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  1. #1
    cutelilMD's Avatar
    cutelilMD is offline Member 527 points
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    My visit to Spartan

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    Hey guys, I remember I promised everyone about my visit to spartan so here it is:

    First of all I urge everyone to visit the island months before going there for school. The first time I visited the island, I was blown away. It was hard for me to picture myself actually living there for two years. Everything was so different from what I was use to. After staying there for 7 days, I finally settled down and have adapted to the place. Saint Lucia is an acquired taste, so it's best to be situated psychologically so you wouldn't be traumatize during the school year.

    Spartan is basically a small school that separates students of different trimesters in different rooms. For example, the first trimester students will stay in the same room with the other first trimester students. They will have all their lecturers in that same room, so they wouldn't have to move to different rooms after class. The school has a very studious/friendly atmosphere, everyone loves to meet new people and have conversations. It's not a cut throat school, it's more of a school for students who are willing to study their ***** off, but not be stuck up or arrogant about it. Basically, it's a very well balance school so no one feels the need to kill themselves.

    The school hours are like 8AM to 12 AM, so after lectures students can stay in the school and study until midnight. The professors are always nearby in their offices, so if you are ever stuck on a problem, just go down stairs to your professor's office and get some help. I see a lot of students waiting outside of their office so it's pretty convenient.

    I was also able to observe the course schedule for each semester, and boy were they hectic. Students have to take 5 hard core science classes per semester, and you have mandatory lecture from 8am-5pm every day. In addition to classes you also have labs where it stinks like hell because of the formaldehyde. They have one female and one male cadaver for each lab class, so you pretty much have to share with all your class mates. They have plenty of microscopes for students, so you don't have to share that during histology lab, thank god because I tend to hog the microscope. Once you are in your second year, you will start working in the hospital while taking classes at the same time. Unlike the US medical school, Spartan starts training their students in different types of core rotations (surgery, oby-gyn, med, etc..) during their second year so they would be prepared for the real rotation in the states.

    Now time for the good stuff:

    Since I'm a health freak, I always have to check out the gym. I love their gym, too bad that hardly anyone ever takes advantage of it, probably too busy studying. It's a pretty good size gym with the usual exercising equipments such as: tread mills, weight lifts, bars, etc.. Behind the school they have some basketball courts and tennis courts for the students to play during their break. And if you don't want to cook at home, that's not a problem, spartan has a cafeteria of their own where students can eat and hang out. If you ever get hurt you can see the doctor for free in the school


    As for apartments, I recommend these three places: Orchards, Black Bay, and Cedar Heights. They are walking distance from the school, reasonable prices, and they look pretty good. Prices ranges from $300-$700 Us dollars, depending on what type of apartment you are looking for.

    Here's the process of apartment hunting:
    First of all, you talk to the secretary and tell her what kind of apartment you are looking for and what price range you are interested in. She will contact a landlord for you or if you have a specific landlord in mind she will contact him too. The landlord will drive to the school, pick you up, and show you around. He will show you everything that is available. Keep in mind that some of the places still have students living in there, so you are only able to get it after they leave. The main strategy in picking an apartment is to have about $700 US dollars in your pocket. Why? So if you find the apartment you absolutely love and adore, you can make your down payment immediately. This is very important because everyone is after the good apartments, so it's like whoever puts money in the landlord's hand first is the one who will get the place. After you put your down payment, don't forget to read and sign over the contract with both the landlord and the school lawyer present. It's important that the school knows when and how much you pay your land lord, and also when you pay rent. After the contract is done, that is when you can be relief that you have found a place to live. Make sure you keep your landlord's number so you can call him whenever you arrive to Saint Lucia again. He will pick you up from the airport and give you the keys.

    As for grocery stores and all that good stuff, you will definitely need to rent a car and temporary drivers license. The supermarket aka Super J, the shopping centers, and the bank is very close to the school, but it's still too far to walk so you will need to drive. If you go to the shopping center, you will see IAU, they are closer to the hussle and bussle part of vieux fort than Spartan. Oh and one advice, please leave the cows alone because they do get mad easily, and it's not a pretty site.

    As for sitting in for lecture, I wasn't able to I had a major ear clog / ear infection, so I was half deaf the whole time. Even as I'm typing this I could barely hear anything, so I will be visiting the ENT surgeon tomorrow to get this fixed up. I hope all the info I wrote here will give you a basic idea of what Spartan is liked.

    ~good luck, and if you have any questions feel free to post them
    Last edited by cutelilMD; 06-13-2011 at 01:53 PM.

  2. #2
    cutelilMD's Avatar
    cutelilMD is offline Member 527 points
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    Since I wasn't able to talk about the quality of the lecture in the school, you can click on this link to find out more:

    http://www.valuemd.com/spartan-medic...t-spartan.html

  3. #3
    axiomofchoice is offline Senior Member 6116 points
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    Spartan is a terrible school with a terrible reputation. The bottom line is, any student coming from the caribbean makes their own destiny, but let me tell you, if you have to go to Spartan, you must be at the bottom of the barrel. If you're not, and don't want people to think you are, then don't go there.

    PLEASE everyone: go to an accredited school. People at the big 4 are not cut-throat.... and that whole concept of the "big 4" is ridiculous. There are 4 schools that are not horrible choices = big 4. The rest is just plain silly.

    CutelilMD has sounded ridiculous for a while now. I had thought she's been in school for few semesters by now. But these are the problem kids/pathological liars that you'll end up with going to a school like spartan. Don't do it. Its hard to say where the line is. US schools, big 4, some junk chop shop. Its up to you.

  4. #4
    cutelilMD's Avatar
    cutelilMD is offline Member 527 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by axiomofchoice View Post
    Spartan is a terrible school with a terrible reputation. The bottom line is, any student coming from the caribbean makes their own destiny, but let me tell you, if you have to go to Spartan, you must be at the bottom of the barrel. If you're not, and don't want people to think you are, then don't go there.

    PLEASE everyone: go to an accredited school. People at the big 4 are not cut-throat.... and that whole concept of the "big 4" is ridiculous. There are 4 schools that are not horrible choices = big 4. The rest is just plain silly.

    CutelilMD has sounded ridiculous for a while now. I had thought she's been in school for few semesters by now. But these are the problem kids/pathological liars that you'll end up with going to a school like spartan. Don't do it. Its hard to say where the line is. US schools, big 4, some junk chop shop. Its up to you.
    I never said that I was a medical student in Spartan, so I don't know where you get all that from.
    My opinion is simple, visit the school and get a feel on it. If you can't afford to visit, read the forum, and hope for the best.
    Every school out there is gonna have ppl bad mouthing it, even the big 4. It's no big deal just find your niche and stick with it

    I also edited out the sentence : "the school is not as cut-throat as the big 4"
    I didn't realize i actually wrote that there, I didn't mean to insult anyone that goes to the big 4, my appologies
    Last edited by cutelilMD; 06-13-2011 at 02:25 PM.

  5. #5
    desi786 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by axiomofchoice View Post
    Spartan is a terrible school with a terrible reputation. The bottom line is, any student coming from the caribbean makes their own destiny, but let me tell you, if you have to go to Spartan, you must be at the bottom of the barrel. If you're not, and don't want people to think you are, then don't go there.

    PLEASE everyone: go to an accredited school. People at the big 4 are not cut-throat.... and that whole concept of the "big 4" is ridiculous. There are 4 schools that are not horrible choices = big 4. The rest is just plain silly.

    CutelilMD has sounded ridiculous for a while now. I had thought she's been in school for few semesters by now. But these are the problem kids/pathological liars that you'll end up with going to a school like spartan. Don't do it. Its hard to say where the line is. US schools, big 4, some junk chop shop. Its up to you.
    i know practicing physicians that have graduated from spartan and are living very successful lives. Rumors and gossip around the forums can lead you to believe what ever you want, but at the end of the day whether you read Guyton in St. Lucia or read it in Dominica its the same damn thing. Medicine is medicine, and its up to you how well you want to do. Spartan is a fully accredited university allowing students to practice in the US, UK, and Canada (plus many others). The big 4 are good schools to go to as well, but when it comes down to it we are all FMGs and we all end up doing the same rotations at the same hospitals anyways. The biggest difference is that you pay double or even triple the price going to other schools in the caribbean. Caribbean grads are all in the same boat, it's actually funny to think that people try front like they are comparing harvard to some community college....GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD YOU ARE IN THE CARIBBEAN NOT IN AN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL CALM DOWN!

  6. #6
    JFK-LIVE is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by axiomofchoice View Post
    Spartan is a terrible school with a terrible reputation. The bottom line is, any student coming from the caribbean makes their own destiny, but let me tell you, if you have to go to Spartan, you must be at the bottom of the barrel. If you're not, and don't want people to think you are, then don't go there.

    PLEASE everyone: go to an accredited school. People at the big 4 are not cut-throat.... and that whole concept of the "big 4" is ridiculous. There are 4 schools that are not horrible choices = big 4. The rest is just plain silly.

    CutelilMD has sounded ridiculous for a while now. I had thought she's been in school for few semesters by now. But these are the problem kids/pathological liars that you'll end up with going to a school like spartan. Don't do it. Its hard to say where the line is. US schools, big 4, some junk chop shop. Its up to you.
    I am a Spartan student and I totally agree with what Cutelilmd wrote. Spartan is a good small school. It is the ideal school for hardworking/studious students. It is not a school for weak or lazy students. So if you have any of these poor qualities, then please do not come to Spartan, because you will not make it and you will be kicked out and you will find yourself on valuemd puting your frustration and lies to the rest of the world. Spartan has many graduates practicing in the US, Canada, the UK and many other countries. That is all you need to know. Nobody makes you a doctor, you make yourself by not being lazy and reading those text book. Spartan has made me realize that becoming an MD is hard but doable as I have become more confident that I will make it. The faculty is good and dedicated. I will encourage serious students who don't have much money for the big 4 to strongly consider Spartan.

  7. #7
    JFK-LIVE is offline Newbie 510 points
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    One of Spartan's new lecturers is a young lady. A St. Lucian who recently graduated from Spartan. She has past step 1, 2, 3 all in the high 90s percentile. She said she will be lecturing at Spartan for a few trimesters then go back to the States for residency next year. She is an inspiration for all of us as she is so young, small and so succesful. There was another St. Lucian Spartan graduate lecturing the second trimester class. She went back to states to start a residency program Pathology. These are the true facts from Spartan. Not those of axiomofchoice

  8. #8
    2BNMD is offline Junior Member 511 points
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    Would one of the Spartan students share some information about the 5th semester there, and also the preparation there for step 1? Thanks for the information.

  9. #9
    Drgeosprint is offline Member 514 points
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    Thanks for the info CutelilMD!

  10. #10
    dermis is offline Newbie 512 points
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    5th semester schedule.

    8 am - 9 am : Peds
    9 am - Noon : Review (system). Selected topic for review is covered for 1 to 2 weeks but most people do not attend the class. However, according to school policy there is 80% attendance policy but it's selectively enforced. Sometimes attending the class can be harmful to doing well on your board. MBME is scheduled 4 times in semester.

    btw - Peds is not on step 1.

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