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CountChocula
08-02-2016, 01:15 AM
Hello to you all,
I have spent the better half of the last week reading through the forums and have gotten a good appreciation of what it takes to handle the course work at SGU. I am lucky enough to have gotten a placement in the Jan session. However this question is a little diffcult and I suspect the range of responses from people actually in the program may help me make a huge life decision.

I am not worried about moving to the island, nor am I worried about the work involved (as hard is it is to believe). My question is that I am an international student, I am non-tradtional in my path (I will be 30 when I enter SGU). Which means that placement in residency after completion is already going to be a challenge. Is this something that you guys feel is almost impossible to climb? I read on the forums that IMG placement in the US is getting tougher these days, so do you think its likely I will end up having to do FM? To be honest, I love FM and would not mind doing it. However is the stats similar for going to the UK? I much prefer going to practice and learn there than in the US so I wonder if any of you have taken that route?

Second, in choosing to do medicine I realize you have to sacrifice a lot of time and energy. I am aware of this, however being 30 I would eventually like to meet a girl and settle down (I got out of a relationship to chase my medical dream and the funny thing is when I got my acceptance I started thinking about relationships). Is this something I can kiss goodbye moving to the island and then with the subsequent rotations and residency? I worry about this more than anything, as silly as it sound. I don't ever want to regret my decision to enter medicine but is it possible to have a social life, in that you can meet someone? I am asking on the forum because honestly I do not many people on the island who have completed the program and most who I know have graduated give me mixed advice.

I appreciate any help on this matter and to all of you on the island right now, I hope you guys are kicking *** in class.

Craigslist
08-02-2016, 04:04 PM
I wrote a long post then I realized there's just no helping these people.

CountChocula
08-02-2016, 05:21 PM
Yay, came for advice left with this. Not even mad bro!

ThatVietGuy
08-06-2016, 11:02 AM
The average age of the SGU student is a tad higher than a comparable US school. In my class there were more people around 28-30yo and I myself started out at 26/27. We even had a guy in his late-40s/early 50s and was an ophthalmologist.

It's just all mindset - if you go in thinking you're not going to do well because you're older, then you'll fail. Age is not an indicator of pass rate. If you can bust your butt and learn the material you'll have no issue.

As for finding someone, there are people from my class that got married to someone they met on the island, it happens all the time.

I can't speak for the match rate in the UK though.

Zedd
08-06-2016, 12:51 PM
I'm a 5th term student currently at SGU about to start my last semester on the island. Let me just tell you, age will NOT define where you'll be placed into residency. Your Step score and accolades achieved through medical school will. You sound excited to start school, the kind of...eager/anxious to get to work excited. I could be wrong.

The island life is very social, if you want it to be. There are many people who enjoy staying in their own lane and getting their work done that way, that's fine. To each their own and no one is judged on the island for being themselves.

You want to do more than just FM once your get your MD? Then do better on your exams and crush your steps. FM and residency decisions are still very far away from you at this point, I would focus more on your motivation to put in work every single day and if your willing to invest that much time and money. Like, every. single. day. all day, every day, weekends to catchup, morning to night, studying, every day. Get it? It's a lot of work and a lot to handle, so staying mentally strong is key. I started at 26/27 and I'll be done when I'm 31. You'd be done at 34/35, as long as you don't mind it then who cares? It's a complete personal decision to step into medicine in your 30s but it's a lifelong achievement. If it's your passion, pursue it. Just my honest opinion on that matter.

As for relationships, well....this part sucks for me personally. I couldn't maintain my relationship of almost 7 years because medicine got in the way. Others though, have founded true love on the island, and others more have remained in lifelong relationships with their partners. It all depends on who you are, and if you're ready for it. I can only tell you what I've seen because this is something no one can give you advice on. You want to try to be in a relationship with someone? Then go for it. Just don't forget to keep your mind focused on school, it's challenging enough.

Overall, goodluck on whatever you decide. If you want to become a doctor, then pursue medicine. I say that because you seem to be caught up in the specific practices; what if you end of loving FM? You've never taken a medical school class before or had your core rotations so how do you know you won't absolutely love it? I came into SGU with a very similar mindset but now I'm just enjoying the ride and once I take my steps I'll begin to think about the possibilities my scores allows.

All of this is just one SGU student's honest opinion. Take it how you wish. And again, from one medical student to all others, good luck to you all

CountChocula
08-08-2016, 11:53 PM
Thank you Zedd for that answer and ThatVietGuy. I appreciate it and honestly am prepared to bust my butt when I get to the island. I spoke with a lot of people who went in not knowing the amount of work involved and a lot of them failed out. I cannot be sure what my sucess rate will be but I can tell you I will give it everything I have. And I appreciate you guys reminding me about it. Trust when I say the message is not lost on me. As for the whole relationship side, I figure what will be will be. I spent way to much time and energy getting to this point and this seems like a road block my mind is throwing my way. So the advice you guys gave is awesome. Once again thank you and I hope one day I can call myself an Alumni of SGU.

May I ask though, on average what are the classes like, are you a number in the class? If you are struggling are the profs open to help? Cl assess super competitive? Any advice on that would be highly appreciated.

thxleave
08-09-2016, 11:07 AM
Man I like how you just disregarded all the negative criticism of embarking on this journey, and just selectively chose the positive ones. Craigslist is right... There is no helping some people.

CountChocula
08-09-2016, 06:01 PM
thnxleave

This is a forum. Don't want to answer a question don't have to. Some others chose to. If you don't want to help then move along. The whole point of this site is to ask questions. If they are stupid to you then move along. You had to voice your dissatisfaction with the question right. Voice it now, please tell me how you know all and that what any one else is doing is stupid because they did not follow your path. I don't care if you ban me. Just know this is a place to ask questions. Did no one help you out? Is that why you are a bitter person. Craigslist question goes to you as well.

As for the others who did give an answer, once again thank you! It helped me make a decision. And I truly appreciate your input.

CMD
09-02-2016, 12:19 AM
".....I read on the forums that IMG placement in the US is getting tougher these days, so do you think its likely I will end up having to do FM? To be honest, I love FM and would not mind doing it...."

Though I'm not doing FM residency but I get very irritated by people who can't even get into any med schools in the US or western Europe, talk like they would almost rather not go to med school if they only ended up with FM. Let me tell you what, starting salary for FM in North Cal is 240K and you don't need to work weekends or nights. Stop listening to the perpetual lies that have been spread in here.

axiomofchoice
09-02-2016, 03:00 PM
The average age of the SGU student is a tad higher than a comparable US school. In my class there were more people around 28-30yo and I myself started out at 26/27. We even had a guy in his late-40s/early 50s and was an ophthalmologist.

It's just all mindset - if you go in thinking you're not going to do well because you're older, then you'll fail. Age is not an indicator of pass rate. If you can bust your butt and learn the material you'll have no issue.

As for finding someone, there are people from my class that got married to someone they met on the island, it happens all the time.

I can't speak for the match rate in the UK though.


Why would an ophthalmologist do medical school again in the caribbean? For fun?

axiomofchoice
09-02-2016, 03:18 PM
".....I read on the forums that IMG placement in the US is getting tougher these days, so do you think its likely I will end up having to do FM? To be honest, I love FM and would not mind doing it...."

Though I'm not doing FM residency but I get very irritated by people who can't even get into any med schools in the US or western Europe, talk like they would almost rather not go to med school if they only ended up with FM. Let me tell you what, starting salary for FM in North Cal is 240K and you don't need to work weekends or nights. Stop listening to the perpetual lies that have been spread in here.

If you could bag groceries for 240K and not work nights or weekends, would you be satisfied? (I'm not actually comparing the two, Im only making a point). Maybe its the nature of the work that people don't find appealing. Honestly, I couldn't stomach spending my days in an outpatient clinic talking to people about their chronic illnesses and vague complaints. Writing prescriptions, taking responsibility for patient's non-compliance, doing social work etc.

I can only speak for myself, but I couldn't last a day in FM, or IM for that matter.

Keep in mind that when you go caribbean, the reality is that in all likelihood you will end up in one of those specialties. You better be one of those people that can find satisfaction in that kind of work.

Med grad
09-02-2016, 04:59 PM
St. George is one of the better Caribbean schools but it is still a Caribbean school. Age is not a factor for medical school or residency. However, residency is getting more difficult to obtain even for some DO and MD students from US based programs.

The real question you have to ask yourself is "what are the odds for me to land a residency spot four years from now"( assuming you finish on time)? The US MD and DO programs are continuing to expand. The funding for residency spots has been frozen at 1997 levels and there are no measurable efforts to increase it any time soon. Each year more students are coming out from all programs( foreign and domestic) and will be competing for fewer positions. When you add real FMGs to the mix, the numbers are climbing every year but residency positions are not!

The cost of attending St. George is high and I am assuming you will be relying on loans to finance your endeavor. You have to be fairly certain of your ability to repay those loans as interest begins to accumulate from day one. Many students who have taken this gamble are finding it impossible to repay their debts and are left without residency options. This applies to all schools and not just St. George.

I don't know your stats but before setting sail for the Caribbean, you should exhaust all your options with the US programs. At a the very least, you should consider applying to the DO programs as they are numerous and less competitive than MD schools. St. George should not be your first choice.

You may be discounting the US programs because of the age factor. This is a big mistake as I have rotated with many US MD and DO students who were considerably older than you. In my current program, we have an older resident who is in his late 50's and used to be an orthopedic surgeon in his native country.

There is one thing I have learned after going through this process: The outcome of foreign medical education is highly variable and highly individualized. What has happened to me and others who got through this path will not necessarily be the case for you or others similarly situated. This makes predicating the end result nearly impossible when one tries to assess the odds of success. Don't be impress by school stats about residency or board pass rate because for every success story there are many who did not make it and are never mentioned. This is true of every school,albeit, more for some than others.

hopeless13
10-10-2016, 07:52 AM
Not everyone who graduates SGU ends up in residence.

I graduated in 2009. I passed step 1 and cs first attempt but failed ck multiple times before passing. I could not get a single interview in usa. (i am also canadian so that didn't help)

I know many will say that its just because of my ck fails - but heres the thing: there are people passing everything on first attempt now - just not with great score - and they aren't getting interviews now too.

Be aware that you can bust your *** and STILL end up screwed in the caribbean pathway.

also be very aware of the above posters pointing out that in 4 years THINGS WILL CHANGE. i.e. they can get EVEN MORE competitive than they are now. I can't emphasize this point enough - you can't judge your chances in 4 years by what the odds are TODAY.

Med grad
10-10-2016, 10:58 AM
There are way too many Canadians in the Caribbean schools. Their chances of a successful match is even more diminished than their US counterparts. Even worse, they have little to rely on when it comes to Canadian programs and most gamble on landing a US residency.

But people just don't get it and risk their future because they heard their "cousin's cousin" got matched or XYZ school boasts a 90% match rate!

Not everyone who graduates SGU ends up in residence.

I graduated in 2009. I passed step 1 and cs first attempt but failed ck multiple times before passing. I could not get a single interview in usa. (i am also canadian so that didn't help)

I know many will say that its just because of my ck fails - but heres the thing: there are people passing everything on first attempt now - just not with great score - and they aren't getting interviews now too.

Be aware that you can bust your *** and STILL end up screwed in the caribbean pathway.

also be very aware of the above posters pointing out that in 4 years THINGS WILL CHANGE. i.e. they can get EVEN MORE competitive than they are now. I can't emphasize this point enough - you can't judge your chances in 4 years by what the odds are TODAY.

hopeless13
10-11-2016, 08:09 AM
There are way too many Canadians in the Caribbean schools. Their chances of a successful match is even more diminished than their US counterparts. Even worse, they have little to rely on when it comes to Canadian programs and most gamble on landing a US residency.

But people just don't get it and risk their future because they heard their "cousin's cousin" got matched or XYZ school boasts a 90% match rate!


I wholeheartedly agree. there are multiple times of year i see many ads on the subway now for sgu. I cringe when I see them because of the effect they have on people like those you mention.

things change so quickly - (sorry to beat this drum again) out of the people I graduated with all of the ones I knew made it into residence (eventually - it took some years). but I have noticed now I am meeting many people in canada who went the caribbean route who are still trying year after year.

I know my body of evidence is anecdotal and doesn't 'prove' anything. but in my eyes if you trained for something and passed exams for it and don't get to practice.... that doesn't seem to be a good career move for others to be following.

thxleave
10-11-2016, 11:03 PM
I wholeheartedly agree. there are multiple times of year i see many ads on the subway now for sgu. I cringe when I see them because of the effect they have on people like those you mention.

things change so quickly - (sorry to beat this drum again) out of the people I graduated with all of the ones I knew made it into residence (eventually - it took some years). but I have noticed now I am meeting many people in canada who went the caribbean route who are still trying year after year.

I know my body of evidence is anecdotal and doesn't 'prove' anything. but in my eyes if you trained for something and passed exams for it and don't get to practice.... that doesn't seem to be a good career move for others to be following.

agreed... better off do bachelor of nursing, and online masters.... then dnp

call yourself a doctor, and make almost as much as a FM doc with less training







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