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  1. #1
    lopcam is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Let's discuss Jag's 6 year program

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    Hi everyone,

    I hope that this thread can be both helpful for me as well as any others who may be thinking of applying to Jag in the future.

    Just for some background info, I was born in Poland and have been living in Canada for 16 years. I have citizenships in both countries, and would ultimately like to return to Canada for residency (unlikely, I know). Alongside this, I have family in Krakow and I've visited multiple times, so I am quite familiar with the city.

    Moving forward, Jag has been one of my top choices of Polish med schools and I was looking for some feedback on the university and the program. I've heard a lot of positive things, however, many negative aspects have been brought up as well, and they are worrying to say the least (not just for Jag, but for all Polish med schools).

    For instance, I've heard that the administration tends to not give a crap about its foreign students. People supposedly come with questions or complaints to the head's of the university and receive little to no feedback. I've also heard about corruption going on in Polish uni's alongside many other things, that I just unfortunately can't recall right now.

    Interestingly enough, I have a cousin who is in her 3rd year of a Polish medical school program, although not at Jag, and I've heard lots of stories about how well international students get treated as a result of them paying the big bucks. Things such as cadavers and dorms are apparently always better for the international students. So, I'd love to hear more opinions on the pros/cons of Jag's medical program for international students, although opinions from any uni would be appreciated.

    Furthermore, I'd like to know some things about the academics at Jag. Just like at any school, you will end up with great prof's and some really pooh poohty one's who's lectures are not even worth attending. This is understandable, however, what is more concerning is the fact that many people have mentioned, from other Polish med schools, that you'll end up having to self-study more than anything, as the prof's don't exactly prepare you for exams. In company with that, how would you describe the USMLE prep to be? Is there none at all, or do they try to teach things inline with what this exam tests students on?

    As for residency in Canada/US, I am well aware of the difficulties and that I mostly won't end up at home, back in Canada. However, going through last years list of graduates, a large amount ended up matching in the US. I understand that these are for less competitive residencies, such as IM, FM, or paediatrics, however, I think that I'd be fine working in FM, especially if I could practice back in Canada, even after completing residency in the US.

    I know that I've typed up a lot, and I know that there are previous threads, however, they tend to be from many years ago, and I would truly appreciate it (and I'm sure that others would too) if we could have a fresh discussion about this.

    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
    lopcam is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Shame that we don't have anything going :/ I suppose I'll try to contact previous grads.

  3. #3
    medstudious's Avatar
    medstudious is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Hey lopcam,

    Sorry you couldn't get anybody from Jag to answer your question!
    I hope to offer you some information, even though I do NOT attend Jag, but another PL medical school English division (Lodz).

    Just for some background info, I was born in Poland and have been living in Canada for 16 years. I have citizenships in both countries, and would ultimately like to return to Canada for residency (unlikely, I know). Alongside this, I have family in Krakow and I've visited multiple times, so I am quite familiar with the city.


    Cool, so you might find that this is VERY COMMON! I hate to do this, but I posted an elaborate explanation about how and why having PL heritage is not even remotely an asset or help attending a medical school in Poland.

    http://www.valuemd.com/medical-unive...ty-lodz-3.html

    To give you the gist of it :

    1. People with E-EU heritages receive ERRONEOUS information from their PARENTS. Parents who left to N. America 25+ years ago at the age of 20 are virtually MORE AMERICAN THAN EUROPEAN. There is a reason they escaped, there is reason they didn't return after the revolution, and they know NOTHING of the system apart from some info from parents who are pushing 90. This problem IS HUGE with Americans coming into any E-EU school.
    2. Students who attended any EU school for 1 year for an exchange in their N. American school Bachelor degree also have a poor, unclear idea of what MEDICAL school in the EU is about.
    3. Individuals who visited Europe a thousand times who have a romanticized, nonobjective view of the EU system, especially since they stay for 2 weeks, blow hundreds of dollars, stay at resorts or hotels, and go back to their 4000s.ft house in the suburbs and know nothing of how the socialist system in Europe truly works.
    4. People lie. Or to be less antagonizing, people just see what they want to see. This is especially true coming from points 2 and 3. If you are in Europe for just an academic stay or vacation, and your life and career back home in America is basically guaranteed, your outlook on the system will be through rose-colored glasses.
    5. Hearsay from friends and family is DANGEROUS. Please believe me, especially if you come from an ethnic, tightly knit community in either the States or Canada. Why? Mostly due to the fact that kids make their own friends, separate from their parents. So information about these med schools was passed down mainly through the parents of students who attend these schools. Here's the thing: parents are very protective, and yep, you guessed it, THEY LIE!! They say everything is peaches but you don't know the truth, because that is between families. Then you go on this website and you read REAL opinions.

    For instance, I've heard that the administration tends to not give a crap about its foreign students. People supposedly come with questions or complaints to the head's of the university and receive little to no feedback. I've also heard about corruption going on in Polish uni's alongside many other things, that I just unfortunately can't recall right now.

    I cannot help you here in regards to Krakow, but I know for a fact that corruption is a mainstay attitude in Eastern Europe. They don't even notice it anymore. Jag MAY have a better international reputation, but I cannot imagine they are so terrifically different than their cousins in the next town over.

    Interestingly enough, I have a cousin who is in her 3rd year of a Polish medical school program, although not at Jag, and I've heard lots of stories about how well international students get treated as a result of them paying the big bucks. Things such as cadavers and dorms are apparently always better for the international students. So, I'd love to hear more opinions on the pros/cons of Jag's medical program for international students, although opinions from any uni would be appreciated.

    I don't know how true that is in general, but for sure the USA/Canadian students are more demanding, and do not stand down. This, as coined by previous individuals on this forum (I wanna say Miklos or peacefuljourney..) as the Mcdonald's attitude that N. Americans are painfully used to. This refers to the "customer is king", meaning that when you PAY for something, you receive services, and if you think you overpaid, you make big drama. Yes, this drives the biggest economy on planet Earth, and that is why N. American students have sometimes been called "spoiled" and " annoying." I am here to tell you that your opinions and anger should be valued and listened to, and you should be able to voice your concerns with your fellow students. Polish schools, medical or otherwise, cauterize students' voices, until the students become part of the system themselves.
    Many times in my experience I have seen inappropriate behaviour from lecturers and physicians towards students and patients, something that may shock you, or get a doctor fired in N. America. You cannot report it, no one will care. There is no accountability for anything, and that attitude you may begin to introject.


    I don't mean to dissect your question too much and I hope to give a bit of advise I wish someone had given me back in the day


    - With a GRAIN OF SALT, extensively read all the threads of the Jag med school on this forum, as well as all other schools in Poland and other countries in Eastern Europe. Understand that there is a mix of individuals posting on these threads, but generally this will be a FAR more honest opinion than anything you might find in terms of "ranking" or Facebook comments, or the university staff/website itself.
    - This was brought up by previous commentators on this forum, and I strongly agree: VISIT the city, as well as the University. Try to sneak into some lectures, see the hospitals or talk with current students. Ask about assessment methods, classes etc
    - Understand what you really want, and how you want to achieve it. If you want to go to practice medicine in Canada, the ONLY way around it is attending med school in Canada. Think about this from Canada's perspective for a second: If you are happy with the Canadian medical system, this is because they rigorously try to maintain a certain standard for doctors across the board, and one way to do that is taking responsibility to educate their own medical staff! Accepting international physicians could be a recipe for doctors with poor English, lacking in knowledge, and not necessarily knowing or caring about Canadian values.
    - Depending on the kind of person you are, remember that where you choose to educate yourself will follow you for the rest of your life. If you study in Poland, you will have to repeat this to everyone who ever asks, and believe me when I say no one knows nor cares that Jag is miraculously a far better school then its counterparts, even though that may be the case.
    (While on that note, prepare yourself for 6 years of EVERYONE asking you : “ You’re from Canada?? Why the **** did you come here???” Seeing that the migration pattern is the other way around usually....)
    - Understand, that no one speaks fluent English in Poland. In general, it’s ok speaking with someone with an accent, but when EVERYONE at the university speaks Ponglish, you might go nuts.
    - The general attitude in Poland, and I would say in Europe as well, is laid back, which is just a polite way of saying lazy. Students are NOT competitive here AT ALL, and if you come from a competitive, well educated Canadian background, you might struggle with lack of effort from students and teachers as a whole. You think that may sound pretty fun, but it will cause mental anguish...
    - You have probably heard this ad nauseum, so I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it:
    have you considered applying extensively to Canadian and USA med schools? There are limited options in Canada, but there are many to choose! Even over in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, or in French Canada, you can find a school, so my advice would be to study hard and do the MCAT, and try your best to get into these schools! It might cost you quite a bit, but once you’re in , YOU’RE IN!
    The USA have HUNDREDS of options as well, and are better viewed by employers if you wish to return to Canada! You got MD schools, and DO schools alike, and, AGAIN, it will cost you an arm and a foot, but YOU ARE IN. The investment will be paid off within a decade, and then you have your life to figure out the details!
    PLEASE CONSIDER THIS OPTION!! Sometimes, and in this case very much so, jumping on a plane and exploring Europe in NOT a good idea.

    -I have spoken to many an individual from N. America, and a common response was “School in Poland is 6 years, and in N. America is 8, so its shorter. ” Oh my goodness, how untrue this is! Studying medicine in Poland will take you no shorter than 10 YEARS to even attempt returning to USA or Canada, so the joke is on us!

    - Something else I heard (was implied) was “I wanted to impress high school classmates, family” by claiming they went from high school straight to med school... My response is “Those who laugh last, laugh the hardest” and we are laughing first....

    -
    -
    I feel like I will come up with more stuff, so I’ll edit the post maybe :P

    I truly wish you the BEST of luck in all your future endeavours!
    I hope I was at least of some help!

    Best regards,

    Current MUL student
    Last edited by medstudious; 01-28-2017 at 08:00 AM. Reason: spelling, clarifications

  4. #4
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Ultimate Member 12699 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by medstudious View Post
    -I have spoken to many an individual from N. America, and a common response was “School in Poland is 6 years, and in N. America is 8, so its shorter. ” Oh my goodness, how untrue this is! Studying medicine in Poland will take you no shorter than 10 YEARS to even attempt returning to USA or Canada, so the joke is on us!
    Hmmm. This might be the case for some students, but it not universal by any stretch. Students from my medical school cohort in E-EU (not in Poland... but to be honest, likely worse than Poland) matched and returned to start their US residencies 6 months and 18 months after graduation (in January). Others started residencies in Europe within similar timeframes, mine was 4 months after graduation.

    Of course, there were others who never matched at all.

    That's just FWIW. I happen to agree that for those who want to match/work in the US or Canada, the absolute best path is to attend medical school in the US or Canada.

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  5. #5
    medstudious's Avatar
    medstudious is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by devildoc8404 View Post
    Hmmm. This might be the case for some students, but it not universal by any stretch. Students from my medical school cohort in E-EU (not in Poland... but to be honest, likely worse than Poland) matched and returned to start their US residencies 6 months and 18 months after graduation (in January). Others started residencies in Europe within similar timeframes, mine was 4 months after graduation.
    Just out of curiosity, they matched after the 6-year program or the 4-year program?
    Do you happen to know the average age and educational background of the individuals that matched?
    Did they come directly from high school and they matched at age 23? Or did they/you have a Bachelor/Masters degrees right off the bat?

    I think these make a big difference. Just to make my point, I don't know anyone who, after high school + 6-year MD in Poland matched, but I DO know some people here and there who, after Bachelors in N. America are..."working" in USA/Canada, not sure if as physicians per se, but they whipped something up from past connections.

  6. #6
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Ultimate Member 12699 points
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    Six year program... my former school has no 4-year program.

    The two in the US were in their mid-20s (about one semester of US college) and around 30 (US bachelor's degree). The one in Germany was in her mid-20's (no previous college degree). I was in my 40's (US bachelor's and master's degrees), but I was a hell of an outlier age-wise.

    I also know a couple of other US matches from my school without undergrad degrees from the US, one of whom is now finishing residency and going into fellowship, as well as a Canadian grad who is now working in Ireland. Granted, these people are MINORITIES in their graduating classes, most of the students did not have their work ethic and were not nearly as dedicated to learning. The successful residents worked very hard and studied their butts off while most of the class members would not, and they did what was necessary to make the cut in the US or Western Europe.

    The only person I know from the group above with "connections" was an applicant with a sister in the residency program where she matched... but she had outstanding USMLE scores, is wicked smart, and drop-dead gorgeous (which, hell, doesn't hurt). She would have matched a LOT of places.

    Frankly, I do not count people working outside of medicine as "working doctors" for this definition. I do not know many people who start medical school hoping to do something else entirely.

    "When I haven't any
    blue... I use red
    ."
    - Pablo Picasso

    BA - Oregon ° MS - BYU ° MD - MU-Sofia
    Clinical Research Fellow / Resident
    Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman 1996-2003


  7. #7
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Ultimate Member 12699 points
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    Oh, and I just remembered that another grad from the class after me matched last year (Peds, I think), as well. No US bachelor's degree. She worked a while after graduating before matching.

    "When I haven't any
    blue... I use red
    ."
    - Pablo Picasso

    BA - Oregon ° MS - BYU ° MD - MU-Sofia
    Clinical Research Fellow / Resident
    Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman 1996-2003


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