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Dr Rich
01-31-2012, 10:11 PM
Thanks to those keeping me posted of the catastrophes at SMU, I can share with you the following: two professors left already the sinking ship. First a Dr. D, a professor of Pathology who according to the reports was very good, having American standards of teaching (I didn’t have him, just that dreadful Dr. B). Second, Dr. N, the eternal Biochem captain… really? After almost 10 years there he leaves?

Not good signs! :rolleyes:

axiomofchoice
01-31-2012, 10:26 PM
no one cares which wacko in a hawaiian shirt taught you. Theres only two people who matter when it comes to path: Dr Robbins and Dr Goljan.

beachfan112
01-31-2012, 11:17 PM
no one cares which wacko in a hawaiian shirt taught you.

Lol @ the above.

Sorry to burst your bubble, Dr Rich, but your information is a bit off. SMU is indeed nosediving, but not for any of the reasons you mentioned. Dr. D was known to all SMU students as a very bad, very tough teacher, no doubt due to his famously disorganized powerpoints, rambling tangents, and tendency to quiz/test on concepts that weren't covered yet. But his leaving was due to personal reasons and had nothing to do with the school. Dr. N of biochem left because he was retiring.

Kinda sucks for SMU students, because everytime a new teacher comes in, that semester gets all screwy and no one learns anything.

Styxxx
02-01-2012, 08:52 AM
Beachfan112, I'm new to the site so can't PM you yet. But in your opinion why is SMU "nosediving" as compared to other non carib schools on it's same level?

FYI I don't attend SMU, just gathering info and it seems SMU is catching it. Sometimes people in any forum spout opinions vs facts so I'm looking for some facts.

beachfan112
02-02-2012, 01:15 PM
Beachfan112, I'm new to the site so can't PM you yet. But in your opinion why is SMU "nosediving" as compared to other non carib schools on it's same level?

FYI I don't attend SMU, just gathering info and it seems SMU is catching it. Sometimes people in any forum spout opinions vs facts so I'm looking for some facts.

There's a lot to say on this topic, so I'm going to cut and paste a response I posted in the "why to avoid smu" page. If you have any other questions, just post them and I'll respond.

I have gone through the the recent process at SMU and I am genuinely alarmed by the changes SMU has made in the past 2-3 years. I noticed that most people who decide to attend SMU do so because they personally know an alumnus who attended years ago. The SMU of yesteryear had its high points, but SMU today is very, very different now. Case in point?

1)The school is currently claiming that it wants to make exams tougher so that students will be better prepared to pass the USMLE on the first try. In the meantime, the school is content with failing students by the boatload. The school's officials have acknowledged the emotional stress they are putting students through, and simply do not mind students being stuck with Fs on their transcript. The school feels that the students "dont have to tell residency committees why they failed...they can just make up a different excuse, like a personal problem" that semester. It's pretty messed up when your own officials are suggesting you lie during your interviews.

2) Professors making exams insanely hard because (and I quote), "the higher ups in Orlando are telling us to." Why is the school's corporate administration forcing its teachers to make exams extremely difficult? It smacks of shadiness. Perhaps the school has financial incentive in making so many advanced students repeat courses.

3) The issue of declining profits plays a part here as well. SMU used to have at least a hundred students per class back when they had loans...now, the number has fallen to 40 or so, depending on the semester. SMU has prided itself on not raising its tuition for several years, but they raised it this year. They raised it the same semester they had a historically small incoming class (due to GMC temporarily revoking their accreditation). Quite the coincidence.

4) SMU may have very dedicated administrators and staff on the island, but its central problem lies in the fact that its owners view it as a business and try to cheap out on the school. This leads to very tangible effects on students. First semester students are required to live in dorms, but the school will not provide transportation for them because they claim they can’t find anyone reliable to drive the students. The students are left to use buses, which cost $2.50 USD one way. Why would the school force people to live in dorms and then not bother to at least provide transportation? Because they are too cheap to pay for designated transportation.

5) Other examples of cheapness? The clinical lab is locked all day, and students can't come in to practice unless it is their designated practice time. Why shut students out from clinical practice time? Is the school afraid that the students will overuse the few practice dummies they are given?

6) More examples, and this one is just awful: the school sends you a bill for your tuition two months before the start of the next semester. You cannot register unless you pay first in full. If you are a Davenport student, you won’t get your money til a month into the next semester. The school knows this and charges students interest until they pay tuition, which is pretty ridiculous. In Orlando, there's a high turnover of staff because the school can't seem to find reliable people to deal with Accounts Receivable. This results in frustration so widespread that even the professors joke about how difficult it is to deal with Orlando. But more importantly, what kind of supposedly reputed academic institution has trouble hiring staff for Accounts?

7) The failure and attrition rate deserves some special attention. Every carib school has its fair amount of students who aren’t cut out for medicine…as does SMU. But SMU’s new attitude is to fail as many people as possible, including average and above average students. The mood on campus is depressed, extracurricular clubs are no longer active, everyone is overstressed and despairing. If your entire school feels depressed, there’s a problem. But SMU, again, doesn’t care. They know students are infuriated, they know people are all looking into transferring, and yet all the administration does is try to convince students not to go because “it will look bad on their transcripts.” Funny how the school doesn’t mind giving students double F’s but now all of a sudden cares about how their transcripts will look. The administration loves to trash other students, play games, and deliver false promises. You don’t know who to trust, who to talk to, whether you should leave or stay, no one has the answers, and the professors are forced to just sit by and watch the administration play games with student’s futures.

So that’s an honest perspective, from an SMU student. You guys can decide to attend if you want, but just know that SMU is a special kind of MESSED UP school. If you are still set, do yourself a favor and talk to ANY current basic sciences student, or just PM me

satriani
02-05-2012, 06:13 PM
beachfan112 is totally pathetic. don't listen to this joker. clearly can't cut it so she turns to vmd to waste time complaining. Time that could be spend studying for her oh so hard exams.

is anyone sad to see dr. D or dr. N leave??? i think not.

Dr Rich
02-06-2012, 07:26 PM
beachfan112 is totally pathetic. don't listen to this joker. clearly can't cut it so she turns to vmd to waste time complaining. Time that could be spend studying for her oh so hard exams.

is anyone sad to see dr. D or dr. N leave??? i think not.

Wow, Super Bowl Sunday and yet top royalty visited us! So the cricket world cup or whatever is not taking place now, am I right? :rolleyes:

beachfan112
02-12-2012, 09:26 PM
beachfan112 is totally pathetic. don't listen to this joker. clearly can't cut it so she turns to vmd to waste time complaining. Time that could be spend studying for her oh so hard exams.



Interesting reaction. When I first started out, I felt the very same way about people who complained about SMU--I felt like students who wasted time, partied too much, and didnt bother to study deserved to fail. I didn't care for their excuses or complaints about teachers. I thought that if you stayed focused and stayed away from drama, you would do well.

Then SMU decided to screw with the students, in a way they had never done before. There have always been complaints about SMU, but what they've done rises above all that. When hardworking, high achieving students are struggling to just to pass (the HIGHEST grade in Path 1 during Summer 2011 was a C) because the administration is deliberately trying to fail them, there is a huge, huge issue.

The administration is ruthless, corrupt, and willing to destroy students' futures just to improve their own bottom line.

By all means, continue misleading people, continue telling them magical stories of the time long ago when SMU was a decent institution. It's not the reality right now.

stradlin12
02-13-2012, 06:36 PM
Interesting reaction. When I first started out, I felt the very same way about people who complained about SMU--I felt like students who wasted time, partied too much, and didnt bother to study deserved to fail. I didn't care for their excuses or complaints about teachers. I thought that if you stayed focused and stayed away from drama, you would do well.

Then SMU decided to screw with the students, in a way they had never done before. There have always been complaints about SMU, but what they've done rises above all that. When hardworking, high achieving students are struggling to just to pass (the HIGHEST grade in Path 1 during Summer 2011 was a C) because the administration is deliberately trying to fail them, there is a huge, huge issue.

The administration is ruthless, corrupt, and willing to destroy students' futures just to improve their own bottom line.

By all means, continue misleading people, continue telling them magical stories of the time long ago when SMU was a decent institution. It's not the reality right now.

Having gone through some of the roughest of the changes (our 4th semester had 2 semesters of pharm that were frankensteined into our micro II), I'm going to go ahead and say that while the recent schedule "modifications" were ridiculous, they were definitely doable. I had friends who were on Davenport who were able to keep up with it, albeit with seriously long hours and crazy effort. I also had people in my semester complaining that this or that exam was impossible or unfair, but myself and others took these same exams and did well on them.

And if I remember correctly, Path Summer 2011 had Dr. D teaching and Dr. B writing very easy exams for him (this was during my 5th semester). You guys had Path averages in the mid to high 80's, whereas my semester had high 60's, low 70's back when we took it. You're really going to have to explain to me how the highest grade in the entire class ended up being a C.

I hear from folks, "but yeah, now they're purposely failing people, they don't test on things they teach, etc. etc.". I've been hearing this nonsense for all 5 of my semesters on the island. People, you wanna make omelet, you gotta break some eggs. Go live in the library for a while and you'll be fine.

docblin
02-14-2012, 11:49 AM
Finally, a response that makes sense! Congrats stradlin12. I realize, my son's experience was from May 2006 to August 2007, on the rock (island). But even the Basic Sciences were not a "cake walk" back then, there were issues as to passing the courses vs work load, new professors coming old ones leaving, the admin. being concerned only about the $. You need to study even harder than an American medical student. You would not be in this off shore position if you hard been more competitive for a US med school. So, again it can be done but this path is very very hard to be successful at. Maybe SMU is in a down spiral than do not apply, matriculate, or go there. Go to SGU, Ross, AUC, SABA, AUA (as first tier off shore schools), Or second tier like MUA, Trinity, UMHS, St Eustatius, etc. But now the MAIN issue is obtaining a residency position not the off shore school. I believe the FMG/from US are going to be in a poor position due to lack of positions.

beachfan112
02-19-2012, 07:34 PM
Having gone through some of the roughest of the changes (our 4th semester had 2 semesters of pharm that were frankensteined into our micro II), I'm going to go ahead and say that while the recent schedule "modifications" were ridiculous, they were definitely doable. I had friends who were on Davenport who were able to keep up with it, albeit with seriously long hours and crazy effort. I also had people in my semester complaining that this or that exam was impossible or unfair, but myself and others took these same exams and did well on them.

And if I remember correctly, Path Summer 2011 had Dr. D teaching and Dr. B writing very easy exams for him (this was during my 5th semester). You guys had Path averages in the mid to high 80's, whereas my semester had high 60's, low 70's back when we took it. You're really going to have to explain to me how the highest grade in the entire class ended up being a C.

I hear from folks, "but yeah, now they're purposely failing people, they don't test on things they teach, etc. etc.". I've been hearing this nonsense for all 5 of my semesters on the island. People, you wanna make omelet, you gotta break some eggs. Go live in the library for a while and you'll be fine.

If your 5th semester was during Summer 2011, then you were the last class to escape the new wave of even crazier exam difficulty levels. Path I that semester did have great averages for the first two blocks (due to the overreliance on Robbins questions...a fluke because Dr. D was still transitioning in), but all hell broke loose during block III. Block III exam and the final were so insanely bad (as was the Block III exam for Pharm) that many, many students ended up failing either Path 1, Pharm, or both. The reason the highest grade that semester was a C was because Block 3 so devastated people's grades that they were all counting how many exam questions they got right during the exam review after the Path final. Many passed by a hair, and many many students failed. Keep in mind that these were students who had done well up till that point, and were failing for the first time. So what did SMU do? Rather than admit the exams were unfair, SMU failed them happily ("It's not the school's fault, it's YOUR fault" --Dr. K.) They did allow the students to retake the classes (even though the double failers had technically failed too many hours and were supposed to be dismissed), which is convenient in that it guaranteed a large batch of students would be paying an extra semester of tuition. All in all, less than 20 4th semester (Summer 2011) advanced to 5th semester (Fall 2011). Everyone else failed.

The complaints have been going on forever, but the latest ones are legitimate. Ask anyone who's going through basic sciences at SMU right now.

charlessmu
02-20-2012, 09:25 PM
Beachfan,
All you guys complain about is not having a transport and students failing.
I am in the 3rd semester and I know students in 4th and 5th (who actually referred me to this school). They are studying well and PASSING their exams without any problem.
The highest grade was NOT a C because my friend in 5th got a MUCH higher grade in Path-1. All except 5 or 6 students are passing Path-2.
Talk to the TA MH who does excellent session and he will tell you the story.
Talk to students who have transferred from "big" schools and they will tell you how they got treated there and how they are treated here.

shades mccool
02-20-2012, 10:53 PM
All in all, less than 20 4th semester (Summer 2011) advanced to 5th semester (Fall 2011). Everyone else failed.

The complaints have been going on forever, but the latest ones are legitimate. Ask anyone who's going through basic sciences at SMU right now.
First off, I have always had the notion that if one person can do it, then so can I. You said that "less than 20" moved on to 5th. How did those people do it?? If it was not possible then they would not have passed and went on to 5th.

Secondly, you are correct about the complaints going on forever. I can recall how everybody in the semesters ahead of me talked about how hard or impossible all the tests were. Hearing that scared me. You know what I did about it, I studied my ***** off and made A's and B's in all those classes where people said you won't make better than a C. I finally ran into some people that were like myself, they were there to pass and get off the island, they told me what to expect in the classes ahead of me and they were spot on. Those people and myself are in clinicals now, those people who griped and told me it was impossible have flunked out or dropped out or even better are still on the island. It will always be like this in Caribbean schools, it is a constantly revolving circle and that circle starts over again 3 times a year, those 3 times a year being when a new semester starts.

If I had some words of advice for people just starting on the island it would be to have your priorities in line before you get to the island, never lose sight of your goals, never venture far from your morals.

kishkash186
02-21-2012, 05:13 PM
This will probably be my last post on here. For all the negative comments (usually from haters and the couple of people who are not even in the school) I whole heartely agree with the above poster.

People have done exceeding well at SMU and have gone to do good residencies. Why care about the pass rates and all those people who are failing? Just keep an eye on those in the semesters above you who are doing well and ask yourself how are they doing this?

I agree that SMU has it faults but academically they hit all the right notes in terms of what you need to know for the Steps. People who have done well here have supplemented their knowledge with things like Kaplan etc... Unfortunately it is not a million dollar american school facility and thus you will not get spoon fed and have a greater depth of knowledge than your competitors in other schools. However if you come to the island with the intention of doing well then those times you could be going out or chilling at the beach will have to be spent efficiently studying.

I expect a few silly comments about whether or not I am faculty but frankly I dont care and am happy to answer any questions about my time at SMU if anyone wants to PM me.

beachfan112
02-21-2012, 09:53 PM
First off, I have always had the notion that if one person can do it, then so can I. You said that "less than 20" moved on to 5th. How did those people do it?? If it was not possible then they would not have passed and went on to 5th.

Secondly, you are correct about the complaints going on forever. I can recall how everybody in the semesters ahead of me talked about how hard or impossible all the tests were. Hearing that scared me. You know what I did about it, I studied my ***** off and made A's and B's in all those classes where people said you won't make better than a C. I finally ran into some people that were like myself, they were there to pass and get off the island, they told me what to expect in the classes ahead of me and they were spot on. Those people and myself are in clinicals now, those people who griped and told me it was impossible have flunked out or dropped out or even better are still on the island. It will always be like this in Caribbean schools, it is a constantly revolving circle and that circle starts over again 3 times a year, those 3 times a year being when a new semester starts.

If I had some words of advice for people just starting on the island it would be to have your priorities in line before you get to the island, never lose sight of your goals, never venture far from your morals.

You want to know how some students passed and not the others? There were some who were stellar students (shoulda gone to American MD schools) who passed on their own merit. But there's also a lot of Adderall, Ritalin, marijuana, and corruption. We all know it happens, A LOT at smu.

beachfan112
02-21-2012, 10:08 PM
Beachfan,
All you guys complain about is not having a transport and students failing.
I am in the 3rd semester and I know students in 4th and 5th (who actually referred me to this school). They are studying well and PASSING their exams without any problem.
The highest grade was NOT a C because my friend in 5th got a MUCH higher grade in Path-1. All except 5 or 6 students are passing Path-2.
Talk to the TA MH who does excellent session and he will tell you the story.
Talk to students who have transferred from "big" schools and they will tell you how they got treated there and how they are treated here.

Passing? Half of Sem 5 failed their Path 2 block 1 exam.
The highest grade being a C was in reference to Summer 2011, not Fall 2011.
How students are treated at SMU? That's the biggest giveaway that you're a disgusting liar masquerading as a student. NO ONE AT SMU IS HAPPY. NO ONE.
The least negative attitude towards the school is, "I'm just gonna keep my head down, away from this school's stupid drama and constant rule changing, and get the hell off this island." It's not a positive attitude at all.

I've talked to students from bigger schools, and even they agree that SMU pulls tricks and changes rules on students. Worse than they experienced at their old schools.

But I'm still shaking my head at the depths to which SMU will sink to try to save its own name. How about instead of spewing outrageous lies online, you spend that money hiring some extra people in the Accounts Receivable dept? How about you get Orlando offices' tail in gear so that dealing with Orlando is no longer a protracted, head banging exercise in futility? How about you start paying your teachers right so they dont jump ship left and right?

beachfan112
02-21-2012, 10:09 PM
Beachfan,
All you guys complain about is not having a transport and students failing.
I am in the 3rd semester and I know students in 4th and 5th (who actually referred me to this school). They are studying well and PASSING their exams without any problem.
The highest grade was NOT a C because my friend in 5th got a MUCH higher grade in Path-1. All except 5 or 6 students are passing Path-2.
Talk to the TA MH who does excellent session and he will tell you the story.
Talk to students who have transferred from "big" schools and they will tell you how they got treated there and how they are treated here.

Passing? Half of Sem 5 failed their Path 2 block 1 exam.
The highest grade being a C was in reference to Summer 2011, not Fall 2011.
How students are treated at SMU? That's the biggest giveaway that you're a disgusting liar masquerading as a student. NO ONE AT SMU IS HAPPY. NO ONE.
The least negative attitude towards the school is, "I'm just gonna keep my head down, away from this school's stupid drama and constant rule changing, and get the hell off this island." It's not a positive attitude at all.

I've talked to students from bigger schools, and even they agree that SMU pulls tricks and changes rules on students. Worse than they experienced at their old schools.

But I'm still shaking my head at the depths to which SMU will sink to try to save its own name. How about instead of spewing outrageous lies online, you spend that money hiring some extra people in the Accounts Receivable dept? How about you get Orlando offices' tail in gear so that dealing with Orlando is no longer a protracted, head banging exercise in futility? How about you start paying your teachers right so they dont jump ship left and right?

MD999
02-23-2012, 03:16 AM
Passing? Half of Sem 5 failed their Path 2 block 1 exam.
The highest grade being a C was in reference to Summer 2011, not Fall 2011.
How students are treated at SMU? That's the biggest giveaway that you're a disgusting liar masquerading as a student. NO ONE AT SMU IS HAPPY. NO ONE.
The least negative attitude towards the school is, "I'm just gonna keep my head down, away from this school's stupid drama and constant rule changing, and get the hell off this island." It's not a positive attitude at all.

I've talked to students from bigger schools, and even they agree that SMU pulls tricks and changes rules on students. Worse than they experienced at their old schools.

But I'm still shaking my head at the depths to which SMU will sink to try to save its own name. How about instead of spewing outrageous lies online, you spend that money hiring some extra people in the Accounts Receivable dept? How about you get Orlando offices' tail in gear so that dealing with Orlando is no longer a protracted, head banging exercise in futility? How about you start paying your teachers right so they dont jump ship left and right?

I believe in what you're saying Beachfan.
I am an alumnus of SMU, and have gone through and passed all USMLEs on the first attempt, succeeded in rotatation, landed and completed a good residency and am now a Senior Staff attending physician, as well as an administrator at another.
I feel bad that the school seems to be in a downward spiral. Just study you butt off, do well and keep moving forward.
It used to be a solid school but I think the California lack of approval and the loss of loans has really affected it.

Good luck with everything. It will work out for the best hopefully. I wish you guys all the best, I know it sounds like its extra difficult than before.

charlessmu
02-23-2012, 01:55 PM
hi MD99, I don't understand you!
SMU gave you an opportunity and you made the best out of it and you are already in the residency etc...
But how do you know that this school is on "downward spiral"? What are the measuring points for you to say that.
Again I am a student who came here after two of my friends told me about it and they are doing very well! I have made it to the 3rd semester and so far I see only good things about this place and so is my class.
We had a guest lecture from a leading Harvard Prof during our Neuro class and guess what students walked out right before the lecture to "relax". Only those students must complain.
Opportunities are offered and it is up to us to make the best out of it like what MD99 did.

charlessmu
02-23-2012, 06:43 PM
HOLY COW!
I am off this forum now and right now. I seriously thought these posters were current or past students. Pretty scary and personally threatening PMs.
You guys are living in a pretty DARK world out there man. Feel sorry for you and the forum readers.
Never will I visit this forum again!

StudentDoc0416
03-10-2012, 10:24 AM
I went on 20+ residency interviews from Nov.-Jan., and 9/10 times the program didnt know anything about my transcript in terms of how did in the basic sciences or where i did clinicals. All that matters is Step scores, and the school prepares students well for Step 1. From my time in the Caymans, the basic science department was exceptional starting with the dean Dr.K! The clinical department in Orlando is another story!

HelloHello3
03-26-2012, 01:57 AM
Pretty sure the eternal biochem capt retired. Can't really comment on the Path prof but I've heard bad reviews on him. Also, you forgot Dr. M (genetics) but whether he left for a better position or due to being passed up for a departmental position is anyone's guess.







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