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  1. #1
    StillTrying is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I have cried for 3 days !!

    I applied to a few Caribbean medicals schools and decided to go to Spartan. I thought it seems like a good school....it has been around since 1980, has a lot of current practicing doctors, its only 4 semesters (shorter), and its a lot cheaper !!
    But ever since I told my friends and family...everyone is so negative.

    All I hear is that if I don't go to one of the Big 4 schools...than I will have problems. Everyone says I will have a harder time in clinicals and getting
    residency where I want...or that all top picks go to US students.....and that in the long run the constant struggle will not be worth it and everyone will look down on me being a Spartan graduate.

    They also said what kind of school does not list the clinical hospitals available for clinicals ?? plus...they do not even show you housing options or pictures ?? I looked on the website and that seems true !

    I was sooooo excited about getting the chance to be an MD and now I am so upset and do not know what to do.
    Can anyone help with some positive things ??
    Should I really consider another school ??
    Is the stigma really that bad from other doctors or when trying to get in Residency ??

    Freaked Out !!!

  2. #11
    StillTrying is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Dt- thanks for the link !

    BeesleyDoc- thanks for the great advice. Looks like you made a great choice of schools for you ! Stay healthy

    DRDRWMD- Love that quote…very encouraging.

    ASIANDOC- thanks for the explanation about clinical sites, I just got a little
    worried that I would end up in Wisconsin or North Dakota (ha ha), hospitals that are very far away from my family......all the other schools seem to list their affiliated hospitals...so I was a little concerned.

  3. #12
    specialknyc's Avatar
    specialknyc is offline Moderator 6101 points
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    a great choice.

    hey, Spartan is a great school. The bottom line is nomatter where you go if you want to be a doctor and work hard you will make it. Spartan is one of the oldest carib. schools around... they never toot their own horn when they do something right or wrong... Their tuition is low so so they dont spend money on maintaining an expensive business level website. Life on the island is great, and the school is well established in both the local community and as an international school. The school has well over 1000 (off the top of my head I think its near 2000 or more) graduates, one of whome is a nobel peace prize winner (I am fairly sure of this although he may have only been selected as a candidate... but I think he was a recipient of one). The school is an excellent choice. Unlike Ross, st. mathews, St. georges, aua and st. eustacious as well as others, the school maintains small class sizes, around 20-30 versers the well over 400 I hear go to roos or the many that are thrown into classes at aua etc...
    The profesors are great, always available to the point that you can call them at home if you need any help, or are having any problems. The students are all very friendly and welcoming. In all honesty I would chose this school over any other school in the carib. just on the things I have mentioned so far. Good luck to you. One thing I have heard from doctor after doctor (us grad and foreign alike) is what do you call the foreign medical student graduate?

    Doctor!

    Good Luck and sorry if there are any typos .. time is a luxury here

  4. #13
    Sebastian85 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Well, the only thing that I can add; is, you should not worry about what anyone has to say about these schools. If people can only say things that have no merit towards you or your medical education, then their comments are dismisable.

    On another note, once you get down there, whether it be Spartan, or any other school you choose, you will quickly develop a repitoire of friends, with other students and professers. You will realize that you are not alone, that many people were plagued with self doubt, and constant worrisome. Eventually, you will get in the swing of things, and will no longer focus on where are going to school, but rather, how much closer you are to becoming a doctor.

    Finally, remember "Stilltrying", that this whole journey should be a lot of work, but it should also be enjoyed. So, when you do choose to go Spartan, or any other school, study hard but also have fun, and you should be fine.

  5. #14
    StillTrying is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Specialknyc and Sebastian85-

    You both made some wonderful points...this is supposed to be an exciting time in my life and I need to get excited instead of worrying so much !
    I know I can work hard no matter what school I go to...and that I can be a great doctor. It is just being scared of the unknown. I just need to find the school where I feel most comfortable.

    Thanks so much for helping me not lose sight of that.
    You are right...its all up to me ! I am sure if I study hard, score high on my USMLE tests, and prove my dedication...I can have one of my top choices for Residency....and a great future.

    I needed some encouragement...thanks again !

  6. #15
    dt
    dt is offline Elite Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by specialknyc View Post
    ...
    The school has well over 1000 (off the top of my head I think its near 2000 or more) graduates, one of whome is a nobel peace prize winner (I am fairly sure of this although he may have only been selected as a candidate... but I think he was a recipient of one). ...
    Comment in bold is completely wrong. This doctor was found to have embellished his accomplishment. His first name is Se** (I think).

    This issue was put to rest awhile back. Do a search on valuemd in the Spartan forum.
    Last edited by dt; 04-10-2007 at 11:57 PM.

  7. #16
    clinical1 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    still trying

    No reason to cry, they'll be people throwing roadblocks at your goals all along the way, you just need to climb over them.

    Do yourself a favor though. Study hard and take the MCAT. With hard work and focused study you can do well which will open doors. Don't limit yourself to Spartan, St. James, St. Eustasius, AUA, or other lesser known caribbean schools.

    Consider your MCAT studying and the test as training for medical school, because the reality is medical school requires long hours of study and many tests.

    Then apply to some US schools, and some top Caribbean schools, Ross, SGU, and AUC.

    And stop crying, it'll be hard to study with blurry vision.

  8. #17
    stephew is offline Moderator Guru 512 points
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    you will need to differentiate between people "bashing" versus providing very valuable feedback that may indeed cast a shadown on a school. rather than try to debate the points of any given school i think its best for a new prospective to consider the following
    1) can you practice in the states you want from a given school?
    2) what is the boards pass rate and
    3) what percent of the incoming class MAKE it to the boards WITH their class. (ie dont fall back, decel, fail, drop out)
    4) what sort of residencies do peolpe get from the school and in what tier programs?
    5) if 1-4 meet your needs for a given school then consider the island, cost lifestyle etc.

    A few caveats- yes which school you go to can matter; program directors are people with personal preference and a well established place with good rep among the PDs makes a difference
    Also yes the pass rate does matter. some assume a poor pass rate merely means poor student screening. Poor student screening is a issue (and should give you pause..will you be one of the students not likely to be bale to pass your boards but the school doesnt care if you waste time and money to find out?) It also reflects poor teaching and organization. The students I teach at harvard are so bright, they dont really need great teaching. The students who wind up off shore tend to be EXACTLY those folks who make or break with decent teaching. If you think it doesnt matter, ask why youre applying to an offshore school to begin with.

    These are good beginner questions to ruminate on. good luck.
    Steph
    If you get a warning, put on yer manpants and stop whining about it.

  9. #18
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    saadz82 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by StillTrying View Post
    For some reason I have been a fan of Spartan...but I do agree with what others are saying??
    why are they not trying to get other states Approval like NY ?

    They do not seem very aggressive...and that is what worries me.
    Even their website seems old and out-dated.

    They could do so much more than they do...I mean they should have the most licensed graduates...and current doctors of all the schools...since they have been open since 1980 !!

    Look at AUA...heck...they will have a new 25 million dollar school....and now they have NY Approval..and they have only been around since 2001.

    Me personally, I do not care about a new building...or even NY approval because I do not want to practice there...but it shows they are aggressively trying to get better and grow.
    Even St James has (or is ?) applying for NY approval.

    I really thought Spartan was where I wanted to go...but people are swaying my opinions.

    Thanks again...you guys are the BEST !! I made a promise..that whatever school I chose....I am going to make sure I get back on this website and talk more about the positives and really try to help others make good decisions.

    You would think more Caribbean students would ban together to promote the Caribbean and how you can get still get a good education...than constantly bashing each other...it only hurts all of us in the long run !!

    try xavier as well, good school.... new but good.... also i would say to give mcats so you have your options open, what if you score decent and get into a us school nothing better then that....

  10. #19
    pej82 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    everyone needs to chill!

    Its a good school and YOU make of your own education what it is, no matter where you go!
    So... relax and see everyone in May

  11. #20
    wasselm is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by dt View Post
    Comment in bold is completely wrong. This doctor was found to have embellished his accomplishment. His first name is Se** (I think).

    This issue was put to rest awhile back. Do a search on valuemd in the Spartan forum.
    In a search on yahoo i have found this:
    among its achievements Spartan can boast a Nobel Prize Winner in the person of Dr S*** T******, an alumni who won a Nobel Prize in 1999 as part of a team of Doctors Without Borders who provided care to persons in need around the world.
    Last edited by teratos; 04-25-2007 at 07:07 AM. Reason: names

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