., on lab theory, molecular biology, etc) as is the case in TeAMS, is that it doesn't necessarily prepare us for the USMLE's as we need. My hope is that the relevant people will soon recognize that it's not within the Technion's best interests to be under-preparing TeAMS students for the USMLE's. If we do bad on boards, then it not only reflects poorly of us but also of the entire medical faculty and the academics.

You're right- most of the students here didn't enter the Technion with 3.6+ GPA and 32+ MCATs. But I am not convinced that it takes a genius to handle the curriculum here, challenging as it may be. As in any other medical school, to do well in the Technion you need to have solid grasp of science (or at least the ability to quickly learn, retain and recall scientific concepts) and the willingness and ability to spend many sleepless nights studying.

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