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  1. #1
    Elaine is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Yr 3 & 4 - Stability or Always Moving???

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    I am a Canadian considering applying to Saba University for September 2007. I am a "non-traditional" applicant, in that I have been working for 8 years as a paramedic and now paramedic supervisor. I own a house and a car. I have a strong desire to enter medical school, but also like the stability that I have in my life.

    One of my biggest hesitations with applying to Saba is the lack of stability that may or may not come. I look at years one and two of the program as being quite an adventure. After all, when else in my life will I have the opportunity to spend 20 months on a small Caribbean island?! I am from a small town, and think I would enjoy the "small town feeling" that is described in all the literature talking about Saba.

    My uncertainty lies in years three and four. Are students able to settle in one area, or must they continually move from state to state or city to city? Do students get an opportunity to choose what area of the USA they would like to complete their clinicals in? Given that I'm from southern Ontario, I would opt to be as close to family as possible.

    What about Canadian electives? How many weeks of electives can be done in Canada? Are there specific requirements of how many specialties these electives have to be in? Given that IMGs can now apply during the first round of CaRMS, I would want to complete electives in the different cities that offer residency spots to IMGs (since my ultimate goal is to return to Canada).

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Elaine

  2. #2
    oncojut is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Elaine,

    The first two years, as you have mentioned, will be pretty stable. You'll have breaks betweeb semester. You may choose to stay on islande or return homw for a little vacation. we had plenty of students who decided to remain on island during these breaks.

    I chose to move around during my clinical rotations. Unless they change the requirements, you'll have about 30 weeks of clinicals electives. You can pretty much do whatever you wherever you want as long as you can set up the rotation.

    There are a couple of sites where you can do almost all of your rotations. One of the main sites is in Kansas City, the other in Houma, Louisiana. Of course, you may have to do an away roytation during your cores due to scheduling and time constraints, but I don't see those period extending beyond the length of three months.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can maintain a good bit of normalcy during your rotations throug Saba. And, with more and more students landing good residencies, I see the number of options regarding clinical rotations increasing.

    One good thing about Saba is that it's a pretty close-knit fraternity. So, Saba grads will try to help out when they can. I cannot comment to specifically on Canadian rotations. However, I do know that some of my classmates have rotated through Canadian programs as well as in Europe. So, if you can schedule the rotation, you can pretty much go anywhere you want for electives.

    Hope this helps.

    -J-
    Never retreat. Never Surrender.

  3. #3
    oncojut is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Sorry about the spelling! That's what I get for posting without proofreading!
    Never retreat. Never Surrender.

  4. #4
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    I agree with what oncojut posted. Additionally, I would add that if you have specific time constraints for finishing you may want to be a little more selective with your starting semester. In my case, I am from a Jan class. My goal is to match next year. Otherwise, I will have quite a bit of time off. In order for me to get through rotations at the pace required to finish on time, I am moving with basically every core. I pretty much had to say, "just send me where you can to get me through!!" Psych - N.C.; Int Med - St. Louis; OB/GYN - Chicago; Surgery - Hollywood, FL; Peds - unsure. I haven't quite figured out how I will make it between Chicago and Hollywood in 2 days, but I guess it is theoretically possible.. The drive is about 20+ hours!! Hope this helps..
    Take care,
    JS

  5. #5
    don1 is offline Moderator 547 points
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    I currently go to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario; there has been 1 student I met from a carb. med school doing an elective here in Hamilton. He was from St. Georges and described the life experiences gained from going to a foreign school to be amazing.

    He was hoping to get into Canada for a residency, but still has to go through the application procedures.

  6. #6
    bigguy is offline Member
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    Stability after Basic Sciences

    Hello,
    I'm a 40 year old lawyer finishing up the Basic Sciences here on Saba (in 10 days...I can't believe it). I shared your same concerns as a non-tradtional student.

    Yes, the Basic Sciences is and adventure. It's a long, hard, put you to the test, cry and sweat blood adventure. Don't have any delusions about sipping Pina Coladas on the beach while skimming an Anatomy text. Saba is a real medical school, with good board scores and good residency stats. I can honestly say that if I'd known what I was getting into, I wouldn't have had the cajones to go ahead with it. But that said, I have absolutely no regrets. Saba has been an excellent opportunity, and excellent education, and a really good value for the tuition dollar.

    As for years 3 and 4. If you choose a metropolitan area like Chicago, or New York, you should be able to do all of your 3rd year rotations there. I just had my interview with the Clinical Coordinator. All of my core rotations will be within 5 subway stops of my home in NYC. Fourth year elective rotations are set up by the students (not difficult to do) so these can be almost anywhere. Staying near home shouldn't be a problem.

    Sorry, I can't answer specific questions about Canada, but 60% of my class is Canadian, so it shouldn't be too hard to get answers to your questions. If you don't find the replies here on valuemd, go to the saba.edu website, look at the Match results for previous years, find students who've matched into residency in Canada (who've supplied an e-mail address) and contact them directly about their clinical experiences.

    Unfortunately, Saba isn't great about answering questions about Clinical spots to prospective students. The department is small, busy, and they dedicate their resources to the students actually in clinicals, rather than prospective students.

    If you're thinking about Saba, put the application together, get accepted, and then fly down and visit the island. I did that twice and was able to talk with about 50 students who were able to give the "low down."

    If you're serious about med school, Saba is a terrific choice. About 10-15% of the students are non-traditional ranging in age from late 30's to late 50s.

    Good luck!
    Bigguy

    All you do and all you see is all your life will ever be.~Pink Floyd

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