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  1. #1
    Maciej is offline Newbie
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    Gdansk....Agents....All that good stuff

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    Hey guys

    I've been looking on this board for a few weeks now and decided to just ask a question because I felt somethings were not explained.

    First of all, I am in touch with Ray Delavari right now and I would like to go to Gdansk for the 6 Year program. Now I see that everyone is anti-agents, so what am i to do? If I call the University and tell them I want to apply directly will they listen to me? Now I am ethnically Polish and can speak Polish well so the actual talking shouldn't be a problem.

    Another thing is, what exactly is the harm of agents? how do they scam people? From what I've read it appears that they simply take money for filing papers, but will they actually get you in the school or not?

    If anybody reading has actually gone through an agent, not just talked to one, I would love to hear from you. But of course I welcome all inputs!

  2. #2
    neilc is offline Permanently Banned
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    don't use agents!!!

    i spoke with ray delvari before i applied to school here. from my research, he offered NOTHING that could not be done for free. he simply wants a huge payment. getting into these schools is not difficult. getting a visa, or whatever else he arranges is also easy. i wound up at a different school, and i thank my lucky stars every day that i did not fall for his sales pitch. i know many, many students that wound up at other schools using agents, and got nothing but headaches for thier money, and wound up transfering here.

    if you are interested in a school that uses agents, contact the school directly. if they will only take you if you use an agent, go to a different school. there are certainly a couple in poland that do not use agents.

    good luck

  3. #3
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    ...

    Neil is 100% right.

    Since you already speak Polish, I simply do not understand why you are bothering with agents representing Polish schools.

    My approach would be as follows:

    1) Stop dealing with agents.
    2) Call the school you are interesting in directly.
    3) Talk to the local head of the program.
    4) Tell him that you are not interested in paying agent's fees and wish to apply directly.

    If he tells you to continue dealing with the agent, consider another school.

    Also, I would very highly recommend that you visit the program in person and check it thoroughly. You have the advantage of speaking Polish, so if I were you, I would approach the local students as well and ask them their opinion of the program.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    ABCD is offline Junior Member
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    One difference ..

    One differnce is that some of the agents line up all your clinicals in the States.
    So if your goal is to get residency in the States - the U.S. based clinical experience can only help.

  5. #5
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    ...

    A word of caution regarding agent arranged clinicals.

    Anyone that's considering them should ensure that they meet the following requirements.

    1) That the clinical rotation takes place in an ACGME approved residency program (same specialty).
    2) That a formal affiliation agreement exists between the school and the clinical site (e.g. hospital)

    Otherwise, you could be paying a lot of money for nothing.

    N.B. If you pass Step 1 and hustle, you will be able to find hospitals where you can do your clinicals. IMHO, I do not see any great benefit by using agents.

  6. #6
    neilc is offline Permanently Banned
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    getting clinicals

    getting clinicals is easy once you pass step 1. even some places that publish minimum scores will accept lower scors. coming from europe is a great advantage when looking, because lots of schools have rules that preclude carib students but allow students from other areas. UCLA comes to mind as a good example.

    some thing that i consider when i arrange clinicals: always put licensing issues foremost in your mind. make sure that the clinicals are either elective (ie. credit not needed for graduation) or make sure there is a formal teaching agreement with the hospital. my school does not have these agreements, so i do my rotaions in summer and during vacation.

    i am leary of the agents that arranged these clinicals. i worry that they have simply arranged the hospital to allow students to work there, and they give the hospital some cash. this is fine and dandy, but does not constitute a teaching affiliation, and may be issue for licensure problems down the road.

    if you want to do US clinicals, go to the carib schools, and make sure that you go to a school that has grads in all states. there is no other way to be sure that you will have no problems. if you go to europe, i say get into a 6 year program, do all of the required stuff in country, and go outside for as many electives or extra rotations as you can. these are the two ways that you will have no problems in all states. otherwise, you may be limiting yourself.

    just be very, very careful if you are entrusting your future to one of these agents. they certainly have a bad reputation, and i think that only you can take adequate care of your future concerns. get them out of the picture by going to a carib school, or one of the other programs in europe!

  7. #7
    ABCD is offline Junior Member
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    Benefit

    Miklos,

    The benefit that I am trying to weigh is that I get all my clinicals in the US at a certified site with formal agreements by going thru Hope (studying at the school in Katowice, Poland - admittedly not the best school in Poland) Vs going to KMU and only having electives in the U.S. Wouldnt the former path put me in a much better position when applying for residency?

    Any thoughts you or others may have on this would be appreciated.

  8. #8
    neilc is offline Permanently Banned
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    clinicals

    i dont think that all of your clinicals vs. most of your clinicals in the US will make a significant difference. do as many as you can comfortably do, get good lors, and more important is to do well on step 1.

    a side note. i know a few students at katowice. all went there for the US clinicals. none of them have taken step 1 yet (finishing the third year now), so none were able to do any rotations in the US. just another thing to consider...if you are not well prepared for step 1, you may not even be eligible for the stateside clinicals. and, in my experience, very, very few people from these schools take step 1 when they are eligible for it. even at my school, there is a large portion of the class that take it late (after 4th or 5th year). this is usually due to a misconception that they need to spend 4-5 months studying for the stupid test, but it is something to be aware of. nobody gives you special prep, nor do they require the exam, so a lot of folks procrastinate/underprepare themselves right into less or no clinicals and/or a later match.

    so, again, i think some (3-4 months) of clinicals are very helpful. more than that can help, but is not neccesary. and, again, if US clinicals are that important to you, i would certainly go carib over dealing with Hope. if you can live with only electives, go KMU, as from what i can tell, it seems to be the best deal in poland. i think an even better option is the 6 year program, which will give you plenty of time to do a lot of rotations in the states, while still doing your entire required education in poland, which will be the best for you come licensing time.

  9. #9
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    ...

    I was going to post what Neil did, but he beat me to it.

    As I don't know your stats or background, so I'm groping in the dark. Nor do I know what specialty interests you.

    If I were you, I would stay far, far away from HMI. (For reasons, you need not look far, simply search the forum.)

    IMHO, unless you have strong family ties or other very solid reasons, I recommend against Eastern Europe in general.

    If you are serious about a competitive specialty in the US, here is how I would rank my choices:

    1) LCME accredited allopathic (includes Canada and Puerto Rico)
    2) US osteopathic
    3) Carib Big 3 (SGU, Ross, AUC) with SGU as first among equals
    4) Only if you speak Spanish, UAG (otherwise skip)
    4) Ireland/Australia/Great Britain (financing, admissions issues abound)

    Only after that would I consider Eastern Europe. If I had to list Eastern European programs, I would only consider non-agent, six year programs that are currently California approved. For my reasons, see the discussions on a number of different threads on this forum.

    If the above options were exhausted, then I would choose KMU over HMI, no question about it.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
    kmufangs is offline Junior Member
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    going into the 6 year in poland

    A little more about the 6 year MD program in Poland, in general ( i think at least )

    The rotations are not continious but are rather split between years. It is not like the US where you do all of gyn then surgery and IM.... In Poland each core rotation is split into their own respective departments. So, for example, IM in the 6 year program is not 12 weeks like it is in the states, but actually 4 to 5 months as you have Cardio for 3 to 4 weeks, Hematology for 2, Gastro for 2, and no and on. This might be great but unfortunately they are all split between years 3,4,5 and for other courses even the 6th year.

    When it comes to doing electives in the US or propably other formal training, the school that you apply to will ask you to fill out an the application with what you have completed for clinics. If you plan on doing such a rotation between year 4 and 5, you will not have either surgery, im, pediatrics, or ob/gyn done. it gets better between year 5 and 6, but you still have surgery to finish. now, you will have selected departments done, but the applications ask if you are done with surgery "all of it".

    maybe i am wrong, and you do not have any problems. this is just what i came upon when i was filling out applications during my 3rd year for electives (am in the 4 year program).


    -kmufangs

    Neilc...i am very curious how the med education in czech is set up...is there a site with the breakdown year by year? the firstfaculty.com doesn't really list it.

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