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  1. #1
    bfws is offline Newbie 510 points
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    MUA & California Approval 2014

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    All,

    Regarding California Approval please see attached screen shots of the latest report and guidelines for improvement and subsequent approval from the Medical Board of California.

    A lot of MUAs "annoying" changes in policy like 90% attendance, 120 days to write Step 1 after med5, and 8 week research project between med5 and clerkship are not to try to weed people out they're simply upping their requirements to satisfy the standards of the Medical Board of California. This is a GOOD thing.

    In summary (but I'd recommend reading it) - the report was generated in April 2014. It suggests 12-18 months to implement its suggestions and apply for another evaluation. So the absolute earliest MUA can apply for approval would be between April to Oct 2015. How long the approval takes - who knows. Its not "any day" but looks encouraging and like MUA is getting closer. And, the suggestions the MBC make are really good like lecture learning supported by small group and discussion learning.

    If you want to access the actual doc yourself do a Google search for some key words and it will pop up in a .pdf format.

    I'm a prospective Pre Med student and have no affiliation with the school. I'm probably starting in Sept 2014 and have researched Caribbean schools extensively for the past year. I even visited MUA to vet it before making the investment.

    In my opinion its the best "value" (opportunity vs. dollar cost) school in the Caribbean that offers a pre med program. Total cost for 4 years is estimated at 220K (as per report)

    So quick things about my visit:

    -All the students were friendly and helpful. I sat in on pm1 and 2 classes and md1 class (including gross anatomy).
    -80% of the people were from Toronto Canada, 15% from NY state, 5% other.
    -80% Indian, 10% white, 5% asian, 5% African American/Canadian
    -Teachers were ok. All were understandable and seems nice and willing the chat about the school and their previous teaching experiences. Since I wasn't a student most were willing to give objective opinions about the school - its a decent school but from a teachers stand point (they have a lot of free time) a bigger island would be better. From a students perspective the smaller quiet island was perfect for focusing but limiting when you have free time (which is never).
    - Academic building for med students is really nice. Par or better than any university in Canada. Pre Med classrooms are like portables. Not great but fine. All are AC'd.
    -Library isn't great but ok. You won't be impressed with it.
    -Dinning hall is great. Nice, big, open, new.

    All in all my expectations were met. Not exceeded but I wasn't let down either.



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    Last edited by bfws; 08-09-2014 at 11:00 AM.

  2. #2
    studnt is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    According to that document, MUA exceeds the amount of hours spent in class. There is no reason to up it to 90%.
    Wait until you get here, I would love to hear from you after 2 semesters. haha, you will be using all your absences to try and get to town to buy food and go to the bank before it closes at 2pm.

    There is no reason for an increase in attendance. What MUA should work on is who they allow to pass. They weed out normal nice people and allow weird people who can memorize tons of facts to pass.
    That is why we have a high fail rate for STEP2 (as stated in the California document).

    direct quote from the assistant dean "don't worry about califronia, its not happening any time soon".

    If i were you I'd check out UMHS on St. Kitts, we have a lot of good students and professors transferring there.

  3. #3
    bfws is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Agreed. I've chatted with a few students in clerkship from MUA and they said class was fine but studying the USMLE Step 1 textbook while in class was a better use of time. 90% might be too much for efficient studying.

    As for paying bills I've researched several properties starting at $7-800 a month (prudential, la vida, serenity, the edge) and they are paid monthly or a semester in advance with additional electricity for AC (monthly). Wire transfer for rent and the AC charges are paid online or to the landlord directly. I'm not aware of other properties but using absences to go to town to pay bills seems avoidable.

    Agree with your theory about why the Step 2 fail rate is higher. I read this somewhere too. But, if you can't hack Step 1 you'll never get a chance at Step 2. So, the memory work that the "weirdos" are good at is an essential component. Ideally, you'd want nice kids with good academic and clinical skills.

    Not sure about your direct quote but I've heard mixed reviews about the new Dean from both students and teachers. The best method seems to be keep your head down, work hard, pass, kill Step 1, and not bother with the political rumblings. Ignorance is bliss.

    And yes, I've heard good things about UMHS too. They don't have a pre med program that stream lines you for MD1 without re application and MCAT. The pre med option is a major positive imo.

    The school is acting in its own best interests to gain CMB approval so they can ratchet up tuition. Ultimately the best students will get though. A few good victims will likely get dropped and a lot of poor students too. But the school would rather 5 graduates a year that are top notch students than 10 so so students who dilute the quality of MUA's talent pool in hospitals and ultimately their reputation amongst program directors.

    I'm certainly not defending the school. Not at all. It has faults that are well documented. But you do get a lot of whiny students who forget how this MD school business operates. Its partially for the student and partially to achieve the business objectives. R3 Education also owns SABA so their must be a method to all the madness.

    Imo Carib schools are even harder to get through than domestic school. But for the student that is chasing the doctor dream these schools grant them the opportunity to become an MD, not a lot more, and certainly no guarantees.
    Last edited by bfws; 08-27-2014 at 10:23 AM.

  4. #4
    HOPEMDOne's Avatar
    HOPEMDOne is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Overall, is MUA a good school?

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