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View Full Version : If you got into all of the big 4, would you pick SABA cause its the least expensive?



DrChris
08-26-2010, 02:36 PM
Lets say boom, you get into all the big 4. Would you attend SABA or Ross instead of SGU because of cost?

sgMD
08-26-2010, 02:38 PM
Ross isnt inexpensive

Kewlwhip
08-26-2010, 03:42 PM
Saba... I know people who have gone and currently go to Ross. The crime on the island is atrocious! From what I hear, the island is not a good place to be. Ross admits 650 students per semester and will fail about 200 of those in the first semester and only have about 350 clinical spots.

Saba is hard, don't let me give you the idea its a breeze. The island isn't wonderful, but it is livable and the crime is basically zero.

DrChris
08-26-2010, 05:15 PM
Saba... I know people who have gone and currently go to Ross. The crime on the island is atrocious! From what I hear, the island is not a good place to be. Ross admits 650 students per semester and will fail about 200 of those in the first semester and only have about 350 clinical spots.

Saba is hard, don't let me give you the idea its a breeze. The island isn't wonderful, but it is livable and the crime is basically zero.

Thank you for this information. So in Ross if there aren't enough clinical spots, then how are you supposed to do your rotations? Couldn't the University face a law suit over the issue? So what do you do, delay your graduation or never graduate? I find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be enough clinical locations, but I will take your word for it. What about SABA placement in clinicals?

DrChris
08-26-2010, 05:19 PM
Saba... I know people who have gone and currently go to Ross. The crime on the island is atrocious! From what I hear, the island is not a good place to be. Ross admits 650 students per semester and will fail about 200 of those in the first semester and only have about 350 clinical spots.

Saba is hard, don't let me give you the idea its a breeze. The island isn't wonderful, but it is livable and the crime is basically zero.

I am sure Ross is an excellent institution, but consistently I have heard the worst things about Ross. I don't know why that is, but every issue I hear about leads back to Ross. I don't hear big publicity about problems when talking about SGU, SABA, or AUC. Am I right or wrong?

DrChris
08-26-2010, 05:24 PM
I would say the issue with Ross all starts with admitting too many students. When too many students are brought into the institution, if more students pass then expected, there are a certain percentage of them that can't do rotations. So any of you do all your rotations at the same hospital, or do you like to / have to move around?

sgMD
08-26-2010, 07:23 PM
They are both the same thing. Except that with Ross you pay more to get the same education. End of story.

rs27
08-26-2010, 09:47 PM
Yep and I'd suspect that most people who got into Saba probably could have gotten into any of the other big 3.

seattle
08-26-2010, 11:52 PM
In terms of expense alone, one has to be careful about how you look at the numbers and from what background one is entering into the program. Specifically, if you are a U.S. applicant, the cost to attend Saba (if funded fully by loans) can be extremely expensive! If you are Canadian (my understanding) is that one has more options which are reasonable.

For U.S. applicants, the Ed-Invest loan is a variable interest loan that is adjusted to the LIBOR (London Exchange Rate) monthly and can increase to an unbelievable 25%! In other words, if you are planning to fund the entire 4 years via this loan, it is costly. The initial amount (principal) looks very reasonable, but when one adds the interest paid over the life of the loan repayment period, the actual amount that one owes can be substantial! Please keep this in mind when doing your calculations.

SGU, Ross, and AUC (the other schools considered in the Big 4) are backed by Federal Loans. Currently, there is plenty of talk on these forums about Saba getting close to achieving that status as well. However, I have heard this for over a couple of years now and we will wait and see. It is a very big step.

In terms of attrition rates at these schools (you mentioned Ross), realize that all Caribbean schools have attrition rates due to the nature of the intense programs versus the relative strengths of the entering pool. Whether or not a school purposely filters a weed out system is a hot topic on these forums and has some merit, but again there are a variety of reasons for attrition and cannot be attributed to simply a school purposely fails people out of the program.

Saba has its share of attrition as well. It is not my intention to begin a topic on this thread on the rate of attrition, because no one on the forum has definitive numbers. Suffice to say, however, each semester experiences attrition mainly due to the intensity of the curriculum. All individuals are given the same exam under identical constraint parameters (testing conditions) where cheating is an impossibility (unless in cases such as Pathology II where the questions were recycled from a previous semester and had been leaked to a segment of the student population a few semesters ago). Hence, given identical testing conditions, even if one makes the argument that Saba is purposely attempting to fail people, it boils down to the argument that not all individuals can handle the bar that has been set forth before them by Saba standards. That does not imply that all individuals who fail at Saba are not doctor material. It just means that most of those in that category are not a good fit for the bar which Saba sets for passing and another school may be better suited for them. Within that latter segment, there are then those who will have academic difficulties at any school and should seriously reconsider a medical school path before it gets too costly (especially in terms of loans)!

Are clinical spots limited? Yes. However, Saba to my knowledge has never had a major backlog of individuals waiting for clinical spots compared to some other schools. This is primarily due to the fact that only about 65 individuals make it to the NBME exam each semester, which is within range of the number of clinical spot variations from year to year. This is a reasonable estimate based on observations over the years with Saba. Do not attempt to hold that as a definitive number. It will vary according to semester. But it is a reasonably accurate estimate of how many are getting through to 5th and beyond.

Kewlwhip
08-27-2010, 02:28 AM
Thank you for this information. So in Ross if there aren't enough clinical spots, then how are you supposed to do your rotations? Couldn't the University face a law suit over the issue? So what do you do, delay your graduation or never graduate? I find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be enough clinical locations, but I will take your word for it. What about SABA placement in clinicals?

Believe it or not it happens. And are you serious about a lawsuit? Who the hell cares on the island of Dominica about clinical spots and number of students. Remember that these are NOT US med schools.

If you graduate the basic sciences at Saba, you will have somewhere to do your clinicals. Sounds like you might need to do some more research on what is involved with each program.

Trillium
08-27-2010, 07:32 AM
Are clinical spots limited? Yes. However, Saba to my knowledge has never had a major backlog of individuals waiting for clinical spots compared to some other schools. This is primarily due to the fact that only about 65 individuals make it to the NBME exam each semester, which is within range of the number of clinical spot variations from year to year.

And what happens if more people make it through? That's cutting it a little close.

SGU is the only school that has more clinical spots than they can use currently....you get what you pay for. ....and they added more spots recently: http://www.valuemd.com/sgu-medical-school-clinicals/199778-major-news-nj-clinicals.html

seattle
08-27-2010, 10:01 AM
And what happens if more people make it through? That's cutting it a little close.

SGU is the only school that has more clinical spots than they can use currently....you get what you pay for. ....and they added more spots recently: http://www.valuemd.com/sgu-medical-school-clinicals/199778-major-news-nj-clinicals.html

Yes, definitely it is a valid concern that people express at the meetings with the Dean of Clinical sciences. But to date, it has not been an issue.

SGU is one of the oldest Caribbean schools and hence has deep pockets. The issue of "buying clinical spots" is not new to the older Caribbean school strategic initiatives. However, it has been met with growing resentment from U.S. med schools and it will be interesting to see how this debate develops over time.

I recall reading an article on one of the forums (I believe SGU) a couple of years ago about this contentious issue.

humble1
08-28-2010, 09:05 PM
I have a 3.19 gpa bio major chem pysh minors, 2 good letters of rec saying I worked full time from professors, some volunteer work but really bad mcats when u add up tha good parts about 18 and shadowed doctor wat are my chances to get into Saba?

DrChris
09-04-2010, 01:02 PM
In terms of expense alone, one has to be careful about how you look at the numbers and from what background one is entering into the program. Specifically, if you are a U.S. applicant, the cost to attend Saba (if funded fully by loans) can be extremely expensive! If you are Canadian (my understanding) is that one has more options which are reasonable.

For U.S. applicants, the Ed-Invest loan is a variable interest loan that is adjusted to the LIBOR (London Exchange Rate) monthly and can increase to an unbelievable 25%! In other words, if you are planning to fund the entire 4 years via this loan, it is costly. The initial amount (principal) looks very reasonable, but when one adds the interest paid over the life of the loan repayment period, the actual amount that one owes can be substantial! Please keep this in mind when doing your calculations.

SGU, Ross, and AUC (the other schools considered in the Big 4) are backed by Federal Loans. Currently, there is plenty of talk on these forums about Saba getting close to achieving that status as well. However, I have heard this for over a couple of years now and we will wait and see. It is a very big step.

In terms of attrition rates at these schools (you mentioned Ross), realize that all Caribbean schools have attrition rates due to the nature of the intense programs versus the relative strengths of the entering pool. Whether or not a school purposely filters a weed out system is a hot topic on these forums and has some merit, but again there are a variety of reasons for attrition and cannot be attributed to simply a school purposely fails people out of the program.

Saba has its share of attrition as well. It is not my intention to begin a topic on this thread on the rate of attrition, because no one on the forum has definitive numbers. Suffice to say, however, each semester experiences attrition mainly due to the intensity of the curriculum. All individuals are given the same exam under identical constraint parameters (testing conditions) where cheating is an impossibility (unless in cases such as Pathology II where the questions were recycled from a previous semester and had been leaked to a segment of the student population a few semesters ago). Hence, given identical testing conditions, even if one makes the argument that Saba is purposely attempting to fail people, it boils down to the argument that not all individuals can handle the bar that has been set forth before them by Saba standards. That does not imply that all individuals who fail at Saba are not doctor material. It just means that most of those in that category are not a good fit for the bar which Saba sets for passing and another school may be better suited for them. Within that latter segment, there are then those who will have academic difficulties at any school and should seriously reconsider a medical school path before it gets too costly (especially in terms of loans)!

Are clinical spots limited? Yes. However, Saba to my knowledge has never had a major backlog of individuals waiting for clinical spots compared to some other schools. This is primarily due to the fact that only about 65 individuals make it to the NBME exam each semester, which is within range of the number of clinical spot variations from year to year. This is a reasonable estimate based on observations over the years with Saba. Do not attempt to hold that as a definitive number. It will vary according to semester. But it is a reasonably accurate estimate of how many are getting through to 5th and beyond.

After hearing all of this information it sounds like SGU would be by far the best choice for schools to attend in the Caribbean but I would put SABA close. It is unfortunate to hear about the attrition rates of some schools, but it seems like the universities in the Caribbean have been well managed after having been reputable for decades. I like SGU’s addition of more clinical spots, residency placement, and percentage of graduation and US transfer advertised on the website. If loans are taken into consideration, a person might be better off attending SGU in comparison to other schools noting that the investment is a sound one. Each school however has representatives of success stories practicing in all facets of medicine. It is also interesting to hear the conversation about cheating with regards to SABA trying to eliminate that. When surfing the Student Doctor Network I hear individuals many times commenting about cheating in US schools, same examination use, and things like that. However, students at US allopathic schools mostly all become incredibly competent physicians and surgeons. It seems strange to think that a reuse of a question would be unjust though. In the practice of medicine, similar situations would be seen again and again. Not all fields of medicine deal with an extremely diverse palette of situations. But the practice of having too many reused questions may correlate to students not taking a fully engaged genuine process towards learning.

xmsjessyx
02-22-2011, 09:07 PM
Wow I considered Saba instead of St. Georges is also because of the tuition. I mean if you are paying less for the same education. why not? Besides it's only 2 years of your intense studying period. It won't hurt if the condition isn't as comforting as the ones in U.S./Canada.







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