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  1. #1
    FutureRuralMed1239 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    For Those Of You Who Willingly Chose Poland Over The US...

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    WHY did you do it?

    I think it will/would be a very good, and enlightening experience, taking into account all the pros AND cons. However, the family is having a bit of trouble seeing things that way, and they wonder why I don't "just want to go somewhere in the US."

    For me, this is how I see it:

    It is less expensive, even with the tuition increases, and JAG's tuition rates in EURO. Less expensive = less debt coming out of school.

    Small class size

    Self directed learning (for the most part, vs. substantially more hand-holding in US schools.)

    Easier to get into, but you have to prove your salt (vs. extremely competitive to the determent of even exceptionally qualified candidates.)

    Ability to practice in the EU AND the US once I finish.

    Ability to learn a new language, make international connections, and do some traveling as well.

    Beautiful Europe and it's people... as opposed to... yet another four years of isolationistic Americans.

    An amazing experience which would take me out of my comfort zone, and put me into contact with several scientific and medical advancements which the US will either not participate in OR calls highly "experimental."

    I know it's not all sunshine and butterflies, but nothing is.

    ***
    What are some other reasons that you guys who willingly came to Poland over the US, chose to do so?

  2. #2
    chexpool is offline Member 510 points
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    Hi there future; let me answer your questions first and then give you my opinion.




    It is less expensive, yes absolutely i have never heard of any schools being cheaper, this is one great + for UJ

    Small class size: yup another good aspect

    Self directed learning : you are right on this but this is an absolute negative. The one thing i dream of going on at PUMS is some god damn directed study, only now at kaplan i see what i missed in the states, from what i hear about the Caribbean from these people here, its the same deal there. So if med school in the USA, is anything like the undergrad in the USA, well i would say its better. But better ask someone that goes to school in the USA on that one.

    Easier to get into, (-) this is a negative too, your peers represent you in many ways as well, and i must say at least at PUMS, there is a group that isnt qualified but still are medical students, and they fail everything. Still there though.


    Ability to practice in the EU AND the US once I finish: The single best thing about polish schools.

    Ability to learn a new language, make international connections, and do some traveling as well. haha well i speak polish but most people quickly give up on that one.

    Beautiful Europe: yup europe is sic; cant beat it. But traveling is limited with school functions; and dont think for a second poland is europe, it is eastern europe, and as much as i tried to convince my self otherwise, well... experience it. Saying all of that that; unlike the rest of poland, krakow is immune many of the polishisms which i cant stand. So i refer that to UJ people more so.

    An amazing experience which would take me out of my comfort zone, and put me into contact with several scientific and medical advancements which the US will either not participate in OR calls highly "experimental."

    : yup, its a god damn world wind that will leave you confused when you get back to the states. In my very humble and perhap's naive opinion, i feel like europe has a better rep. then the caribbeen, although i would hold the SGU may do a better job.

    I know it's not all sunshine and butterflies, but nothing is.
    :Right here again, Things start to piss you off in many ways in poland and with the pressures and all, well it gets under your skin, but a quick trip out of poland always does a quick fix on the polish school blues

    If i were 22 y/0, looking back... this would be my course of applications.

    1) US MD
    2) do a MS in basic medical science to get into a US MD
    3) Caribbean( academically/ not culturally)


    But one warning and let me qualify this( i am polish born, raised in the states, and i speak polish): Polish people are kinda mean and rude, in a kinda large way, as much as i disliked "isolantic americanism" americans actually look better and better to me everyday.

    GOOD LUCK!

  3. #3
    FutureRuralMed1239 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by chexpool View Post
    Hi there future; let me answer your questions first and then give you my opinion.




    It is less expensive, yes absolutely i have never heard of any schools being cheaper, this is one great + for UJ

    Small class size: yup another good aspect

    Self directed learning : you are right on this but this is an absolute negative. The one thing i dream of going on at PUMS is some god damn directed study, only now at kaplan i see what i missed in the states, from what i hear about the Caribbean from these people here, its the same deal there. So if med school in the USA, is anything like the undergrad in the USA, well i would say its better. But better ask someone that goes to school in the USA on that one.

    Easier to get into, (-) this is a negative too, your peers represent you in many ways as well, and i must say at least at PUMS, there is a group that isnt qualified but still are medical students, and they fail everything. Still there though.


    Ability to practice in the EU AND the US once I finish: The single best thing about polish schools.

    Ability to learn a new language, make international connections, and do some traveling as well. haha well i speak polish but most people quickly give up on that one.

    Beautiful Europe: yup europe is sic; cant beat it. But traveling is limited with school functions; and dont think for a second poland is europe, it is eastern europe, and as much as i tried to convince my self otherwise, well... experience it. Saying all of that that; unlike the rest of poland, krakow is immune many of the polishisms which i cant stand. So i refer that to UJ people more so.

    An amazing experience which would take me out of my comfort zone, and put me into contact with several scientific and medical advancements which the US will either not participate in OR calls highly "experimental."

    : yup, its a god damn world wind that will leave you confused when you get back to the states. In my very humble and perhap's naive opinion, i feel like europe has a better rep. then the caribbeen, although i would hold the SGU may do a better job.

    I know it's not all sunshine and butterflies, but nothing is.
    :Right here again, Things start to piss you off in many ways in poland and with the pressures and all, well it gets under your skin, but a quick trip out of poland always does a quick fix on the polish school blues

    If i were 22 y/0, looking back... this would be my course of applications.

    1) US MD
    2) do a MS in basic medical science to get into a US MD
    3) Caribbean( academically/ not culturally)


    But one warning and let me qualify this( i am polish born, raised in the states, and i speak polish): Polish people are kinda mean and rude, in a kinda large way, as much as i disliked "isolantic americanism" americans actually look better and better to me everyday.

    GOOD LUCK!

    Thanks so much for your response!

    I don't quite know how to reply to it... but you showed me the good and the bad, and that is precisely what I wanted.

    I originally had my heart set on Poznan, but more and more I am considering UJ. It will be a while before I can apply. I was a little late jumping on the ********* bandwagon, and so now am running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

    I also fear... well, know I would have to do a MA degree or something first before any US MD program would consider me... I screwed around a bit ambivalently in spite of my intelligence... during most of my undergrad. I am reformed now, but I have a relatively dismal GPA to show for it.

    I am finishing my science courses, (and doing well in them) and plan on busting my *** for the MCAT.

    That being said, I am passionate about medicine, a quick learner, and I WANT to be a doctor. So, I am not sure what to do. I don't like the "you go where you get in" mentality that treats you like a number and doesn't look at the whole person. I don't like the "yes, you are exceptionally qualified, but there is no room for you at the inn" mentality either... I dunno. Maybe I am idealising everything without even meaning to.

    I know eastern europe and Poznan have some issues with being corrupt, so I guess there I'd just be playing a different side of the same coin. Not sure.

    Would you say that the Polish people are more... or less rude and arrogant than the (primarily west) Germans?

    I have yet to scope it out myself, but I have friends from both sides of Germany, and they are vastly different... though both saying that the Poles are "nicer" people than those from Deutschland. Again, I guess it depends on personal experiences... and I have yet to figure it out.

  4. #4
    Macman3202 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    If you have the option....

    If you have the option...go to school in the states.

    I am a student at PUMS. I am an American that moved to Europe, (Sweden) with my wife in 2003. I started at PUMS in 2004 in the 6-yr. I just switched to 4-yr, and will graduate in 2010.

    Here is the deal. The pre-clinical you can do anywhere. You could do it on Mars and still do well on step-1. The clinical subjects are the most important from the standpoint of practicing medicine. If you plan on practicing in the states and have the option to go to school there you would be much better off.

    The truth is that the english language med-programs limit the actual patient contact and clinical skills training due to insurance reasons. We are officially not allowed to learn how to draw blood because the administration does not have faith that we wont contract a blood born disease. Seriously... my internal med. instructor told me.

    If you are looking for an international experience there have been great international elective programs for the 4th year in place for more than 30 years and the choices are much much more broad.

    I could talk about the specifics of the situation but if you read the posts in this forum you will get an idea of the good and the bad. Here is the biggest negative. When you get an internship and the people giving you the shot have no, ZERO, frame of reference for your capabilities, they don't trust you an inch. They have no idea why you chose to go to Poland, and even if you did in fact choose Poland over the US for whatever reason, they still have it in their head that you couldn't cut the mustard on your home turf. I have my first internship in Sweden now. That is exactly how I'm getting it. I have great grades, the school has given me scholarships every year....it means bupkis. I have to work harder than the other guys to get less respect. That is the biggest drawback. No one ever seems to mention that though.

    If you want to work in Europe many countries, especially the nordic countries have shortages due to gaps in their own educational systems so they are actively recruiting doctors from elsewhere. There is really only a language requirement when coming from the US. (A US citizen coming from a US school is more respected than a Swedish citizen coming from a Polish school with an EU diploma.)

  5. #5
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    bckwood is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by FutureRuralMed1239 View Post
    Would you say that the Polish people are more... or less rude and arrogant than the (primarily west) Germans?

    I have yet to scope it out myself, but I have friends from both sides of Germany, and they are vastly different... though both saying that the Poles are "nicer" people than those from Deutschland. Again, I guess it depends on personal experiences... and I have yet to figure it out.
    Poznan is know to be the rudest city in Poland and I would say that the Poznanian's are far more rude than East or West Germans.
    Cogito, ergo sum

  6. #6
    brittany2241 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Similar situation

    Hey Future.... I have a really similar situation. My family was very supportive at the beginning of my decision to go to poland, and now as the date gets closer they seem more and more against it. So I completely understand your problem. I think what I am going to do is apply to US med schools and even DO schools... then a year later reconsider UJ. If you really want to be a doctor( it seems you do). Then you will find a way... and Poland is a great second option. GOOD LUCK!!!!

  7. #7
    chexpool is offline Member 510 points
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    hey there guys good points from everyone.

    As for germans, man its a tough call, Europeans are by far less lets say socially accommodating, in the states there is general trend to be nice to people which i have grown to like more and more. But Germany is advanced, its liberal, and its diverse, people dont look at you walking down the street like your an alien. lets put it this way, it brings a large cheese grin every time i cross the boarder, having said that i have been in germany to have good and bad experiences, mostly good to great. On the other hand speaking for poznan, its dirty, and demoralizing, but once your away from it it all seems nicer somehow. point: you need to get out of poland here and there if not as much as possible.

    I agree with macman, minus the one thing concerning expectations; well let me clarify at least on the american return. From the Scandinavian standpoint: he is dead on, first scandi's are a closed society, or lets say you will never be accepted "completely" socially (even with people in poznan), next being foreign they would rather have a national, and futher there is a large flow of doc's(americans) from poland that dont pass the step going to Scandinavia, (not talking about macman here either) but i have friends that did just that..

    I am starting clinicals next year so i cant say from first hand, but people that i know have had very positive experiences in the states. But your experience is Directly proportional to your STEP 1, score, if you score 240+ or within the 90th %, you earned your respect, and based on that you open doors with a god damn chainsaw. But i guess its a bit like your credit rating, if you have the numbers you still have to make payment, and bad credit only works against you.

    But i think your answer is easy, you have many people here that all goto school in poland, and everyone says the same, wanna work in the states stay in the states, otherwise get it done some how. FMGS are FMG's no matter where your from. In the end we are all MD's... just harder i guess.

    GL.
    Last edited by chexpool; 06-09-2008 at 11:25 PM.

  8. #8
    StudentMed is offline Junior Member 511 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by chexpool View Post
    hey there guys good points from everyone.

    As for germans, man its a tough call, Europeans are by far less lets say socially accommodating, in the states there is general trend to be nice to people which i have grown to like more and more. But Germany is advanced, its liberal, and its diverse, people dont look at you walking down the street like your an alien. lets put it this way, it brings a large cheese grin every time i cross the boarder, having said that i have been in germany to have good and bad experiences, mostly good to great. On the other hand speaking for poznan, its dirty, and demoralizing, but once your away from it it all seems nicer somehow. point: you need to get out of poland here and there if not as much as possible.

    I agree with macman, minus the one thing concerning expectations; well let me clarify at least on the american return. From the Scandinavian standpoint: he is dead on, first scandi's are a closed society, or lets say you will never be accepted "completely" socially (even with people in poznan), next being foreign they would rather have a national, and futher there is a large flow of doc's(americans) from poland that dont pass the step going to Scandinavia, (not talking about macman here either) but i have friends that did just that..

    I am starting clinicals next year so i cant say from first hand, but people that i know have had very positive experiences in the states. But your experience is Directly proportional to your STEP 1, score, if you score 240+ or within the 90th %, you earned your respect, and based on that you open doors with a god damn chainsaw. But i guess its a bit like your credit rating, if you have the numbers you still have to make payment, and bad credit only works against you.

    But i think your answer is easy, you have many people here that all goto school in poland, and everyone says the same, wanna work in the states stay in the states, otherwise get it done some how. FMGS are FMG's no matter where your from. In the end we are all MD's... just harder i guess.

    GL.
    I;ve heard a lot of people say that... but my question is How hard is it to get that??? can you retake the test to improove your score and such. Also i am not vvery familiar with the test but what is it out of? The format, length, etc. If somebody could expand that would be great..
    Also is that also true for canada? I am talking about the fact, if you do well on the first test you get into a residency program NO problem.?

  9. #9
    chexpool is offline Member 510 points
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    hi,

    is 240 hard to get? well; its a bell curve, and standard score, there is no exact limit but no one gets over 260-270, there is a policy that the average is 220, equivelent 500 on your nbme's. If when you pass your exam, no you can not retake it. its composed of of all basic sciences sections, in blocks throughout the day. and you get a lunch break. I would refer you to the nbme.org or just google USMLE. So yes, 240 is hard to get but i must say i know people that got 240's but the majority of people i know scored between 200 and 230. After my little rant about 240 or 90 percentile, i know people that have many offers with 210's. But if you want options get the 240. From my research if you want to use the internal med steping stone you need 220+ or namely score average, anything above 200 your still not bad off. But between 187-200 well thats the low end, and options are limited or you need to get creative; having said that i have not know anyone that passed both steps and did not land somewhere. With your tests in the bag = work.

    GL!

    GL.

  10. #10
    whoops is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Why did you do it? and willingly??

    For Those Of You Who Willingly Chose Poland Over The US...
    WHY did you do it?

    I considered my options and the quickest route was to go to a Polish Medical College were I was already accepted and it was VERY affordable -- I could afford it all on the Stafford Loan for professional students: tuition, living expenses, books -- and housing was also guaranteed. 4 years in a single room with bath. Eastern Europe looked better than the Caribbean to me at the time because the schools were established and already pumping out Polish doctors who were respected; rather than only servicing Americans who weren't accepted by US schools.

    The first clue it was "too good to be true" was when they sent a paper for me to sign -- after I had already accepted -- confirming that I understood 4 years of housing would not be provided after all and that all incoming students would have roommates.

    The second clue that it was "too good to be true" ... too long a tale to tell. Summarized: realizing the school does not want the program to succeed ... the English Division is an interim plan.

    The third clue that it was "too good to be true" ... the 30% raise in tuition coupled with a notice that tuition would now be billed in PLN ... I have no doubt the wording on that will be switched back to USD if it is to their advantage. That the significant increase in tuition is NOT connected to the drop in the $ alone, it is mostly on a whim and appears designed to put tuition at the level of the Stafford Loan with hopes of cashing in on the additional funds that will be loaned to US students at medical schools in the US ... despite the fact that Polish Medical Schools do not offer the same benefits or privileges that the American schools do ... for instance with the exception of JAG's limited agreement none of the Polish Medical Colleges have clinical rotation agreements with US hospitals.

    With the $$ showing no signs of rebounding in the near future .. and the new PLN billing at PUMS it is entirely possible that next years tuition will increase as much as 100%.

    Why did I do it? -- misplaced faith that the Polish system and the "word" of school administrators in Poznan and New York meant something

    Unfortunately for me I want to be a doctor; and didn't have the funds, or time, to spend attempting to "possibly" gain entry into a US medical school that i "possibly" could afford.

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