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View Full Version : In Need of Honest Advice



HopefulDoc5
08-17-2010, 05:27 PM
Hi everyone, I'm new to posting on this forum but I've read just about everything that I've found interesting or potentially helpful. I'm wondering if anyone could help me decide between an american medical school and SABA. I have a 3.8+ cGPA, 3.8+ sGPA, 4.0 MSc cGPA, and 32O MCAT, some volunteer, lots of extracurriculars, a publication, scholarships, etc. I can't get accepted in Ontario, at least not without rewriting the MCAT again -that I know, I've tried twice (Also, first MCAT was a 30P). I don't know an american well enough to co-sign a lease so I'm looking at a very large debt put mostly against my parents mortgage. My parents are more than willing to help but I've been doing some number crunching and although an American school would be doable, it would be a significant strain on my parents and there's hardly a safety net (not worried about failing but more so of unforeseen/expected costs, and stealing financial help from siblings who may need it as well in the future). I'm in my mid 20's and although I would be an MD in Canada hands down if I got accepted to a school there, I have no problem moving to practice in the States should I get an opportunity to get into medical school there or at SABA. I could wait another year, but I waited two years while completing my masters, and with admission offers and Ontario being as competitive as it is, it's really difficult to say no. Assuming I work harder than ever and go to Saba, is this something I might regret or have others been in a similar situation and not looked back? Let me know, thanks a lot for any help!

rokshana
08-17-2010, 06:13 PM
don't be an idiot...if you can get into a US school (are you a GC holder?) then go to a US school...money is not the issue...and going the caribbean route is not always the cheapest inthe long run.

HopefulDoc5
08-17-2010, 07:31 PM
Not a GC holder, will have to get a student visa, then a work visa, and go that route in either case. Unfortunately, money is a hurdle for a Canadian that has chosen to study medicine in the States. (It's also a hurdle for American's and anyone for that matter but loans are much easier to secure) It is doable for me (fortunately) but not at my expense alone. It would definitely put stress on my family. Is that stress worth it? (That's what I'm trying to figure out) Thanks for the advice but I'm hoping to hear something more along the lines of "Do whatever you can to pay for the American education because... etc." Or, "You'll have to work twice as hard or harder to achieve the same or less results if you attend a caribbean school..." OR even, "Go to SABA and work hard, it's awesome". Anyways, I do appreciate any comments.

rokshana
08-17-2010, 08:05 PM
Not a GC holder, will have to get a student visa, then a work visa, and go that route in either case. Unfortunately, money is a hurdle for a Canadian that has chosen to study medicine in the States. (It's also a hurdle for American's and anyone for that matter but loans are much easier to secure) It is doable for me (fortunately) but not at my expense alone. It would definitely put stress on my family. Is that stress worth it? (That's what I'm trying to figure out) Thanks for the advice but I'm hoping to hear something more along the lines of "Do whatever you can to pay for the American education because... etc." Or, "You'll have to work twice as hard or harder to achieve the same or less results if you attend a caribbean school..." OR even, "Go to SABA and work hard, it's awesome". Anyways, I do appreciate any comments.

well, as a non GC holder, don't expect that getting into a US school, even with your numbers, is "doable"...not that many US school take international students and those that do take very few.

as for why? you need to read around here some more on the difficulties (and the increase in that difficulty) in getting a residency as an IMG (and given that you are a non GC holder, getting a US residency is going to be even harder). the advantages , tangible and intangible, are for greater as an AMG than it is as an IMG/FMG, in terms of practically everything...getting audition electives as a 4th yr, getting interviews as a 4th yr,getting uber competitive spots, getting fellowships as a resident...everything...CAN you get a residency coming out of the caribbean? sure...but there is going to be a level of settling that you will do for most people (there will always be the plastics guy or the harvard gal, but they are not the norm), but if this is your ONLY chance to become an MD...well then, of course you have to take it...but with those scores, its not your only chance, and you should exhaust ALL, repeat ALL chances to be a canadian or US grad, before coming to the carribean...period.

apply to the canadian schools, the US schools, and the caribbean schools...if you don't get into the 1st 2, and you get into the 3rd, well come on down...but if you can actually get into a US school (and i'm not taking that as an automatic yes since you are an international student), then for the love of god, go to the US school--it will be well worth the money spent.

seattle
08-17-2010, 10:09 PM
Hopefuldoc,

I completely agree with the advice Rokshana has posted above. I understand your dilemma, but you do have decent scores that you should exhaust all possibilities in Canada and the U.S. prior to settling on any Caribbean school. Not to repeat what she has posted, but it is right on target; Caribbean is a tougher route, not inexpensive by any means, and does place you in front of more unnecessary hurdles.

If AFTER exhausting all your possibilities, you find yourself in a position that the Caribbean is the only option, then by all means select one of the Big 4 (Saba, Ross, AUC, or SGU); whichever you feel is a good fit for you.

My dad has served as a Resident Program Director and on Medical School Admission committees and I can personally tell you that if you have any chance of attending a North American Medical School, do so! Please think long term, not just the cost issue (as medicine is a long and tough road no matter which path you choose) and again exhaust ALL North American possibilities FIRST. If all else fails....well then we can talk further. Best of luck to you!

HopefulDoc5
08-17-2010, 10:09 PM
Thanks a lot for taking the time to write that. I am well aware of the difficulties of obtaining a position at a Canadian, American, or a caribbean medical school. I just want to be prepared for the decision should it come (I've done my research and of course applied to the most Canadian friendly schools in the States and I'm trying to be optimistic), or.. I need to decide whether or not another round of the MCAT, more volunteer experience, etc. is the route that I should be taking. (This is the more realistic alternative option to caribbean school acceptance but it's not an easy decision either.) I'm young yes, but I have many things on the go and it's hard to move forward with marrying, planning, living, etc. without some certainty in my life. (I want a family and I want to be a doctor) If I stay another year, or two, things can happen that may postpone or just make medical school in another country (any country) much more difficult. None of my numbers are at all spectacular which is another reason why I feel like jumping at any opportunity that comes to me. That being said, I've done a lot of research and I have only applied to excellent schools that offer a strong education.
I've also done tonnes of research on the difficulties that IMG's face, non-GC holding IMG's face, and non-GC holding AMG's face in obtaining uber competitive residencies/any residencies at all but stats and statements are very difficult to apply directly to an individual. Your insight and insight like yours is exactly what i'm looking for. I really appreciate it. This decision will affect the rest of my life.







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