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  1. #1
    EGX001's Avatar
    EGX001 is offline Member 510 points
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    MUA Truths for prospective students...

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    Dear Prospective Students,

    I think it is only fair for you to know what you are getting into when coming to MUA.

    Our USMLE 1st round pass rate varies by class between 50%-80% which puts our average around 65%. The school will fudge the numbers and tell you that our overall pass rate is 92% but this number includes 2nd and 3rd round passing scores.

    Our Curriculum is out dated and unbalanced. For example, We shove Micro / Imunno, and Pharmacology both into one 15 week semester, while we give Epidemiology, Ethics, EBM, and Genetics all a full semester course.

    Our professors are mostly Foreign Doctors or PhD's that teach their prospective courses accordingly, with little US practical medical experience. We do have some very good qualified professors, but not for every course and our Faculty Turnover rate is fairly high. We never can seem to keep the good ones.

    We do NOT have a working relationship with the local hospital, which meens you will not get any clinical experience prior to starting your first clinical rotation.

    We are on Nevis but everyone that makes the decisions for the school are in Gardner MA and they only visit once a semester at best. So administration is a mess, and miscommunication or complete lack there of is a major problem.

    Our Clinicals are seemingly top secret. They won't give us a current list of what, when, where, and how, and just leave you to wonder where you might end up. We also currently have a large number of students waiting for free spots to open up, and your placement is pretty much at the schools discression.

    Our campus is OK but they keep on letting bigger and bigger classes in, which has created major crowding in classrooms, library, cafeteria, Labs, etc... We have a new building that is seemingly under never ending construction. The opening date just keeps moving back. Our student parking lot and road is just dirt and gravel and has been in need of repair since the school opened. The administration moves at a crawl, so don't count on any thing being done fast.

    There are many more problems, but this should do for now. In retrospect I should have applied / attended elsewhere but its too late for me to make a change, but I definately think new students should have a realistic picture of what MUA has to offer.


    Sincerely,

    Anonymous

  2. #2
    cavalletti is offline Elite Member 510 points
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    What's the incoming class size?

  3. #3
    ironpalm83 is offline Member 510 points
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    98 for med1 and 36 for premed1

    that's for jan 08

  4. #4
    mike james is offline Member 510 points
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    hey there already 2 ppl dropped out of med 1 & looks like some will drop out after the 1st block exam next wk...as for the new building i've heard diff stories, the SGA says Feb, the Dean said March, & then one of the admin said May. So this is Nevis, everything including the construction workers are relaxed, so it probably will be May...the overcrowding in Med 1 is ridiculous......the classrooms open roughly 1 hr before lecture, & if u dont come in that 5 min window 7-7:05am, u WILL sit at the back...These r the things admin will never tell u, being a med 1 student is tough but definitely doable...

  5. #5
    jd.84 is offline Member 514 points
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    while i agree with some of your statements...

    Our USMLE 1st round pass rate varies by class between 50%-80% which puts our average around 65%. The school will fudge the numbers and tell you that our overall pass rate is 92% but this number includes 2nd and 3rd round passing scores.
    When the New York board visited our school last semester, they addressed this issue. One of the ways they suggested to increase our first time pass rate is to write multiple shelf exams each semester. So, where in the past med 1 would only write the anatomy shelf, they are now writing the shelf in anatomy and histology. Med 2 will be writing three shelf exams, physio/biochem/medpsych,etc... All the shelf exams also count as 15% of our total grade in an effort to force students to take them seriously. The school is taking measures to increase first time pass rate and I believe we will eventually make the 85% goal that has been set for us.

    Our Curriculum is out dated and unbalanced. For example, We shove Micro / Imunno, and Pharmacology both into one 15 week semester, while we give Epidemiology, Ethics, EBM, and Genetics all a full semester course.
    Keep in mind, EBM/Ethics/Epidemiology only meet twice a week, so they don't meet for nearly the same amount of hours as the other courses. Also, ethics and epi actually have quite a chunk of questions on the shelf and step one, so they deserve to be taught seriously. One of my med 5 friends took her pre-test today and told me there were about 15 epi questions on the pre-test. For those of you who are not familiar, the pre-test is used as a diagnostic tool in med 5 to see your strengths and weaknesses. It's supposed to be used as a tool to pass the post-kap exam and do well on the steps.

    Our professors are mostly Foreign Doctors or PhD's that teach their prospective courses accordingly, with little US practical medical experience. We do have some very good qualified professors, but not for every course and our Faculty Turnover rate is fairly high. We never can seem to keep the good ones.
    the turnover rate is not quite as high as you make it seem. Dr. A, Dr. D., Dr. L, and quite a few other faculty members, who are also highly regarded as professors, have been around for a while. Dr. A. the anatomy prof, has been here for 6 years and counting and is one of the best profs in the school. Dr. D., who teachesneuro in med 3 and is also and excellent prof, has been here for a little over 6 years as well. Recently, we've added new profs, but from hearing from the med 4/5, the new path profs are great. and i was there when the new anatomy prof gave a guest lecture, and he was great too.

    We do NOT have a working relationship with the local hospital, which meens you will not get any clinical experience prior to starting your first clinical rotation.
    yes, we used to, but since the classes got bigger, they stopped doing that. i believe once the new building will be finished, a clinic will be open in there for locals to come and to give students clinical experience. for now, students practice on each other in med 4/5.

    We are on Nevis but everyone that makes the decisions for the school are in Gardner MA and they only visit once a semester at best. So administration is a mess, and miscommunication or complete lack there of is a major problem.

    i don't know the problems you've had, but ive never had a problem. the dean is VERY accessible. he's come into our med 2 class more than once and has always answered our questions honestly. Dr. A, dean of student affairs, is also very accessible and open to suggestions. He has used students feedback to make a lot of changes.

    Our Clinicals are seemingly top secret. They won't give us a current list of what, when, where, and how, and just leave you to wonder where you might end up. We also currently have a large number of students waiting for free spots to open up, and your placement is pretty much at the schools discression.

    clincals are a bit of a problem right now. but keep in mind, a lot of students waited the whole 3 months to write their steps, so they are now waiting. from the students i've talked to who graduated last semester, the ones who wrote their's right away and did well got placed right away. if everyone waits 3 months to take the steps, then obviusly there will be a waiting period. also, up until two semesters ago, students could request to go wherever, so a lot of those students are waiting for those specific spots to open up. Also, the dean told us two new spots were recently added. and he's using his contacts to make more spots. the new dean is very proactive and is doing everything he can to help out.

    Our campus is OK but they keep on letting bigger and bigger classes in, which has created major crowding in classrooms, library, cafeteria, Labs, etc... We have a new building that is seemingly under never ending construction. The opening date just keeps moving back. Our student parking lot and road is just dirt and gravel and has been in need of repair since the school opened. The administration moves at a crawl, so don't count on any thing being done fast.
    yes, the new building seems to be under neverendingconstruction. from what i can see atleast one class will move into it next semester, or the middle of this semester as the bottom floor seems to be almost finished. this is nevis, not the states, so nothing will be fast paced like we're used to. acutally that's pretty much in every caribbean island.

    while anonymous makes some good points, i think he paints more of a dire picture than it really is. i've been here for more than 3 semesters as i did pre-med here, and i can tell you, the school IS improving. the classes are getting smarter, and the school is adding in little changes that will help us to get better. I hope my opinions help.

  6. #6
    TonyND is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    edit

    no longer posting
    Last edited by TonyND; 11-28-2008 at 08:34 PM.

  7. #7
    harsy is offline Member 510 points
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    There are many disgruntle students and some have good reason to be but many are just pis$ed.I came here 2 weeks ago and i can tell you that it is, for the most part much better than i expected.
    Yes the school fudges up the numbers, but i think most caribbean schools do that.If you actually bought the stats that it was 92% than its your ignorance, the pass rate for U.S. schools is around that....so how on earth can a caribbean school be in the same category.

    Most teachers are very competent,even the foreign ones. Have you even asked them about their practical experience?Ive talked to them and most of them have good practical experience.And btw,its not like all med profs back in North america are practising either,i remember my anatomy prof was a full time teacher/researcher with no practical experience. Andi went to a top ranking school.
    As far as the new building is concerned,its not ready but its 95% done.And i was kinda angry before i got here that they didnt finish it for us. But you will quickly understand why when you get here,nevisians are VERY easy going,they take 5 times the time to do anything.I passed by the building just today and 3 ppl were in the hoist smoking cigarretes and talking to the 2 in the balcony. You will realise that when you come to the carribeans, ppl are very lazy,its just there life style.I mean the banks close at 2 p.m. for Gods sake, not much school can do to change that. I am hoping it will be ready soon.
    Our class size is large,the biggest the school had so far,but we are managing.I know some ppl had difficulty understanding dr.D for embryo,because he speaks softly(and if you can get past the accent) but hes an amazing tacher with 25 yrs of experience,just go talk to him and he will explain it.


    The only concern i have so far is rotations,i am kind of in the dark about that. But its a fact that students have gone thru this school and obtained residencies.I mean much known schools like ross are struggling with rotations issues so we are not alone.They are negotiating for more clinicals sites from what i was told. The schools rep is getting better every day and we have some really good students in our class. They have introduced the shelf exams for histo and anatomy and i think it is upto the students to put in the work,no one can spoon feed you medicine,its your job to do the work.Its not perfect,but it gives me a shot at step 1,and U.S. rotations on a much safer island, in a relaxed and isolated env and redeem myself after the mistakes ive made.
    So the admin is at Gardner,far away from here?Well its the same place which got SABA approved, so i am not terribly worried,they must be doing something right.

  8. #8
    EGX001's Avatar
    EGX001 is offline Member 510 points
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    Take it for what it is...

    I just want to reply to everyone that is jumping to defend MUA. I agree the school is working to become better, but it is definately not there yet. I am a 5th semester student and I have actual friends and contacts in clinicals, in waiting, or still trying to pass Step 1. I have had all the courses and the professors, and I have a strong relationship with the dean. So everything I have said is all first hand experience not just rumors.

    You can still come to school here and eventually become a great Doctor, but I definately feel there are better options out there than MUA at this time.

    Best of luck...

  9. #9
    Mac.to is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    So would you suggest that SABA is much better than MUA or is it that every school in carib is on the edge??? I am not too sure what to take from this as I am looking in MUA for Sept 2008 (I got accepted already) but still not too sure if this is the right choice. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  10. #10
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    Drdiego is offline Member 512 points
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    Where to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mac.to View Post
    So would you suggest that SABA is much better than MUA or is it that every school in carib is on the edge??? I am not too sure what to take from this as I am looking in MUA for Sept 2008 (I got accepted already) but still not too sure if this is the right choice. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Wish I could but I am in the same boat trying to decide on MUA or AUA. The non-refundable $750 is due next week, and AUA's $ 500 is due as well. The students on the AUA forum are very active and gives out good info but it appears that all over communiation is a problem between Admin and students. It also appears that AUA have more choices for clinicals.

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