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Thread: MUA kicking students out after passing comprehensive shelf exam? - 2014!!

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    2014notthere is offline Newbie 510 points
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    MUA kicking students out after passing comprehensive shelf exam? - 2014!!

    hey guys, just needed a suggestion. I was planning to apply to MUA for next semester to start medical school. However, I heard from a distant relative that MUA recently kicked about 20 or so students out even after passing the comprehensive shelf exam? is this true?

    MUA changed the contract for their students behind their backs and automatically made them comply to new contract rules. up until last year students would take 6 or even 8 months to take step 1 examination. Ive heard that this year they didnt notify the students of their policy changes and automatically kicked students out of the school after 120 days (4 months) of not taking step 1?


    is there any truth to this? I need to confirm this with more people, because there is no way i am going to this school if the school administration is being so sneaky and changing contracts behind students backs!!!!

    someone please confirm this news with me, i need to make a decision soon, either MUA or AUA. I'd rather go to AUA if this is true!

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    docblin is offline Member 522 points
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    Yes sounds like medmedstudent + 19 others can not read or follow specific instructions as to MUA's policies of 120 days to pass the comp test before being allowed to sit for StepI... What about the remaining 50 MUA students who did follow and pass the comp and now are permitted to sit for the StepI?? Medicine from undergrad days through med school onto residencies are a "weeding out" process... So you got "weeded" as we say. I recall the entering class at SMU in 2006 May was 88, upon graduation in May 2010, only 45+/-. Gaining residencies in the 30ish range, Finishing to private practice with state licenses less than 25. So Caribbean USIMGs mostly understand or comprehend it is a difficult process to finish.. Do you really think MUA wants to "lose" 1.2 million+++? But MUA also wants to have a high% pass rate on StepI. So if you could not pass the comp test that is required to sit for StepI or you failed top take in it in a specified timeframe that falls on the "weeded 20". Just my views.

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    Med272016 is offline Junior Member 512 points
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    docblin, just to clarify the situation - the students did not have 120 days to pass the comp shelf, they had 120 days to sit for step 1 for the first time (whether pass or fail), the school in their contract wanted them to sit for Step 1 within that time frame after successfully passing the comp shelf. Regardless, it sounds like those students that didn't sit within the 120 days did breach the contract unfortunately. People can complain about how unfair, or unrealistic that time frame is, but in reality, whether you feel it is enough time or not is besides the point, they all signed the contract that stated those contingencies. The only thing I was confused about, after reading the contract, was that it said students would be placed on academic probation if they failed to sit within the 120 day time frame not dismissed. However...when I got to the last clause of the contract it reads "(12) … understand that failure to comply with any of the contents of this contract may result in disciplinary action including being subject to dismissal." Unfortunately for the 20 students, this looks to me like this last clause gives the school the right to dismiss...

    Now, back to the original posters question and why this forum was started. To reply to 2014nothere:

    “I heard from a distant relative that MUA recently kicked about 20 or so students out even after passing the comprehensive shelf exam? is this true?”

    Answer: Yes it seems to be true. I was part of this class, I am not one of the students that got kicked out though. I am in clinicals right now actually.

    “MUA changed the contract for their students behind their backs and automatically made them comply to new contract rules. up until last year students would take 6 or even 8 months to take step 1 examination. Ive heard that this year they didnt notify the students of their policy changes and automatically kicked students out of the school after 120 days (4 months) of not taking step 1?”

    Answer: MUA did change their contract; they actually changed the policy from 3 months to 4 months. We all had to sign the new contract though while we were still in basic sciences, when the clinical dean came down to the MUA’s campus to talk to us about clinicals before we took our comp exam. So this changing the contract behind people’s backs is a bunch of crap. It was all spelled out at the time on the contract that every student had sitting right in front of them and then proceeded to sign it. I did hear that students did have longer sometimes in previous semesters to take the Step. Starting with my class, they decided to be strict on enforcing this contract now and honestly there is nothing anyone can do about that, that is their decision to make. It is actually probably for the best. Like others have said, I do not see this change as a bad thing at all. If you cannot sit for step within that time frame, something clearly went wrong for you in the 21+ months you spent in basic sciences on the island. Most of the legit caribbean schools have similar contingencies as well. I guess the lesson learned here is that when a contract says something, do it. I know MUA was never big on enforcing this in the past, but for students to just decide their own timetable and not follow the contract in hopes that the school will be lenient is a risky choice to make, and in this case, was the wrong choice to make.
    Last edited by Med272016; 06-08-2014 at 06:30 PM.

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    taha1991 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    just spoke to a recent SABA graduate, he said they only have 3 months to write it before they get dismissed

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    taha1991 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Every carib school has its ups and downs, SGU if you fail a class you are dismissed, ross has a very high attrition rate on PURPOSE, saba/mua have a time restriction when writing the step 1, aua has the worst clinical rotations many students get left 5-6 months withouth any rotation and they cannot apply for residency because they havent completed alll their rotations..etc etc u get my point

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    wilcomp6 is offline Member 512 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by taha1991 View Post
    just spoke to a recent SABA graduate, he said they only have 3 months to write it before they get dismissed
    I graduated from SMU in 2011. SMU had the same rule after i graduated. I remember few of my friends had to transfer out because of that rule.

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    don1 is offline Moderator 547 points
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    My advice to someone considering MUA.

    If you are not a very good student and got in with bare minimum criteria then you need to question whether you are ready to study medicine, not just if MUA is right for you. your chances of matching into a residency is questionable if you have marginal performance prior to even getting into medical school. The USMLE score you get is not just compared to your classmates but other students from American medical schools.
    If you figured out how to study/learn and work hard and smart at MUA, you will likely do well and being kicked out will not apply to you.

    wanting to be a physician is not enough to actually be a physician. you need to study hard and know your stuff. I can't imagine anyone wanting to be treated by a doctor who could barely pass the usmle or needs a very long time just to study for an exam that others take less than 1-2 months before taking.
    Last edited by don1; 06-09-2014 at 01:50 PM.
    Med272016 likes this.

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    ogilvie is offline Newbie 510 points
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    As a graduate of MUA, who just matched this year, I tend to agree with don1. When I took Step 1 in 2011, we had 3 months to take the exam, and most students were able to do so. After meeting tons of Caribbean students during clinical rotations, it became pretty clear that people who took longer to take the exam (6 months - 1 year) usually ended up doing worse than those who took the exam sooner. As someone previously mentioned, MUA actually became more accommodating to students by increasing the study time from 90 days to 120.

    I might be missing something completely, or there is something missing the story because if the comp was December, and students received the contract in January stating they had 120 days to take the exam, that gives them until the end of April. However, the dismissal email was sent at the end of May, so it seems like MUA actually waited past the 120 day mark to send that email. Plus, if students knew they weren't ready to take the exam within 120 days, they would have filled out an extension request form and sent it to the school and likely given the extension if it was reasonable.

    It's now mid-June, and I'm sure there aren't many open spots left to the the exam this month, so people are likely looking to take the exam in July or August. If the comp was in December, and students aren't prepared to take the exam in May/June, then maybe they need to re-evaluate their study techniques. Also, it is important to keep in mind that this will show up as a gap on your CV, and come interview time you will probably have to explain yourself. Program directors will likely be questioning why it took one applicant 7 months to get the same score as someone who took it in 3 months. So, I'm not sure I agree with the fact that some students need longer than 4 months. We essentially start studying for Step 1 as soon as we reach the island. The entire curriculum is geared towards Step 1. There are hundreds of Caribbean applicants for residency programs, and a lot of them are able to take the exam within 3-4 months or less. Trust me, we are not all geniuses.

    In no way am I trying to put these 20 students may be dismissed down, but I think by choosing to go to a Caribbean school, we have already put a red flag on our applications for residency, and we need to be careful to avoid any other mishaps (failed courses, delayed exams, gaps in education, poor evaluations). MUA, like any school will have it's issues, but I've realized that they will definitely help you out and support you AS LONG as you pull your end of the deal. I was not the brightest student, and did not study as much as I should have on the island, but I did what I was supposed to when I was supposed to, and didn't run into many problems along the way.

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    drjohn1990 is offline Permanently Banned 510 points
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    Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I've been researching a lot about MUA on VMD as I am looking to apply to Caribbean schools and I want to know why SPODAT and don1 seem to be replying to every single MUA thread and post when they apparently are graduated practicing physicians who are supposed to be far removed from the school as it exists today?

    Seriously, MUA today is probably different than MUA when you guys were there but all I see you doing on these threads is giving your advice to current and prospective students about MUA and their policies when I don't think you would have the correct knowledge to do so if you have since graduated. I find your postings to be a bit suspicious...just saying.

  10. #39
    SPODAT's Avatar
    SPODAT is offline Senior Member 520 points
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    Hey John,
    If you really want to know why I still post on MUA VMD site, it's simply because of an emotional connection to my experience there, and that's who I am and how I tick. I like to stay connected. I don't reply to "every single thread" and I don't give advice. I simply share my thoughts about various things I am interested. You're right, MUA has changed a lot since I left Nevis in 2008, and finished MUA in 2010, and the reasons for choosing it over other Carib med schools has also changed I'm sure. I'm generally replying more to the life process of going to med school, especially 2nd career as I was, and the amazing power of rumor, which has always been attached to going to school in far away countries. Hope this is helpful. All the best.
    MUA finished.
    Psychiatry residency finished.
    Staff psychiatrist. Hidden Content

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    drjohn1990 is offline Permanently Banned 510 points
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    Hi SPODAT,

    Thanks for the reply. I understand your point but my understanding is that the climate for IMG's today in 2018 is very different than it was even a decade ago. I have no doubt that you may have had a great experience with MUA when you were there but I don't think it's fair to say that you would "do it all over again at MUA" if you had to considering how different things are today for IMG's. Can MUA today get you to where MUA could have gotten you back in 2008? I think that's the bigger issue that a prospective student needs to know when choosing this school or another Caribbean school for that matter. I'm still curious about what you would know about the school since you are not on the island anymore. If you're not on the island or working with administration, then how am I not supposed to believe that what you are saying is rumor as well?

    Thanks

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