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

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    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. #2
    stephew is offline Moderator Guru 512 points
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    have you applied to noly one school?
    Steph
    If you get a warning, put on yer manpants and stop whining about it.

  3. #3
    dt
    dt is offline Elite Member 510 points
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  4. #4
    tpw2k is offline Member 510 points
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    my brother goes to spartan and he doesn't really have anything negative to say about the school. You work hard, you will be an MD and will be able to practice in ~40 states. Once your in residency, stigma means nothing.
    Saba University

    Fall 07'

  5. #5
    BEESUAG's Avatar
    BEESUAG is offline Member 510 points
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    Hey!! Do not be freaked out! What other schools did you apply to and get accepted to? You should at least try to apply to as many carib/offshore schools are you can and then go from there. To be honest, Spartan was the first one I applied to because I wanted to know that I can AT LEAST get into one medical school! They were also the first ones that accepted me. I had just gotten rejected from Ross a week before and having ANY kind of reassurance helped me get through that tough time (since I had my heart set on Ross for like two years!).

    I then applied to other schools....St.Eustatuis, St.James, Mua-Nevis, and St.Matthews. With my stats, I didn't think I was going to get into St.matthews, because when I went to their website, it seemed like such an established school and their requirements were stricter than the other schools. I had gotten into all of these schools except for MUA-Nevis. I think it was because their class size is so small and they can only take a certain number of people/semester. After a bunch of research, I chose to go to SMU and I am putting my seat deposit in this week.

    As far as the research I have done with Spartan, it has been around as long as Ross, and it will get you to where you need to be. I know that you have to work a little bit harder b/c some of the profs are old school and might not prepare you that well for the boards. But I do know of a lot of ppl coming out of that school doing exceptionally well in the States b/c they worked their butt off at Spartan. When I was getting my physical to have my doctor fill out the Spartan health form (which was a little embarrasing b/c the name of their school wasn't even spelled right on the form!)...I had asked my doctor (who is at Kaiser Oakland) if she has heard of Spartan, and she said yes. The fact that Spartan has been around for so long and doctors knowing of that school is a good thing. Should I have said St.matthews, she probably would have said no because it is a fairly new Carib med school and hasn't had a long history of grads.

    I will tell you one thing though...if you can get into any other school (I was highly considering St.Eustatuis---you will get into there as long as you have above i am guessing a 2.5-2.6 (I had a 2.8), good personal statement, Letters of reccs, and an mcat around 20--actually i dont even think they require an MCAT--but after some extensive research, I realized that Statia was not for me since I had cancer and will be needing repeat blood tests and also i have a heart condition that may require medical attention that Statia does not readily provide (Talk to the dean of clinical medicine, pm me if you need his name and number)---St.Eustatuis has excellent clinical placement back into the states, check out their list of hospital affilitates (and a good student support system as far as mentoring etc), and that def has a part in getting a good residency).

    I also know of people who have transferred out of the "big 4" schools into Spartan and the cheaper schools (St.james is also very cheap like Spartan but located on a better island, Bonaire) just because it was 1/3 of the price of the big schools and as long as you work hard, it will get you to probably the same clinical hospitals as the big schools, and if you put yourself out there enough, get you into the same spot residencies as other carib grads. (In the U.S, most ppl view Carib graduates ALL the same, regardless of what school you went to). I would say, apply to other schools and figure out which one is best for you.

    As far as Spartans seat deposit deadline, don't feel rushed or pressured in any way....i had talked to the admissions director, and you DON'T have to pay by the deadline, you can pay whenever you want, but your spot will not be guaranteed. If you are thinking about the Sept. class, I'm sure you won't have to worry about seats filling up anytime soon.

    As far as Spartan not having a very nice website or clinical sites/housing options available....thats because students will be calling the hospitals that the Spartan grads to go and it will look bad on Spartans part (students might say, well i heard that Spartan etc etc)...so they would rather keep it confidential and save themselves from any further bad reps and affiliations with hospitals in the states. Housing varies from semester to semester and they do not have set housing (res halls etc) that they can show online. I'm sure when you go to the island, you have to set something up with the landlords there.

    As somebody once told me....YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. You are paying the cheapest amount to go there, so don't expect them to be professional with things as far as investing money and their time into recruitment (when I would call the school, they didn't even answer the phone with "spartan health sciences school of medicine" they simply said "hello"....same thing with St.James)...this kindof worried me, as you should be feeling as if you are receiving the best medical education, since your life and future sort of depends on it!!

    I would say keep Spartan in your file, but start making files for other schools that have a little better accredidation status and reputation. Spartan has been around for 20+ years but seems to be the slowest moving and growing school out there. St.matthews and AUA have only been around for two to three years but they are soon to be up to the same level (accredidation wise--already receiving NY and Florida approval with Cali on the way...this says a lot about the school) with some of the bigger schools like St.Georges and Ross. Don't limit your options, and you want to make sure that you won't regret anything in the long run. Choose wisely, and once you do make up your mind, tackle it head on, and don't second guess your choice. You have time....Spartan isn't the only school that will accept you.
    Last edited by BEESUAG; 04-10-2007 at 03:46 PM.

  6. #6
    DRDRWMD's Avatar
    DRDRWMD is offline Elite Member 515 points
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    I would apply to multiple schools as well and also go through the threads about the given schools. Hopefully you can see the opinions of both the disgruntled students as well as the cheerleaders and extrapolate what problems you may forsee in the future. I would also evaluate what specialty and what state you want to wind up living in when you are ready to practice medicine. Also remember that you get out what you put into your education. As one doctor told me, "You can get where you want to go, it will just be harder as a foreign grad." My final word of advice is to find a doctor practicing who went to that school and get advice from them. I learned much of what to expect from students who went through it before me. In the end, each student is the one with his/her degree and/or debt.

  7. #7
    StillTrying is offline Newbie 510 points
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    My problem is I have not taken the MCAT so I applied to some of the next best schools...Spartan (accepted), St. Eustatius (accepted), St. James & AUA (interviewing).
    I just thought Spartan had a lot of positives...and much cheaper.

    It is just discouraging because there are so many negative comments about almost every school. It is just scary worrying about spending so much time and money....hoping you are picking a good school.

    I truly feel students that go to the Caribbean should be treated as well as US students. Does it really matter what school you attend ??
    I mean everyone who wants to be an MD has to take the USMLE tests and etc....and pass them !! You would think that would weed out any par student (regardless of what school they attended)

    Doesn't it come down to you ?? Does the school truly matter ??

    I just do not know who to believe on these websites ?? Some people will scare you with some of the things they say. I wish more graduates would
    comment and help set the record straight. It seems there are so few people to talk to about each school.

    The last thing I want to do is spend thousands of dollars and 4 years of my life...and then not be able to practice medicine !!!
    I also do not want to be considered a "joke" when looked at by other students or physicians. I do not want to have to "settle" for anything....this is what I have dreamed about my whole life.

    I just do not understand why Caribbean students are looked at as sub-par...especially after working your butt off for 4 years !! The school work appears so similar to US schools... it is extremely difficult and demanding.
    I mean...where is the respect ?? ya know ??

    I just want to work hard and make the right decision...you guys are great...and I appreciate the responses so much !!!

  8. #8
    ASIANDOC is offline Senior Member
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    Spartan used to list its affiliated hospital but few years ago a well planned article to destroy the reputation of all carribean schools[including the big 3 as per banned map] and its author as well as few other people called such hospitals and started to attack the school and alleging that they have 4 classrooms etc,many without confirming the info and to avoid PR headache terminated the contracts,I was one of the few people that called the MIN of Health and they denied the allegations[students not allowed clinicals or license on the Island...when the deputy min of health is admin with the school1!.]and also got copy of recent catalogue and the campus has 7 medium to large size buildings in a gated campus with large # of staff and facultyif each buildig has only 4 rooms classrooms then you do the math]
    Also based on my internet search,I easily can identify over 300 licensed grads everywhere but the school website list few just because the alumni must sign a form and permission to allow school to list their names but few return the form.
    I do feel sorry for this school because they have probably more licensed grads than most newer schools and the grads excelling in their careers simply because of the bad publicity they must overcome this with exceptional performance.
    I believe its education is acceptable to say the least simply because hundreds of grads can't get to top places by their looks or luck!!!!!!and never believe anyone who tells you exams and residency is easy and anyone can do it because is so tell them to try getting to Harvard!!!

    just my opinion and feedback.

  9. #9
    tpw2k is offline Member 510 points
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    USMLE is the great equalizer regardless of the school. Just do well on that and you will be eligible to practice in the US.
    Saba University

    Fall 07'

  10. #10
    StillTrying is offline Newbie 510 points
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    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 !!


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