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  1. #1
    md90's Avatar
    md90 is offline Senior Member
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    Message for potential students...

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    MUA-Belize: I recently completed my basic sciences (December 2005) at the school. I enjoyed my time in Belize AND at the school. This is NOT to say that it was 100% fanastic...I don't think any school has that HONOR. MUA-Belize has its' problems... but MY GOAL was to be prepared for the USMLE step 1 and for clinicals. I learnt quite a bit of myself... weaknesses and strengths, and there are some things that I would have done differently but it's part of growing up as an individual. There are certain things that I would NOT change... I was the editor of the Vector (school newspaper)... and literally build the newspaper from the "ground." I also did a daily radio show called MUA Health Corner discussing various health subjects. I am not just proud of completing and doing well in my classes, but in being part of the school and island community. MUA-Belize was a "fit" for me... but more importantly, I ACHIEVED my goal.

    My advice to future medical students as you search for the "perfect" medical school:
    1. No school is "perfect"
    2. There will be rumors.. please remember.. there are three sides to the truth...the two parties involved, then the actual truth which we might never know...
    3. Carribbean medical school system is a VERY COMPETITIVE BUSINESS....
    4. Medical school is a BUSINESS!!
    5. students from the varied schools will always believe that their school is the BEST!!
    6. If financially able to do so, visit the school.

    Once you have decided on the school, remember it's now up to YOU...
    1. choose two review books (I preferred First Aid and Step Up)
    2. integrate your class notes into those books
    3. Study and review every day and night even on the holidays BUT
    4. make sure that you get at least 6-8 hours of sleep, and eat at least every four hours, and exercise (health is VERY important)

    Doing EXCELLENT/WELL in your classes and board exams will make you competitive for the type of residency that you desire OR if you have not decided... it will keep you competitive for any type of residency. Each medical student is competing against each other at the school, and with all other students throughout the WORLD. How are you going to stand out?

    My final advice: Keep your focus, determination, and motivation. It's NOT about the school, BUT what YOU do as a student... again I ask you..
    HOW ARE YOU GOING TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?


  2. #2
    black_jack is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Newbie

    Hey MD90
    You are right how will the student STAND OUT FROM THE REST?

    Im planning to attend medical school and im 28 years old i did school at western in ontario canada and i was wondering about a couple of things if you dont mind helping me out:
    1. I know every school has its goods and bads just like every country however what should i base my decision on? Im applying to SABA and MUA belize. My main reason for choosing MUA is one of my best friends went there so i was thinking that he could help me get adapted better there. What do you think?

    2. Where do i find what hospitals licence which schools? I mean which hospitals will license grads from MUA and which ones from SABA etc.

    Thanks
    regards
    Black Jack

  3. #3
    md90's Avatar
    md90 is offline Senior Member
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    good questions...

    1. I know every school has its goods and bads just like every country however what should i base my decision on?
    The decision should be based on what your GOALS are for medicine. For example, do you have an interest or an area that you are interested in specializing? If yes, is that area competitive? And which school will give me the BEST edge to be competitive? Plus, should consider these factors..
    1. Professors: is there an even balance between ph.ds and MDs? Belize has one ph.d professor, and she teaches biochemistry and cell biology; the rest are MDs which I prefer... more clinical applications.
    2. Class size--SABA admits 60 (I might be wrong, please correct me) and they were thinking about increasing the class size to admit more students; they have a waiting list to get into their school; Belize,...our goal is 60;
    3. Exams--are they USMLE type questions and style? are they all one day? I can not speak for SABA, but in Belize, they are a building "up" style in the USMLE format.. from simple to the very hard as you progress through your classes; the exams are on Monday and Tuesdays for the first three, and for exam #3, it's thursday and friday; final exams are Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; (These exam schedules may have changed for this semester and/or can change in future semesters).
    4. Teaching style--will it be compatible to your learning style and/or will you be able to adapt to it easily? Again, I can not speak re: SABA. Belize, all of the lectures are on powerpoint, and the students either rec'd paper copies of those notes or the powerpoint lectures if they had memory drive; clinical vignettes were given as class work or homework and discussed the following day; written and oral presentations were part of the class; research projects; quizzes (announced and pop); during the last semester, had the opportunity to get a "taste" of clinicals by rotating through the public clinic; also kaplan is offered to students starting either in third or fourth semester; The professors have an open door policy, BUT it's up to you to USE IT. They are willing to help and to listen, and to give study tips.
    5. finances--tuitions and living expenses? My biggest expenses were my apartment and the golf cart (I was too short for the regular bikes, and was too embarassed to get a child's bike). I saved money by cooking, and bringing in boxed items from the states such as pasta, cereal, oatmeal,... and personal hygiene items. Walking is okay.. but during the monsoon and hurricane seasons, it can get pretty muddy and "nasty"; it's better to have a bike or golf cart; Taxis are okay but they can become expensive. It depends on you... on what you want to spend your money on... It's a good idea to buy a full raincoat (pants and top) when you go to any carribbean school...and waterproof shoes.
    6. Environment--what type of environment will you be most successful in? Do you want a place that is quiet and no distractions? OR do you want a place that you can some distractions to relieve your stresses? I loved Belize... it's a beautiful place, and I could not afford to go home during every break, and I find things to do in Belize such as traveling. Belize is made for tourists.. plenty of restaurants, resorts, diving, snorkeling, clubs, churches.... OR can go to the mainland for R/R or if you are having "island fever"....

    Im applying to SABA and MUA belize. My main reason for choosing MUA is one of my best friends went there so i was thinking that he could help me get adapted better there. What do you think?
    That is up to you... remember.. what was good for your friend might not necessarily be good for you (unless both of you are of the "same cloth"). SABA and MUA Belize are similar.. along with Nevis... (Belize was the new campus) until SABA got the US comparable certification... which the Serslands helped them to receive...


    2. Where do i find what hospitals licence which schools? I mean which hospitals will license grads from MUA and which ones from SABA etc. Are you asking about clinicals or residency or for practice? In regards to clinicals, Belize has Chicago and Atlanta, but are looking at other sites; SABA has more clinical sites,... but then again, they are an established school. Regarding residency and for practice, need to ask yourself "where do you want to practice medicine?" Then you need to check those states for their residency and licensure requirements;

    Other factor to consider: what do you want? Do you want an established school or a young school? Please note that even the established schools had to start "young" before becoming established... except at that time, there were not as many choices as they are now...

    I do strongly recommend that you visit the school(s), sit in the classes, talk to current students and professors, and view the area. If you can see yourself for the next two years at the school and doing well, then it's the school for you.... (If this is financially capable for you)

    I hope that I have been helpful to you, and if there are additional questions or comments, I welcome them. I wish you the best of luck,....
    Last edited by md90; 03-27-2006 at 02:56 PM.

  4. #4
    WTatou is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Amazing

    It is very amazing to read these news about MUAB. Where do you plan to start your clinical rotations. Well come to Atlanta, but do you that MUA does not pay clinical rotation for students. Be ready to spend a few months home if do not have cash in your hands to pay GMC ON YOUR OWN. I am telling you this because my housband has been sitting home for months now without knowing when he will be back to clinical though he has more than enough fund from his MUA's account.
    I think student like you deserve to know this bad side of MUA

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    dt
    dt is offline Elite Member 510 points
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    Money-related issue sounded familiar, and I searched and found this:

    http://www.valuemd.com/relaxing-loun...-problems.html
    http://www.ambergristoday.com/archives/7-6-01/#story2

  6. #6
    md90's Avatar
    md90 is offline Senior Member
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    It is very amazing to read these news about MUAB.
    This is not news about MUA-B; it's about making sure that students choose wisely; I can not speak for the other schools, and will NOT do so. I can SPEAK about MY EXPERIENCE at MUA-B. I hope that students see this as my experience, and make their own mind. I wish all students the BEST in their pursuit of becoming a doctor.

    Where do you plan to start your clinical rotations. Well come to Atlanta, but do you that MUA does not pay clinical rotation for students.
    Right now, my focus is the step 1 exam. I'm in the processing of getting my paperwork ready for clinical rotations. I am not discuss payment or clinical rotations because I do not know... I'm sorry that your husband is having a bad time, and hope that things will work out for him.

    As far as the good vs bad of MUA.. as I said.. MUA is not "perfect." And as a young "business" there will be growing pains..; re: dt's post, remember.. there are three sides to a story: the parties involved and the actual truth; if you see this as a stumbling block to your goal of becoming a physician, then do NOT choose MUA-B. I wish you the best...

  7. #7
    nevisbutterfly's Avatar
    nevisbutterfly is offline Senior Member 523 points
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    Saba, MUA Nevis and MUA Belize

    Saba and MUA Nevis are very close to being the same.
    MUA Belize is NOT affiliated with Saba or MUA Nevis.
    Saba is more established than MUA Nevis. However, Nevis is a very very close second. I attended MUA Nevis and it is a good school.
    MUA Belize is having its own problems. It started out being a part of MUA Nevis and then broke off to become its own free standing medical school.
    If you have a choice, pick MUA Nevis over MUA Belize. You will be much happier.

  8. #8
    md90's Avatar
    md90 is offline Senior Member
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    If you have a choice, pick MUA Nevis over MUA Belize. You will be much happier.
    "Happiness is in the eye of the beholder." You can read, contemplate, read again, contemplate... the cycle continues...every person has their own view from their own experience. If you choose or not choose a school of what you have read, then something is not to your liking or goes wrong, YOU have no one but yourself to blame. I strongly recomment that students visit the school, sit on classes, talk to students, professors, administration, locals,....I do understand that this can not be affordable to everyone, but try to visit at least one of the schools that you feel that you need to learn more before making a decision...

  9. #9
    pruritis_ani is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by md90
    "Happiness is in the eye of the beholder." You can read, contemplate, read again, contemplate... the cycle continues...every person has their own view from their own experience. If you choose or not choose a school of what you have read, then something is not to your liking or goes wrong, YOU have no one but yourself to blame. I strongly recomment that students visit the school, sit on classes, talk to students, professors, administration, locals,....I do understand that this can not be affordable to everyone, but try to visit at least one of the schools that you feel that you need to learn more before making a decision...
    What a student should consider even before wasting money on a trip to visit a school is what the school currently has to offer.

    Seeing as how MUA-Belize has little to no track record for licensure in the states, has recently affiliated itself with a school that has disintegrated, and has really nothing to offer that other schools cannot do better, one would be well advised to steer clear of MUA-Belize. No matter what the classes and island are like, this school is best avoided.

  10. #10
    md90's Avatar
    md90 is offline Senior Member
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    are you a FMG?

    What a student should consider even before wasting money on a trip to visit a school is what the school currently has to offer. Seeing as how MUA-Belize has little to no track record for licensure in the states, has recently affiliated itself with a school that has disintegrated, and has really nothing to offer that other schools cannot do better, one would be well advised to steer clear of MUA-Belize. No matter what the classes and island are like, this school is best avoided.
    I have read your posts, and am interested in knowing more about you. Are you a FMG? OR Are you a physician? What is your interest in either MUA-B or/and St. Chris? Besides the past history of the schools, do you have information re: MUA-B future? Please don't say that a past history defines a school's future or business... there would be quite a bit of businesses and schools not functioning; Are you a school official interested in bringing students to your school by bad-mouthing other schools? WHAT IS YOUR INTEREST?

    It's never a waste of time to visit a school... if a student relies on just what s/he reads or sees, that is poor research. As undergrads, we did not choose any school, and we should not as graduates; A brochure, forum,.. anything or anyone will not tell you what a school is like for YOU.

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