View Full Version : Balance view on SMU

04-16-2012, 02:43 PM
This came from other thread by "sunnydoc".

Hello All,

Let me first post, I do not work for any med school, I am a student with years of business/technology experience and have decided to embark on the journey of studying medicine. Anything I post that is negative will backed up with facts and sources. I will not respond to attacks and finger pointing so do not waste your time with such post. I am not beating up on any institution I am posting my experiences done from my research. I personally think we are all adults and you can spend your time and money where you want to. But I am tired of reading false crap on VMD.

First, I am a transfer student to SMU from another Caribbean school. I will not name this school because it is not relevant but I will say this, the owner of CMU was an employee of my last school not Owner "Employee" Computer Technician or something like that so the claims he has made about being a owner of other medical schools is false. You can easily find this information by pulling the Incorporation documents from the state the school is operating from. An owner that is receiving stock from a company is listed in the operational agreement, corp docs by laws or some type of public record. If they are not listed they have no legal right to ownership. If I invested in a company I would want my name in bright red letters. IJS

I looked into CMU when I was making my decision of what school to attend. I will say that on paper CMU looks great. They have the IMED, WHO recognition. Great pictures on there website. Which btw is a knockoff St George's site which was also to be the AGU site but after a falling out and the CMU owner being terminated he used it as his own (Internet Archive: Wayback Machine (http://www.waybackmachine.org/)) you can see the complete history of this website in the making. A lot of website designers use templates but it is not a good practice to use copyright material in your site. CMU provides student loans (bonus) they also provide housing (big bonus) they also are in a nice facility the WTC. Ok this is all good but upon digging a little it seem to me to be a big house of cards. Again this in my opinion, which was made from taking a cruise and visiting every single school, I was interested in attending, I showed up unannounced walked into the campus and there was no representation to be found at the WTC. Just dark classrooms. At every other school, there was someone to give me a tour and answer most of my questions. Also I did this in Oct so school was in session.

When I was doing my research I started first from the angle of business, then I looked at the quality of education. Without solid business experience most businesses will fail, without a business there is no school. To have a real company there has to be some assets involved money, loans, investors etc. etc. But the one thing that really through me off was there were no Labs at the WTC. (At least from what I saw). What I found was CMU was rented space in the WTC (which is not bad) Student housing was another personís assets (meaning the school has nothing to do with it). This created a few red flags for me I am looking at medical school, where is the labs. From the outside looking in the owner of this has nothing to loose if it goes under everything has been paid for upfront by students so as a businessperson it seems that there is "no skin in the game". Now the argument will be this is good business-keeping expenses low etc. etc. But in my experience of dealing with fraud and con men, they keep everything light so when its time to move they can move very quickly. I am not calling CMU owner a con man or the school a scam, I am just stating the facts that I have. I want to know when I pay my hard earned dollars for tuition that this school will be here in 15-20 years. I did find a student that attended and left very quickly once another schools administration came in and said that CMU was not affiliated with them as it was stated by CMU website. There is also some court documents online for trademark or copyright infringement fraudulent use. There are all kind of stories out on the net about CMU/AGU owner/s and dealings but at the end of the day its all rumor, so I will not give it anytime as it is not relevant for this post.

When meeting with the owner of SMU, I was greeted very professionally I looked at there campus (Which is rented) but it is more then 2 rooms. I researched the owners, which are successful businessmen they do not have the appearance of living pay check to pay check. The reputation of their other ventures is very solid. They do not offer student housing (Bummer) but they did assist me in finding a place within the budget I had. They also offer a student loan/deferment (Big Plus), which brings me to this point. If I am a student and I give you a loan, and I transfer to a competing business, before I release a transcript you have to make good on your loan that I gave you, the only asset I have as a business is your transcript. So you can stiff me for the money and start over or you can pay your bills and leave freely. This is basic business. When I graduated from my American program I had a $10.00 parking ticket, guess what, transcripts were held until it was paid. So the complaint about transcripts being held my question would be, Do You Owe Money?

Now as a student I understand the importance of clinical rotations I have asked SMU point blank about clinical rotations and have been provided the answer of yes they have clinical rotations. I am not at this point in my education, so for me I will accept their answer that they do have clinical rotations available. I would have to believe as businessmen they have there i's and t's dotted and crossed. From my research on clinical rotation Most smaller schools will have 1 or 2 locations on contract these contracts are not free there is a weekly cost in most hospitals for us to get this required experience. So most small carib schools have limited contracts, but they will work with a third party company that has secured positions and pay them the weekly fee. So for example if I want to do a rotation in Michigan and my school has no affiliation my school can go to a contract agency and get me placed there. Again very basic business. So for the claim that SMU has no clinical rotations again is an assumption or rumor with no facts to back it.

To address the comment about website having fake professors etc. etc. Most Carib schools keep the rotating adjunct on their site its common practice and CMU does it also along with well everyone. I will say this; the Profs that I have experienced at SMU know their medicine. Remember I am a transfer student and have other experiences SMU by far crushes what I was coming from. The thing I have learned from carib schools is you get out what you put in. Certain schools push you harder which means you will get a little more out then just passing classes. Remember for the US students passing Step 1 and passing well is our goal.

The challenge I ask to any CMU student. Locate a student that started day 1 at CMU and went through CMU's basic program, the question are 1. Have you taking step 1 2. Did you pass 3.How many times have you taking the test? I tried to find one student that has started from day 1 and stepped and got no response. It doesn't matter what a MD 4 transfer tells me cause all the knowledge you have is from another institution. The other question is do you have any residents. Again I have found none. I goggled CMU (Spelled the complete name of school) residents. Which would return a list of hospitals that have pictures name and school of the resident. Again nothing came up. When I do the same for SMUFOM I get positive responses back (and before you say that was the old regime let me stop you the charter has not been restarted so in the hospitals eyes its the same).

In closing if you have a problem with a business matter of SMU pick up your phone and call them. I am positive that you would be treated respectfully and have an answer to your issues. Using value MD to slander or try to hurt an institution is not the intent of the site. Sorry for my rambling but I am so tired of these petty attacks to try to recruit potential students to your house of cards. At the end of the day we invest our money and time to become doctors. In my opinion a medical school that has not produced any residents or doctors in the USA is not worth my time or money to attend. You as a incoming student need to do your own research and find the school that fits your budget, time requirements and education needs. Do not base your decision on ValueMD post and or internet search. Remember that Caribbean medical school is a business first, it is not like college at home they are administrated by business people. So the goal for me was to find an institution that was owned by ethical and sound business people, an institution that cares about my education and about me becoming a practicing doctor in the United States not just my tuition dollars. So far my experience with SMU has been nothing but pleasant. I do not feel bullied, I feel like I am getting the education that I am paying for and everything that I have been told has been solid, and any issues that I have I have picked up the phone and contacted the proper person and issues were resolved very quickly and in a professional matter.

05-22-2012, 05:19 AM
This is a long reading but informative and useful.

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