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handlelight
06-23-2012, 07:17 PM
So I'm halfway through 1st semester, and like many of you thinking about applying here I was in the same seat as you - checking out the various schools' forums, generally being scared to my mind with all the negative opinions that lay rampant in many of these Caribbean schools. I didn't know if this was because these are posts from students who were dismissed and have a general vendetta against the school, or if they were indeed true. But, I've been here for some time now, and I think I can talk about a few things:

Anyway:

CONS:
Although the tuition is generally less expensive than some other schools at around 10,000 per semester, loans are not offered. You can do DAVENPORT which is a viable option some of my classmates are doing.

No California approval. I have absolutely no interest to practice in California, so this doesn't affect me. This is something you have to decide for yourself on how much it's going to impact you. The other States such as Texas, New York, and Florida have recognized and licensed SMU grads, so it really just comes down to California. This concern is up to you.

Uniform requirements.

Grand Cayman is a gorgeous island. Probably the most developed out of the islands which houses a Med School, but things are expensive here.

PROS:
As far as 1st semester goes, fantastic professors. Office hours are always open, and they are willing to help. I'd even go as far as to say my anatomy professors on the island are better than many of the science professors I had back in undergrad.

Great environment to study in. In all regards, the living standard on this island is equivalent to that of the States. I find it safe, and there are ample areas to study throughout campus. For me, this is one of the most important things in determining what school I choose, the comfort that I have actually living there. If you aren't comfortable, then good luck studying.

The resources and tools required to help you study are there. There is plenty of room and spots to study. Nothing feels too cramped and I've never had any problems getting a study group together.

Luxuries. Restaurants, bars - grocery stores are all walking distance from campus or from the Residence Halls. There is also a World's Gym that is next to the Residence Halls. And yes, great beaches - things like that. But I haven't had too much time to indulge in those kinds of things.

I can't comment on many things since I'm no too far in, but you have so many people saying so many different kinds of things and seemingly so many different Caribbean schools have these stigmas toward them, I can understand what some of you may be going through when you peruse the forums. But from my experience thus far, I've had no problems with this school. Exams are tough, they are people failing who probably won't be back semester, but from what I hear high attrition rates is just the name of the game when it comes to Caribbean schools. Having said that, I think the system is fair, and the professors do their best to make sure you have the best shot at passing the exams.

medman
06-25-2012, 04:48 PM
Handlelight,

It was great to see an honest opinion that seemed non-biased. Good luck with your studies! I actually didn't know the uniform requirement existed, is the island conservative? Approximately how large is your class?

handlelight
06-26-2012, 12:11 AM
Handlelight,

It was great to see an honest opinion that seemed non-biased. Good luck with your studies! I actually didn't know the uniform requirement existed, is the island conservative? Approximately how large is your class?

The island is pretty conservative. They have a zero tolerance gun policy, and strict policies against drugs and alcohol abuse. For instance, on Sundays alcohol is prohibited after 9 PM. And last call on most days is 11:30 PM.

Personally, I'm okay with this. When I'm walking home from the library at 1 AM at least I know I won't be robbed by a drunk guy at gun point. The class sizes range depending on the start date, but they go from 50 to 100. It's something I feel is appropriate, much like SABA or MUA in regards to class sizes and student faculty ratio.

beachfan112
06-28-2012, 05:47 PM
Back from the occasional lurking to ask..Handlelight, what is the size of your current class? Shouldn't be too hard to figure out, just count the number of names on the roster you sign into for every class.

It's odd you say class sizes range from 50-100...there hasn't been a class size of 100 in several years.

Also, is you class mainly UK students or American students?

And lastly, enjoy this semester, because its the "honeymoon" semester. You have the best possible anatomy teachers ever and you are feeling really good about SMU, like everyone does. Learn your anatomy well! Just beware of how quickly the teaching quality declines. Oh and also, beware of classmates paying the IT guy to change their grades for them electronically. Its a nasty underhanded, yet rampant practice.

handlelight
06-28-2012, 11:22 PM
Well, the upper semesters I talk to and are having success thus far really have no complaints. There are about only 3 people from the UK in my class.

But I guess if you were kicked out or dismissed you might associate personal shortcoming as problems with the school.

Who knows. Cheers!

beachfan112
06-29-2012, 09:41 AM
Nope, neither kicked out nor dismissed :)

So how many students in your current 1st semester class? It's a simple question, lets hear the answer.

Also handlelight, your word choice and phrasing sounds a lot like a secret SMU administrator trying to improve SMU's name on these forums by pretending to be a student. Dishonesty as usual.

medman
06-29-2012, 11:51 AM
Nope, neither kicked out nor dismissed :)

So how many students in your current 1st semester class? It's a simple question, lets hear the answer.

Also handlelight, your word choice and phrasing sounds a lot like a secret SMU administrator trying to improve SMU's name on these forums by pretending to be a student. Dishonesty as usual.

Hopefully handlelight isn't an administrator, that would just be irritating :mad:. Are the majority of your classmates from the US? I'm also interested to know, what made you choose SMU over the other schools out there?

handlelight
06-29-2012, 02:39 PM
Double Post

handlelight
06-29-2012, 02:41 PM
Also handlelight, your word choice and phrasing sounds a lot like a secret SMU administrator trying to improve SMU's name on these forums by pretending to be a student. Dishonesty as usual.

*** is wrong with you? Looking at your other posts it's like everything you type naturally leads to negativity and odd conspiracy theories. A little strange man. Oh, and to answer your tin-foil hat question, no I'm not an admin.


Are the majority of your classmates from the US? I'm also interested to know, what made you choose SMU over the other schools out there?

Yeah, most of the people in my class are from the US. The others are Canadian.

I said before, depending on the start date class sizes fluctuates from what I hear. But my class size on the online-registry is a little over 50 students, and in the fall it's more but it never exceeds 100.

It really came down to MUA or here. Both are non-California schools so I went with one with the better island. Also because I know of an attending who has worked with an SMU resident who was impressed with him. Whereas, I had no bearings in regards to success stories from MUA, my other choice. Also, the living standards came to play. But I talk about that in my original post.

cardiomegaly
06-29-2012, 03:29 PM
When I'm walking home from the library at 1 AM at least I know I won't be robbed by a drunk guy at gun point.

That is sooooooo hilarious but you do have a point. The first semester at any school is not an accurate depiction of the entire basic sciences. It is truly a honeymoon semester. 2nd semester at most schools is a killer. Neuro, Physio, Biochem/genetics are all challenging. get ready to lose more sleep.

beachfan112
06-29-2012, 05:03 PM
Handlelight, why are you so unwilling to simply tell us how many students there are, total, in your class right now?

beachfan112
07-03-2012, 09:55 AM
It seems like SMU's current 1st semester class has only 30 people, which is shockingly and embarrassingly small. SMU used to have 100-200 students per class, but declining interest and poor management have drastically decreased numbers. People are staying away from SMU, and current students are transferring out by the boatload.

Window Colour
07-03-2012, 02:19 PM
The majority of people stopped comming ever since the loans stopped, I still remember they constantly say it will come back in a few months time and never say anything when a few months has passed.

handlelight
07-03-2012, 02:35 PM
It seems like SMU's current 1st semester class has only 30 people.

:confused:

My semester? May 2012? I'm actually typing this in class right now - according to the attendance sheet there are 50 students listed (like I mentioned in my previous posts), but hey cool - whatever you want dude.

Dr Rich
07-06-2012, 10:32 PM
Handlelight, why are you so unwilling to simply tell us how many students there are, total, in your class right now?

Why do you think this guy doesn't want to answer that? And why do you think there were so many PROS and all the CONS were PROS at the end? Simple: the guy is a "pro" and you know what I mean :rolleyes:

Window Colour
07-07-2012, 08:16 AM
Handlelight, I would recommend to be careful around Treasure Island, which is near to where you live, theft happens a lot around there on unsuspecting students like yourself who thinks it's a very safe island.

model1988
07-12-2012, 06:57 PM
Thanks for your positive comments!

I'm a current 4th semester and I have not had any problems with SMU or the administration. And, that is because before entering the school I realized that I had to stay away from negative sites like this because this site literally had me second guessing myself about coming to this school. I just so happened to be a little bored today and decided to log on to this site and see what these idiots were saying. Anyway, SMU has been a great experience. Of course the school is not perfect, but from what I can tell there has been a lot of improvements and the administration is continuing to make improvements.

And, to address everyone's comments on things getting worse as you move on into the upper semesters. That is NOT, you just need to work harder and study harder. Honestly, after 1st semester my grades have really really improved. I've never made anything less than a B overall in a class, and I've never had to repeat a class. So,it is doable as long as you are willing to work hard and put in the work. I wish you all the best!! And one word of advice, stay away from this site... and focus on school b/c I've found that all the people who fail come to this site to complain. There is no positive energy here at all. So it was great to log on and see your comment with both good criticism and positive feedback.

model1988
07-12-2012, 07:00 PM
Why do you think this guy doesn't want to answer that? And why do you think there were so many PROS and all the CONS were PROS at the end? Simple: the guy is a "pro" and you know what I mean :rolleyes:

Also to address the class size.

The Fall class is usually 65-75 students
Summer is usually 35-40 students
Spring is usually 50-60 students

Of course the class sizes will be smaller b/c there are no student loans. But most people that I know pay out of pocket. So I think there are more people paying out of pocket than in Davenport or any other program to get funds.

nearlythereMD
09-07-2012, 02:10 AM
Hey, I was just accepted for Fall 2013 MD at SMU. Is anyone available that I can message some questions before I make my final decision? Thanks

EQUALITY
09-15-2012, 12:31 AM
That is sooooooo hilarious but you do have a point. The first semester at any school is not an accurate depiction of the entire basic sciences. It is truly a honeymoon semester. 2nd semester at most schools is a killer. Neuro, Physio, Biochem/genetics are all challenging. get ready to lose more sleep.

Hello:
I would like to write a sincere post for potential future SMU medical school students. I do not know much about vet school but impressed by it's progress since it only around for 7 years and a well respected international school. Look at AUA they shut their vet school down. I make mention of the vet school because it has a symbiotic relationship with the medical school the better either does affects the reputation of the other. It shows SMU is stable and a real university with both schools. Ok let tell you all a story that is completely factual. Let be digress with st. george university and ross university the two most established offshore medical schools. The schools opened up 1n 1978, around that time give or take a year google it. I remember the schools in the early 1990's which would make it operating around 16-17 years. lets take ross first after 16-17 years ross had a very very primitive campus where you were studying in old tin trailers. The island was disgusting and very primitive, as i believe it still is today. This makes it very hard to assimilate for american students. not so much for indian, pakistaian they are use to doing without american amenities. even showers could not be taken every day due to lack of water, or rust water coming out of pipes. there was also a high crime rate against students. i believe there is still crime focused at students. Now keep in the mind the school is around for over 15 years at that point. students were having a very rough time getting licensure.
now for st. george same time period, the school was a complete dump, had professors coming and going. no long time professors other than anatomy professor. now remeber the school was over 15 years in business had a beautiful office in Bay shore LI. The country very primitive, the dorms horrible, showers every other day, lectures would be cancelled because professors would just up and leave. The school was expensive back then and the university was making a fortune. there was just two lecture halls, nothing that you see now. st. george had a bad reputation in the early to mid 1990's. people would say go to mexico universidad of guad.
i bring all this up because smu is a very young school established on an island in Belise in 1997, and is now 15 years around. Lets see how SMU has progressed in a very severe financial downturn, and with no federal loans so far. The school in 2002 moved to to a very modern safe island that is less than an hour away from miami. very safe island, is being fully protected against terroism. since it is so close. As it is rumored that terroists are looking at some of these schools where most americans attend. Grand Cayman is really secure by both the brits, and the US. No games over there.
Now back to accomplismentssince 2002 the school started to really blossom had fully florida accrediation, want to practice in florida go right ahead the school is considered equivalent to a florida medical school. want to go to NY, hey new york on multiple site visits officially states it is equivalent to new york medical schools. maybe not columbia, or nyu. But nonetheless meets the standards their are alot of schools in the past 3 years who have been turned down, but as an smu graduate you are in that selected few. now for the downside, the school was rejected by california, and maybe rightfully so. but Geez this was in 2005, over 7 years ago. The school changed tremendously since then. The new owners have not applied again and i believe it is due to money and they are putting more money into sister schools saba and MUA. Please keep mind SMU has the best future out of those two schools. The graduates are really doing well. The school needs more students like a bolus of 200 students for the falll class, the more students that graduate the more st. matthews becomes known. I have seen from an unknown school to a known school. it used to be a couple of years ago that you had to explain where it was now most people in the medical field know.
with that said look for SMU to be a totally different school within the next 3-5 years for the better.
I highly recommend the school

seemi19
10-01-2012, 01:32 PM
HI
I am in the same boat as you were before. Can you please share more of your experience at SMU as you have passed more time there. I mean what is the actual rate of smu student passing Step 1 in first attempt. Also share any other useful information that will help me and other studetns who are making their decision about caribbean school.Thank you

JohnI
10-01-2012, 06:18 PM
HI
I am in the same boat as you were before. Can you please share more of your experience at SMU as you have passed more time there. I mean what is the actual rate of smu student passing Step 1 in first attempt. Also share any other useful information that will help me and other studetns who are making their decision about caribbean school.Thank you

http://www.valuemd.com/st-matthews-university-school-medicine/208243-smus-step-1-passing-rate-real-numbers.html

medmark2021
10-10-2012, 08:43 PM
if you worried about passing step one, if you actually make it through everything all the way to 5th sem.. then i guarantee that you will pass the boards... to be honest with you its all up to you..

seemi19
10-11-2012, 08:18 AM
Thank you for your advice. This helps a lot...Can you please make suggestion on which book should I buy and read from before I start for Jan 2013. I just want to start ahead and want to keep up with material...



if you worried about passing step one, if you actually make it through everything all the way to 5th sem.. then i guarantee that you will pass the boards... to be honest with you its all up to you..

drrichand1
10-11-2012, 08:04 PM
So I'm halfway through 1st semester, and like many of you thinking about applying here I was in the same seat as you - checking out the various schools' forums, generally being scared to my mind with all the negative opinions that lay rampant in many of these Caribbean schools. I didn't know if this was because these are posts from students who were dismissed and have a general vendetta against the school, or if they were indeed true. But, I've been here for some time now, and I think I can talk about a few things:

Anyway:

CONS:
Although the tuition is generally less expensive than some other schools at around 10,000 per semester, loans are not offered. You can do DAVENPORT which is a viable option some of my classmates are doing.

No California approval. I have absolutely no interest to practice in California, so this doesn't affect me. This is something you have to decide for yourself on how much it's going to impact you. The other States such as Texas, New York, and Florida have recognized and licensed SMU grads, so it really just comes down to California. This concern is up to you.

Uniform requirements.

Grand Cayman is a gorgeous island. Probably the most developed out of the islands which houses a Med School, but things are expensive here.

PROS:
As far as 1st semester goes, fantastic professors. Office hours are always open, and they are willing to help. I'd even go as far as to say my anatomy professors on the island are better than many of the science professors I had back in undergrad.

Great environment to study in. In all regards, the living standard on this island is equivalent to that of the States. I find it safe, and there are ample areas to study throughout campus. For me, this is one of the most important things in determining what school I choose, the comfort that I have actually living there. If you aren't comfortable, then good luck studying.

The resources and tools required to help you study are there. There is plenty of room and spots to study. Nothing feels too cramped and I've never had any problems getting a study group together.

Luxuries. Restaurants, bars - grocery stores are all walking distance from campus or from the Residence Halls. There is also a World's Gym that is next to the Residence Halls. And yes, great beaches - things like that. But I haven't had too much time to indulge in those kinds of things.

I can't comment on many things since I'm no too far in, but you have so many people saying so many different kinds of things and seemingly so many different Caribbean schools have these stigmas toward them, I can understand what some of you may be going through when you peruse the forums. But from my experience thus far, I've had no problems with this school. Exams are tough, they are people failing who probably won't be back semester, but from what I hear high attrition rates is just the name of the game when it comes to Caribbean schools. Having said that, I think the system is fair, and the professors do their best to make sure you have the best shot at passing the exams.

Cali does affect you, why limit yourself right off the get go? Oh that's right your a MD/fortune teller.

seemi19
10-12-2012, 08:19 AM
No, I am not MD/forturne teller....I am not interested in doing practice in California..so SMU is good choice for me.. I just needed few advice, can you tell me more about your expereience at SMU, since you have passed 1 semester so far. I believe. Can you share if it is better to stay at RH/RS or rent a private apartment?
Also, can you tell me when do you apply for residencey? I know after 5th semester, you take your step 1 and then you go for your clinical rotation. However, I am not sure, if you apply for residency while you are doing rotation or after completing your 72 weeks of clinical rotation? Thank you so much for your honest advice. :p



Cali does affect you, why limit yourself right off the get go? Oh that's right your a MD/fortune teller.

jacobyellz
10-12-2012, 10:09 AM
No, I am not MD/forturne teller....I am not interested in doing practice in California..so SMU is good choice for me.. I just needed few advice, can you tell me more about your expereience at SMU, since you have passed 1 semester so far. I believe. Can you share if it is better to stay at RH/RS or rent a private apartment?
Also, can you tell me when do you apply for residencey? I know after 5th semester, you take your step 1 and then you go for your clinical rotation. However, I am not sure, if you apply for residency while you are doing rotation or after completing your 72 weeks of clinical rotation? Thank you so much for your honest advice. :p

I would also like some of this advice as well. As well as what I should bring to the island, and any supplemental books I can buy that will help me do better in the courses and prepare for step 1

handlelight
02-23-2013, 07:11 PM
Well, it's surely been awhile. I'm now halfway through 3rd semester, on my way to 4th soon enough and before I know I should be off this island. 3rd semester is certainly the most challenging thus far, but interestingly, the group of professors for micro and neuro are probably my favorite thus far. I don't know about 4th and 5th, but the professors for 1 through 3 have been great. Other than that, time flies. Exams are hard, you don't do well and fail two classes, you get kicked out. Sad to see some friends go, but as the story goes - it's easy to get in but hard to make it out. I never feel exams are unfair though, and any questions and concerns I have I openly discuss with the faculty during their office hours.

My opinions of this school haven't changed since when I first made my post a year ago to now. It's hard, but fair. There is really nothing special about this school nor is there anything that sticks out negatively, and most concerns that do come up are those shared by many other Caribb schools. In 6 months I'll be done with basic sciences. Wish me luck!

EQUALITY
02-24-2013, 08:58 PM
Well, it's surely been awhile. I'm now halfway through 3rd semester, on my way to 4th soon enough and before I know I should be off this island. 3rd semester is certainly the most challenging thus far, but interestingly, the group of professors for micro and neuro are probably my favorite thus far. I don't know about 4th and 5th, but the professors for 1 through 3 have been great. Other than that, time flies. Exams are hard, you don't do well and fail two classes, you get kicked out. Sad to see some friends go, but as the story goes - it's easy to get in but hard to make it out. I never feel exams are unfair though, and any questions and concerns I have I openly discuss with the faculty during their office hours.

My opinions of this school haven't changed since when I first made my post a year ago to now. It's hard, but fair. There is really nothing special about this school nor is there anything that sticks out negatively, and most concerns that do come up are those shared by many other Caribb schools. In 6 months I'll be done with basic sciences. Wish me luck!

Good luck to you. SMU is an Good school that provides a solid education in the best island in the carib. Could you please enlighten us about the Dean situation. Is the school looking for a new dean, and also have they applied for California, and federal loans

docblin
02-25-2013, 06:36 AM
Interesting insight. Maybe an update on my son who attended SMU from May 1st, 2006 to til graduation on May 10th, 2010. Yes we chose the island because I felt it was a "little" Miami. Yes there are the Calif issues, ownership issues, etc. But at the end of the day can you succeed? Yes it is possible, he is finishing his second year in FM in university sponsored program in NJ. He is the liaison for the committee of interns and residents, He was just chosen Administrative Chief resident for the 3rd year starting in July 2013 to June 2014. He has been on the interview committee, passed Step III, awaiting full licensure from Florida, New York , and New Jersey. So yes you can make it. We all have to chose our own paths, hopefully you make the correct decision. Best to you. Dr B

handlelight
02-25-2013, 11:22 PM
edit: double post

handlelight
02-25-2013, 11:26 PM
Good luck to you. SMU is an Good school that provides a solid education in the best island in the carib. Could you please enlighten us about the Dean situation. Is the school looking for a new dean, and also have they applied for California, and federal loans


Right now we have an interim dean. He's had that title for about 2 months, I think it might take a little bit more time for a permanent replacement. However, the day to day operations of the school remain the same from an individual perspective whether it was our old dean or the new one. It seems most of the important decisions are made at the Florida offices, and with the parent company that owns the school, which also owns SABA and MUA. To be honest, I never had to talk to any of the administration, so I really could care less who is the dean. All academic affairs regarding students and it's various policies are outlined by the admin in the States. As for the whole California thing, not sure. School is almost 15 years old now, I'd imagine sooner than later. It was denied before due to lack of research program funding. I know they've corrected that issue somewhat over the past 10 years, so who knows. As for federal loans, thats a long shot. Only 3 caribb schools have federal funding, the others that do offer loans is through Ed-Invest, which has insane interest rates as if you borrowed from a shady-Italian loan shark. The tuition at SMU is about 10,000 per semester, it's better to pay out of pocket than deal with Ed-Invest that Saba and AUA has (though I heard AUA is losing it's loan program). I understand though if some people may not have the financial faculty to afford that, but some people do Davenport which takes care of a large chunk of that, and they seem to be doing fine.

EQUALITY
02-27-2013, 01:13 AM
tthanTthanTt Tthank youTt thank you for response. I think it is important that the new Dean be one of some recognition. The school needs to try to stick out. As for California I read the whole report, and there were a myriad of deficiencies not just research. But keep in mind the campus visit by cali. accreditation team was in 2003-2004, and it was denied in February 2005. so it is over eight years ago. smu changed a lot such as closing the maine campus which was a concern for the cali board, the requirements to be promoted each semester has been more stringent, research has been a big focus compared to when they applied. there are many more more smu licensed physicians, and more get residency's each year. the school is over 15 years old now compared to barely seven when they applied. How many students are in the entering classes would you say and how many overall in cayman.i ask this because within the next five years or maybe sooner you will see some Caribbean schools closing due to lack of residency positions, as more us allopathic schools expand seats and open a couple of new schools. Also osteopathic schools are enlarging their classes and opening more and more. in my opinion the osteopathic schools are like the offshore schools in that mainly about money. SMU owners want to open and osteo school in Rhode Island. This would be a very bad idea. The best thing to happen to SMU is that it is sold to different owners as equinox the investment firm who owns saba, MUA, and SMU has not put much resources into SMU. Smu is still a diamond in a rough and would hate to see it be the one that would close. Beingon an island like Grand cayman has a lot of value. ALso the Vet school helps the med school by raising the reputation as a full out professional university. AUA has closed their vet school.

handlelight
05-16-2013, 08:19 PM
So I'm now a 4th semester. And I still affirm and agree with my original post about this school. All the PRO's remain such, as do the CON's. Kind of funny, but if you go from the various forums you see people constantly knocking schools, and I don't if they do this because they were kicked out of a school and have some agenda against it, but it just seems that while others are so busy doing that here I am almost done. Finish up this semester, one more to go and I'm off the island.

Wish me luck!

docblin
05-17-2013, 09:44 AM
Congrats!!! So can you re emphasize your 3 semester experience in few paragraphs.

chb
11-12-2013, 02:04 PM
deleted post

handlelight
01-26-2014, 06:39 PM
i haven't posted here in awhile, and well - I'M DONE! Finished 5th semester in December of 13', took a few weeks and I'm now studying for STEPS.

5th semester is brutal. Man, I look back on my posts and realize how easy 1st semester was.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed my brief posted chronicle of my year and half time here at SMU. And it's over. Good to be back home for good.

The last thing I'm going to say, is people will complain, and they will complain in general because med school is hard. And it often seems unfair. But all of these schools are for profit, if you don't pass your class (on the second attempt) they will fail you. But pastures aren't greener at other schools. Seemingly in the time people bicker back and forth here on these forums, I came, I saw, and I conquered the basic science program. Go to a school with California approval, if you can't or you were dismissed from such a school, SMU is a reasonable alternative.

venuemanager
07-03-2014, 06:30 AM
Hello, How do I post a room available ... cannot find the post link ...

1-bedroom with own private bath available in central 7 mile beach 2-bedroom condo beachside, pool, jacuzzi. $995 all-in AVAILABLE NOW.

Thank you!

brucesnyder07
11-09-2015, 10:24 PM
It is good to hear this from you. Best of luck, study well







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