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dontknowyet
06-29-2011, 10:50 PM
I am a new admitted student to SABA for this coming Fall semester. However, I can help but feel dismayed by what SABA does.

Firstly, I reveiced email about an online chat with SABA financial aid officer today from 7-8pm EST. However, after I logged in I found nobody!!! Has anyone chat with their financial officer today?

Then, SABA suddenly increased the tuition for fall term. But they dont even bother to let me know. I never received emails from SABA abt the tuition increase. And I was never aware of the increase of tuition before I was admitted. Disgrace.

Now most importantly, I am so upset with SABA from what I found. After thorough research on this forum, I found out from upperclass that out of 110 admitted students, only 40-45 will make it to the 5th semester on time!!! This is about 65% attrition. (you can use search and find yourself) I know Ross, which is infamous for its attrition rate, is trying to solve it by decreasing the newly admitted students from 650 to less then 400 per semester. And Ross is also trying to setup new clinical spots, such as Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago and St. ****** Mercy Hospital Oakland (SJMO) in Pontiac, MI. Thus the attrition will drop significantly if I am not wrong. Lets look at SABA, it has done nothing. I never heard any attempts to setup new clinial spots. So out of big 4, SABA is the school that weed out students (even good and hard working ones). And the strange part is, I dont find a lot of post on SABA forum complain abt this but plenty on ROSS forum bashing Ross.
Now I am so confused abt whether to attend SABA. Coz I know only 40% I can graduate. After investing at least 150K, I dont even stand 50% chance of getiing the MD. SAD!!!

I am contacting AUC now. Hopefully it is not too late for their fall term. Shame on you SABA. There will never be big 4, only big 3.

liux0040
06-29-2011, 11:12 PM
attrition 65%? That's daunting.

AphtaLyfe
06-30-2011, 12:24 AM
attrition 65%? That's daunting.

Attrition is defined as people who drop out or transfer. Most people are simply failing 1 or more classes and "decelling." The failure rate at most caribbean schools is fairly high. Its probably 35-50% at AUC most semesters.

bogomsu
06-30-2011, 12:42 AM
@ AUC my fall 2010 class started with a little over 200 students (and thats the big class) about 20 students are now a class behind and I only know of 8 or so students that left. I think after a certain point after 1st or 2nd round of exams you know if you can go on or if you made a mistake.

dontknowyet
06-30-2011, 03:14 AM
As far as I know, SABA took two Prof who are fired from AUC. Reason: poor academic performance and unprofessional. And they are still in SABA.
I heard they like to bash students verbally and fail students. You guys at AUC are lucky to get rid of them.

nakhe
06-30-2011, 03:49 AM
That's what happens when you accept students without looking at their MCAT..

I applied to the 4 schools (SGU, Ross, SABA, AUC), and after I saw ONE post that some people got in without turning in their MCAT scores, SABA was off my list that instant.

I just interviewed with SGU and they were very happy with me. I will probably be going there.

A-Rogue
06-30-2011, 06:27 AM
Why don't you just worry about what YOU'RE going to do. Keep in mind that the attrition rate includes people who couldn't get used to life on the island, didn't like living on the island or transfered. I would think that accounts for a good portion of the attrition.

Lets call a spade a spade. There are some people at these schools that maybe shouldn't be in med school. BUT, they're given a chance at these schools and maybe they find out they can't hack it. There is one thing I keep seeing on this board from current students, and thats that if you work hard you'll be fine. In addition, if you're one of those admitted with good stats then I'm sure you have less to worry about. Just do your thing.

Dr Coconut
06-30-2011, 06:47 AM
Sounds like this guy doesn't think he is up to the challenge of succeeding at Saba.

Thanks for the post and good luck at AUC. I hope you find the school that is right for you.

devildoc8404
06-30-2011, 06:55 AM
That's what happens when you accept students without looking at their MCAT..

Yeah... Mount Sinai and a few of those other US schools are pretty shady. Imagine, accepting medical students without MCAT scores! http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/nyregion/30medschools.html?_r=1&hp (Granted, these people are outstanding students, though... as evidenced by their ancillary credentials.)

I applied to the 4 schools (SGU, Ross, SABA, AUC), and after I saw ONE post that some people got in without turning in their MCAT scores, SABA was off my list that instant.

You certainly showed them a thing or two, didn't you?

I just interviewed with SGU and they were very happy with me. I will probably be going there.

Frankly, it's hard to tell who is happier with you... SGU, or you. Keep this all in perspective, huh?

diabeticmedic
06-30-2011, 07:19 AM
Calm down here, the rate is high at all Caribb schools. And there are complaints at the other 3 schools as well...I am at one of them and everything the OP complained about could be copied and posted to the forum of my school. If you are going to choose a Caribb school, do not expect it to operate like Apple Computer, Inc. There will always be bumps along the way. Best thing to do is to take a deep breath and start to shut it out and study hard now.

As someone else said, worry about what YOU'RE doing. For example, I am at a big 4 school and here's a cross-secitonal study of my friends: 3 got residencies in competitive university programs, and 3 didn't pass step 1 and are now training for another career. It happens everywhere. If you study hard, you'll be fine. Every Caribb school will give you a headache now and then. From what I know Saba is a good school with 50 state approval and a good track record.

DrFraud
06-30-2011, 07:48 AM
I am a new admitted student to SABA for this coming Fall semester. However, I can help but feel dismayed by what SABA does.

Firstly, I reveiced email about an online chat with SABA financial aid officer today from 7-8pm EST. However, after I logged in I found nobody!!! Has anyone chat with their financial officer today?

Then, SABA suddenly increased the tuition for fall term. But they dont even bother to let me know. I never received emails from SABA abt the tuition increase. And I was never aware of the increase of tuition before I was admitted. Disgrace.

Now most importantly, I am so upset with SABA from what I found. After thorough research on this forum, I found out from upperclass that out of 110 admitted students, only 40-45 will make it to the 5th semester on time!!! This is about 65% attrition. (you can use search and find yourself) I know Ross, which is infamous for its attrition rate, is trying to solve it by decreasing the newly admitted students from 650 to less then 400 per semester. And Ross is also trying to setup new clinical spots, such as Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago and St. ****** Mercy Hospital Oakland (SJMO) in Pontiac, MI. Thus the attrition will drop significantly if I am not wrong. Lets look at SABA, it has done nothing. I never heard any attempts to setup new clinial spots. So out of big 4, SABA is the school that weed out students (even good and hard working ones). And the strange part is, I dont find a lot of post on SABA forum complain abt this but plenty on ROSS forum bashing Ross.
Now I am so confused abt whether to attend SABA. Coz I know only 40% I can graduate. After investing at least 150K, I dont even stand 50% chance of getiing the MD. SAD!!!

I am contacting AUC now. Hopefully it is not too late for their fall term. Shame on you SABA. There will never be big 4, only big 3.

i'd be willing bet that most students who are able to get through AUC would get through SABA, and that most students who have trouble making it through SABA would also have trouble making it through AUC.

don1
06-30-2011, 07:53 AM
i went to MUA and did all my core clinical rotation with Saba students and have consequently got to know a lot of people from there. Saba and MUA are sister schools with the same dean (unless that has changed recently, same tuition (including increases) and even many of the classes have similar powerpoint slides they teach from. I can say that Saba has a lot of strong students and a match list that rivals mua, I must admit. I'm now a first year resident and many of the saba students I know got competitive residency placements as well. The students who do not make it are weaker students. Admissions is based on who applies; if you get a bunch of academically weaker applicants then the resulting class will be weaker.

With the attrition rate, be worried if you are an academically weaker student. if you love to complain about stuff, you will find every Caribbean has plenty to complain about, including SGU (two of my friends from there had problems getting documentation from the admin to start residency and had to go to the dean of the school to speed up the process due to deadlines).

In regards to tuition increases, yup, it's going to happen randomly. I asked the dean of Saba in a meeting about when the next tuition increase was coming (since it also applies to MUA), and he responded by saying I think it will be a while since they already had one for $1000 a few months earlier. Two weeks later, another $1000 increase. Nothing we can do about that. It is still so much cheaper than alternative schools.

DrFraud
06-30-2011, 07:53 AM
As far as I know, SABA took two Prof who are fired from AUC. Reason: poor academic performance and unprofessional. And they are still in SABA.
I heard they like to bash students verbally and fail students. You guys at AUC are lucky to get rid of them.

I am not sure the reasons for the two profs leaving were for the reasons that you mentioned but both are controversal because they are very difficult. I had the benefit of the immuno professors class and I can say that studying and taking step 1 on her material was a total breeze, but her class was a nightmare.

Generally, this is the hard part about teaching in the Carib. There are two groups, one that just wants to get by and pass, and the other that wants to blast step 1 and get a good residency. In general I think the fault of these two is they cater more towards the group that wants to do very well on step 1 at the expence of those who are stuggling to pass - but those who do learn their material usually do very well.....

DrFraud
06-30-2011, 07:55 AM
In regards to tuition increases, yup, it's going to happen randomly. I asked the dean of Saba in a meeting about when the next tuition increase was coming (since it also applies to MUA), and he responded by saying I think it will be a while since they already had one for $1000 a few months earlier. Two weeks later, another $1000 increase. Nothing we can do about that. It is still so much cheaper than alternative schools.

if tuition increases are the issue, definitely stay away from Ross, SGU, and AUC.....

dontknowyet
06-30-2011, 12:47 PM
The least SABA can do is to find more clinical spots and admit less but qualified students. Enough said. Doing that means on the right track which it is not.
And the online chat? I wasted an hour by my computer...What the **** is going on? Do u want to trust those admin which represent the school? I wont.

dontknowyet
06-30-2011, 12:49 PM
I chose SABA for its cheap education. Now I realize you can want you pay for.
And in medical education, an extra 50K is nothing.

dontknowyet
06-30-2011, 12:50 PM
I chose SABA for its cheap education. Now I realize you get what you pay for.
And in medical education, an extra 50K is nothing.

dontknowyet
06-30-2011, 12:57 PM
@ AUC my fall 2010 class started with a little over 200 students (and thats the big class) about 20 students are now a class behind and I only know of 8 or so students that left. I think after a certain point after 1st or 2nd round of exams you know if you can go on or if you made a mistake.

Now u see the attrition at AUC?? Less than 15%. From AUC student above who said it.

Yet AUC got same good match for the rest 85% students. Compared to SABA weed out 65% students to achieve the same passing rate of step1.
I believe it is the education quality at AUC which can help not only the top but also the average students to achieve their dream. But the education in SABA is subpar that only the brightest can survive. (By self study? I assume)

GiJoe
06-30-2011, 03:55 PM
...........................

diabeticmedic
06-30-2011, 04:00 PM
I don't mean to jump down your throat on this one, but "self study"...you'd better believe it. You think they are going to spoon feed you what you need to take Step 1? Step 1 is a disgusting test that will require you to give 100% of your time (for a month or two, give or take) and it will all be up to you.

Then it's on to clinicals where the self-study becomes even more important. There will be very few formal classroom sessions where you sit down and have things explained to you; it will be up to you to pick up what you can...Step 2 CK is even more self-stidy than Step 1 is.

And as a physician...no one will be teaching you anything. You're getting into a career that is almost completely self-study. It's up to you to do well...no school is going to be better at that than another. If you're not into self-study, you won't do well in medicine.

Seriously, just relax and study hard. There will be many annoyances along the way, but no one owes you anything. You owe yourself. Good luck! You're in a good school...don't stress yourself out about little things.

Kewlwhip
06-30-2011, 05:59 PM
As far as I know, SABA took two Prof who are fired from AUC. Reason: poor academic performance and unprofessional. And they are still in SABA.
I heard they like to bash students verbally and fail students. You guys at AUC are lucky to get rid of them.

One of those 2 profs is now the dean....

The Man
06-30-2011, 06:23 PM
I'm about to take the comp this semester and I go to St. Matthews, which is not a top school like SABA,AUC,SGU. I expect to pass both the comp and the step on the first attempt. This is because I never ever relied on the school to get me where I am, I found out early on that disciplined self study is the only thing that will get you through basic sciences without dropping out or decelling. Its not about this or that school because to be honest, the only international standard ie real school in the Caribbean is SGU, the others (my school included) are scams, too rushed, most are business first, academic institution second.

My advice to the OP is:

1: Retake the MCAT and try and get into a US school, SGU or DO school (that way you'll be taught medicine the way that its supposed to be taught ie not some silly intensive no brain all cram course)
OR
2: Stick it out at SABA, AUC, Ross, all the others etc and devise a solid self study timetable and study your *** off literally
3: If you don't mind going to a non top 4 school try AUA, they've now adopted a 2 semester US model like SGU

rs27
06-30-2011, 06:27 PM
If you're THAT worried about failing out then maybe Saba (or med school in general) isn't the place for you.

Many others already commented about the 65%, but think of it this way...all you have to do is always stay in the top 3/4 of your class in everything and you probably won't fail anything.

axiomofchoice
06-30-2011, 06:31 PM
You did all the thorough research to find some rumor about 2 profs, but failed to recognize that carib schools raise tuition once a year? Newsflash!! Heres another crazy novel thought... US schools raise tuition all the time as well :!:

Now, to all the other prospective students reading this thread. People like the OP will be your hardest obstacle at a caribbean school. While you study and pass your tests, these people will fuel the rumor mill and constantly run their mouths with negativity. They will fail out and complain it was the school's fault. They will try to drag you down with them. But don't worry, by 5th semester these miserable complainers will be gone and you will realize what a joke step 1 is after you've gone through Saba's curriculum.

How should medicine be taught? You will have to spend two years reading Guyton, Robbins etc. and then be privileged to go learn clinical medicine on the wards. This is actually how the top Carib schools do it.

rokshana
06-30-2011, 07:57 PM
I am a new admitted student to SABA for this coming Fall semester. However, I can help but feel dismayed by what SABA does.

Firstly, I reveiced email about an online chat with SABA financial aid officer today from 7-8pm EST. However, after I logged in I found nobody!!! Has anyone chat with their financial officer today?

Then, SABA suddenly increased the tuition for fall term. But they dont even bother to let me know. I never received emails from SABA abt the tuition increase. And I was never aware of the increase of tuition before I was admitted. Disgrace.

Now most importantly, I am so upset with SABA from what I found. After thorough research on this forum, I found out from upperclass that out of 110 admitted students, only 40-45 will make it to the 5th semester on time!!! This is about 65% attrition. (you can use search and find yourself) I know Ross, which is infamous for its attrition rate, is trying to solve it by decreasing the newly admitted students from 650 to less then 400 per semester. And Ross is also trying to setup new clinical spots, such as Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago and St. ****** Mercy Hospital Oakland (SJMO) in Pontiac, MI. Thus the attrition will drop significantly if I am not wrong. Lets look at SABA, it has done nothing. I never heard any attempts to setup new clinial spots. So out of big 4, SABA is the school that weed out students (even good and hard working ones). And the strange part is, I dont find a lot of post on SABA forum complain abt this but plenty on ROSS forum bashing Ross.
Now I am so confused abt whether to attend SABA. Coz I know only 40% I can graduate. After investing at least 150K, I dont even stand 50% chance of getiing the MD. SAD!!!

I am contacting AUC now. Hopefully it is not too late for their fall term. Shame on you SABA. There will never be big 4, only big 3.

ummm... shouldn't you have done this type of "research" BEFORE you decided to go SABA?

nakhe
06-30-2011, 09:01 PM
That's what happens when you accept students without looking at their MCAT..

Yeah... Mount Sinai and a few of those other US schools are pretty shady. Imagine, accepting medical students without MCAT scores! Getting Into Med School Without Hard Sciences - NYTimes.com[/url] (Granted, these people are outstanding students, though... as evidenced by their ancillary credentials.)

I applied to the 4 schools (SGU, Ross, SABA, AUC), and after I saw ONE post that some people got in without turning in their MCAT scores, SABA was off my list that instant.

You certainly showed them a thing or two, didn't you?

I just interviewed with SGU and they were very happy with me. I will probably be going there.

Frankly, it's hard to tell who is happier with you... SGU, or you. Keep this all in perspective, huh?

I'm not sure why you're raging, but I think the MCAT is necessary for medical school admission. I really think it is a good measure of one's aptitude to learn and succeed in medical school. In this way, it also helps people because it may prevent them from making futile investments ($200K+? I'm not sure about you, but this is a LOT of money for me). I didn't tell anyone to take SABA off their list. I'm just telling people MY story. I never asked anybody to do the same as I did, and I simply want everyone to see this serious matter of medical school admission from as many angles as possible.

SkylineR34X
06-30-2011, 09:06 PM
And the strange part is, I dont find a lot of post on SABA forum complain abt this but plenty on ROSS forum bashing Ross.
Now I am so confused abt whether to attend SABA. Coz I know only 40% I can graduate. After investing at least 150K, I dont even stand 50% chance of getiing the MD. SAD!!!

I am contacting AUC now. Hopefully it is not too late for their fall term. Shame on you SABA. There will never be big 4, only big 3.

The reason why you don't hear much complaints about Saba is that 1. if you fail out, you won't be browsing this part of the forum; and 2. if you are still in, Saba generally takes good care of you. (ie. although our clinical spots are limited, given if you pass board and finish, it's rare that you don't start clinical spots on time) So there aren't that much to complain about.

Saba is not for everyone... Even the weaker ones who can pass USMLE (but barely) may fail out Saba; Those who pass though, tend to do fairly well and get decent residensies later on...

You are more than welcome to browse your options such as AUC. But bare in mind that there is no PERFECT CARIB SCHOOL. All the other 3 costs significantly more. I know it sucks to have a tuition hike without notice, but Saba is still the cheapest of the 4. But if you wanna pay more, go for it. And this time around please browse/research more before you decide to apply. Just for the record, the more you read about other schools, you are gonna see people btching about every school... So the fact that there isn't much complaining thread on Saba should be a welcoming sign.

At the end of the day, it's your decision... You know yourself better than anyone else on this forum.

If you are a strong student (not a weak one but in denial), give Saba a shot, and strive to do better than the class average and you will be more than happy after you finish your 5th semester and heading back for clinicals
If you are a weaker student, look elsewhere, you are better off somewhere else with a lower attrition rate.

Weddell
06-30-2011, 09:21 PM
I'm actually rather confused by the whole rant. Yes, tuition increased. If you read the student handbook, it explicitly states that tuition may go up. Med school isn't cheap, go figure! Sometimes fees increase. They do in mainland schools, too.

High attrition rate? Might be related to the higher pass requirement. Lots of people fall within the 65-74.9% range, and would pass elsewhere, but fail here. Nobody's tackling students and holding them down for half the exam to set them back and make them fail. The bar's just set a little higher. Surprise! Med school is hard! The people failing, or dropping courses are coincidentally the same ones who waste time, watch movies, half-heartedly skim over lectures, and go out 3 times a week. Jee golly jeepers, I wonder why they're not doing so well!

If you want a softer option, then admit to it and go somewhere else. If you want a school that will prepare you to murder the Steps, and maybe take a chunk of your soul with it, Saba's the place. Being a little crybaby - over ONE HOUR of missed facetime and a couple of facts you should have found on google within 10 minutes of considering Saba - is the real disgrace. Getting your MD should come down to how much *** you're willing to bust - if you're sincerely worried about your ability to handle the material, and therefore end up in that 50% or whatever that graduates, you may want to reconsider your career choice. Paying the tuition does not a doctor make.

The Knowledge
06-30-2011, 10:18 PM
Lets be fair to the original poster. Med school in the caribbean is harder than it should be. The attrition rates at some schools such as Ross and SABA are madness.

I know people that could not make it in Ross and Saba (ie they were forced to repeat/leave) that are now in competitive Internal med residencies, some are now in fellowships. I bet these same people if they were admitted to older established MD programs ie in the US, Canada, Europe, would not have had to leave. I personally believe it has to do with the discredited 3 semester a year model that schools like Saba, Ross, AUC and others still use. The model forces students to study harder than their colleagues anywhere else in the world, because everything is accelerated into 4 or 5 quick semesters.

SGU employs a 2 semester a year model (and they have a lower attrition rate), same with schools in the US and Canada. AUA and St Martinus (non top 4 schools) have followed SGU's example and now switched over to a 2 semester a year model.

Everyone on this thread have been coming out with macho comments like '' what do you expect, its med school'' '' its supposed to be tough'' '' if you study you will not be weeded out etc'' They are right and wrong. The truth is that if you are worried about SABA'S attrition rate i don't blame you, its a pathetic statistic that they should be ashamed of. My advice is try and get into St Georges (a proper 2 semester a year med school) not one of these accelerated, high blood pressure inducing, high attrition trimester schools.

rokshana
06-30-2011, 11:16 PM
Lets be fair to the original poster. Med school in the caribbean is harder than it should be. The attrition rates at some schools such as Ross and SABA are madness.

I know people that could not make it in Ross and Saba (ie they were forced to repeat/leave) that are now in competitive Internal med residencies, some are now in fellowships. I bet these same people if they were admitted to older established MD programs ie in the US, Canada, Europe, would not have had to leave. I personally believe it has to do with the discredited 3 semester a year model that schools like Saba, Ross, AUC and others still use. The model forces students to study harder than their colleagues anywhere else in the world, because everything is accelerated into 4 or 5 quick semesters.

SGU employs a 2 semester a year model (and they have a lower attrition rate), same with schools in the US and Canada. AUA and St Martinus (non top 4 schools) have followed SGU's example and now switched over to a 2 semester a year model.

Everyone on this thread have been coming out with macho comments like '' what do you expect, its med school'' '' its supposed to be tough'' '' if you study you will not be weeded out etc'' They are right and wrong. The truth is that if you are worried about SABA'S attrition rate i don't blame you, its a pathetic statistic that they should be ashamed of. My advice is try and get into St Georges (a proper 2 semester a year med school) not one of these accelerated, high blood pressure inducing, high attrition trimester schools.

sorry, while i appreciate the 2 term model, it is not the sole reason that sgu students do well...the gpa and mcat averages for sgu are a bit higher (even with a 500 term class, though from the rants on the sgu forum, 500 may be a bit much) and there is a great deal of academic support for those not doing well (DES, AEP, decell options) that it helps keep the attrition rate low.

saba may be a "survival of the fittest", but judging by some of the people that post here and the residencies that they achieve...saba alum fare well...you just have to be strong enough to get to the alum part...

buddababa
06-30-2011, 11:48 PM
I disagree, the MCAT does not correlate with how you will succeed in medical school and thereafter. I know plenty of students who didn't do well at all on their MCAT, yet scored 99 percent on both step 1 and 2. I think a interview and a general "common sense aptitude" test is necessary.

rokshana
07-01-2011, 08:22 AM
I disagree, the MCAT does not correlate with how you will succeed in medical school and thereafter. I know plenty of students who didn't do well at all on their MCAT, yet scored 99 percent on both step 1 and 2. I think a interview and a general "common sense aptitude" test is necessary.

you are right, ad coms look at the gpa to see how a student will succeed at med school courses...the MCAT is seen as a correlate to the ability to pass the steps...and while its a weak corralate (and yes, there are studies out there that show this weak correlate) it is utilized by programs to get a fell of who will or will not succeed in med school....the majority of us (off shore med students/grads) were determined by US schools to to be able to be that sucessful, whether the weakness is the gpa or the mcat...tha being said, all of us are given a second chance...and many are able to overcome there weaknesses, but there will still be people who either don't take the chance given to them to show they have changed and others, well they really should have gone to med school in the 1st place....the attrition rate would be expected to be higher at the off shore schools and higher at the schools that stray further away from the gpa and mcat requirements set by US med schools.

SPIDEI2MAN
07-01-2011, 11:08 PM
hmmm...lots of tlak in this thread

benevolo
07-03-2011, 02:32 AM
Lets be fair to the original poster. Med school in the caribbean is harder than it should be. The attrition rates at some schools such as Ross and SABA are madness.

Because they admit far too many people with poor academic records who are usually destined to fail. That's not the school's fault any more than that they shouldn't be admitting these people in the first place. But Caribbean schools exist to give people second chances, so you can't have it both ways.



I personally believe it has to do with the discredited 3 semester a year model that schools like Saba, Ross, AUC and others still use. The model forces students to study harder than their colleagues anywhere else in the world, because everything is accelerated into 4 or 5 quick semesters.

What does having more semesters in a year have to do with anything? You still have the same length for each semester, and the same number of semesters at each school. Are you saying students need a 4 month summer break to recover?

sgMD
07-14-2011, 11:47 PM
Prospective students! Please read this carefully. I am going to try to be unbiased as much as possible.

Attrition rate is exaggerated in this thread. These are the actual numbers:

~110 students get admitted in first semester.
~10 students LEAVE in the first 2-3 weeks without even taking block 1 exams or after because they cannot see themselves leaving on an island or study hard for 2 years or more here.
~10-20 students drop/fail a course in first. Now this varies. When I started Saba only 2 people failed Histology and 1 person dropped Anatomy, nowadays around 20 people drop Histology and roughly 2-3 people drop Anatomy and some people fail one of those two courses.

So starting second semester you'd expect to have around 80 students in the class. 5th semester class usually has around 60 students in it so you should expect around maximum 20 students to drop/fail in one of those semesters from 2nd to 5th. That's what I would consider 'upsetting' really. And those who drop or fail are given a second chance to pull themselves up to retaking the course they failed or drop. They have changed the rules as of this semester and if you fail or DROP a course you will be on probation for 2 semesters starting NEXT semester so if you drop phyiso in 2nd you will be on probation when you retake physio the semester after and ALSO during the 3rd semester. When you are on probation you cannot drop/fail another course, if you do you are out of Saba. And if at any point you fail/drop two courses in one semester you are out of here too.

OUT OF THOSE 80 WHO START SECOND SEMESTER, ALMOST ALL OF THEM MAKE IT TO THE 5TH SEMESTER EXCEPT MAYBE LESS THAN 5 BUT THEY WILL GET TO 5TH LATER THAN THEIR COLLEAGUES SO THEY ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE 60 COUNT IN 5TH SEMESTER BUT THEY EVENTUALLY GET THERE!!!!! SO DON'T DIVIDE 60/100 TO GET AN ATTRITION RATE OF 40%!!!! The attrition rate is way less than 40%. Honestly I am not sure about the exact number but if you exclude those 10 that leave in the first week of classes, I would say the attrition rate is probably somewhere around 20% or less.

I am expecting them to accept more than 110 students in the near future and fail more people with this new rule however. But if you study smart (not just work hard, because everyone here works hard!!!!) you will be fine.

As a side note, I believe it's very challenging for the admissions to tell who can succeed on Saba and who cannot. I have seen students with great MCAT and GPA scores who failed while someone with a gpa of 2.9 and no MCAT graduated last semester without dropping or struggling with any courses here on Saba because he worked his A-- off. Be thankful that there are schools like Saba that give you a second chacne and train you to become physicians while you have no chance at all back home!!


PS: Saba has 98.1% pass rate on USMLE Step 1. Ross and SGU both have mid 80%s. We have the highest pass rate for a reason. There are Canadian hospitals who have allocated their IMG residency spots ONLY for Saba students. This is great news. If you are up for hard work ( I mean hard hard hard hard work) with a positive vision and optimism come down to Saba, or else you will not make it through this rigorous program.

Best of luck to you all.

Mourning Cloak
07-15-2011, 05:46 AM
There are Canadian hospitals who have allocated their IMG residency spots ONLY for Saba students.

No there's not.

There are no "Canadian hospitals who have allocated their IMG residency spots ONLY for Saba students".

In fact, this couldn't be done. Canada used to discriminate between IMGs based on the school they came from, preferring grads from western Europe (particularly the UK) and South Africa. But this was deemed discriminatory, and therefore IMG spots cannot be restricted to IMGs from particular countries of origin, or schools of training.

It's improbable, too. The match lists for Saba (http://www.saba.edu/saba/images/Forms/2010_residency.pdf)* only show a handful of Canadian matches - not enough to fill up all of any program's family med IMG spots, let alone all of the IMG residency spots in an entire hospital.

Lastly, if there were any such thing you can be certain that Saba would be crowing it from the rooftops. The fact that they don't . . . well, that's because it isn't true.

*No, I don't think that the Saba match list is entirely accurate, but it's the best data that we have.

gx255
07-15-2011, 08:00 AM
Not to name professors etc, but I know of one that left and was telling me that the reason why theres a high failure rate was because students were being tested on PhD material rather than USMLE board material.

dontknowyet
07-15-2011, 09:06 AM
Not to name professors etc, but I know of one that left and was telling me that the reason why theres a high failure rate was because students were being tested on PhD material rather than USMLE board material.

Thats why its called weed out in SABA

By testing something totally irrelevant in Boards, to fail students intentionally.

sgMD
07-15-2011, 11:42 AM
No there's not.

There are no "Canadian hospitals who have allocated their IMG residency spots ONLY for Saba students".

In fact, this couldn't be done. Canada used to discriminate between IMGs based on the school they came from, preferring grads from western Europe (particularly the UK) and South Africa. But this was deemed discriminatory, and therefore IMG spots cannot be restricted to IMGs from particular countries of origin, or schools of training.

It's improbable, too. The match lists for Saba (http://www.saba.edu/saba/images/Forms/2010_residency.pdf)* only show a handful of Canadian matches - not enough to fill up all of any program's family med IMG spots, let alone all of the IMG residency spots in an entire hospital.

Lastly, if there were any such thing you can be certain that Saba would be crowing it from the rooftops. The fact that they don't . . . well, that's because it isn't true.

*No, I don't think that the Saba match list is entirely accurate, but it's the best data that we have.

this was mentioned to us 4 times in class by the Dean of our school... what are your sources? or is it just your opinion?

A Second Daniel
07-15-2011, 01:17 PM
. There are Canadian hospitals who have allocated their IMG residency spots ONLY for Saba students. This is great news.


Can you name the hospitals, or is this against a confidentiality statement?

rokshana
07-15-2011, 02:10 PM
this was mentioned to us 4 times in class by the Dean of our school... what are your sources? or is it just your opinion?

i believe its you that would need to cite a source that shows that there are actually programs in canada that only take saba students to have crediablity...most of the places saba students get residency are IMG friendly and seem to have other caribbean grads (for example sgu

SpursDoc
07-15-2011, 02:18 PM
PS: Saba has 98.1% pass rate on USMLE Step 1. Ross and SGU both have mid 80%s. We have the highest pass rate for a reason. There are Canadian hospitals who have allocated their IMG residency spots ONLY for Saba students. This is great news. If you are up for hard work ( I mean hard hard hard hard work) with a positive vision and optimism come down to Saba, or else you will not make it through this rigorous program.

Best of luck to you all.

Can't speak for SGU but you fudged the Ross data, the latest Ross step 1 pass rate:

"Step 1 pass rate of 90%, with an average passing exam score of 210. Students who earned a basic science GPA of 2.50 or better at Ross had a first-time pass rate of 95%, with an average exam score of 214."

Also according to Saba's own website:
"Saba University students' 95% USMLE Step 1 pass rate"

Point is, the big 4 all have similar methods of keeping their pass rates up high. Create challenging basic science programs to weed out those who can't hack it, then make a standard of needing to pass a comp exam before being allowed to sit for the step, creating yet another filter and in the end you have an overwhelming majority of highly prepared students who write the step and the results speak for themselves and therefore that is what is allowed to speak for the school, which of course is by design.

sgMD
07-15-2011, 02:34 PM
1- I am not sure how to cite Dr. M's voice here... otherwise I would! But he specifically mentioned to us that there are hospitals in Canada now who have allocated their IMG spots only for Saba students, and when we asked him where he said we need to ask the dean of clins who is visiting the island next week.
2- I already have submitted my questions to the dean of clins and one of my questions (out of 3) is specifically regarding this issue. I will keep you updated after we meet with him next week.

sgMD
07-15-2011, 02:36 PM
The Saba website is not updated. Last year's pass rate was a 98.1%.

Saba tends to be lazy with updating the website. If you look at the faculty page you will see the name of professors who have left the island a couple of months ago and their name still shows on the website.

SpursDoc
07-15-2011, 02:51 PM
The Saba website is not updated. Last year's pass rate was a 98.1%.

Saba tends to be lazy with updating the website. If you look at the faculty page you will see the name of professors who have left the island a couple of months ago and their name still shows on the website.

Well I was just going off of currently available data and it seemed to be a point worth noting since you pulled Ross's and SGU's pass rate numbers out of your A $$, and put up numbers for SABA that cannot be substantiated. But the true point I was making is that if a student overcomes the obstacles thrown their way in any of the big 4's basic sciences and end up sitting for the step there's a high likelihood that they will pass. That is not a pressing matter when choosing a school, the difference such as admin, living situation, loans, profs, clinicals, state approval, match rates, and reputation have been discussed ad nausem on VMD so one can do a search for themselves, but the consensus almost always ranks SGU>Ross>AUC>Saba. But in the end + or - a few key difference, it basically come down to personal preference and either way it comes down to the tenacity and drive of the individual student.

Mourning Cloak
07-15-2011, 03:23 PM
what are your sources?

The Saba match list. (If any school had set aside all their IMG spots for Saba students, you'd expect there'd be a big clump at one school or another. There's not.)

As to why it is a human rights violation to discriminate between IMGs based on country of training, please see Bitonti v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (http://www.hobbsgiroday.com/images/uploads/Judgment-Bitonti.pdf).



2- I already have submitted my questions to the dean of clins and one of my questions (out of 3) is specifically regarding this issue. I will keep you updated after we meet with him next week.

I wait to hear.

sgMD
07-15-2011, 03:49 PM
I didn't say they have allocated ALL their spots for Saba students, I said they have allocated spots for only Saba students. This means that there are a few hospital programs where they accept for example 2 students out of 10 IMG spots they have only from Saba where the other 8 is always dynamic, meaning that they make sure they get 2 saba students per year for sure and this has been done ONLY for saba students!

I will keep you updated, but no need to be so aggressive guys... jeez!

Mourning Cloak
07-15-2011, 03:53 PM
There are Canadian hospitals who have allocated their IMG residency spots ONLY for Saba students.


This means that there are a few hospital programs where they accept for example 2 students out of 10 IMG spots they have only from Saba where the other 8 is always dynamic, meaning that they make sure they get 2 saba students per year for sure and this has been done ONLY for saba students!


This is impossible. Read up how the match works. (http://www.carms.ca/eng/operations_algorithm_e.shtml) You couldn't guarantee getting 2 Sabaians and 8 other anymore than you could guarantee getting 2 blondes and 8 brunettes, 2 women and 8 men, etc. etc. Also see the trifling human rights violation thing above.

If someone told you this, you need to raise holy hell. You're being lied to.

sgMD
07-15-2011, 04:06 PM
This is impossible. Read up how the match works. (http://www.carms.ca/eng/operations_algorithm_e.shtml) You couldn't guarantee getting 2 Sabaians and 8 other anymore than you could guarantee getting 2 blondes and 8 brunettes, 2 women and 8 men, etc. etc. Also see the trifling human rights violation thing above.

Good point. I will bring this up next week during the meeting.

KillerWhale
07-15-2011, 06:47 PM
Its not SABA, its the people!!!

benevolo
07-18-2011, 05:40 PM
This is hilarious. Saba's step 1 pass rate is not 98.1%, nor is it 95%. Maybe 95% of people who are allowed to write the exam pass, but that's misleading. You have to ask what is the actual number of people who passed the comp exam and are allowed to write the step 1 exam?

Weddell
07-18-2011, 08:47 PM
...soooo the nationwide stats should also include people who didn't write the USMLE?

benevolo
07-18-2011, 10:30 PM
Why do you care about "nationwide stats"? If you can't pass an exam made to simulate the step 1, then you probably won't pass the step 1 either. Use your brain and think about it logically.

axiomofchoice
07-18-2011, 10:38 PM
Why, in today's landscape for caribbean students is "passing" even a topic of conversation?

Where is that 191 gonna get you?

sgMD
07-18-2011, 10:52 PM
Why, in today's landscape for caribbean students is "passing" even a topic of conversation?

Where is that 191 gonna get you?

true but this is one of the ways you can compare how well students do on standard tests in comparison to other schools... Another better way to compare the success of graduates of one school would be to compare the residency match list of each school which saba does extremely well in already...

To the previous poster: your argument is irrelevant! First of all it's very rare for students to fail the NBME exit exam, and even if they do they will rewrite the test so they are all included in the USMLE pass rate of the school!! Nobody failed the exit exam last semester for example, and same with the previous class... 3 semesters ago I remember one persol failed and had to rewrite it, she passed the test on the second attempt, so she wrote the step last year and she is included in this 98.1% pass rate! Honestly guys it is expected from medical students to bring up valid arguments instead of throwing thoughtless arguments like this on the forum... oh well!

benevolo
07-19-2011, 01:55 AM
true but this is one of the ways you can compare how well students do on standard tests in comparison to other schools... Another better way to compare the success of graduates of one school would be to compare the residency match list of each school which saba does extremely well in already...

To the previous poster: your argument is irrelevant! First of all it's very rare for students to fail the NBME exit exam, and even if they do they will rewrite the test so they are all included in the USMLE pass rate of the school!! Nobody failed the exit exam last semester for example, and same with the previous class... 3 semesters ago I remember one persol failed and had to rewrite it, she passed the test on the second attempt, so she wrote the step last year and she is included in this 98.1% pass rate! Honestly guys it is expected from medical students to bring up valid arguments instead of throwing thoughtless arguments like this on the forum... oh well!
Well that's definitely not true. The pass rate for a recent grad class was 80%. Just look at the stats for how many people wrote it and then count how many people were in your grad ceremony for basic sciences.

rokshana
07-19-2011, 12:08 PM
Honestly guys it is expected from medical students to bring up valid arguments instead of throwing thoughtless arguments like this on the forum... oh well!

sorry, but it IS a very valid question to ask...you can't necessarily take stats at face value...and how many people are allowed to take an exam is a very relevant one (and if the answer is everyone then that is great) if only say 50% of those eligible to leave the island are certified for step I and 98% of them passed well that is not the greatest of feats now is it? However if 100% of those eligible to move to clinicals is certified to take step I (remember you cannot sit for Steps I, CK, and Cs unless the school certifies you or you graduate(and many schools will NOT allow you to graduate unless you pass the steps) and 98% pass then that is great...

sgMD
07-19-2011, 03:35 PM
Well that's definitely not true. The pass rate for a recent grad class was 80%. Just look at the stats for how many people wrote it and then count how many people were in your grad ceremony for basic sciences.

what???

you looked at the number of people who wrote the exam and the number of people who graduated, and came up with the Step1 pass rate? Did your formula also take into account the number of mangos hanging from the branches of this tree beside the library building?

how in the world can you calculate the pass rate by looking at the number of people who wrote the exam and the number of people who graduated?

Baloney...

sgMD
07-19-2011, 03:49 PM
sorry, but it IS a very valid question to ask...you can't necessarily take stats at face value...and how many people are allowed to take an exam is a very relevant one (and if the answer is everyone then that is great) if only say 50% of those eligible to leave the island are certified for step I and 98% of them passed well that is not the greatest of feats now is it? However if 100% of those eligible to move to clinicals is certified to take step I (remember you cannot sit for Steps I, CK, and Cs unless the school certifies you or you graduate(and many schools will NOT allow you to graduate unless you pass the steps) and 98% pass then that is great...

and that's exactly what I said... in the past 3 semesters only 1 student was not allowed to write the step with her classmates, but she was able to rewrite the exit exam and then was eligible to write the step...

my point is even if you fail the exit exam you are not going to be out of the game, you are still going to write step maybe 4-6 months later than your classmates... it is not like the school kicks you out at that point, they keep you until you are well prepared and then let you write the step, and the 98.1% passing rate for Saba includes those who probably failed the exit exam and had to rewrite it... so 98.1% is a pretty good rate...

now if some people here want to bash the school and say the pass rate is only 80% (still not sure how they calculated that 80%!!!!!!!!!!!!!) then be it!!! SUSOM is not owned by my dad nor I have stock share here nor it's my fav school or anythign like that, but let's be fair... if you make it through the 5 semesters here you are going to pass the step most likely, now how well you'd do on it, I guess it depends on the individual... It's not like if you go to Harvard you'd get a 251 and if you go to Saba you get a 191... things depend mostly on the individual too not just the institution... but just knowing that the majority of students here do great assures you that if you work hard and make it through the program here you are going to be fine...

benevolo
07-20-2011, 07:42 PM
what???

you looked at the number of people who wrote the exam and the number of people who graduated, and came up with the Step1 pass rate? Did your formula also take into account the number of mangos hanging from the branches of this tree beside the library building?

how in the world can you calculate the pass rate by looking at the number of people who wrote the exam and the number of people who graduated?

Baloney...

It's really really simple, I don't know why you're having difficulty understanding such a simple concept. Of course you are at a Caribbean school so... ;)

Only 48 people graduated from basic sciences while 60 people wrote the NBME exit exam. 48/60=80%. So to say that 98.1% of people pass the Step 1 when only 80% of people are even allowed to write the step 1 is very disingenuous.

roadkill
07-20-2011, 09:43 PM
It's really really simple, I don't know why you're having difficulty understanding such a simple concept. Of course you are at a Caribbean school so... ;)

Only 48 people graduated from basic sciences while 60 people wrote the NBME exit exam. 48/60=80%. So to say that 98.1% of people pass the Step 1 when only 80% of people are even allowed to write the step 1 is very disingenuous.

ooh! I like this style of thinking! So when my prof gives out the class average of the blocks that I just took I should say that the number is "very disingenuous" because saying that 85% was the average of the exam is only accounting for those students that took the test but not those that dropped out, woke up too late, were sick, etc. It should actually be lower. Yeah, that's the ticket!

axiomofchoice
07-20-2011, 09:57 PM
It's really really simple, I don't know why you're having difficulty understanding such a simple concept. Of course you are at a Caribbean school so... ;)

Only 48 people graduated from basic sciences while 60 people wrote the NBME exit exam. 48/60=80%. So to say that 98.1% of people pass the Step 1 when only 80% of people are even allowed to write the step 1 is very disingenuous.

You got your numbers a little mixed up. I don't know where you are in your education, but you clearly have no idea what happens at the end of 5th semester.

benevolo
07-20-2011, 11:31 PM
ooh! I like this style of thinking! So when my prof gives out the class average of the blocks that I just took I should say that the number is "very disingenuous" because saying that 85% was the average of the exam is only accounting for those students that took the test but not those that dropped out, woke up too late, were sick, etc. It should actually be lower. Yeah, that's the ticket!
I'll try to make this as simple as possible for you; obviously something isn't quite getting through to you here. The reason licensing authorities look at school success rates on the Step 1 is to see how well the schools are doing at preparing students, which itself is a marker of preparedness for clerkship. If only 80% of the student body can pass an exam that predicts their ability to pass Step 1, then logically the significance of this is IDENTICAL to passing step 1. When Saba won't let 20% of their students write the exam because they're too dumb to pass it, then the effective pass rate is only 80%. Why is this so difficult for you to understand?


You got your numbers a little mixed up. I don't know where you are in your education, but you clearly have no idea what happens at the end of 5th semester.
Please go ahead and tell me how the numbers are "a little mixed up" in how many people wrote the NBME exam in and how many passed it / were allowed to grad. Unless things have changed, Saba still requires people to write that exam before leaving the island. And don't get me wrong, Saba is a great school and its pass rates are on par with the rest like SGU, Ross, AUC etc...but it's very dishonest to tell people that the first-time pass rate on the Step 1 is 95% without disclosing the fact that only 80% of students are allowed to write the exam without taking multiple semesters of review courses and rewrites, some of whom end up being expelled.

sgMD
07-20-2011, 11:40 PM
I love entertainment on ValueMD :))))))


60 people graduated from basic sciences but only 48 were allowed to take the step1 exam... the other 12 were put in the school cafeteria to cook for the rest of us... :)))))

I just LOVE it when a carib MD student bashes another carib MD student for being a carib MD student!!!! :D

benevolo
07-21-2011, 12:06 AM
sgMD,

I see you've been working hard ticking off all your semester boxes there like an eager student. I thought as a big 5th semester you'd at least by now know Saba's policy for failing the NBME exam. No, all the failures don't have to cook in the cafeteria, although maybe that will be your destiny. Those 12 who failed were all forced to repeat another semester at Saba and rewrite the NBME a second time, some a third time, while some never get the chance to write the step and are expelled. I think you could also do a review course from home as well. I'm not sure, I never had to review that policy myself in detail. It might be a good idea for you to personally read through it though. ;)

sgMD
07-21-2011, 12:22 AM
sgMD,

I see you've been working hard ticking off all your semester boxes there like an eager student. I thought as a big 5th semester you'd at least by now know Saba's policy for failing the NBME exam. No, all the failures don't have to cook in the cafeteria, although maybe that will be your destiny. Those 12 who failed were all forced to repeat another semester at Saba and rewrite the NBME a second time, some a third time, while some never get the chance to write the step and are expelled. I think you could also do a review course from home as well. I'm not sure, I never had to review that policy myself in detail. It might be a good idea for you to personally read through it though. ;)

:))))))))))))))))))))...

1- 12 people failed NBME? WHEN?! In the past 3 semesters only 1 girl failed NBME, how did you get 12?
2- Even if 12 students failed the NBME according to you, they were 'forced' to write it again... I am assuming they passed it and proceeded to take the step 1, right? So the 98.1% rate that the school is talking about includes all those students who failed the NBME, as I said in my earlier post.

Nobody here is saying that 98.1% of those admitted to Saba in first semester will pass the Step1. And nobody is saying that you will necessarily write the step with your original class! We are saying that once you make it through the program, there is a 98.1% chance that you will make it through Step1. It would be very scary to imagine that everyone admitted to Saba be able to pass Step 1 or even become a doctor...


Thanks for the tips! I am very tempted to ignore the school's associate dean's comment on how I should pursue my dream to do general surgery in the future as I am a very capable student and take your advice instead! :)

My advice to you: try to buy some credibility for yourself here, it might become handy once you're in clinicals and need valuemd's users to find a place to live in the US or something!!! unless you are trying to change your user name! And perhaps you may want to practice to behave more professionally? Just saying...


Back to topic, the Clin Dean is meeting with us tomorrow. I will update you guys if anything interesting comes up in the meeting.

Calidoc86
07-21-2011, 12:33 AM
No, no, no....You all have it wrong. I heard from my friend's mother's brother's girlfriend's baby's daddy, that the big 4 all have a 100% step 1 pass rate.

Chew on that one for awhile!

benevolo
07-21-2011, 12:39 AM
Only 1 person in 3 semesters? hahahhaa.... right. Someone's a bit wet behind the ears.

Talk to me and other people in other clinical semesters and we can easily pull up the stats from the student server of how many wrote the NBME, and it's easy to compare that to how many were at grad. I've repeated this to you about 4 or 5 times now. As a briliant future surgeon surely this made sense to you after the first time I told you, right? ;)


Nobody here is saying that 98.1% of those admitted to Saba in first semester will pass the Step1. We are saying that once you make it through the program, there is a 98.1% chance that you will make it through Step1.

Even after accounting for all the people who fail out of Saba before getting to 5th semester, the average is STILL only 80% would pass on their first try if they were actually given the chance to write / weren't blocked by their failure on the NBME. First-time pass rate is what licensing boards care about, it's what YOU should care about. 98.1% of people who get through the program will NOT pass the step 1. Only 80% are allowed to write, and nobody has stats for how many of the other 20% ever end up passing the NBME before getting expelled. On top of that, if 20% of the class is failing, when they eventually get to write the exam, do you think their marginal 190-200 pass is going to land them a residency anymore? Give me a break!

95% FIRST-ATTEMPT pass rate is what Saba advertises on their website, which is a falsely elevated statistic. I feel like I'm talking to a wall here. Does this make sense yet? Can I stop repeating the same thing over and over and over? I feel like Conrad Fischer here. :)

atropine
07-21-2011, 01:02 AM
Hey sg, I hate to break it to ya but the average number of people who fail the NBME every semester is/was usually around 10-15 back when I was in basic sciences. Maybe you guys are smarter than we were, or Saba is getting better at weeding out bad students, but there were always a small chunk of failures back when we were in basic sciences. As benevolo said, Saba is an excellent school and it doesn't mean they're not doing their job right...not trying to be mean but I think it just means that some people who get rejected from US/CAN schools and go to Saba aren't capable of handling med school.

I did hear one of those famous rumors from admin that people who made it through all 5 semesters on time rarely fail the exit exam. And as others have said, first-time pass rate IS important. If a large number of people are failing the NBME / not proving they can pass the step 1, the majority of them fail it again (67% according to First Aid), and those who pass usually have very poor scores. At Saba the first-time pass rate really is some amount lower than 95%, because you can't even write the step until you've proven you can get a passing score via your NBME performance.

Hope that clears up some confusion and stops some bickering. :)

rokshana
07-21-2011, 12:03 PM
sgMD,

I see you've been working hard ticking off all your semester boxes there like an eager student.

Hey! there is nothing wrong with eagerly checking off boxes in your sig....:D

sgMD
07-21-2011, 01:07 PM
Hey sg, I hate to break it to ya but the average number of people who fail the NBME every semester is/was usually around 10-15 back when I was in basic sciences. Maybe you guys are smarter than we were, or Saba is getting better at weeding out bad students, but there were always a small chunk of failures back when we were in basic sciences. As benevolo said, Saba is an excellent school and it doesn't mean they're not doing their job right...not trying to be mean but I think it just means that some people who get rejected from US/CAN schools and go to Saba aren't capable of handling med school.

I did hear one of those famous rumors from admin that people who made it through all 5 semesters on time rarely fail the exit exam. And as others have said, first-time pass rate IS important. If a large number of people are failing the NBME / not proving they can pass the step 1, the majority of them fail it again (67% according to First Aid), and those who pass usually have very poor scores. At Saba the first-time pass rate really is some amount lower than 95%, because you can't even write the step until you've proven you can get a passing score via your NBME performance.

Hope that clears up some confusion and stops some bickering. :)


Thanks for bringing up this point. I actually asked around today and I was wrong! 2 people failed the NBME exit exam in the past 3 semesters. Nobody failed the exit exam last semester which is wonderful, 1 guy failed two semesters ago, and one girl failed 3 semesters ago. They both passed on their second try. The girl passed the step and is doing rotations right now, and I am not sure who that guy is so I can't tell you what he is doing right now.

sgMD
07-21-2011, 01:14 PM
A quick summary of our meeting with the clin dean today:

1- School matched 90.9% of graduates into residency spots. This is extraordinary!
2- 8 students applied to Canada (only!) for residency and 7 got residency spots.
3- 47 applied to both canada and US combined, 37 matched, not sure how many were in Canada though.
4- Step pass rate is 98.1%
5- Average on step 1 score: 221
6- There are no canadian IMG spots allocated JUST for Saba students. There are spots in maritimes that prefer Saba students and they've been taking Saba students over the years but it is not like that they have given those spots to us! So I was wrong or I misunderstood the assoc. dean before.


If you have questions you can write here or pm me, I will try to answer them.

Cheers,

rokshana
07-21-2011, 01:22 PM
A quick summary of our meeting with the clin dean today:

1- School matched 90.9% of graduates into residency spots. This is extraordinary!
2- 8 students applied to Canada (only!) for residency and 7 got residency spots.
3- 47 applied to both canada and US combined, 37 matched, not sure how many were in Canada though.
4- Step pass rate is 98.1%
5- Average on step 1 score: 221
6- There are no canadian IMG spots allocated JUST for Saba students. There are spots in maritimes that prefer Saba students and they've been taking Saba students over the years but it is not like that they have given those spots to us! So I was wrong or I misunderstood the assoc. dean before.


If you have questions you can write here or pm me, I will try to answer them.

Cheers,

sorry, but i'm a bit confused...37+7 (those that matched) = 44 and the total IN the match was 47+8 = 55...44/55 x 100 =80% (which is a damn fine number but its not 90.9%)...how did you get your numbers?

and wow! i didn't realize that saba was such a small school! only 55 graduated this yr? Somehow I thought saba was much larger...

sgMD
07-21-2011, 02:09 PM
sorry, but i'm a bit confused...37+7 (those that matched) = 44 and the total IN the match was 47+8 = 55...44/55 x 100 =80% (which is a damn fine number but its not 90.9%)...how did you get your numbers?

and wow! i didn't realize that saba was such a small school! only 55 graduated this yr? Somehow I thought saba was much larger...

8 people applied to ONLY Canada,
47 people applied to both Canada and US

The rest only applied in US... 100something students. I don't remember the exact number!

I am done posting under this thread.

benevolo
07-21-2011, 02:14 PM
I just LOVE it when a carib MD student bashes another carib MD student for being a carib MD student!!!! :D
Just for the record, I know it can be hard to interpet someone's tone on the Internet sometimes, but the smiley faces and winks after my statements about Caribbean schools means I was just teasing you.



and wow! i didn't realize that saba was such a small school! only 55 graduated this yr? Somehow I thought saba was much larger...

I think he meant that those people applied to both countries but there were still others that applied to the US only. Still if only 80% matched when applying to two separate matches, then that success rate is a bit low / worries me a bit!

axiomofchoice
07-21-2011, 03:27 PM
I think he meant that those people applied to both countries but there were still others that applied to the US only. Still if only 80% matched when applying to two separate matches, then that success rate is a bit low / worries me a bit!

80% is actually a very high rate considering you're talking about people who probably don't have a US citizenship.
If you have bad scores/ are at the bottom of your class, i would be worried too.

Morael
07-21-2011, 03:46 PM
Still if only 80% matched when applying to two separate matches, then that success rate is a bit low / worries me a bit!

haha statistically cARMS would probably just bring the entire average down... You practically have a 9% chance of matching in lesser competitive fields such as Family Medicine. Someone who ONLY applies to the canadian match would be a fool.

It's very competitive, and obviously they dont have enough spots for IMG.

80% for canadians matching overall is pretty good imo.

benevolo
07-21-2011, 04:35 PM
80% is actually a very high rate considering you're talking about people who probably don't have a US citizenship.
If you have bad scores/ are at the bottom of your class, i would be worried too.
I agree 80% is high compared to the overall match rate of non-US FMGs (i think last year it was in the 40s?), but not high enough to make anyone going to Saba feel completely comfortable in their shoes. I guess in the end, the fear just makes you work harder / makes you a better doc. Sink or swim...

B_W_
08-03-2011, 11:51 AM
Sounds like this guy doesn't think he is up to the challenge of succeeding at Saba.

Thanks for the post and good luck at AUC. I hope you find the school that is right for you.

This is ** from one of the profs at the school. Saba isn't a challenge, it's a lesson in humility at the hands of emotionally deprived professors (for the majority of them). Before you make a decision to come to Saba ask yourself why, of all the islands in the Caribbean, would you come to live on the most hostile, one of the more expensive ones, with professors who are largely unwilling to help you out, or even go as low as talking behind students' backs and slyly trying to extract information about how they feel regarding the other faculty. Don't be mistaken, there are few good profs here, and they are not in a position of power. 2 students in 5th were recently forbidden from writing their exit exam b/c of "alleged" plagiarism on a paper worth 1% of their grade that apparantly wasn't even taught to them in the first place. They will be repeating 5th semester at their own expense and are now backtracked 3 months from graduating. This is one of many incidences here and students have no say.

Dr Coconut
08-03-2011, 12:32 PM
Paranoia is awesome. I'm not a prof. Do a search and you'll probably be able to figure out exactly who I am.

The tinfoil hat looks good on you, by the way.


This is ** from one of the profs at the school. Saba isn't a challenge, it's a lesson in humility at the hands of emotionally deprived professors (for the majority of them). Before you make a decision to come to Saba ask yourself why, of all the islands in the Caribbean, would you come to live on the most hostile, one of the more expensive ones, with professors who are largely unwilling to help you out, or even go as low as talking behind students' backs and slyly trying to extract information about how they feel regarding the other faculty. Don't be mistaken, there are few good profs here, and they are not in a position of power. 2 students in 5th were recently forbidden from writing their exit exam b/c of "alleged" plagiarism on a paper worth 1% of their grade that apparantly wasn't even taught to them in the first place. They will be repeating 5th semester at their own expense and are now backtracked 3 months from graduating. This is one of many incidences here and students have no say.

B_W_
08-03-2011, 03:43 PM
I don't care who you are and I don't want to know. You can downplay it all you want but unless you're on the island at the moment you have no business commenting on the current state of the school and the administration.
As for prospective students, there's no denying it. I'm not happy with how this place is run and of course that makes me biased but in no way have I ever exaggerated anything I've written. The island and student life has become increasingly less bearable as the semester's have gone by. It's expensive to live here, it is isolated, and many of the professors are unprofessional in both how they relate to students and what they relate to us. A half hour of a lecture devoted to your divorce and how many cars you used to have? It's not what I paid for.

henry202
08-03-2011, 04:17 PM
I am one of the most optimistic students here on Saba and for the first time let me shout this out: SABA IS A DISGRACE, INDEED!

Ever since the new dean of academics was appointed this school is going downhill. This is the very same guy who was fired along with his wife from AUC. There are many professors here who are emotionally deprived and talk behind students back for not any good reasons. They just suspended two students who used a template to write their 1% worth report. Let me tell you this, all the students used that template. They were asked to use the template in fact! So there is no reason why they should have done what they did. This school is ALL about business, and not educating you to proceed and succeed in clinicals. If you are a prospective student and reading this do yourself a favour and do not come down to Saba. Please!

axiomofchoice
08-03-2011, 09:32 PM
So how specifically has the new Dean affected the school?

People got suspended for cheating. Sounds appropriate to me. (btw, all H and Ps come from a template) your two friends probably took someone else that was completed earlier. I commend the school for that action. Accountability for academic dishonestly is a big leap for any university to enforce.

Weddell
08-03-2011, 09:48 PM
I always find it amazing when people try to bend the rules/piss off the Dean, and then act surprised when it doesn't turn out so well. Welcome to reality!

A Second Daniel
08-03-2011, 10:00 PM
As a prospective student I am slightly discouraged at what I am reading here (just slightly), but the outstanding residency placements and proven track record override all of this.

B_W_
08-03-2011, 10:47 PM
Here is a recent ammendment to the school handbook. I urge all prospective students to read it and judge for yourselves.

Saba University School of Medicine
Supplement to the Student Handbook
In the interests of clarifying and simplifying the University’s student disciplinary procedures, for the benefit of both the University and students, the University has adopted the procedures set forth below. These procedures, which are effective beginning August 15, 2011, supersede and replace the student disciplinary procedures set forth in the Student Handbook or in any other statement of University procedures or otherwise existing at the University prior to the effective date of these new procedures.
Disciplinary Procedures:
Whenever there is a reasonable basis to believe that a student may have violated one or more provisions of this Handbook or any other rule, policy or standard of the University, the matter should be reported to the Associate Dean of Basic Sciences or Clinical Medicine as the case may be. The Associate Dean (or his or her designee) will conduct an investigation, the nature and extent of which will be determined in the discretion of the Associate Dean (or designee). The Associate Dean (or designee) may, but need not, convene a disciplinary committee comprising any number of faculty, administrators and/or students to assist the Associate Dean (or designee) in resolving the matter. The composition of any such committee, and the role it plays in the process, will be determined in the discretion of the Associate Dean (or designee).
Before any disciplinary action is taken, the student will be given notice of the alleged violation and an opportunity to respond, including an opportunity to identify any witness, document or other evidence that the student believes is relevant. The Associate Dean (or designee) will determine in his or her discretion what evidence is relevant to consider and what weight, if any, it should be given.
The Associate Dean (or designee) will determine whether a violation has occurred based upon a preponderance of the evidence, i.e., whether it is more likely than not that a violation has occurred. If the Associate Dean (or designee) determines that a violation has occurred, the Associate Dean (or designee) will determine one or more appropriate sanctions, which may include disciplinary counseling, fines, probation, suspension, dismissal and/or any other sanction(s) that the Associate Dean (or designee) determines is appropriate in light of all the circumstances including but not limited to the nature of the offense and any history of misconduct by the student. The Associate Dean (or designee) will inform the student of the Associate Dean’s (or designee’s) determination with respect to whether a violation has occurred and, if so, the sanction(s) that will be imposed as a result.
A student who is found to have committed a violation may appeal that finding and/or the sanction(s) imposed to the Executive Dean (or President) if and to the extent that the student believes the finding and/or sanction(s) was the result of bias or some other fundamental unfairness in the disciplinary process. Any appeal must be submitted in writing to the Executive Dean within seven days of the date upon which the student received notice of the decision that is being appealed. The Executive Dean (or his or her designee) will determine in his or her discretion what steps, if any, are necessary to resolve the appeal. The Executive Dean (or designee) may dismiss the appeal as being untimely or as not stating a proper basis for appeal; uphold the decision below on the merits; vacate some or all of the decision below and remand the case to the Associate Dean for further action; vacate some or all of the decision below and make new findings as to whether the student committed the alleged violation(s) and/or the sanction(s) to be imposed as a result; or take such other action as the Executive Dean (or designee) deems appropriate under the circumstances. Decisions of the Executive Dean (or designee) are final.

B_W_
08-03-2011, 11:07 PM
So how specifically has the new Dean affected the school?

People got suspended for cheating. Sounds appropriate to me. (btw, all H and Ps come from a template) your two friends probably took someone else that was completed earlier. I commend the school for that action. Accountability for academic dishonestly is a big leap for any university to enforce.

It's easy to sound high and mighty when you're not involved. Where is your integrity in supporting your future colleagues or is it "as long as I'm not affected by it it's not my problem?" The H&P was a 1% component of Clin Med. A committee already deemed them not constituting plagiarism but it wasn't enough. The punishment is having to repeat Clin Med, being unable to sit for the NBME Comp and having to redo Kaplan (an entirely separate course), not to mention the time and expenses associated with being here. All of this was conveyed to them 1 week before they were set to graduate. Please take your head out of the sand for a minute, put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself honestly whether the punishment fits the crime.

henry202
08-03-2011, 11:45 PM
So how specifically has the new Dean affected the school?

People got suspended for cheating. Sounds appropriate to me. (By the way all H and Ps come from a template) your two friends probably took someone else that was completed earlier. I commend the school for that action. Accountability for academic dishonestly is a big leap for any university to enforce.

They do not teach you how to write this report. The whole class (and same with previous semesters) have been using the same template. These two students used the same template except that they did not change it much like all of us. This is a 1% report!!!!! They have been through 5 semesters and they were suppose to write the COMP exam and graduate within one week.


To prospectives: If you think the school caught those who cheat and that is a good thing you are wrong! There are people out there that actually cheat and we all know it. This was not cheating, this was using a template that the whole class used to write a 1% report to save time to study for the COMP exam since we only got 3 weeks to actually prepare for the COMP exam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I may not be shaking someone's hands next week as I graduate!!!!!!!

Dr Coconut
08-04-2011, 06:28 AM
Plagiarism is not related to the weight of the assignment. The 1% is irrelevant. Even if it was worth nothing, it would still constitute plagiarism if it was not their own work. They may actually have done them a favor if it was officially "not plagiarism." Large university programs won't touch someone with that word on their transcript.

This might help the perspective of potential students. Here is what Saba is: an opportunity to write the Steps as a second chance. You need a med school to sign-off on your application for Step 1 and beyond. Saba provides that if you can make it through 20 months of basic sciences. We didn't get into a US/CDN school and took a gamble on a Caribbean school. The school runs for profit and Saba keeps its tuition low. Is that partly because they know not everyone will make it through? Most likely. People don't like the island (islands by definition are isolated), people don't like the pace of the work (5 sets of exams in all courses in 14 weeks), and people flunk out (can anyone honestly say there wasn't a single student in their class that they thought "There is no way I'm taking my sick kid to them if they are a doc"?). These disappearing people were helping pay my tuition and will be helping pay yours. The key is to survive 20 months and get out with that ticket to write the step. Because of the pace of the work, the quality of the education is largely dependent on the student. A great deal of the material will be self-taught because it is virtually impossible to absorb it all in classtime. Like all universities, there are good profs and there are bad. Perhaps there are more bad than there would be at a CDN/US med school but that makes sense - do you think the students are the only ones in the Caribbean for "a reason"?

As for commenting on the situation currently on the island, this situation is not unique. My class had 3 people held back because the attendance policy was suddenly enforced. When I was in 1st or 2nd, people failed the NBME for the first time that anyone could remember and were held back. Both of these events were the source of much angst and controversy. This is part of the Caribbean experience. Saba controls who gets to write the Step. This is how their stats are presented with respect to Step pass rates etc. Don't like it - should have studied harder in undergrad. We're all here on a second chance to get that lotto ticket to write the Steps. We play by their rules and sometimes these may seem fluid or inconsistently applied. Wait until you get to clinicals and talk to students from other schools. The Big 4 operate the same. A quick look at faculty bios and resumes will give you an idea of how much overlap there is between schools - deans at one school used to be at another, etc. Ross used to weed out large portions of its classes and their students can go beer for beer with you with stories of life on their island and in class. So can AUC students. I have a friend from SGU who almost didn't graduate this year because the admin messed up his paperwork and was trying to make it his fault.

The key to surviving is staying off the radar and doing everything in a kosher fashion. Taking shortcuts may work a large majority of the time, but it does leave the student open for rules that are on the books to suddenly be applied at your expense. Stay out of the ethical gray areas, study hard and you'll be fine.

dontknowyet
08-04-2011, 07:42 AM
The school is going downhill to hell. If the future students read this, this give them a second thought. If they by all means want to be here, suit themselves. They will have to learn the truth the hard way (by wasting money and time). So I am just glad I steered away from this place. For the rest, they can make their own choices and accept the consequences themselves

Dr Coconut
08-04-2011, 07:51 AM
10 more week of clinicals and then MD baby! I'll accept those consequences!

Kewlwhip
08-04-2011, 03:30 PM
Plagiarism is not related to the weight of the assignment. The 1% is irrelevant. Even if it was worth nothing, it would still constitute plagiarism if it was not their own work. They may actually have done them a favor if it was officially "not plagiarism." Large university programs won't touch someone with that word on their transcript.

This might help the perspective of potential students. Here is what Saba is: an opportunity to write the Steps as a second chance. You need a med school to sign-off on your application for Step 1 and beyond. Saba provides that if you can make it through 20 months of basic sciences. We didn't get into a US/CDN school and took a gamble on a Caribbean school. The school runs for profit and Saba keeps its tuition low. Is that partly because they know not everyone will make it through? Most likely. People don't like the island (islands by definition are isolated), people don't like the pace of the work (5 sets of exams in all courses in 14 weeks), and people flunk out (can anyone honestly say there wasn't a single student in their class that they thought "There is no way I'm taking my sick kid to them if they are a doc"?). These disappearing people were helping pay my tuition and will be helping pay yours. The key is to survive 20 months and get out with that ticket to write the step. Because of the pace of the work, the quality of the education is largely dependent on the student. A great deal of the material will be self-taught because it is virtually impossible to absorb it all in classtime. Like all universities, there are good profs and there are bad. Perhaps there are more bad than there would be at a CDN/US med school but that makes sense - do you think the students are the only ones in the Caribbean for "a reason"?

As for commenting on the situation currently on the island, this situation is not unique. My class had 3 people held back because the attendance policy was suddenly enforced. When I was in 1st or 2nd, people failed the NBME for the first time that anyone could remember and were held back. Both of these events were the source of much angst and controversy. This is part of the Caribbean experience. Saba controls who gets to write the Step. This is how their stats are presented with respect to Step pass rates etc. Don't like it - should have studied harder in undergrad. We're all here on a second chance to get that lotto ticket to write the Steps. We play by their rules and sometimes these may seem fluid or inconsistently applied. Wait until you get to clinicals and talk to students from other schools. The Big 4 operate the same. A quick look at faculty bios and resumes will give you an idea of how much overlap there is between schools - deans at one school used to be at another, etc. Ross used to weed out large portions of its classes and their students can go beer for beer with you with stories of life on their island and in class. So can AUC students. I have a friend from SGU who almost didn't graduate this year because the admin messed up his paperwork and was trying to make it his fault.

The key to surviving is staying off the radar and doing everything in a kosher fashion. Taking shortcuts may work a large majority of the time, but it does leave the student open for rules that are on the books to suddenly be applied at your expense. Stay out of the ethical gray areas, study hard and you'll be fine.

Very well said. Although I disagree with the computer searches that are going on with the admin, there is definitely cheating going on at the school. Everyone knows it! Not everyone has access to the materials that a select group of students has access to. Its not fair to everyone in many ways... 1) everyone is not on a level playing field in respects to exams when several students have copies of previous exams on their comp and are not sharing. 2) its not fair to that individual student who IS cheating because, ya it might get you thru biochem or pharm or neuro, but it won't get you past the shelf or the NBME. You are doing yourself a disservice by cheating.

One thing that I would say to Coconut... You asked if

can anyone honestly say there wasn't a single student in their class that they thought "There is no way I'm taking my sick kid to them if they are a doc"?

I would say my answer to this is a very emphatic YES! There are people who are making it thru the program that I wouldn't send my sick dog to, much less a child of mine. Just because you make it thru the program at Saba does not mean you will make a good doctor. (Not sure if thats what you were getting at or not).

Overall, listen to Coconut... he hit this one on the head!

B_W_
08-04-2011, 05:39 PM
The same could be said for any program, there are always poor doctors being churned out, Saba is no different. You'd be hard-pressed to get anyone to admit that they'd be the ones who are the potential bad doctors since it's always someone other than ourselves ;).
As for the academics, I'm not disputing anything you guys wrote. The program here is difficult but it gets results and I've never denied that. The problem is the learning atmosphere which, say what you will, is among the worst of the Caribbean schools. You guys made it through before the new changes so again, if you're not too far removed from the student experience, remember back to your block weekends and now imagine that:
1. PD exam is being moved to the same day as Path and Pharm exams
2. Ethics has been merged into Psyc and all the exams are on the Monday
3. 5th semesters now have a research project during the semester
4. Clin Med/PD is being incorporated into all semesters in some way
5. During the 6th semester (after you get off the island to study for the Step) there is also a research paper to be done.

In theory these are not bad ideas but for the ones reading this who have gone through the program, I ask you to be honest and say how much free time you'd have on the island in addition to these extra requirements.

axiomofchoice
08-04-2011, 07:56 PM
Research paper is a waste of time. I wouldn't be fond of that.

benevolo
08-04-2011, 08:01 PM
Clin Med/PD put into all semesters? That's a great change for Saba and will help you tremendously. That's how most schools work in the US and Canada too. It actually goes to show that Saba isn't just all about trying to maximize Step 1 scores for students.

sgMD
08-04-2011, 08:42 PM
we all took an oath in our white coat ceremony to respect honesty.... if there are students who don't then well they should be penalized... none of us is aware of the exact charges towards this student so we cannot judge to see if the punishment actually suits the crime or not... but regardless the fact that the administration is taking action towards dishonesty is a positive sign for the sake of our school... I guess some people have to learn things the hard way, and this may be a lesson for those others (if there is any) who do not respect academic honesty...

Dr. Crazy
08-05-2011, 08:38 PM
To all those of u who think...punishment to those is fair...u shuld take a look at urself in the mirror...next thing u knw..this culd be u...i happen to knw all 3 people who got suspended..they have never cheated...they are some of the hardest workers in our class...its a really disturbing case...ppl who have cheated thru 5 semesters and they r graduating....all those of u who think its fair....for all i knw...u guys wuld be ones using these cheats too...so think b4 u say wats fair and not...i shuld prolly say this....this is a total coincidence...all 3 people suspended were brown people...

Dr Coconut
08-05-2011, 08:57 PM
I'd judge by some of the wording of "those of u who think...punishment to those is fair" that they aren't the "ones using these cheats too..."

Be careful about throwing around comments - coincidence or not - unless you can back it up. There is nothing worse than marginalizing your own argument with hyperbole. It tends to make your other points suspect in the eyes of your audience. Stick to the facts and your argument's strengths. I'd suggest turning in those who you know for a fact made it through 5 semesters with unethical assistance. I tried when I was on the island. I hope you get better results. Though the computer searches may have cleared your friends and convicted the others already...

Nice moniker, by the way. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

DrFraud
08-05-2011, 09:01 PM
we all took an oath in our white coat ceremony to respect honesty.... if there are students who don't then well they should be penalized... none of us is aware of the exact charges towards this student so we cannot judge to see if the punishment actually suits the crime or not... but regardless the fact that the administration is taking action towards dishonesty is a positive sign for the sake of our school... I guess some people have to learn things the hard way, and this may be a lesson for those others (if there is any) who do not respect academic honesty...

I would't get to caught up in the oath thing. When you talk to friends who applied to residency programs, and you find out all of the half-truths and mistatements made to applicants by like minded oath taking PDs, you'll realize medicine is a lot less perfect in practice when it comes to integrity by those doing the judging vs those who they judge.

I'm not advocating cheating. My only point is that many who do the judging often are lacking in this area.

Dr. Bruce Wayne
08-05-2011, 10:54 PM
Now ur comments make perfect sense. U are not even on the island, dude. So, u shouldnot be passing judgement on others. Dr. Crazy is right, the island is messed up rite now. The education has taken a backseat to politics tht the new assistant dean is running. Even the faculty members dunt think there was any plagarism involved. so, please dunt judge as your not even on the island to make a comment on this scenario.

MDhopeful6
08-05-2011, 11:42 PM
I am glad to hear that Saba is taking plagiarism seriously- plagiarism should not be tolerated in any academic environment! Something about your post seems odd though, if the profs didn't think it was plagiarized then how did it ever get reported? Obviously the instructor who marked the assignment had concerns and mentioned them to another faculty member or to the dean. Claiming that none of the profs thought that the assignments were plagiarized makes your post seem somewhat unbelievable. If none of the profs thought it was plagiarism then it seems absurd that this assignment worth 1% would have ever found its way to the dean.... Just sayin!

Dr. Bruce Wayne
08-06-2011, 12:15 AM
I am glad to hear that Saba is taking plagiarism seriously- plagiarism should not be tolerated in any academic environment! Something about your post seems odd though, if the profs didn't think it was plagiarized then how did it ever get reported? Obviously the instructor who marked the assignment had concerns and mentioned them to another faculty member or to the dean. Claiming that none of the profs thought that the assignments were plagiarized makes your post seem somewhat unbelievable. If none of the profs thought it was plagiarism then it seems absurd that this assignment worth 1% would have ever found its way to the dean.... Just sayin!

Read properly...and again nothing is fishy abt tht sherlock holmes...i didnot say all faculty members, u just assumed. its only 2 specific profs who thought tht. One of the prof teaching the course didnot seem to think it was plagarism. So, yea...it was just a case of people being made and example out of.

Dr Coconut
08-06-2011, 09:13 AM
Now my comments make sense? I've always made it clear that I am in clinicals. I'm thinking more of an "Adam West / Family Guy" than a "Christian Bale" situation here...

Plagiarism is easy to prove. If the profs have a document that looks like the one turned in, and if that document was written by someone else before this assignment, that is plagiarism. As I've said before, they make actually be lenient if they are not officially calling it plagiarism. Having that word on your transcript next to the words "Caribbean Grad" means you could maybe get a residency spot...in Guam...in the scramble...on your second year of the match...if you're lucky. The only good thing about having that on your transcript is that you could definitely anticipate one of the questions at any residency interview.

benevolo
08-06-2011, 10:53 AM
There's nothing wrong with copying the "template" of a document when that template means writing down the headings of chief complaint, HPI, medical history, surgical history etc...that is part of a every H+P. It's much different if these people had plagiarized their actual findings under each heading, which it sounds like that is what happened. I heard there were people who took the H+P reports from people in upper semesters and simply resubmitted them as their own, and if that's what happened here then I would say that it's a hard lesson for them to learn but a fair punishment nonetheless.

Dr. Bruce Wayne
08-06-2011, 02:38 PM
There's nothing wrong with copying the "template" of a document when that template means writing down the headings of chief complaint, HPI, medical history, surgical history etc...that is part of a every H+P. It's much different if these people had plagiarized their actual findings under each heading, which it sounds like that is what happened. I heard there were people who took the H+P reports from people in upper semesters and simply resubmitted them as their own, and if that's what happened here then I would say that it's a hard lesson for them to learn but a fair punishment nonetheless.

heres the thing. They did use it as a template. But the findings are not consistent with wat was on the template. They got their cases from hospital. Both of them had different patients. So, tht shuld clear it

benevolo
08-07-2011, 11:56 AM
heres the thing. They did use it as a template. But the findings are not consistent with wat was on the template. They got their cases from hospital. Both of them had different patients. So, tht shuld clear it
So you're saying they didn't plagiarize, yet the school is saying they did? Somehow I don't believe that. Maybe you should take what these people tell you with a grain of salt. I'm glad that the school is standing up against plagiarism as it's a serious offense. Look what happened to the UofA's medical school dean, he got canned after using Atul Gawande's grad speech.

henry202
08-07-2011, 03:43 PM
two of the profs who reviewed the case think that there was no plagiarism involved and the committee did not decide to suspend them but with the new rule everything is in the hands of the academic dean and he decided that they shuld be suspended. one of the other profs that teaches clin med is upset over this matter. most of us 5th are either in st maarten right now and the rest of the school got exams so nobody likes to think about or talk about this case anymore but everyone over that i see in st maarten are upset. dont expect the students on the island to post too many posts regarding this issue just like how it was a taboo for the germans to bash hitler. you get the point right? now we all know why dr. G in biochem dept left Saba for Statia along with the other 3 profs who are following his steps. dr. G mentioned to our class that he cannot tolerate the policies of the new admin and does believe that the education of students will be sacrificied with the new policies and rules he is going to implement to susom. the 3 other profs, one of which has been here for more than 8 years teaching physio cannot tolerate the new regulations and he is leaving next semester.

moral of the story: do not go to saba. this school was once a good school, not anymore. education is not the primarily goal of this school but politics and gossip has become more interesting to the new admins.

Kewlwhip
08-07-2011, 11:22 PM
two of the profs who reviewed the case think that there was no plagiarism involved and the committee did not decide to suspend them but with the new rule everything is in the hands of the academic dean and he decided that they shuld be suspended. one of the other profs that teaches clin med is upset over this matter. most of us 5th are either in st maarten right now and the rest of the school got exams so nobody likes to think about or talk about this case anymore but everyone over that i see in st maarten are upset. dont expect the students on the island to post too many posts regarding this issue just like how it was a taboo for the germans to bash hitler. you get the point right? now we all know why dr. G in biochem dept left Saba for Statia along with the other 3 profs who are following his steps. dr. G mentioned to our class that he cannot tolerate the policies of the new admin and does believe that the education of students will be sacrificied with the new policies and rules he is going to implement to susom. the 3 other profs, one of which has been here for more than 8 years teaching physio cannot tolerate the new regulations and he is leaving next semester.

moral of the story: do not go to saba. this school was once a good school, not anymore. education is not the primarily goal of this school but politics and gossip has become more interesting to the new admins.

Is the physio prof retiring or moving to a new school?

I would agree that the new policies are tearing the school down. Too much power in one man's hands is a recipe for disaster. Its already being seen with him feeling the need to show everyone he means business with these students. Prepare for more of the same in the coming months...

benevolo
08-08-2011, 06:35 PM
If these people didn't do it then I feel really bad for them. Just want to make that clear that I'm only supporting the school in this under the assumption that it truly was academic misconduct.

aspiringmedstudent
08-28-2011, 05:09 PM
To me, the MCAT score means nothing about how you're going to do in medical school. Besides, if everyone in the Caribbean medical schools had good MCAT scores, they wouldn't be going to the Caribbean, would they? :)

I couldn't get higher than a 21 on that dang test. I did very well on my USMLE (92+ precent on both exams) and now enjoying a residency at a great academic institution :)

rokshana
08-28-2011, 05:52 PM
To me, the MCAT score means nothing about how you're going to do in medical school. Besides, if everyone in the Caribbean medical schools had good MCAT scores, they wouldn't be going to the Caribbean, would they? :)

I couldn't get higher than a 21 on that dang test. I did very well on my USMLE (92+ precent on both exams) and now enjoying a residency at a great academic institution :)

unless you are on an ad com you opinion about the mcat isn't of much significance....while many may not like it, the MCAT is a way that med schools in the US and Canada select med students.

and one not everyone in the the caribbean has a crappy MCAT scores... mine was a 30...but have crappy GPAs that are below what the US schools are looking for (which in my case was a 2.7 undergrad GPA).

and BTW, the 2 digit score on the USMLE is not a percentage...

but congrats on the residency spot!

A Second Daniel
08-28-2011, 07:12 PM
To me, the MCAT score means nothing about how you're going to do in medical school. Besides, if everyone in the Caribbean medical schools had good MCAT scores, they wouldn't be going to the Caribbean, would they? :)

I couldn't get higher than a 21 on that dang test. I did very well on my USMLE (92+ precent on both exams) and now enjoying a residency at a great academic institution :)

You couldn't be farther from the truth. The MCAT is designed to test you in a wide range of subjects, something necessary in medicine...so doing well in that standardized test will correlate to your ability to understand medicine (since medicine is so vast itself). Look at the medical school drop out rates before the test was implemented and today. A significant decrease was observed and still can be, with 95%-100% of US/Canadian schools graduating their incoming classes today. So please keep your opinions to yourself when the facts can do all the talking (and walking). And for your last point, look at the Ontario med applicants in Canada and you will see how many of them have excellent 30+ scores yet still can't manage to get in here. It's more of lottery than anything else, and if you're short of raising the dead or walking on water then your opportunities are seriously jeopardized and by necessity must look elsewhere. You are a doctor and you don't know this?

rocketcard
08-30-2011, 10:53 AM
how many people transferred from the second semester? we only have 91 students in biochem today ( a lot compared to last's 77).

we only have 1 repeat

rs27
08-30-2011, 10:56 AM
Here's a quote from a document that came from a Canadian medical school:

There is good evidence that the various components of the MCAT have
variable ability to predict performance in medical school. The best predictor
is VR, followed by **. PS has a small predictive ability and the WS doesnít
seem to predict anything at all. Interestingly, the WS is actually going to be
dropped from the new MCAT when it is released, likely in 2015. What is
more interesting is that the ability of ** and PS to predict performance
declines over time, meaning that the further into medical school one goes
clerkship exams, LMCC, etc) the worse predictors they become. VRís
predictive ability, on the other hand, increases.

So I guess the MCAT does have some significance, but it's probably not as important as some schools seem to think it is. I disagree that it tests you in a wide range of subjects though. It's mostly reading comprehension and the ** and PS has some straight up knowledge to test your basic sciences. I also fail to see how the PS teaches you stuff that you actually need in medical school. Minus maybe a couple of formulas in Physio which anyone could probably understand without ever having taken physics the whole subject seems irrelevant to me. But hey, that's just my opinion.

Anyways back to the topic...There are 91 students in Bchem? Wow that's a big class...

The Real Word
08-30-2011, 10:10 PM
Politics, Politics, Politics

aspiringmedstudent
09-05-2011, 08:45 PM
"So please keep your opinions to yourself when the facts can do all the talking (and walking)."

Hmm, isn't the part of the point of a forum to express ones opinions?

And in general response:

I agree that the MCAT is necessary for admission committees to use, if not, there would be no other way to compare students. The majority of my classmates had 30+ on their MCAT. I was not attempting a jab at the quality of MCAT scores or the students who go through the process. I am not here to do that, especially since it's a path I chose for myself, one that I am thankful and greatly cherish :) So lighten up!

My post was more promoted to comfort those who wanting to apply who did not do well with the MCAT. The last thing I'd want is for someone to be discouraged from applying (assuming they'd tried US/Canada before).

And either way, the MCAT sure as heck did not predict my success at the USMLE, or medical school for that matter :) And that was my point!

aspiringmedstudent
09-05-2011, 08:55 PM
And I agree with rs27.

These days (not the same about 100 years ago), whether it's good medicine or not, you need to know very little physics, math, and chemistry to learn medicine. You certainly do not need to know it at the level the MCAT tests you at. Biology, yes for sure. It's the basis behind everything you learn. The reading part is purely comprehension and drawing conclusions from what you've read. I think this is important in medicine for staying up to date on current research and evidence based medicine. That said, it was also my worst subject :) Hah.

But who knows, all of this may have changed, considering I took the MCAT last about... 10 years ago ;)

seattle
09-09-2011, 09:15 AM
Just doing a quick review of the forums and this one caught my attention. Several years ago I had a conversation with Dr. S regarding the correlation between MCAT scores and performance at Saba. Each Caribbean school (especially the ones that are approved in all 50 states) slightly differ on how they weight the MCAT in admissions. AUC focuses on the Biological Sciences subsection over others. Saba in particular focuses on an individual's "verbal reasoning (VR)" subsection, because a regression analysis has demonstrated a strong correlation coefficient consistent over a time series for the sample size considered that suggests that those who perform poorly on VR tend to struggle in basic sciences at Saba. In my opinion, reading comprehension is particularly important in medical and law schools where one needs to read rapidly, filter out unnecessary information and assimilate essential high yield material. The ability to go further and make accurate inferences from passages is related the ability to the same on many med school exams and the Step exams (e.g. connect the dots eventhough it has not been directly done for you). Interestingly, the writing sample is to be dropped in the next few years, although it was my best subsection (98th percentile). I agree that the Physical Sciences subsection is not as relevant directly to what one sees in basic sciences. Overall, the MCAT as others have suggested on these forums is an avenue for Admissions Committees to compare an incoming sample size on an even ground so to speak (similar to the USMLE exams). However, those who write for the MCAT also indicate that writing the exam is not an exact science and that subsequently the standardized exam will continue to evolve over time and change. But for now the exam is what it is.

devildoc8404
09-09-2011, 10:05 AM
@nakhe

I'm not sure why you're raging, but I think the MCAT is necessary for medical school admission.

Nope... not raging. Chuckling. There's a difference. You can think that the MCAT is the end-all-be-all, that's fine. It's certainly a good tool, as you mentioned, but it's not like it's some sort of moral failing that SABA isn't/wasn't focused on MCAT scores. I am not a Carib student, I don't care one way or the other, but you came off pretty sanctimonious and full of yourself... when the simple fact is that you are talking about Carib medical schools.

As I mentioned, there are a few US medical school programs that choose not to require it, and they seem to be working out OK, and the medical schools in Europe don't use it, and they put out some decent docs (who perform well on the USMLE, which is what really matters). Granted, I think it is a good idea for 4-year, post-bac medical schools to require the MCAT. I really do. I just don't think that it is the only consideration, especially when there are people from other countries involved.

In this way, it also helps people because it may prevent them from making futile investments ($200K+? I'm not sure about you, but this is a LOT of money for me).

The students who get into the no-MCAT programs in the US have excellent credentials which give a pretty decent indication of their capabilities. The Carib (and E-EU, etc.), as for-profit entities, offer no such admissions analysis. You have what it takes, or you fail out and go home. That's the sucky thing about not attending medical school in North America, you kinda lose that security blanket.

I didn't tell anyone to take SABA off their list. I'm just telling people MY story.

Yup. Sometimes it's not what you say, but how you say it.

Good luck to you, wherever you end up.

rokshana
09-09-2011, 10:10 AM
The students who get into the no-MCAT programs in the US have excellent credentials which give a pretty decent indication of their capabilities.

umm...no, no one going to a caribbean med school (MCAT requiring of no) does not have "excellent" credentials...if they did , they would have gotten into a US school...

seattle
09-09-2011, 03:33 PM
[QUOTE=devildoc8404;1408713]@nakhe

[[I]The students who get into the no-MCAT programs in the US have excellent credentials which give a pretty decent indication of their capabilities. The Carib (and E-EU, etc.), as for-profit entities, offer no such admissions analysis. You have what it takes, or you fail out and go home. That's the sucky thing about not attending medical school in North America, you kinda lose that security blanket.

My response:

Actually, Saba does perform an "admissions analysis" in the sense that a correlation is continously maintained for MCAT verbal subsection scores and basic science failure rates, as well as percentage of students answering block exam questions correctly, etc. For example, professor for pathology does attend seminars in the US on "how to write effective exam questions." Specific to pathology I and II, Saba does keep tabs on how many students answer questions correctly, etc...from semester to semester. Hence, there seems to be a definite "science" behind the scenes on how Saba manages the curriculum than in previous years (5+ years prior

As primarily "For-Profit Institutions", Caribbean programs utilize the management paradigm - maximize initial input (incoming 1st semesters), and subsequently minimize (filter out weaker students) outputs (those promoted to sit for USMLE Step 1) . From a business perspective it is a classic optimization problem - the objective function being a duality (1) maximize revenue and, (2) minimize Step 1 failure rate; subject to certain constraints on the equation {MCAT scores, GPA, maximum island threshold occupancy, etc}. Hence, from a strictly technical standpoint, Saba is truthful when they state over 90% 1st time USMLE Step 1 pass rate. It is those that make it to Step 1 that should be indicative of the base sample size when calculating this percentage, NOT the initial 110 or so that are admitted during 1st semester.

Compare this business paradigm to US Medical Schools - as you are all aware strict standards on MCAT/GPA cutoffs to be given even a chance for an interview, of which another 50% reduction may occur prior to matriculating. Hence, one is left with a sample size of incoming students with strong credentials, who statistically speaking exhibit maximum likelihood for academic success in a well known rigorous basic science curriculum. Those that leave US schools usually do so at their own volition (lack of interest in 4 years of hard work) and not so much due to academic struggles.

However, my basic point again is this - do NOT fall into the illusion that Saba (and other Caribbean programs) lack an "admissions analysis" of sorts - in fact there does exist such a system under the surface as explained above. Hence, the owners of such "For-Profit" institutions have become extremely wealthy individuals. But again - it IS a business!

devildoc8404
09-09-2011, 04:27 PM
I wrote "the no-MCAT programs IN THE US," rok... not in the Carib. I think you mis-read my post.


umm...no, no one going to a caribbean med school (MCAT requiring of no) does not have "excellent" credentials...if they did , they would have gotten into a US school...

devildoc8404
09-09-2011, 04:29 PM
Fair enough! You're far better-versed on the SABA scene than I am. (They do seem to lose their fair share of students, though...)


[QUOTE=devildoc8404;1408713]@nakhe

[The students who get into the no-MCAT programs in the US have excellent credentials which give a pretty decent indication of their capabilities. The Carib (and E-EU, etc.), as for-profit entities, offer no such admissions analysis. You have what it takes, or you fail out and go home. That's the sucky thing about not attending medical school in North America, you kinda lose that security blanket.

Actually, Saba does do an "admissions analysis" in the sense that they keep track of MCAT verbal subsection scores and basic science failure rate, as well as percentage of students answering block exam questions correctly, etc....There seems to be a definite "science" behined how Saba manages the school than in previous years (5+ years prior).

sgMD
09-09-2011, 06:03 PM
Some quick points:

1- I personally know someone who got rejected from Saba with OK gpa and MCAT scores. So there IS an admission process working here at Saba. It's not like they take anybody in 1st and see who can survive through the curriculum. In my opinion anybody getting into first semester have equal chances of success depending on how hard they work. I have witnessed some first semester students who study hardcore starting day one this semester and some who come to the library at 7pm and check their facebook page for 20min and attempt to study for 10min and then leave! Why should a person like that succeed in a medical school? Just because you got admitted to a medical school does not mean you are guaranteed to succeed. However if you work hard, you will succeed.

2- Who cares if carib schools are a business? You should be thankful that there are such businesses around so you get a second chance to get your MD. Plus, are you telling me that those private schools in the US that charge 80k/year are not business? If anything Saba gets those 'weaker' students, works on them so hard to make them an MD as opposed to an american school that only accepts those who already have brilliant study habits and are guaranteed to succeed regardless of how sucky the school is.

3- MCAT does not necessarily correlate with how well someone can do on Step 1. Consider this: one person immigrates to US from say China, attends college for 4 years and then takes the MCAT. It's almost impossible for that person to get a 10 on the verbal section of the MCAT but it doesn't mean that person is dumb and does not deserve to be an MD. That very same person attends Saba for another 2 years and her english improves for another 2-3years and she goes on to do very well on step 1 too. So there are always exceptions. You can't generalize things like that.

rokshana
09-09-2011, 08:37 PM
I wrote "the no-MCAT programs IN THE US," rok... not in the Carib. I think you mis-read my post.

you are correct, i did misread your post...those schools in the US that don't require MCATs are schools like Harvard and Yale an Hopkins...gotta feeling those students have already proven their abilities in other ways...

seattle
09-10-2011, 01:18 PM
sgMD,

1. Stating that everyone that is admitted to Saba has an "equal chance" to succeed is a gross oversimplification of the true underlying diversity in student abilities (note I state "ability" as oppossed to motivation). In my observation during my time on the island, not everyone admitted has an equal chance to survive (even if we eliminate lack of motivation factors) because a certain percentage every semester will not survive at ANY medical school environment due to a lack of sufficient analytical and memorization skills. I strongly believe given the nature of the "admissions analysis" at play over the years, the committee knows very well which individuals based on academic and MCAT struggles will not make it past 1st or 2nd semester in Saba's rigorous curriculum. In that sense, Saba does reap the benefits of revenue eventhough said individual will have little probability of success (again irrespective of motivational factors). One can study 10 hours a day, yet if this individual does not have the memorization/recall and analytical components developed to handle such rigorous subject areas - he/she will not succeed.

2. Those who should care if Caribbean schools are a business (and ones to whom I always direct my warning) are those individuals, who are inexperienced with how these schools run. To admit 110 students per semester when clearly there are not nearly that many clinical spots and more importantly to extend an offer of admission to those who will not make it past 1st semester based on past academic history is really (in my opinion) taking advantage of ignorance on part of said individual. Yes - one may argue that the school gives one a 2nd chance. True - but it still does not change the fact that in most of these cases the weaker academic individual is really being taken advantage of all the time the school well in knowledge based on past historical trends that they will accept the $10K for the first semester while weeding this student out (because said individual never had a fighting chance to begin regardless of motivation).

Furthermore, in my opinion no US medical school can be categorized as "sucky". They are far superior to any Caribbean medical school and I highly doubt almost anyone would argue with this statement. Unless one is from the Caribbean, it is almost impossible to find someone who would choose a Caribbean school over a US medical school! Faculty at Caribbean schools (with a few exceptions) are there for a reason! I have seen many such cases over the past 15 years. Faculty have either lost licensure in the US for a variety of reasons, have been asked to leave research positions at well known teaching facilities, demonstrate that they move around quite a bit not only at US institutions but also in the Caribbean programs and/or are from foreign countries with MD's that use Caribbean schools as stepping stones to hopefully eventually land a residency in the US (that is the ultimate goal). I have seen this pattern for many years!

3. Although the MCAT is not an exact science per se in perfect predictive ability (and hence I have always stated it is an "evolving exam"), there is sufficient historical US based student evidence to say that the data supports the statement that a strong correlation exists between MCAT performance (especially on the VR section in particular) and success in medical school and step exams (especially Step 2 where extensive case study passages are commonplace). When we consider the fact that foreign students have never taken the MCAT and yet manage to pass the Step exams, one must be careful to extract the conclusion that MCAT is mostly irrelevant for predictive ability. The rationale behind this is that those foreign students who directly go from their respective medical school to take a Kaplan course and then the Step 1 exam are similar to US student capabilities - they have proven themselves by being selected from out of thousands of applicants to get into medical school. This is not the case with those who have struggled in undergraduate years in science classes, have retaken courses, maybe have taken the MCAT multiple times, etc. These are completely 2 disparate sample size populations and should be treated as such.

sgMD
09-10-2011, 09:08 PM
sgMD,

1. Stating that everyone that is admitted to Saba has an "equal chance" to succeed is a gross oversimplification of the true underlying diversity in student abilities (note I state "ability" as oppossed to motivation). In my observation during my time on the island, not everyone admitted has an equal chance to survive (even if we eliminate lack of motivation factors) because a certain percentage every semester will not survive at ANY medical school environment due to a lack of sufficient analytical and memorization skills. I strongly believe given the nature of the "admissions analysis" at play over the years, the committee knows very well which individuals based on academic and MCAT struggles will not make it past 1st or 2nd semester in Saba's rigorous curriculum. In that sense, Saba does reap the benefits of revenue eventhough said individual will have little probability of success (again irrespective of motivational factors). One can study 10 hours a day, yet if this individual does not have the memorization/recall and analytical components developed to handle such rigorous subject areas - he/she will not succeed.

2. Those who should care if Caribbean schools are a business (and ones to whom I always direct my warning) are those individuals, who are inexperienced with how these schools run. To admit 110 students per semester when clearly there are not nearly that many clinical spots and more importantly to extend an offer of admission to those who will not make it past 1st semester based on past academic history is really (in my opinion) taking advantage of ignorance on part of said individual. Yes - one may argue that the school gives one a 2nd chance. True - but it still does not change the fact that in most of these cases the weaker academic individual is really being taken advantage of all the time the school well in knowledge based on past historical trends that they will accept the $10K for the first semester while weeding this student out (because said individual never had a fighting chance to begin regardless of motivation).

Furthermore, in my opinion no US medical school can be categorized as "sucky". They are far superior to any Caribbean medical school and I highly doubt almost anyone would argue with this statement. Unless one is from the Caribbean, it is almost impossible to find someone who would choose a Caribbean school over a US medical school! Faculty at Caribbean schools (with a few exceptions) are there for a reason! I have seen many such cases over the past 15 years. Faculty have either lost licensure in the US for a variety of reasons, have been asked to leave research positions at well known teaching facilities, demonstrate that they move around quite a bit not only at US institutions but also in the Caribbean programs and/or are from foreign countries with MD's that use Caribbean schools as stepping stones to hopefully eventually land a residency in the US (that is the ultimate goal). I have seen this pattern for many years!

3. Although the MCAT is not an exact science per se in perfect predictive ability (and hence I have always stated it is an "evolving exam"), there is sufficient historical US based student evidence to say that the data supports the statement that a strong correlation exists between MCAT performance (especially on the VR section in particular) and success in medical school and step exams (especially Step 2 where extensive case study passages are commonplace). When we consider the fact that foreign students have never taken the MCAT and yet manage to pass the Step exams, one must be careful to extract the conclusion that MCAT is mostly irrelevant for predictive ability. The rationale behind this is that those foreign students who directly go from their respective medical school to take a Kaplan course and then the Step 1 exam are similar to US student capabilities - they have proven themselves by being selected from out of thousands of applicants to get into medical school. This is not the case with those who have struggled in undergraduate years in science classes, have retaken courses, maybe have taken the MCAT multiple times, etc. These are completely 2 disparate sample size populations and should be treated as such.

1- Your argument sounds more like the 'conspiracy theory'. If they knew who would succeed and who wouldn't then why don't they accept 150+ students instead of 120? That way they can kick out 50 students instead of 20 in the first semester. I believe Ross U is following this model with their crazy high attrition rates in the first semester. And why would Saba reject people then? I personally know someone who did not get admitted to Saba with an HBSc from UofT.

2- I had a talk with the president of Saba on Thursday as he was visiting us. I asked him about the clinical spots and the rise in number of students while our clinical spots are not increasing in site. He mentioned a smart point to me. In his opinion we don't need to all do our core rotations together and then move on to our electives. We can do our electives in between our cores and that way there would be enough spots for everyone to graduate on time instead of waiting for a long period of time to finish all cores in a row. So I am sure there could be more students getting accomodated to the system this way.

3- Honestly I wouldn't say all american medical schools are superior to us in terms of academics. Rosalind Franklin MD school in Chicago lost its accreditation a few years back for a reason. Keep in mind that they charge 3x or more than Saba as well. Our clinical education is basically equivalent to what american students receive as we rotate with them. I wouldn't pay $200,000 more to do my basic sciences in the US. I think what we get down here is pretty sufficient according to how well we do on Step 1. By the way the president mentioned in our meeting that the passing rate for the May 2010 class was a 99.4%. Apparently only four students failed the test.

4- Well I agree that MCAT could be predictive but this is not an absolute. The majority of Canadian schools don't even require or don't give MCAT a huge weight as they have other ways to assess whether a student would succeed in MD school or not.

rokshana
09-10-2011, 10:05 PM
2- I had a talk with the president of Saba on Thursday as he was visiting us. I asked him about the clinical spots and the rise in number of students while our clinical spots are not increasing in site. He mentioned a smart point to me. In his opinion we don't need to all do our core rotations together and then move on to our electives. We can do our electives in between our cores and that way there would be enough spots for everyone to graduate on time instead of waiting for a long period of time to finish all cores in a row. So I am sure there could be more students getting accomodated to the system this way.

3- Honestly I wouldn't say all american medical schools are superior to us in terms of academics. Rosalind Franklin MD school in Chicago lost its accreditation a few years back for a reason. Keep in mind that they charge 3x or more than Saba as well. Our clinical education is basically equivalent to what american students receive as we rotate with them. I wouldn't pay $200,000 more to do my basic sciences in the US. I think what we get down here is pretty sufficient according to how well we do on Step 1. By the way the president mentioned in our meeting that the passing rate for the May 2010 class was a 99.4%. Apparently only four students failed the test. .

these 2 statements show that you have not either started med school or more likely not started clinicals (or applied for audition electives or residency)...just wait...your tune will change...

1st, cores are in 3rd yr for a reason and electives are done in 4th year, again for a reason...and if your school's president doesn't see any problem with doing 4th yr cores in 3rd yr to "fill in space", then that says alot about the admisinstrative priorities of the school (and not in a good way)...it makes as much sense as doing say, pathophsiology before having either physiology or pathology...

2nd, yes, academically there very well may be med schools in the US that do not cover basics as well as some of the caribbean school, but again this shows that you have not preceeded much further than basics...clinicals are a different story and even sgu (and yes i may be biased here, but many will say sgu is the gold standard for how clinicals are structured for a caribbean school) is not as good as the lowest ranked US MD school(just because you "rotate" alongside US med students does not make the clinical experience the same...there ARE differences)...and having the title US senior when it comes time to apply for residency gives you an unimaginable advantage over even the best caribbean school's moniker...emphatically, i would pay 200K extra (any amount actually) to have had the chance to go to ANY US MD school.

sgMD
09-10-2011, 11:25 PM
these 2 statements show that you have not either started med school or more likely not started clinicals (or applied for audition electives or residency)...just wait...your tune will change...

1st, cores are in 3rd yr for a reason and electives are done in 4th year, again for a reason...and if your school's president doesn't see any problem with doing 4th yr cores in 3rd yr to "fill in space", then that says alot about the admisinstrative priorities of the school (and not in a good way)...it makes as much sense as doing say, pathophsiology before having either physiology or pathology...

2nd, yes, academically there very well may be med schools in the US that do not cover basics as well as some of the caribbean school, but again this shows that you have not preceeded much further than basics...clinicals are a different story and even sgu (and yes i may be biased here, but many will say sgu is the gold standard for how clinicals are structured for a caribbean school) is not as good as the lowest ranked US MD school(just because you "rotate" alongside US med students does not make the clinical experience the same...there ARE differences)...and having the title US senior when it comes time to apply for residency gives you an unimaginable advantage over even the best caribbean school's moniker...emphatically, i would pay 200K extra (any amount actually) to have had the chance to go to ANY US MD school.

Well I am in 5th and I have not done my clincals yet... but based on the school's president we can do electives in between our 3rd year cores to fill in space! I thought I could count on his words, I mean if the president is wrong in what he is saying then who can we trust? I never questioned his suggestion actually.

There is no question that coming from a US school gives anybody an advantage over IMGs when it comes to residency. What we hear here and there is that Saba students do extremely well during rotations and we do well on step1 (average mid 220s) which is the same as US students so I don't understand why we should be any inferior to ALL US schools?

I'd appreicate it if you could bring on some examples and explain those differences as you are an attending now and can very well comment on this. Thanks :)

buddababa
09-11-2011, 12:01 AM
so I don't understand why we should be any inferior to ALL US schools?

well think of it this way. if i come to your house asking for food, before any of your family members get to eat, would that be fair. Remember, you're coming into the backyard of "us schools." therefore logic dictates, odds are u will most likely have second pickings. Now there are exceptions to the rule, for example, someone in your family likes me better than your sibling, so i get to eat first; so some people will get precedence over US students. But overall, its only right that they get first choice. After all, they did make it into a US school and Carib students didn't. That's the bottom line.

rokshana
09-11-2011, 12:03 AM
Well I am in 5th and I have not done my clincals yet... but based on the school's president we can do electives in between our 3rd year cores to fill in space! I thought I could count on his words, I mean if the president is wrong in what he is saying then who can we trust? I never questioned his suggestion actually.

There is no question that coming from a US school gives anybody an advantage over IMGs when it comes to residency. What we hear here and there is that Saba students do extremely well during rotations and we do well on step1 (average mid 220s) which is the same as US students so I don't understand why we should be any inferior to ALL US schools?

I'd appreicate it if you could bring on some examples and explain those differences as you are an attending now and can very well comment on this. Thanks :)

clinicals are sent up as 3rd yr cores...you spend time in the basics of clinical diciplines....adult medicine, pediatric medicine, surgery, ob/gyn, and psych...every other specialty will have a basis in one or more of these cores. Then you have 4th yr electives which serve the purpose to help stengthen a student in the discipline they are persuing and to expose one to other field.

many programs will not consider a student a 4th yr medical student until all cores are done...this becomes inportant in setting up 4th yr electives in that some places will not allow a student to do a rotation unless they are a 4th yr.

also most electives cannot be done without the core rotation completed. So for example, if a student has not done their IM core rotation s/he will not be able to do any medicine subspecialty electives (like cardiology, GI, nephrology,hem/onc, etc).

also 4th yr is the time for sub-Is and of course one cannot do, say a surgery sub-I if they have not done their surgery core...also there will be an expectation that a student in an elective has already gone through all the cores...your evaluations may suffer because the elective you are in is the 2nd rotation you have ever done and your attending is expecting a 4th yr...

4th yr electives are also there for a student to see if a specialty is for them and also to audition for either a program or make such an impression to garner great LoRs...hard to do if again you are a newbie 3rd yr and the attendings are expecting a 4th yr.

and in no way am i saying a student coming from the caribbean is automatically inferior to a US student, but the reality is that we as IMGs have an uphill battle and while there are people who get great residencies and make a great mark...those same people, if the ONLY difference was that they graduated from a US MD school, would be at top tier programs like harvard, hopkins,ucsf,etc...and wouldn't not have had to bust their butts nearly as hard...

seattle
09-11-2011, 08:50 AM
Well I am in 5th and I have not done my clincals yet... but based on the school's president we can do electives in between our 3rd year cores to fill in space! I thought I could count on his words, I mean if the president is wrong in what he is saying then who can we trust? I never questioned his suggestion actually.

There is no question that coming from a US school gives anybody an advantage over IMGs when it comes to residency. What we hear here and there is that Saba students do extremely well during rotations and we do well on step1 (average mid 220s) which is the same as US students so I don't understand why we should be any inferior to ALL US schools?

I'd appreicate it if you could bring on some examples and explain those differences as you are an attending now and can very well comment on this. Thanks :)

First - congratulations on making it to 5th semester! You worked hard and you earned it. (I remember giving you advice on your first block exam for gross anatomy). On a side note, over the years I always notice a tendency on these forums that for some who make it thru the basic sciences at Saba to exibit a tone of over-confidence and I respectfully caution against such a position as I call this phase the "calm before the storm". Now a couple of quick comments -

(1) the reason why Saba does not admit more than 110 students approximately in 1st semester is that the island infrastructure cannot accomodate several hundred students. As a For-Profit institution, if the island could handle 500 students, I am sure Saba would admit that many similar to Ross.

(2) My dad has served as a Resident Program Director and knows others across the US as well who may have rotated under him as residents years ago. So, to answer your question above, although one may rotate along side a US student and perform well on the Step exam these variables do NOT necessarily attenuate inherent bias on part of the PD (at times). I have said for years on these forums that many programs do tend to exhibit hidden bias when screening applicants and although it is not stated outright - it is still there! Years ago I spoke with faculty at Saba that will admit that although one may get a Step score equivalent to a US applicant, unfortunately the bias will not necessarily be reduced just by the fact that said individual went to the Caribbean. Not all programs are as such - but many are in my experience. Obviously, such bias does not exclude a Caribbean graduate from a sucessful residency spot but the underlying bias should not be underestimated. And hence a contributing factor to the "uphill battle" that all IMGs face when standing next to a US med school graduate. That's my point.

tiger15lily
09-11-2011, 09:12 AM
Well I am in 5th and I have not done my clincals yet... but based on the school's president we can do electives in between our 3rd year cores to fill in space! I thought I could count on his words, I mean if the president is wrong in what he is saying then who can we trust? I never questioned his suggestion actually.


Be very careful because Saba recently introduced a new rule about when they will certify you to write the Step 2 exams based on having core rotations completed. :rolleyes: A lot of people from our Sept start date are writing Step 2 in Aug - Oct and almost all programs require IMGs to have Step 2 scores before going through the review file filter. This is not an urban myth!

sgMD
09-11-2011, 10:17 AM
clinicals are sent up as 3rd yr cores...you spend time in the basics of clinical diciplines....adult medicine, pediatric medicine, surgery, ob/gyn, and psych...every other specialty will have a basis in one or more of these cores. Then you have 4th yr electives which serve the purpose to help stengthen a student in the discipline they are persuing and to expose one to other field.

many programs will not consider a student a 4th yr medical student until all cores are done...this becomes inportant in setting up 4th yr electives in that some places will not allow a student to do a rotation unless they are a 4th yr.

also most electives cannot be done without the core rotation completed. So for example, if a student has not done their IM core rotation s/he will not be able to do any medicine subspecialty electives (like cardiology, GI, nephrology,hem/onc, etc).

also 4th yr is the time for sub-Is and of course one cannot do, say a surgery sub-I if they have not done their surgery core...also there will be an expectation that a student in an elective has already gone through all the cores...your evaluations may suffer because the elective you are in is the 2nd rotation you have ever done and your attending is expecting a 4th yr...

4th yr electives are also there for a student to see if a specialty is for them and also to audition for either a program or make such an impression to garner great LoRs...hard to do if again you are a newbie 3rd yr and the attendings are expecting a 4th yr.

and in no way am i saying a student coming from the caribbean is automatically inferior to a US student, but the reality is that we as IMGs have an uphill battle and while there are people who get great residencies and make a great mark...those same people, if the ONLY difference was that they graduated from a US MD school, would be at top tier programs like harvard, hopkins,ucsf,etc...and wouldn't not have had to bust their butts nearly as hard...

Thanks for taking your time to share this informative post with us rok...

sgMD
09-11-2011, 10:20 AM
First - congratulations on making it to 5th semester! You worked hard and you earned it. (I remember giving you advice on your first block exam for gross anatomy). On a side note, over the years I always notice a tendency on these forums that for some who make it thru the basic sciences at Saba to exibit a tone of over-confidence and I respectfully caution against such a position as I call this phase the "calm before the storm". Now a couple of quick comments -

(1) the reason why Saba does not admit more than 110 students approximately in 1st semester is that the island infrastructure cannot accomodate several hundred students. As a For-Profit institution, if the island could handle 500 students, I am sure Saba would admit that many similar to Ross.

(2) My dad has served as a Resident Program Director and knows others across the US as well who may have rotated under him as residents years ago. So, to answer your question above, although one may rotate along side a US student and perform well on the Step exam these variables do NOT necessarily attenuate inherent bias on part of the PD (at times). I have said for years on these forums that many programs do tend to exhibit hidden bias when screening applicants and although it is not stated outright - it is still there! Years ago I spoke with faculty at Saba that will admit that although one may get a Step score equivalent to a US applicant, unfortunately the bias will not necessarily be reduced just by the fact that said individual went to the Caribbean. Not all programs are as such - but many are in my experience. Obviously, such bias does not exclude a Caribbean graduate from a sucessful residency spot but the underlying bias should not be underestimated. And hence a contributing factor to the "uphill battle" that all IMGs face when standing next to a US med school graduate. That's my point.

Thanks dude! I should have be done by now though but I took a semester off in between my semesters so here I am right now :)

1) what you are saying makes total sense about the island infrastructure...
2) you know, it's good to hear that the only difference between IMG's and US senior students is the ego/bias thing towards carib students and not their lack of knowledge and skills. Ultimately it will be us and our patients and as long as I have a solid knowledge to treat my patients with the best treatment then I can deal with US senior way of thinking and whatever...

Thanks for the post.

benevolo
09-11-2011, 01:20 PM
There are some differences between Carib students and US seniors. Performing well on the step doesn't necessarily mean you gained the same level of education as a US student. There are SOME rotations Saba has where you will be alongside US medical students, doing the exact same core rotation as them, working on the same teams as them. There are also many where you are crammed into a hospital with 100 other students from various Caribbean schools with very little patient care exposure and with an attending:student ratio so low that you have almost no interaction, supervision, or instruction with staff. That is definitely one of the main reasons you can't say you got equivalent training to a US grad, unless you're lucky enough to get quality rotations.

Having said all that, I've rotated with lots of US students now and I think Saba students are on average just as good as them when it comes to knowledge. Clinical skills might be lacking a bit though.

benevolo
09-11-2011, 01:26 PM
Also I still don't get this whole "99%" pass rate business. Unless the student population got dramatically smarter in the last few years,when I was still on the island there were always 10-15 people every semester who made it to 5th but still failed the exit exam. It's dishonest to say that a school has a 99% pass rate when they only let people write the exam that they knew were going to pass.

sgMD
09-11-2011, 02:05 PM
Also I still don't get this whole "99%" pass rate business. Unless the student population got dramatically smarter in the last few years,when I was still on the island there were always 10-15 people every semester who made it to 5th but still failed the exit exam. It's dishonest to say that a school has a 99% pass rate when they only let people write the exam that they knew were going to pass.

no student has failed the exit exam in the past 2 semesters, and only 2 people had to retake the exit exam 3 semesters ago... you keep bringing up this point and I keep posting the same answer!

Kewlwhip
09-11-2011, 07:56 PM
no student has failed the exit exam in the past 2 semesters, and only 2 people had to retake the exit exam 3 semesters ago... you keep bringing up this point and I keep posting the same answer!

Call me crazy, but the numbers that the president gave to you are crap. A 99.4% pass rate with 4 people failing would mean that 666 people took the exam with 662 passing it. Last I checked Saba doesn't even have that many students on the island for semester 1-5.

And Benevolo has a point to an extent... Saba is fudging the numbers for sake of their publicity. They start with over 100, fail out over 50% and allow about 40(ish) of those original 100 to take the exit exam on time. You will probably have about 20 or so following up a semester or 2 behind the rest and moving on to the step. But their pass rate is ONLY those who take the test. They don't publish their attrition rate or their pass rate based on the number of students who didn't even get a chance to take the test. In baseball, saying that a batter had a 1.000 batting average in a season is amazing (and impossible) until you find out that they only batted one time and then was cut from the team.

It's all relative. You can make any number talk the way you want it... Saba has done that to their numbers, and I'm sure many other Carib schools do the same to theirs. Although I'm not sure how they do that 99.4% pass with 4 failing thing... I'm no math genius, but it doesn't add up!

sgMD
09-11-2011, 08:28 PM
true... they say 99.4% and on their website it says 95% !!!! why wouldn't you put it up on the website if the number is actually 99.4%... I mean realistically why would hide this number and say 95% instead on the website?

It's true that they only let a certain number of people to take the step, but it's not like they will not EVER let other ones to take it. The others who fail a course or drop a course will eventually write the step and they are included in the 99.4% or 95% pass rate. The school is not saying that 99.4% of students who started in Jan2010 will pass USMLE Step 1 in Nov 2011!! They say 99.4% of those who take the exam pass on the first try. Now who knows what the actually number is: 99.4? 95? 90? nobody will ever know I guess!

benevolo
09-11-2011, 08:38 PM
You keep bringing up that fact sg but I keep on questioning the truth of it. If it is true, then congrats to the school for either doing better at teaching, doing better at weeding out poor students, or maybe a little bit of both. As for the point someone was making about the attrition rate, I think that's legit to say that it doesn't factor in to the pass rate because all that matters is how many people pass who are capable of sticking out the 5 semesters. Nobody cares that the people who dropped out in 1st semester would not be able to pass, because we only care about the people who stuck out all 5 whole semesters and now should theoretically be able to take the exam and pass, if the school did its job. For the record, the school's job goes far beyond just preparing people to pass step 1.



The school is not saying that 99.4% of students who started in Jan2010 will pass USMLE Step 1 in Nov 2011!! They say 99.4% of those who take the exam pass on the first try. Now who knows what the actually number is: 99.4? 95? 90? nobody will ever know I guess!
The whole point of looking at 'first time pass rate' is to evaluate a school's ability to prepare students after the basic science curriculum to pass step 1. If you go through 5 semesters and the school won't let you take step 1 because you're predicted to fail it, the interpretation is the same: the school wasn't doing its job at ensuring its graduates can pass. If you do 5 semesters and then have to do another 2 remedial semesters or 3 semesters to pass an exam, that's not really a sign of an effective education (or an effective student).

sgMD
09-11-2011, 10:29 PM
your point makes sense... I see what you're saying now...

but I swear to big bang nobody has failed the exit in the past two semesters :D

seattle
09-12-2011, 11:07 AM
Benevelo - I agree with your post. The current curriculum level of difficulty is for most subject areas (definitely genetics) beyond what the Step 1 requires in order to maximize probability for first time pass rate, which is a key variable linked to maintaining the 50-state approval status. My posts have always been specifically directed at the prospective student, to aid in determining if he/she is prepared to handle a rigorous curriculum in which the attrition rate is rather high for medical school scenarios. Simply, my aim is for those individuals to realistically look at themselves, past academic failures/short comings and prior to investing a lot of money and time determine if Saba is a viable option. As I have said in a recent previous post, eliminating those few who leave due to strictly lack of motivation, there are still a significant amount that really try but lack the capacity to pass (due to lack of memorization and analytical skills). In almost all cases, these individuals are weeded out by the end of 2nd semester. However, this is unfortunately at a huge cost to said individual. And I am sure if they knew better, they probably would rethink a different strategy.

Interestingly, I know of at least 5 cases where each individual could not make it past 2nd semester at Saba, but transferred to AUA (seems to be the popular alternative currently for those that face academic troubles at Saba), and in all 5 cases each one was able to pass Step 1 on the first try. From what I was told, the minimum pass threshold is now at 70% on block exams (up from 65%). Block 5 is the shelf subject exam and is curved for each course. But the point being - these individuals could not make it at Saba's tough curriculum but still made it past the Step 1. Interesting.....

What I gain from this comparative analysis (at least at a superficial level) is that Saba goes above and beyond in preparing students in basic science knowledge. It definitely allows for a maximized first time pass rate for those that make it to the end of semester 5, but also creates well-rounded individuals. Whether anyone will actually hold on to this level of detail for any significant period of time beyond Step 1 remains to be seen. Most long-term practicing attendings admit they have forgotten a lot of what they learned for Step 1 and only truely hold on to the high yield material for their daily area of expertise.

Hrithik4U
10-07-2011, 03:14 PM
New to this forum. Lot of good information. Please can someone summarise key information i.e.

(i) 110 gets admitted each semester = 110 x 3 = 330 new students per year. 2011 Residency appointments listed on SABA site shows 150 odd residencies. I know residencies now are result of admission 4-5 years ago, but to me that is clear sign of 50% 'attrition' rate (yes, I know people 'decell' etc, but still input - output = leakage !); Can someone confirm / discuss this?

(ii) Clinical Rotations (core/electives) - if it is just a question of 'paying' these medical institutions a 'set' fee for each student to do rotation at their place, why woud there be any issues? I am sure, Saba, like SGU / AUC / Ross, would equally 'pay-off' these institutions to get as many seats as required by students for rotations. Isn't that a function of funding, which Saba students pay through their fees? Do not clearly understand the issue then. Can someone care to help me understand?

(iii) So, once you get the MD degree and apply for residency, why would it make a difference whether student comes from Saba / SGU / Ross / AUC - as they would look at your letters of reference; where you have done rotations; your personality/interview reactions; etc. So, at that stage, does other Carribean schools have edge over Saba or everyone is in a same boat? Can someone care to help me understand?

I agree with most other comments earlier, specially, related to Caribbean Medical Schools not being short-cut to working EQUALLY hard, as if you would were you in a medical school in US or Canada. Basically, it is a second chance to prove yourself that you are worth it.

Hope someone is able to help me with above questions....

GADoctor
10-07-2011, 11:41 PM
I) Yes, there is a high attrition rate.

II) SGU charges more and pays more. AUC and Ross are combined now, have more connections and even 1 more state along with SGU to do clinicals. With that being said, Saba has never had a problem comparatively. With all the medicals schools these days, there is a general clinical crunch from the Caribbean, but word on the ground is very few students from Saba are having problems getting rotations lined up quickly.

III)Everyone is in same boat.

Hrithik4U
10-08-2011, 12:23 AM
I) Yes, there is a high attrition rate. - Is this in line with all Caribbean medical schools?

II) SGU charges more and pays more. AUC and Ross are combined now, have more connections and even 1 more state along with SGU to do clinicals. With that being said, Saba has never had a problem comparatively. With all the medicals schools these days, there is a general clinical crunch from the Caribbean, but word on the ground is very few students from Saba are having problems getting rotations lined up quickly.

III)Everyone is in same boat.

Thank you for your time.....

GADoctor
10-09-2011, 02:35 PM
Caribbean schools in general have a high attrition rate compared to US and Canadian schools. There is a thread in this forum discussing Saba's attrition rate and I would defer you to that, imo Saba is harder than other Caribbean schools.

seattle
10-10-2011, 10:58 AM
imo Saba is harder than other Caribbean schools.

This statement is over-simplified and a bit misleading in my opinion to prospectives considering Caribbean programs.

Limiting my comments to the "Big 4" schools (Saba, AUC, SGU, and Ross), each school has a different curriculum model to get a student ready for Step 1. So, I would not say Saba is harder than other schools in the Big 4 category. It is more accurate to say that it depends on the testing modality that works best for the individual in question. For example, SGU as far as I understand is on a semester system (4 semesters compared to Saba's 5) and only gives 2 massive block exams per semester (midterm and a final) compared to 5 spaced at 3 week intervals at Saba. Hence, each exam has 2.5 times the volume of testable material compared to a Saba block exam. Ross has a curriculum where they combine more classes per quarter running simultaneously than Saba. This is also a challenge, although in doing so, certain basic science classes run for longer lengths (2 quarters) versus a 15 week approach Saba.

I think a variable that seems to be a synergistic common denominator for all these schools is the "attitude" faculty hold at Caribbean programs towards students. I have always presented to prospectives that it is a "sink or swim" environment at these schools due to the for-profit model and much easier admissions standards compared to North American counterparts. In other words, easier to get in, and easier to fail out as well - no hand holding or any leniency as such if one struggles. This is not so with North American schools.

But the latter getting away from the main idea of my response - I would not state that Saba is harder than other Caribbean schools.

rokshana
10-10-2011, 11:20 AM
slight correction on sgu's test methods....generally there are midterms and finals for the exams, but it is not a block exam per se (ie one single exam covering all subjects of the term) rather a seried of exams within a week or 10 days (so for example, histology exam on monday, anatomy on friday and then biochemistry on the next monday)...some of the larger classes (path, pathophys) will have 3 exams total.

seattle
10-10-2011, 12:40 PM
rokshana - seems like SGU's testing setup is more closely aligned then with the US med school where I am and most others that I am in contact with on a regular basis. (e.g. subject exams are spread out over a "block exam week" unlike Saba's multiple exams crammed into 1 day one after another). I guess depends on what an individual prefers...I never enjoyed the stress of multiple exams on 1 day...that was tough.

Hrithik4U
10-15-2011, 01:28 PM
I read that the growth in student numbers at Saba recently, is not supported by growth in infrastructure. Can someone outline how serious is this issue for the piece where students study on Saba Island? what does it impact i.e. student accomodation, not enough seats in library, capacity at cafeteria, access to faculty, other issues. Is there any plan to increase the infrastructure in line with growth in number of students? On other end, by increase in numbers, how does it impact greenbook rotations, etc? Do students now have to wait for required rotations?

If someone can help me understand real issues and impact, it would be great.

axiomofchoice
10-15-2011, 01:38 PM
For what its worth, the 4th and 5th semester classrooms seem virtually empty when you're in them. Lol, take that for what its worth...

Weddell
10-15-2011, 03:48 PM
We won't know the "impact" on clinicals because the September class still has to finish another 4 semesters before they start their rotations. Check back in a year. If a really big chunk make it through to clinicals, there may be some waiting time for your rotations, especially if you're very particular about rotating at a particular hospital and aren't fond of uprooting to another city/state at a moment's notice. But this is just me talking out of my, y'know, based on my own understanding.

From what I understand, a few students had to live off-campus in first semester. But only a few. There is no cafeteria. I haven't noticed any serious shortage of library space - just came back from the dungeon (lower level of the library) and only about 5% of the available seats were taken. The September class, AFAIK, the largest one yet... but really not by much, I'd say by 10 people. So it's certainly not an infrastructural crisis yet.

Hrithik4U
10-22-2011, 08:23 PM
For what its worth, the 4th and 5th semester classrooms seem virtually empty when you're in them. Lol, take that for what its worth...

Thank you for the response. Just managed to talk directly with another student studying in Semester 1 (yes, actually studying there). She pretty much corroborated this. According to her, there is steep drop off by the time one comes to 4th and 5th semester. Information she had from other senior students, was that there is only enough space for 60-65 clinical spots. So, the block exams are deliberately set in such a way that the number of approximately 300 students entering every year (100x3 semesters), dove tails into 60-65 clinical spots. I am not saying this, but similar information has been corroborated from second source, though numbers were not as drastic. The only concern I have is why this information so secretive. If it is open, then new students would make their decision based on facts.

To me, it does not make the difference, as someone said, all the Caribbean schools have similar approach, but I have to keep digging to find real information.

PS - Saba is still amongst my top two choices. Other being AUA-KMCIC option.

Thanks everyone for your input...

sgMD
10-23-2011, 09:09 AM
Thank you for the response. Just managed to talk directly with another student studying in Semester 1 (yes, actually studying there). She pretty much corroborated this. According to her, there is steep drop off by the time one comes to 4th and 5th semester. Information she had from other senior students, was that there is only enough space for 60-65 clinical spots. So, the block exams are deliberately set in such a way that the number of approximately 300 students entering every year (100x3 semesters), dove tails into 60-65 clinical spots. I am not saying this, but similar information has been corroborated from second source, though numbers were not as drastic. The only concern I have is why this information so secretive. If it is open, then new students would make their decision based on facts.

To me, it does not make the difference, as someone said, all the Caribbean schools have similar approach, but I have to keep digging to find real information.

PS - Saba is still amongst my top two choices. Other being AUA-KMCIC option.

Thanks everyone for your input...

why is it a secret? I don't think it's that hard to figure out why!
The numbers are not that drastic. The past two semesters graduated with around 70 students not 60-65.
You don't need to dig in for 'the facts', but this is the truth! I don't think other caribbean schools (with the exception of Ross) have this crazy approach towards students. At least I know that whoever failed out from Saba and transferred to AUC/AUA/etc all are surviving in those schools and are much much happier in terms of academics, life style, etc in compare to those times they were on Saba.

I have the highest respect for those who make it through Saba. Enough said.

Hrithik4U
10-23-2011, 10:37 AM
why is it a secret? I don't think it's that hard to figure out why!
The numbers are not that drastic. The past two semesters graduated with around 70 students not 60-65.
You don't need to dig in for 'the facts', but this is the truth! I don't think other caribbean schools (with the exception of Ross) have this crazy approach towards students. At least I know that whoever failed out from Saba and transferred to AUC/AUA/etc all are surviving in those schools and are much much happier in terms of academics, life style, etc in compare to those times they were on Saba.

I have the highest respect for those who make it through Saba. Enough said.

I am not sure if I understand. To me, when numbers whittle down from approximately 300 (100 x 3 semesters) to 70, somehow 230 students are dropped i.e. over 76% ! I know there are variety of reasons students don't make it, including not adjusting to Island life-style, personal issues, not being able to cope with intensity required to handle highly compressed learning, but the fact still remains - a very high proportion of students from the start to Sem 5, are lost, and no one seems to be open and honest enough to say this up front.

Like you said, there is a respect for students surviving. I am personally focused and determined student, and Saba is still my top two choices. Only wishing that this fact was more openly available to all new students.

Once again, thanks everyone for contributions.

Weddell
10-23-2011, 11:59 AM
Math! 70 PER SEMESTER, not PER YEAR. I.e. 70 in Spring, 70 in Fall, 70 in Winter... Sometimes more, sometimes less, but no, we do not have 230 students drop out. Saba's difficult, but not that ridiculous.

Hrithik4U
10-23-2011, 12:17 PM
Well, that would make sense, if 70 clinical spots per Semester is verified by someone. This is inconsistent with information I have, I was told clearly by this 1st year student that there were only 60-65 clinical SPOTS per year (not per semester), which cannot be right. With three semesters per year and 100 admission per semester, the math was 100 x 3 = 300 students minus 65 = 235. If the math is 70 clinical spots per Semester, then math would be 300 minus 210 = 90 (30%), which is more palatable ! Can someone verify this?

As the end of the day, it is what it is...... We have to accept it and move on....

Once again, thanks

seattle
10-23-2011, 12:49 PM
but the fact still remains - a very high proportion of students from the start to Sem 5, are lost, and no one seems to be open and honest enough to say this up front. Only wishing that this fact was more openly available to all new students.

As you are aware attrition is a fact of life for Caribbean programs for a variety of reasons. It is not that anyone here is attempting to be dishonest or withold information to your questions - the fact is that no one truly knows how many clinical spots exist from year to year, same with attrition. But one thing I could say is that your assumption is incorrect in terms of attrition - it is NOT 76%, that would be ridiculous. From what I have seen on average in the past 5 years, it could get as high as 50% (that is number of students that started day 1 and those that sit for the NBME 5th semester) but even that estimate is a bit high. The attrition is more likely around 35% on the high end. If in recent times someone is saying 70 graduated, then 70 X 3 semesters per year = 210 clinical spots. Although no one knows for sure except Devens, Massachusetts the dynamic fluctuations yearly in these numbers, I would say clinical spots are somewhere around 210 since no queueing effect has occurred yet at Saba (unlike AUA, Ross and other schools).

So, I will be the first to say this upfront - YES, attrition does exist at Saba and other programs and the clinical office is not completely upfront about the exact number of spots by location. I would say this has more to do with the political environment of US state medical boards that forces schools such as Saba to be rather evasive in this nature. Why? Partially, keeping the 50-state accreditation requires that these off-shore programs have a high 1st time pass rate on the Step exams AND have minimal to no queueing effect when transitioning from basic sciences to clincial years. This was a huge problem for Ross and hence their admissions process has changed slightly over the past 5 years. So, behind the scenes there is an adjustment in the level of difficulty in the basic sciences to adjust for the potential queuing that may occur at semester 5 and hence keeping state medical boards (especially California and New York) from getting a negative impression as they did with Ross. Unfortunately, such change in difficulty level does affect the marginal student in any semester (meaning those who are just passing close to the 75% minimum threshold). Hence, some may and do get held back at various stages at Saba. However, you will find that the true attrition (those that fail out) usually occurs with highest probability in semesters 1 and 2, then the numbers decline substatially and goes more towards being held back a semester or 2.

Weddell
10-23-2011, 01:17 PM
This is inconsistent with information I have, I was told clearly by this 1st year student that there were only 60-65 clinical SPOTS per year

:rolleyes: You will find that there are a LOT of rumours flying around, so take everything with a grain of salt. If it sounds sensational, highly unlikely, or reeks of panic it's probably crap. I'm not particularly worried about clinical spots because so far, there hasn't been any major outcry over lack thereof, or waiting between rotations, and I feel like there would have been if it truly was an issue.

Hrithik4U
10-23-2011, 01:34 PM
As you are aware attrition is a fact of life for Caribbean programs for a variety of reasons. It is not that anyone here is attempting to be dishonest or withold information to your questions - the fact is that no one truly knows how many clinical spots exist from year to year, same with attrition. But one thing I could say is that your assumption is incorrect in terms of attrition - it is NOT 76%, that would be ridiculous. From what I have seen on average in the past 5 years, it could get as high as 50% (that is number of students that started day 1 and those that sit for the NBME 5th semester) but even that estimate is a bit high. The attrition is more likely around 35% on the high end. If in recent times someone is saying 70 graduated, then 70 X 3 semesters per year = 210 clinical spots. Although no one knows for sure except Devens, Massachusetts the dynamic fluctuations yearly in these numbers, I would say clinical spots are somewhere around 210 since no queueing effect has occurred yet at Saba (unlike AUA, Ross and other schools).

So, I will be the first to say this upfront - YES, attrition does exist at Saba and other programs and the clinical office is not completely upfront about the exact number of spots by location. I would say this has more to do with the political environment of US state medical boards that forces schools such as Saba to be rather evasive in this nature. Why? Partially, keeping the 50-state accreditation requires that these off-shore programs have a high 1st time pass rate on the Step exams AND have minimal to no queueing effect when transitioning from basic sciences to clincial years. This was a huge problem for Ross and hence their admissions process has changed slightly over the past 5 years. So, behind the scenes there is an adjustment in the level of difficulty in the basic sciences to adjust for the potential queuing that may occur at semester 5 and hence keeping state medical boards (especially California and New York) from getting a negative impression as they did with Ross. Unfortunately, such change in difficulty level does affect the marginal student in any semester (meaning those who are just passing close to the 75% minimum threshold). Hence, some may and do get held back at various stages at Saba. However, you will find that the true attrition (those that fail out) usually occurs with highest probability in semesters 1 and 2, then the numbers decline substatially and goes more towards being held back a semester or 2.

Now this makes sense to me. What you explained about political environment and queuing effect, sounds very logical. Again, this information is NOT available to new prospective students like me. I think I am mature enough to understand reality if explained like you did, and use the knowledge to better prepare for success. Perhaps you should write a book ! I am sure people like me would be willing to pay $20+, a small price to pay if it saves you shock, helps prepare for success and perhaps save 10's of thousands of cost if wrong decision made.

Also, perhaps, current students in the first semester need to be aware of this (as the person I talked to was clearly misinformed, and panicking). If there is one misinformed student, I am sure others in that situation. I will refer them to this thread, for what it is worth. For me, at rate of attrition you mention, I know that I would have a fair chance to make it, if I put my head down and work hard / smart.

Hrithik4U
10-23-2011, 01:39 PM
:rolleyes: You will find that there are a LOT of rumours flying around, so take everything with a grain of salt. If it sounds sensational, highly unlikely, or reeks of panic it's probably crap. I'm not particularly worried about clinical spots because so far, there hasn't been any major outcry over lack thereof, or waiting between rotations, and I feel like there would have been if it truly was an issue.

Yes, I gathered that. Now that I have this feed-back, and thinking about the student who actually provided me the original info, she had done badly in her block exam, and not doing well. Probably panicking and making it sound sensational, and perhaps quoting 'out of context' numbers. I am glad that you and others have stood me corrected. I have no disillusion of what lies ahead, just wanted to be aware of what to expect and how to navigate success. Let's see how my Undergrad finishes. Still have good part of the year, before applying....

sgMD
10-23-2011, 05:29 PM
:rolleyes: You will find that there are a LOT of rumours flying around, so take everything with a grain of salt. If it sounds sensational, highly unlikely, or reeks of panic it's probably crap. I'm not particularly worried about clinical spots because so far, there hasn't been any major outcry over lack thereof, or waiting between rotations, and I feel like there would have been if it truly was an issue.

how do you know that there is no lack of clinicals and no student has held back to start rotations? all you need to do is to join the clinical group on facebook if you feel ready to face the reality...

or at least don't be so confident when delivering baseless information on valuemd...

Dr Coconut
10-23-2011, 07:33 PM
I left the island in December 2009 and started rotations in April 2010. In 52 calendar weeks, I completed 48 weeks of rotations - 75% of these were in the same clinical hospital. I will have completed all my clinical rotations, USMLE exams, and requirements for graduation in November 2011 with a January 2012 grad date. Of my 72 weeks of rotations, 46 were done at the same hospital, 8 were at other hospitals by my choice, and the remainder at other locations due to limited availability of some cores (i.e. Peds and OB). It is possible to move efficiently through rotations assuming one is not picky about where you go. If you think you might be picky, remember that you just spent 20 months on a 5-square-mile rock. Geographic location is secondary to the goal for Caribbean med students otherwise they wouldn't be Caribbean med students.

Weddell
10-23-2011, 07:34 PM
or at least don't be so confident when delivering baseless information on valuemd...

Isn't 99% of VMD baseless information?

Besides, I said "I am currently unaware of any major outcry over these issues, and am interpreting this in a cautiously optimistic way." That does not mean that there is no waiting between rotations - I'm certain there is for some, perhaps many, students. It may mean that I live under a rock. Like I said, grain of salt.

That said, would you like to elaborate? I'm ready to face reality, but not ready to face Facebook, so I was wondering if you could tell us about the current state of affairs clinicals-wise. No sarcasm/snark intended.

seattle
10-26-2011, 09:30 AM
Isn't 99% of VMD baseless information? ..... I was wondering if you could tell us about the current state of affairs clinicals-wise.

I would not go as far as saying 99% of VMD posts are baseless. There are many posts on here with senior, well seasoned/experienced individuals who take time to share insight into what's down the road. These are real people with real experiences. Do not discount that away as baseless information. Having said that I would also state that an example of baseless and suspect information are recent posts that state Saba students "are blowing away the competition during clinicals." I responded to that on another thread.

As I stated before the current state of affairs for Saba clinicals is not bad. Some individuals may experience wait times for certain rotations and others may not necessarily get most rotations in 1 location, but that is a function of many variables and may not always be universal - meaning more to do with individual constraints and preferences. As someone said before, check the clinical forum for details.

Weddell
10-26-2011, 11:46 AM
Weddell is not good at sarcasm (Q_Q)

drrichand1
06-11-2012, 04:48 PM
as far as the Big 4 go only SGU and AUC look like medical schools. I don't understand how ross is one of them, It look like a run down highschool. I'm thinking about AUC, MUA, and AUA, yessss :) I know If I get in any of these I would do well. sGPA 3.2 MCAT 29, also applying for DO schools so we shall see.

Hrithik4U
06-11-2012, 05:59 PM
Others may have differing opinion, I found SGU to be just too big, good no doubt. Also, Ross owns AUC. Like everything else, there are pluses and minuses for each and it all depends on your learning style. For me Saba has been the leader (I actually visited school and on the way stopped at AUC in St Maartens, meeting professors). I did not see anything that inspired me at AUC. Saba was better fit for me. However, late contender for me has been AUA, and I will be visiting that soon. Heard things are improving and it is coming up fast. This is now recognized by California board as well, which opens up to many other states too. It will be between Saba and AUA for me....

seattle
06-23-2012, 12:22 PM
It will be between Saba and AUA for me....

Both are good programs but for now at least Saba is much more rigorous in nature. With California approval, AUA may in time become as rigorous as well. Looks like you are being responsible by doing your homework thoroughly prior to choosing a school - good! Visiting the schools is an excellent idea. Pay particular attention to your learning style and limitations (be honest with yourself) and choose the appropriate program. Just keep in mind, Saba is one of the most rigorous programs in the Caribbean - proceed only if you feel the intensity is something you could handle (e.g. it takes a lot more than just the proper attitude to get thru Saba).

amireslami
06-25-2012, 02:58 PM
true, and one was fired/let go/released/dismissed (pick one) last week! Dr. C (biochem)
Saba is tough, doable but tough! they lowered the passing grade to 70 to make up for the shameful 65% failing. Also be very careful about coming here. I will share more soon! I cant just yet!

drrichand1
06-25-2012, 04:00 PM
Can someone explain why they want to go to saba. People keep saying how rigorous saba is, y is this. Is it because they have excellent teaching facilities, equipment, and knowledgeable faculty? From what I can see the school is small and the island is smaller. The pictures and videos of the facilities appear to be lacking in modern teaching reasources and am afraid saba will not properly prepare me. but people seem to think this is the top Caribbean school? i don't know I just want someone to set me straight so I know what your all talking about.
I know 90% of the work is done outside of class but can saba really get me an MD? thanks

sgMD
06-25-2012, 04:42 PM
Can someone explain why they want to go to saba. People keep saying how rigorous saba is, y is this. Is it because they have excellent teaching facilities, equipment, and knowledgeable faculty? From what I can see the school is small and the island is smaller. The pictures and videos of the facilities appear to be lacking in modern teaching reasources and am afraid saba will not properly prepare me. but people seem to think this is the top Caribbean school? i don't know I just want someone to set me straight so I know what your all talking about.
I know 90% of the work is done outside of class but can saba really get me an MD? thanks


what are you asking?

drrichand1
06-25-2012, 05:55 PM
what are you asking?

that's what i'm sayin,

amireslami
06-25-2012, 06:48 PM
Can someone explain why they want to go to saba. People keep saying how rigorous saba is, y is this. Is it because they have excellent teaching facilities, equipment, and knowledgeable faculty? From what I can see the school is small and the island is smaller. The pictures and videos of the facilities appear to be lacking in modern teaching reasources and am afraid saba will not properly prepare me. but people seem to think this is the top Caribbean school? i don't know I just want someone to set me straight so I know what your all talking about.
I know 90% of the work is done outside of class but can saba really get me an MD? thanks

I dont know about MD but Saba will definitely get u a SSRI prescription within 6months for sure :) Look elsewhere for med school. AUC or SGU only!!!!

Dr Coconut
06-25-2012, 07:12 PM
Sounds like it is going to be an enlightening and unbiased opinion coming our way in the near future. Can't wait.

In the meantime, take a look at recent residency matches. Lots of anesthesia etc...pretty sure those weren't scramble slots. Surely someone with 2 PhDs can figure out that Saba is a good means to an end.

sgMD
06-26-2012, 06:11 AM
Can someone explain why they want to go to saba. People keep saying how rigorous saba is, y is this. Is it because they have excellent teaching facilities, equipment, and knowledgeable faculty? From what I can see the school is small and the island is smaller. The pictures and videos of the facilities appear to be lacking in modern teaching reasources and am afraid saba will not properly prepare me. but people seem to think this is the top Caribbean school? i don't know I just want someone to set me straight so I know what your all talking about.
I know 90% of the work is done outside of class but can saba really get me an MD? thanks


I reread your post, still dont know what you are asking?!!! you contradict yourself in your post on 2 different occasions in one paragraph... is english your 4th language?

drrichand1
06-26-2012, 09:15 AM
no but i'd like to contradict your attitude. lol

sgMD
06-26-2012, 09:24 AM
I dont know about MD but Saba will definitely get u a SSRI prescription within 6months for sure :) Look elsewhere for med school. AUC or SGU only!!!!

you sound like someone who didnt make it through anatomy on saba... hmmm!!

sgMD
06-26-2012, 09:24 AM
no but i'd like to contradict your attitude. lol

'contradicting attitude' is not a phrase! :)

drrichand1
06-26-2012, 10:34 AM
:cool: don't be mad, i'm sure you'll get in somewhere.

sgMD
06-26-2012, 11:27 AM
:cool: don't be mad, i'm sure you'll get in somewhere.

I'm already half way through the program at Saba, and I am not mad :) I'm actually very happy, woot! lol

ps: instead of getting defensive and all, you could simply rephrase your question because I still don't know what you were trying to ask :)

Dr Coconut
06-26-2012, 05:34 PM
He's not asking anything. He's trolling. Check previous posts - St James was high on his list previously.

medic300107
06-26-2012, 06:50 PM
Schools don't fail people for attrition purposes or because they don't have enough clinical spots. Everyone takes the same tests do they not? If half the class could pass why couldn't you (not saying you didn't because you didn't start yet but the principle). I always post this when I hear people complaining that a school fails people on purpose. If half the class could do it, then you could too. I have yet to see someone answer correctly on tests and fail out.

seattle
06-26-2012, 09:14 PM
Schools don't fail people for attrition purposes or because they don't have enough clinical spots. Everyone takes the same tests do they not? If half the class could pass why couldn't you (not saying you didn't because you didn't start yet but the principle). I always post this when I hear people complaining that a school fails people on purpose. If half the class could do it, then you could too. I have yet to see someone answer correctly on tests and fail out.

This is not necessarily accurate. Although on the surface your argument is sensible, one cannot then extend the argument to conclude that a school may not intentionally attempt to manipulate the attrition rate behind the scene by varying exam difficulty levels. In fact, I can assure you that at Saba this does occur (not by rumor) but was a discussion I had with several faculty members.

Having said above, greater credence is given by the mere fact that limitations on clinical spots is a reality for all schools most every year. And all the 50-state approved schools realize that one selection criterion that is monitored is the wait list for clinicals. My understanding is that Ross and AUA both have been reprimanded on this specific issue with numerous students constantly on wait lists for clinicals.

The issue of those who fail in a school regardless of the same exam being given is a issue that I have addressed all along - and that is that a school such as Saba nowdays, or more specifically post-2004 is really only appropriate for those who had the science GPA and MCAT scores to get into a North American Medical School and could not due to extenuating circumstances. What people fail to realize is that all these schools (including SGU, AUC, Ross, and Saba) at one point had started on the premises that these were 2nd chance schools - truly 2nd chance meaning for those individuals who needed guidance and a holding hand to get thru the program to Step 1. However, over the past 20 years most of these schools with popularity and an influx (no shortage) of applicants can now afford to move away from the original true 2nd chance paradigm into more of a filter down the population to the best candidates to sit for Step 1 mode. This way they can maximize profit while simultaneously boost their stats in front of the state medical boards, especially California - which to this day is beyond me why that state (which is broke) is considered the end-all-be-all of state medical boards.

For example, when Saba says over 90% first time pass rate on Step 1 - yes that is true for those who made it to Step 1. However, it can be very misleading for prospectives considering schools. What most "naive" applicants do not realize is that it does not account for those who were accepted to the program and failed out. Some then argue that it does not matter since we are only to measure who passes Step 1 out of those who do actually take the exam. Yes, but the greater point is that these schools are intentionally accepting naive applicants who they know all along have little to no chance of making it thru their program. If these applicants had better knowledge on the rigor and stats of these schools - they may think again!

I think U.S. State Medical Boards should put pressure on all Caribbean programs to release (make readily available) stats on numbers accepted, voluntarily left school, failed out, were held back, and those who make it to Step 1 and first time pass rate on Step 1. Secondly, and very important turnover rate of faculty at a school. This in totality gives a much more accurate depiction of what transpires at a particular school. It is interesting (and not surprising to me) that schools only selectively provide information and withold intentionally other aspects - but then again it is a big business and my only point is to make naive applicants aware of this before proceeding. And this is exactly what these schools do not want to happen!

maladdy85
06-28-2012, 05:38 PM
I agree to a degree with both of the perspectives posed in the previous posts. It is true that many exams here are very difficult, but many people are able to pass them (without cheating). The tests are surmountable if you have good study habits, problem solving skills and put the time/focus into school that is necessary to succeed. I would argue that most of the people who failed out/repeated during my time at Saba were deficient in one of these three categories, therefore making their failure a personal pitfall and no fault of the University. However, I also feel like some of the students accepted into the program are set up for failure the minute they are admitted. What are the odds that an individual with a 2.9 arts degree from an easy university and a 19 MCAT is actually going to make it through this program? VERY low (yes, I know there are success stories but they are the exception not the rule). Yet, people like this are currently sitting in the first semester classroom (though likely not for long). These individuals are accepted into the program with a high prediction for failure, odd considering that is the very reason they were DECLINED from US or Canadian schools. Saba admissions is not about to remind them of that, or council them on their likelihood of attrition prior to matriculation. THAT is somewhat the University's fault. Everyone is painted a rosy picture of the school until they have already paid their tuition, arrive on the island, and find out what it really is that they have gotten into. The school should be more transparent and honest with incoming/prospective students about academic expectations and predictions of passing/failing. HOWEVER, as I have mentioned in previous posts, it is ultimately each individual's responsibility to do some flippin research before choosing to come here. I feel that any responsible person would put some time into gathering information from multiple sources before making a life changing decision like moving to an island in the middle of nowhere to go to med school. After even a small amount of research, the nature of this school becomes readily apparent, so I have a difficult time believing people genuinely have/had no idea SUSOM was so rigorous or that so few people made it to the finish line. At the end of the day, people need to own the decisions they make. If you decided to come here despite all of your own red flags, or the red flags about the school, responsibility for the positive/negative outcome ultimately rests on you.

md2be123
07-30-2012, 06:38 PM
Hi all,

I didn't read the entire thread but the title caught me so I wanted to throw in my view of Saba.

I started Saba in January 2006, finished on the island August 2007, completed most of my rotations in Kansas City, MO and Chicago, IL and matched into a great program at Emory University in Atlanta, GA in 2010. I'm currently a PGY-3 in my program, the only foreign grad, and one of the top performers in the class.

While Saba certainly has it's fair share of problems and things may have changed for the native since I attended, it got the job done for me (and fairly well) along with all of my close classmates.

Study hard, immerse yourself in the information, find good friends who will push you, and hopefully things go as well as they did for myself and my friends,

Wish you all the best!

seattle
07-30-2012, 07:16 PM
I didn't read the entire thread but the title caught me so I wanted to throw in my view of Saba.

I started Saba in January 2006, finished on the island August 2007, completed most of my rotations in Kansas City, MO and Chicago, IL and matched into a great program at Emory University in Atlanta, GA in 2010. I'm currently a PGY-3 in my program, the only foreign grad, and one of the top performers in the class.

Study hard, immerse yourself in the information, find good friends who will push you, and hopefully things go as well as they did for myself and my friends

The key phrase as stated in your post is "....one of the top performers in the class." Out of curiosity, what were your stats coming to Saba; science GPA and MCAT score?

Obviously, "study hard, and immerse in the information" is common sense but my argument still stands - that positive attitude alone is not true predictor of success at Saba. More importantly is the capacity to be able to handle the rigor of such programs. And to that end, in an internet age where information is readily available compared to 20 years ago, an applicant who is considering Saba should do a thorough research on the expectations of the curriculum (I even encourage island visits) and honestly assess one's capacity to make it thru the curriculum. Unrealistic expectations or completely misguided notion on one's abilities (e.g. I will suddenly change my attitude once on the island and work hard!) on the part of naive applicants leads to attrition every semester that far surpasses U.S. medical school attrition rates.

To prospective applicants who read this: there are many who go to Saba every semester (almost all with great attitudes and intentions) but clearly do not have the capacity to be in such a rigorous program (e.g. as "Maladdy85 stated earlier). These individuals never come on this forum to post their experiences. It is only those who were successful and at that those who really felt surpassed their expectations from day 1. So, be careful in assessing "your" ability as an appicant to this program for future success. It is truly based on "your" particular situation.







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