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  1. #1
    lightningstrike is offline Junior Member 520 points
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    AMA 2018 Grad (ask me anything)

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    Got a couple questions answered in J.MD's thread from 2015, and thought now that I'm in his/her position I'd do the same.

    I'm a 2018 Saba grad who matched to a university residency program this year.

    I'd be happy to answer any questions about the school from prospective/current students.

    Cheers
    Cores (x) | Electives (x) | Matched to Residency (x) | PGY-1 (x) | PGY-2 ()
    Step 1 (x) | Step 2 CK (x) | Step 2 CS (x) | Step 3 (x)
    MCCQE 1 (x) | MCCQE 2 () | Basic () | Advanced () | Royal College Exam ()

  2. #2
    dmonfk is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Hi Lightningstrike, I appreciate you taking the time out to answer questions from prospective students. Congrats on the match! I interviewed for Saba today and hope to hear back soon.

    1. How difficult is it/was it for you to pass the COMPs and what score equivalence is it the the USMLEs? I tend to hear horror stories on these forums about students who make it through basic sciences but fail at the COMP.

    2. From a personal standpoint, what was your experience interviewing for residencies as an IMG?

    3. If you could start over, would you still pick Saba? Or perhaps a different school? I hear Saba is more difficult than other Caribbean schools.

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    lightningstrike is offline Junior Member 520 points
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    1) You can't blame the school for failing the "comp" exam. It is a standardized CBSE (comprehensive basic science exam) written by the NBME (the same ones who write the USMLE). Therefore, if you prepared for step 1 through first aid, a qbank (usmlerx, uworld etc.), pathoma, and sketchy micro/pharm you would be able to pass the comp without ever going to medical school. SUSOM uses basic science shelf exams from the NBME during preclinicals, meaning you get to constantly assess your preparedness as those exams reflect snippets of the CBSE/comp.

    The horror stories generally come from people who scrape by passing scores in all their classes, have life stressors (e.g. health/family issues etc), have repeated classes, or did not utilize a good strategy the first round. Many will eventually pass with proper preparation.

    EDIT: The school generally sets a passing grade on the CBSE around ~68-70, however this number changes semester to semester. A 68 corresponds to a 195 and 70 to 200. Passing on USMLE step 1 is 194 at present, so this is definitely a very fair threshold.

    2) Despite scoring very high on both step 1 and step 2 CK I received less than 1/4th the interview invitations of similarly qualified candidates. A lack of research undoubtedly played a part in this, however any useful research opportunities are limited when you are constantly moving rotation sites. For the actual interviews I found them laid-back mostly focusing on my hobbies, interests, career goals, and why my specific specialty. Generally, if they have decided to interview you then they are usually satisfied with you on paper and just want to assess your speaking ability, ability to think on the spot, and learn about your hobbies/interests/passions.

    3) I would not pick a Caribbean school at all. A good DO school would have gotten me better access to electives via VSAS, and research. This would have allowed my application to be much stronger for residency. However if you absolutely must go to the Caribbean, SGU is probably a better option despite higher tuition. If you are willing to consider overseas options, Sackler in Israel seems to do very well matching in NY state.

    Nonetheless, I matched to my top-ranked program, so I am satisfied with the result. Additionally, I was able to rotate for my clerkships at a few excellent sites where I learned a ton.

    Let me know if you have any more questions or want more details. Cheers.
    Last edited by lightningstrike; 03-27-2018 at 06:22 PM.
    Cores (x) | Electives (x) | Matched to Residency (x) | PGY-1 (x) | PGY-2 ()
    Step 1 (x) | Step 2 CK (x) | Step 2 CS (x) | Step 3 (x)
    MCCQE 1 (x) | MCCQE 2 () | Basic () | Advanced () | Royal College Exam ()

  4. #4
    Leighton20 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    you to pass the COMPs and what score equivalence is it the the USMLEs?

  5. #5
    lightningstrike is offline Junior Member 520 points
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    The school has a committee that determines the passing score for the comp each semester. So it varies depending on when you take the comp exam.

    Generally the passing score is very close to what passing on the actual USMLE step 1 would be.

    Passing for step 1 is 194. A score of 68 on the comp (CBSE) is roughly equal to 195, and is generally what the passing score hovers around. So ideally you should score 70+ on the comp (CBSE) to pass.

    Be Warned: The school can change the passing score from semester to semester. So never aim to just barely pass the exam.
    Cores (x) | Electives (x) | Matched to Residency (x) | PGY-1 (x) | PGY-2 ()
    Step 1 (x) | Step 2 CK (x) | Step 2 CS (x) | Step 3 (x)
    MCCQE 1 (x) | MCCQE 2 () | Basic () | Advanced () | Royal College Exam ()

  6. #6
    soctain12 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightningstrike View Post
    Got a couple questions answered in J.MD's thread from 2015, and thought now that I'm in his/her position I'd do the same.

    I'm a 2018 Saba grad who matched to a university residency program this year.

    I'd be happy to answer any questions about the school from prospective/current students.

    Cheers
    Can you tell me what specialty that you ended up matching into? I'm considering applying to transfer to AUC or SGU do you think it be worth it?
    If i wanted to transfer to SGU it would likely have to be after a year because of the semester system they have vs the trimester system at SABA. I think I would be able to transfer to AUC after 1st semester because they run on trimester system. Additionally, I'm trying to go for Gen Surg

    Any advice because I'm a current M1 at Saba
    Last edited by soctain12; 09-03-2019 at 09:47 AM.

  7. #7
    don1 is offline Moderator 547 points
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    gen surg. awesome. I finished gen Surg and it is a great speciality. Super busy, doing complex cases can be challenging, but very rewarding. I went to a sister school to Saba. If you are a strong student I think you will do well no matter what established school you go to. Saba has produced some very solid physicians in competitive specialities. good luck on your training.

    Quote Originally Posted by soctain12 View Post
    Can you tell me what specialty that you ended up matching into? I'm considering applying to transfer to AUC or SGU do you think it be worth it?
    If i wanted to transfer to SGU it would likely have to be after a year because of the semester system they have vs the trimester system at SABA. I think I would be able to transfer to AUC after 1st semester because they run on trimester system. Additionally, I'm trying to go for Gen Surg

    Any advice because I'm a current M1 at Saba
    MUA Forum Moderator

  8. #8
    soctain12 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by don1 View Post
    gen surg. awesome. I finished gen Surg and it is a great speciality. Super busy, doing complex cases can be challenging, but very rewarding. I went to a sister school to Saba. If you are a strong student I think you will do well no matter what established school you go to. Saba has produced some very solid physicians in competitive specialities. good luck on your training.
    Do you think it would be worth it to try to switch to AUC or SGU if possible? Also, did you go to MUA then? So you finished medical school about 5 years ago then.

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