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  1. #1
    frankenstone is offline Senior Member 511 points
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    From St. James to Xavier ( Everyone feel better?)

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    Hello all,

    I have been asked numerous times, which school is better, Xavier or St. James? As you all know I went to St. James for most of my Basic Sciences before transferring to Xavier and I am here to give you all an onest assessment of both of the schools.

    First, lets get some basic facts straight. Can you become an MD at St. James and Xavier? The answer is yes. But the real questions that need to be answered that distinguishes Xavier from St. James will be mentioned here.

    Since I started attending St. James, my outlook and experience was semi-positive on the way the school was progressing. And indeed, up until about November 2004, St. James was making improvements. I spoke with the President of St. James several times and he told me things that were going to happen here at St. James and some did happen or at least they were started. But as time passed I realized that things were not really getting better. I assumed, like an idiot, that improvements would be coming hot and heavy if enrollment increased at St. James. in addition to ther things, MY wife and I rearranged the ENTIRE library and computer lab to make it more spacious and appealing. We wanted to be part of the solution and help the school improve. But all this effort was to no avail. After 3 large incoming classes , I realized that the school actually took a dive for the worst. The cafeteria hasn't had food since November. No one cleans it anymore. The old hospital building where MD3 is at is absolutely filthy. Why, you ask? How can this happen? What is the reason behind it all?

    I can tell you now that without a doubt that it is all about not wanting to spend a penny, poor management, and simply no vision. St. James has one, yes one, maintenance person for THREE different buildings. The main Campus, The old hospital classrooms and faculty offices, and the MD 2 building. This one person has to maintain and upgrade everything that deals with maintenance. He is given almost no money and the President doesn't want to spend anything substantial to do something professional or right. So everything takes a while to get fixed or it looks like crap when it gets taken care of. E.G. painting the main campus building outside walkway. It was painted 3 times very cheaply over the past 3 months instead of dong it right the first time. Yes it is expensive but it REALLY needed to be done. Now it looks like crap and that is how everything is done. So, how the heck is one man supposed to maintain all these things and upgrade facilities? It doesn't get done in a timely manner. Where are the cadaver labs that have been promised and promised? The excuse is... I am not in control, things happen that are out of my hands. If there was someone who was a dedicated manager or exec at the scho lthen things wouldn't be as difficult.

    There is no management on-site and no clear authority at St. James. There are the teachers and a Dean with no real power. Policy at St. James changes from month to month. There is no concrete syllabus, attendance policy, or the like at St. James. Why, you ask?? Because no one is given any real authority at the school to permanently develop policy at St. James. The Dean and professors want to do something they can't. Why? They have no authority. The show is being run several thousand miles away in an office that is not in tune with the daily problems of the school. Since I have been here I have seen 4 Deans come and go from here. All left frustrated because they can't do anything that is important to make the school better. Like buy printer cartridges, or have working computers and overhead projectors in class because they don't have anything stocked for mishaps. Teachers have to pay out of pocket to buy these things. Not one professor at St. James has a printer authorized for him or her that is supplied with a printer cartridge. They have to go all over to get something printed. Teachers need supplies to plan effectively. They are not getting it, in my opinion. I know professors who bouht there own printer, scanner, supplies, etc just to prep for class effectively. Many are afraid to use the copier in for of getting gigged for spending too much money. Don't get me wrong, I know this stuff can add up but these are the most basic necessity to teach today. You can always put some accountability system in place. There were 3 professors hired last semester at St. James and all have left. So, the question is, why has there been such a high turnover in faculty at St. James?? Professors are not accomodated with a good work environment to do there job = leads to poorer lectures and low faculty moral. Better pay and treatment elsewhere. #1 reason why the best of the St. James faculty go to Xavier, they are treated with respect and fairness and actually paid on time. So, I want to say this to make the record clear, all the professors and students that go to Xavier since this past August has done so on their own accord. Xavier has not stolen or recruited any of them. All these problems are due to poor management.

    When the loans were yanked by KEY bank. You had to find out second hand from other students. There was no formal addressing of the student body of the situation. People had to call Chicago, nobody here in Bonaire really knew what was going on. It was horrible. Why? because there is no one in real command here in Bonaire. There is no Modus Operandi.

    If it seems that I am painting a picture of Chaos, then you are close to what the faculty and students feel, especially lately, with the constant policy changing, lack of supplies, and no accountability. This end of semester visit by the president was filled with anger and dissappointment with the president saying if you want something nicer then transfer.


    Xavier, is a growing school that has invested money into a nice facility, upcoming lab, and there seems to be a clear cut direction that all the faculty and onsite management are going. YES, there were a few things I didn't care for when Xavier first opened up during those initial 6 months. I asked about them and they said that business is being done differently now. And from what I see, it is. the professors have all told me that they are being treated 10 times beter at Xavier and it shows. They have plans and they are not afraid to talk about them and put money into projects or the classrooms. Simple things like a 24 hour library. Heck, your lucky if the library at St. James is open these days. The white coat ceremony at Xavier is paid and arranged by the school. At Xavier you can't get them to pay for a nice ceremony. They don't want to spend the money.

    Even though Xavier is a newer school, they have done more in the year they have been open than St. Jmaes did when I was there.

    Ultimately, it is your choice to choose. these are the reasons why I transferred to Xavier above and beyond St. Jmaes not having the loans for me.

    Please feel free to ask any questions.

    Frankenstone
    I am older than I look.

  2. #2
    frankenstone is offline Senior Member 511 points
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    One last thing..

    Oops I forgot tomentionone last reason why I transferred.

    St. James makes you go to 96 weeks of clinicals. The requirement is only 72 weeks. Why stay longer than you have to? All othe rschools only make you go 72 weeks.

    Also, SJSM Pre-med consists of 3 semesters of Physics for math. No Calc, Algebra, nothing. What kind of Garbage is that. Try explaining why your school teaches 3 semesters of physics.

    Frankenstone



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    I am older than I look.

  3. #3
    DocRon's Avatar
    DocRon is offline Member 511 points
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    Frank....

    I thought you made it perfectly clear here that this website is about Xavier and if you wanted to talk about SJSM you should take it to the SJSM website.

    I've read this post and am surprised at the route you've taken, dogging out the school that helped put your foot in the door to becoming an MD. Now since this is an Xavier website, I can just as easily post the real about many of the negatives about Xavier that you and many prospective students probably don't know. I would call the thread "reasons I would NEVER transfer to Xavier"... But why would I do that? Because as much as I don't care for the way Xavier has gone about STEALING teachers and students (and you know and I know the majority were stolen from SJSM) and the way certain administrators of your school act, I know that whether you are from SJSM , SGU, Xavier etc. we all have one common goal. In addition, as you know, a few of my good friends go to Xavier, but airing out the dirty laundry of their school would only hurt their school but mre improtantly will hurt them. I don't think it should ever be about putting one school down to pump up another (which is exactly what you are doing now). That has been the Xavier way since they got to the island and unfortunately, frankenstone, that seems to be the path you are taking now also.

    And the fact that you've been through SJSM and know the good and the bad, but never took one class at Xavier, yet can emphatically stand Xavier is the better school on the island is very surprising to me. Let me let you in on one secret Frank, the students of Xavier have a lot of isssues on the island regarding professors and administration. But that is like every other school in the caribbean. The grass is not always greener on the other side and if you speak to many of the Xavier students prior to your transfer you'll know underneath the nice building's exterior, a lot of shadiness is going on.


    "Xavier or SJSM" was the title to your thread, but you made it seem like there was no comparison. It sounded like everything is bad at SJSM and everything is great at Xavier. The name of your thread should have been "Let me tell you why you should not go to St. James, but come to Xavier"

    And Frankenstone, of course Xavier is gonna pour a ton of money into the school. They are the new kid on the block, and if they wanna stay around, they HAVE to spend the money... if they are to compete with a school like SJSM who has been around 4 years longer in Bonaire Xavier has to put out the money. Xavier is doing the right thing by making the big investments now. They would definitely not survive, even for the year Xavier has been arond, if they didn't.

    Please don't take this as an attack or bash or anything like that. I just had to point out these things. The Frankenstone i met in Bonaire didn't get down like that.
    Bigger, stronger, higher, faster...I am my only master....even after I get what I'm after...Bigger, stronger, higher, faster....-Haziq

    "Move forward and rise above......so you can settle into where you want to be......"

  4. #4
    frankenstone is offline Senior Member 511 points
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    ok

    Docron,

    I do appreciate that St. James got my foot in the door to being a doctor. But since I was actively involved in trying to improve the school I cannot help but voice my concern about the current state of things at St. James. I wish the President would take more fellowship in the students and school. I know there are too many good professors and students there to continue this way.

    I have been hanging around at Xavier now for a while and I don't see the longstanding problems at Xavier that plagues SJSM. I am not upset with the teachers, because St. James has a way of getting some really good ones. But when one of the new professors doesn't get his contract renewed because he is asking for too many supplies, then it's the same problem over and over.

    I know you guys will make it to MD status. You guys (and some gals) have a true desire to be doctors. I know who you guys are and I truly wish the best for you guys. I know and acknowledge certain things in the past that have happened between the 2 schools. But recently, it is more of the professors leaving SJ than anything. Also, the sheer volume of real problems that don't change at SJ overshadows the few things that Xavier has pulled in the past.

    I would love to see both the schools work together on issues like immigration and labs. I believe Xavier admin believes the same but I don't think that will happen.

    I'm sorry man abot the way you feel about my post but I get too many questions about it. And my goal is not to bring dirt out on St. James, you know there are a lot of things I could say, especially about the recent facts I emailed you on. Am I saying you can't become an MD at SJ? No but I, like any other student, would like to believe that SJ will progress into a fine institution. And I am disappointed to say that thing are not moving along.
    If the situation changes, I will be the first one to say it because I am for the student, that has always been my goal.


    I won't say anything else about St. James out of respect for you guys. Unless it is a major event, or someone asks me a direct question. My word.

    Frankenstone
    I am older than I look.

  5. #5
    prof is offline Junior Member
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    the moderator should help promote carribean education

    What a surprising thread to read. A few of us have been focusing more on the Dutch Carribean School threads, and the transfer of some students between medical schools has been of interest and intriguing, especially considering the impact of the loan problem on family issues. But I must say I was suprised by this moderator. I was very impressed by how he handled his move, but now he has resorted to the annoying part of ValueMD which is negative descriptions of another school in light of their own school. There are quite a few individuals that had some significant integrity on this website, unfortuately my admiration for this moderator is now in question. I hope as you start taking classes at your current institution that you get back into studying and understanding medicine and its educational processes. Continue what you did before in trying to keep the negativity off these sites. For the most part doing well in medicine depends on the strength of the individual student, their dedication, study habits and ability to learn. Both SJSM and Xavier have an opportunity to create an environment to promote learning. The USMLE scores that recent SJ students got wouldn't have been as good as they were if the basic environment didn't allow them to study. I expect that Xavier students could also do well on Bonaire. Interesting how when a St. Mathews student got a 99 percent on USMLE 1, their threads promoted it significantly, but there was little notice of the Saint James student getting a 99 percent. I think that I only noticed it by going directly to their school website. Hopefully when Xavier get results like that you will boast them significantly on your website to encourage other students about the opportunities in the Dutch Carribean.

  6. #6
    frankenstone is offline Senior Member 511 points
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    Re: the moderator should help promote carribean education

    Quote Originally Posted by prof
    Continue what you did before in trying to keep the negativity off these sites. For the most part doing well in medicine depends on the strength of the individual student, their dedication, study habits and ability to learn. Both SJSM and Xavier have an opportunity to create an environment to promote learning. The USMLE scores that recent SJ students got wouldn't have been as good as they were if the basic environment didn't allow them to study. I expect that Xavier students could also do well on Bonaire. Interesting how when a St. Mathews student got a 99 percent on USMLE 1, their threads promoted it significantly, but there was little notice of the Saint James student getting a 99 percent. I think that I only noticed it by going directly to their school website. Hopefully when Xavier get results like that you will boast them significantly on your website to encourage other students about the opportunities in the Dutch Carribean.
    I will try to keep the negativity off of the website. If I came across the wrong way then I did not mean to do come across that way. I am a very positive person and believe that any person who wants to be a doctor, can be one. Like I mentioned is the previous post, I am for th student. But I also wanted to share my frustration with St. James and my other reasons why I transferred. If it comes across as negativity then I hope that my reputation as being positive will bring more credence to my words and understand these are my fair, long term observations. My words are ot far fetched or exagerated they are just the facts as I see them. I will rarely say bad things about a school, or any school. But, people wanted to know why I transferred so here it is. This will be one of the few times out of hundreds of posts that I say anything about another school. And you won't see many more in the future.

    If I get any USMLE numbers for Xavier, I would be glad to parade the numbers on the website because every good student that comes out of the Caribbean is a positive for the whole Caribbean school community. I was happy to see the good numbers at St. James and I hope that continues, but my feelings remain the same about the situation for the school. I am the first to defend Caribbean schools and students but I am also to first to criticize them.

    Talk to you all later. I always enjoy others opinions. 8)

    Frankenstone

    8)
    I am older than I look.

  7. #7
    DocRon's Avatar
    DocRon is offline Member 511 points
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    Frankenstone...

    I, like Prof, have lost a little love for you too, Frankenstone. As a moderator for the SJSM, you really were for the students and stayed positive. I had nothing but respect for what you stood for. But now with your transfer to Xavier, you have taken on the same attitude that you have spoken against since you came to the island. There were quite a few frustrating times for all of us at SJSM. I been there done that. But guess what? I did my time, dealt with the lack of luxury of SJSM, dealt with professors leaving to Xavier for more money, withstood the negative attacks and negative rumors and ill-vibes YOUR school has been pushing towards me and many other SJSM student (yourself included), weathered the storm and now I am home preparing to take my USMLE and continue on to Clinicals. I have made it one step closer to becoming a doctor, despite all that.

    The fact that you have changed your attitude and are taking part in the very things you and I often spoke against really saddens me . Like I said before, I could easily go into details about Xavier, it's unethical tactics and state facts that might not sound very attractive at all to prospective students, but what would I accomplish by going there? In the long run it is students like you and friends of mine at Xavier that will suffer the most. SO when you say you are all about the students, you should really mean it, not just say it.

    And please don't spread rumors about a teacher not getting a new contract because he asked for supplies, because that is just another rumor that is being spread. Not true at all...

    You say that you would love to see both schools work together. The 2 schools living in harmony on Bonaire would be great, but it is posts like yours that will always keep the tension going. And note, (and you should agree with me), in the past it was ALWAYS (100% of the time) Xavier stirring up beef with us at SJSM, and now that you have hopped on the band wagon you've set the pace for future beef between the schools. Again, it saddens me .

    By the tone of your post, it is clear to see your frustrations with the school. Unfortunately, you never mention the not-so-pretty truths about Xavier, so students can really understand that both schools exist on Bonaire, and BOTH have good and bads, instead of painting terrible picture of SJSM and a paradise picture of Xavier. You HAVE made longterm observations of Xavier too, so.......
    Bigger, stronger, higher, faster...I am my only master....even after I get what I'm after...Bigger, stronger, higher, faster....-Haziq

    "Move forward and rise above......so you can settle into where you want to be......"

  8. #8
    DocRon's Avatar
    DocRon is offline Member 511 points
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    oh yeah

    I think you switched your heading around incorrectly....

    and Frankestone, PLEASE, keep things real... YOU KNOW AND I KNOW AND STUDENTS OF SJSM KNOW AND STUDENTS FROM XAVIER KNOW that Xavier heavily recruits teachers and students from SJSM. This is a fact that I know because I have seen it done in front of me on more than one occasion. Not to mention, you've mentioned this fact on the forum before when you were pro-sjsm...just thought I'd correct the statement you made earlier about Xavier not recruiting teachers.
    Bigger, stronger, higher, faster...I am my only master....even after I get what I'm after...Bigger, stronger, higher, faster....-Haziq

    "Move forward and rise above......so you can settle into where you want to be......"

  9. #9
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    jpryor is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    DocRon, you are truly a gentleman.

    I can appreciate Frankenstone's sentiments. We all know how passionate he was about SJSM and I can sympathize with his feelings of disappointment. He, more than most, worked hard to make SJSM a better place and he, more than most, was told of expectations that did not materialize.

    I think it's also a mark of his caliber that he acknowledges that his post may be constued differently than he intended. That's the kind of honorable man he is. I haven't lost any esteem for him.
    Life is sexually transmitted.

  10. #10
    frankenstone is offline Senior Member 511 points
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    Re: Frankenstone...

    I, like Prof, have lost a little love for you too, Frankenstone.
    As a moderator for the SJSM, you really were for the students and stayed positive. I had nothing but respect for what you stood for. But now with your transfer to Xavier, you have taken on the same attitude that you have spoken against since you came to the island. There were quite a few frustrating times for all of us at SJSM. I been there done that. But guess what? I did my time, dealt with the lack of luxury of SJSM, dealt with professors leaving to Xavier for more money, withstood the negative attacks and negative rumors and ill-vibes YOUR school has been pushing towards me and many other SJSM student (yourself included), weathered the storm and now I am home preparing to take my USMLE and continue on to Clinicals. I have made it one step closer to becoming a doctor, despite all that.

    The fact that you have changed your attitude and are taking part in the very things you and I often spoke against really saddens me :cry: . Like I said before, I could easily go into details about Xavier, it's unethical tactics and state facts that might not sound very attractive at all to prospective students, but what would I accomplish by going there? In the long run it is students like you and friends of mine at Xavier that will suffer the most. SO when you say you are all about the students, you should really mean it, not just say it.

    And please don't spread rumors about a teacher not getting a new contract because he asked for supplies, because that is just another rumor that is being spread. Not true at all...

    You say that you would love to see both schools work together. The 2 schools living in harmony on Bonaire would be great, but it is posts like yours that will always keep the tension going. And note, (and you should agree with me), in the past it was ALWAYS (100% of the time) Xavier stirring up beef with us at SJSM, and now that you have hopped on the band wagon you've set the pace for future beef between the schools. Again, it saddens me :cry: .

    By the tone of your post, it is clear to see your frustrations with the school. Unfortunately, you never mention the not-so-pretty truths about Xavier, so students can really understand that both schools exist on Bonaire, and BOTH have good and bads, instead of painting terrible picture of SJSM and a paradise picture of Xavier. You HAVE made longterm observations of Xavier too, so.......
    DocRon,

    Are you ignoring everything I say. We can harp about the recruiting tactics of Xavier in the past all day but let me make it clear that lately the other professors go to Xavier, not being recruited by Xavier. If you want to say I have become what I fought against by ONE post then so be it. I have tried to be civil but you are are past the Basic Science and obviously have the out of sight, out of mind mentality. I wouldn't want to be in the boat 4 years down the road knowing that my school is in the same shape it was in 4 years earlier. That's all. If anything I say isn't true then please correct me.

    You say please don't spread rumors about a professor not getting his contract renewed because of the supplies. It's no RUMOR. He said he was asking too much and causing problems. At a faculty meeting just a month or two ago, Dr. S was told by Dr. **** that his opinion no longer mattered since his contract was not being renewed. How do I know this "rumor", the professor himself told me personally. And it was substantiated by another professor. I do not spread rumors, my words are from research or from the source. Don't try to turn the tone of this thread into Frankenstone has become a basher. I made one post. And I correctly changed my heading to why I left.

    Without a doubt, if someone asks me whether they should go to Xavier or St. James, I will say Xavier.

    If there are crappy thing going on at Xavier I think are wrong I will complain and suggest like I did at St. James but if they persist, I will be the first to post it.

    I have not "taken the attitude that I stood against". I made ONE post on how I see things. That is not "changing my attitude". If you think I am making false statements that is fine also.

    Why are you taking this personal. I have earned the right to say this and a lot worse for all the efforts that I have put into trying to helping SJ become a better place and I will not be told any less. However I will refrain from bashing the school because there are good things about SJ and I like many students there. The root of the problem at St. James is only one: THE MANAGEMENT.

    Suktinder must be enjoying this...........

    Frankenstone
    I am older than I look.

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