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habba babba
11-22-2011, 06:01 PM
I just graduated this year with a BSc in biology. From the info posted on the threads about getting accepted into a Caribbean medical school, I'm pretty convinced that both my grades and my Mcat are way above the acceptance line ( no offense to anyone ). So I started applying to some medical schools in the Caribbeans until some circumstances bumped into my life. My financial status is not helpful, I've got many brothers and sisters, some of them are studying abroad in expensive medical and engineering schools on my father's personal expenses, some are still in private schools, and some haven't started kinder garden! My father is becoming tired everyday working his *** off just to pay our expenses and you know shit comes along and start accumulating on you. So it's not just a financial issue, I just can't leave my father and my family and cast away for a long time. Medicine was always my passion and the idea of quitting is driving me into madness. I don't usually write down my thoughts the way I am doing right now, but just thought I could share these confused thoughts with you.


Thanks for your time.

sgMD
11-23-2011, 02:03 PM
if you are a canadian you can get loans/osap etc. I am paying my living expenses and tuition all by myself too. Best of luck.

devildoc8404
11-23-2011, 02:14 PM
Student Loans.

Find the best school you can that has them, cut the financial apron strings as much as you can, and go become a doctor.

Weddell
11-26-2011, 08:46 PM
You can't stay in the nest forever, and the crud will never cease. Doesn't sound like your siblings have any concerns about the financial issues at hand. Student loans, or support from the Canadian Forces, will get you where you need to be if medicine truly is your passion and your marks are that high (a 3.2/23, by the way, is pretty average around these here parts so you're not "way above", you're "just right").

seattle
11-27-2011, 09:28 AM
From the info posted on the threads about getting accepted into a Caribbean medical school, I'm pretty convinced that both my grades and my Mcat are way above the acceptance line ( no offense to anyone ).

You state this with confidence yet do not provide any specific numerical results on cummulative and science GPA as well as MCAT results. If your stats are truly that good, why bother applying to the Caribbean in the first place? A logical question one would ask based on your post. If you are borderline, retake the MCAT, improve your GPA and apply to a North American Medical School. But stating personal opinion without any concrete statistics to back up what you are saying hold little to no merit on these forums as such.;)


My father is becoming tired everyday working his *** off just to pay our expenses...So it's not just a financial issue, I just can't leave my father and my family and cast away for a long time. Medicine was always my passion and the idea of quitting is driving me into madness.

It is certainly understandable that your father is under a lot of stress to put multiple children thru what is becoming increasingly expensive education. However, it is unclear to me at least why you state you cannot leave your family to pursue education unless the reader is to infer that you are feeling guilty and are willing to work and help your father attenuate some of the expenses. However, if you wish to pursue medical school, which is a extremely rigorous endeavor, then one does not have time to work in most cases (even minimal part-time). So, the post in and of itself does not make much sense.:confused:

habba babba
11-27-2011, 03:41 PM
My cGPA is 3.2, my sGPA is 3.37. I took my MCAT the first time last year and I scored 23M. I know it's not good at all but at that time I was always feeling sick and I was diagnosed with a digestive disease called diverticulitis. Even my grades in university had dropped dramatically since my ill condition started, and I was lucky enough to escape with those 2 GPAs. After I had my surgery done and kept myself under a very strict diet, I knew it was time for me to make some changes because I felt I was away from reading and learning for a while, and that's when I retook the MCAT during this summer and I was able to score 33 O. I hope this sheds the shade off my stats. Now why not a north american med school? Well obviously the tuition over there are twice as much as they are at SABA (plus even though my mcat is ok, not everyone can get in a us med school with a 3.2 gpa). Being on a loan that exceeds 150000 $ is probably a bad idea, especially if I wanted to help my father educate my younger siblings after I'm done with med school, and yes you were right, I guess I did infer to the reader the feeling of guilt that floods me in case I left my family and took off to the Caribbeans. Thanks for stopping by mate and I hope the post in,on and of itself makes more sense now ;)

sgMD
11-27-2011, 04:32 PM
My cGPA is 3.2, my sGPA is 3.37. I took my MCAT the first time last year and I scored 23M. I know it's not good at all but at that time I was always feeling sick and I was diagnosed with a digestive disease called diverticulitis. Even my grades in university had dropped dramatically since my ill condition started, and I was lucky enough to escape with those 2 GPAs. After I had my surgery done and kept myself under a very strict diet, I knew it was time for me to make some changes because I felt I was away from reading and learning for a while, and that's when I retook the MCAT during this summer and I was able to score 33 O. I hope this sheds the shade off my stats. Now why not a north american med school? Well obviously the tuition over there are twice as much as they are at SABA. Being on a loan that exceeds 150000 $ is probably a bad idea, especially if I wanted to help my father educate my younger siblings after I'm done with med school, and yes you were right, I guess I did infer to the reader the feeling of guilt that floods me in case I left my family and took off to the Caribbeans. Thanks for stopping by mate and I hope the post in,on and of itself makes more sense now ;)

You will get loans from american banks that would cover your whole tuition, even if it's 400k versus 150k of Saba, go to a north american medical schoo. You will make enough money to pay off your loans and help your dad 6-7 years down the road. Not sure if you can get into a US school thuogh with a 3.3...

seattle
11-28-2011, 08:45 AM
@ Habba Babba

Given your stats have you considered focusing on U.S. Osteopathic Medical Schools? This is a growing popular option with several new D.O. schools opening up across the country. You can apply for the same residency spots as M.D's but only difference being you get a D.O. to your name. I agree that a 3.2 to 3.3 range is lower than average for U.S. allopathic medical schools but the D.O. option is open and I personally would first exhaust that option prior to applying to the Caribbean.

A quick side note - given recent Caribbean school entering statistics, your GPA is really not all that much higher than most other applicants to better known Caribbean schools such as Saba. I was assuming based on your previous post that you maybe had a 3.60+ GPA both cummulative and science.

Regarding Saba, keep in mind that unless you are Canadian (I assume you might be with the 'mate' in the previous post) you are restricted to expensive Ed-Invest loans. So although Saba looks great on the surface, with the interest added up over the years to the lower principal amount they publish you will end up paying tens of thousands of dollars back and the expense to fund a Saba education does not seem so appealing anymore (this applies IF you are a U.S. applicant).

You may want to refocus your questions on this forum to the Canadians such as "sgMD" who are much better versed in loan options for Canadian prospective students to Saba than I am. We all agree, however, than unless the numbers show an enormous difference in funding a Saba education versus a US medical school (and again consider D.O. programs!) go with the U.S. option first! And "sgMD" is correct....as a physician you should be able to pay back those loans within a few years if you play your cards right (do not live an extravagant lifestyle at the beginning)......so think long-term before jumping into this - meaning reconsider the U.S. route (D.O. programs) even if that option also seems expensive! You have the GPA and MCAT score to do that path!

habba babba
11-28-2011, 03:44 PM
@ Seattle

I've been advised by many of my professors to go for D.O programs. I actually started getting myself familiar with a particular osteopathic college and that is NSU college of osteopathic medicine. I connected with them and the application process seemed to go fairly well. I chose this particular college since I'm from Orlando Florida, and that's by far the only osteopathic college they've got in the state of Florida, not to mention that I desperately needed the state residency tuition they offer. But then all the wicked thoughts about my financial state froze me on my ground and I hesitated to proceed with my application. That's when my mind immediately started heading to relatively cheaper medical schools like Saba, plus I thought the quality of education and the path they direct their students to in an institute that has been founded for more than 20 years won't be a bad choice for a student like me who's unable to get in a U.S M.D school. I wish if you can explain more on why "the expense to fund a Saba education does not seem so appealing anymore (this applies IF you are a U.S. applicant)". Thanks for all your suggestions. I sincerely appreciate it. Have a good one :).

seattle
11-28-2011, 04:59 PM
@ Habba Babba,

Your professors are giving you the same advice that I wrote you earlier. You have the GPA and MCAT score to apply to D.O. programs - I would go that route FIRST before you consider the Caribbean. Again, the end result is that you are a physician and can apply for the same residency spots as someone with a freshly minted M.D. to their name. Plus, going the Caribbean route is less desirable for several reasons:

1. Schools such as Saba are hyper-competitive in terms of who gets thru the 5 semesters. It is extremely rigorous and there will be little to no hand holding. Not everyone gets thru the program! The attrition rate can range between 30% which is realistic to as high at times as 50%. These are profit making schools - unlike U.S. medical schools that scrutinize an applicant heavily before admitting, Caribbean programs will take someone like you in a heart beat. And you probably will make it thru given your stats but it will be a huge struggle. Caribbean programs easily admit but just as easily dismiss if you fail 2 classes in any one semester. And these programs are very difficult academically. In some ways more so than U.S. curriculums. Trust me, I have spent time comparing syllabuses and talked with faculty both Caribbean and U.S.

2. Given that you are a U.S. applicant, and that Saba currently does NOT offer U.S. Federal funding to finance the education, you are stuck with Ed-Invest which is one of the worst loan options out there. This is a variable interest loan that is adjusted monthly to the LIBOR (London Exchange Rate). "Variable" in and of itself should scare you if you watch Suzzie Orman on Saturday nights....maybe you know who she is. So, although Saba publishes a very low amount to finance the education, remember this is the principal amount BEFORE paying back interest. When you add up the variable interest the potential payback will jump by tens of thousands quickly!!

3. Most residency programs (and I know many) will in most cases prefer the D.O. applicant to the IMG (foreign medical graduate), which you will be if you go the Caribbean path. Caribbean students are currently getting residency, but obtaining residency spots is getting exponentially higher in difficulty and will continue on that trajectory for some time. Although some come on these forums with "good news" more residency spots are becoming available, what they fail to address is that to fill the physician void, more M.D. programs are adding seats in their schools and entire new D.O. schools are sprouting up. Add to that a surge of foreign graduates applying in the U.S. for residency, many who now are scoring in the 90+% on the USMLE Step 1 exam compared to 20 years ago. Additionally, some residency programs will not even consider a foreign graduate (there are some out there). Others will take IMG's but the computer system is set up to filter such applicants to the lowest rank. You see where I am going with this -- go the D.O. route if you can! And I think you have the stats for it.

If you apply and still do not get into a D.O. program (and apply broadly even if out of state tuition comes into play), remember you will qualify for U.S. Federal loans (that's a big deal which you will not get at Saba currently), then I would still suggest asking the school what caused a rejection and see if you can take a year to improve your application. In short, the Caribbean option is always open to you - make that you LAST choice. Do not sell yourself short. It is not just the expense that you should consider, it is also other factors I mentioned above.

axiomofchoice
11-28-2011, 05:33 PM
@habba babba: how old are you?

habba babba
11-28-2011, 08:05 PM
@ Seattle

Oh I was almost completely unaware of the factors you've just mentioned! When I usually do my search on the Caribbean med schools' forums, I hear a lot about how their students manage to fill in the residency spots (especially in Saba's forum). I'm not saying they can't, but seldom does anyone acknowledge these important facts. I think you've just highlighted some of the most crucial factors that I rarely see exposed on these forums. Thank you for the great job! You've been more than helpful! I mean it.

habba babba
11-28-2011, 08:07 PM
@axiomofchoice

hit 21 next jan

axiomofchoice
11-28-2011, 09:33 PM
Diverticulitis at 20 years old, thats pretty remarkable. Sorry to hear.







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