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Thread: Do not come to sgul unic - its all lies

  1. #1
    sgulunicthetruth is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Do not come to sgul unic - its all lies

    Im a student at the school for 2 years and from day 1 when they promised me Chicago they were lying. Im from the US and yet I didnt get placed there even though I'm from the US because they don't have enough spots for US citizens.

    If I was a prospective student looking to come to the school I would not even bother looking to come here. They are selling you on false promises, and if your international you can't go too the US now, they didnt tell people at the school this when they signed up.

    The schools admin is slow and the dean of the school basically dosent acknowledge any of the concerns of the students and rather just repeats that everything is ok and you should grin and bear it. The school has had 3 different providers in 2 years for Chicago but they just can't get it right.

    What people don't know is that the dean has a financial stake in the medical school in nicosia and also has one in the new school at Ponce. This may be why he's pushing students to go there instead of finding real places for students to go to.

    the bottom line is that if you actually want a good reputable medical education look elsewhere. SGUL Unic is not for you.

    This is the honest truth coming from someone whose annoyed at the school and would like to leave, but I'm too far along to try and start again at a different school. I wish this information had been around so I knew before coming here what it is actually like.

  2. #61
    cbkoc is offline Newbie 512 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by fightorflight View Post
    As a fourth year I think I can provide the long view on my education here. Over these last four years I have been made to regret my choice of school. In spite of my success, I think my education ultimately suffered from my coming here. Instead of listing personal grievances I will provide my understanding of events thus far in an attempt to give you the unofficial information you request.

    The issues of my first two years here are well documented-- the progressive exclusion of non-US/Canadian students from the US clinical sites, the inability of the school to provide those students with US clinical experience, and their "problem solving" by shunting students to Puerto Rico during years three and four.

    Quiet on the message boards does not mean all is well. Last year the "flagship" site of Tel Aviv was made exclusively for Israeli students, creating another placement crisis. A few students decided to venture to Puerto Rico against advice of the students who were already there. Those students have realized the "drama" and "whining" were legitimate grievances that were going to be impossible to address given the structural and resource issues of the Puerto Rican clinical site, so at this point they have almost uniformly decided to leave. Still, this year the school decided they did not have enough clinical spots in Cyprus and decided to shunt two dozen non-US/non-Canadian students to Puerto Rico. This issue is being fought out, and it looks like the school is relenting.

    In Chicago of the original 25 students sent there, only about a dozen remain. The rest were forced to return to Cyprus after multiple step failures or refusal to take the step. Consider that of a cohort of 100 English speakers, only 12 have a clinical education that is in English. Do you like your odds of being in the lucky twelve? Of those who remain, in Chicago, most are getting residency interviews except for a few Canadians. Add this to the half dozen or so students at the other sites getting significant numbers of interviews, and you will see that no matter what percentage gets reported, only twenty or so students have the possibility of matching in the states in a cohort that had about 50 US and Canadian students to begin with.

    Canadians are largely trying to go to England, because for the US they will need visas to work during residency which is a hassle for programs, and therefor leads to their frequent exclusion from interviews and the match. Those Canadians need visas to work in the UK too, but the British system of allocations work differently. Of all students getting interviews in the US they are mostly in IM, FM, psych, and neuro. Of those hoping to match in Canada, very few interviews have been given out. Of those getting none, many are hoping to go to the UK. The ability for non-EU/non-UK to obtain permission to work as doctors is being actively negotiated at the moment. It looks favorable, but it is still an example of the lack of clarity students at this school or looking to come to this school have with regards to their post graduation futures.

    The future of students is not the school's primary interest though. In the words of our Dean: "our job is to make sure you get your degree, not to make sure you have a job afterwards" -- a rough transcript from memory, but still the essence of his stated motivations.

    The SGUL UNIC program exists to perpetuate itself, not to educate students in manner consistent with their country of origin. It is not an "international medical program," it is a British program grafted poorly onto several hospitals in Cyprus, Israel, and the US. It lacks the resources and clout of a large Caribbean school, so it's ability to acquire and sustain US clinical sites will always be an open question. The name SGUL carries an air of prestige (or at least is easily confused with SGU in Grenada), but as our reputation grows, this effect is sure to wear off.

    If you are a US student, think twice about coming here, and then don't come here. If you're a Canadian student who thinks that this school will help you get back to Canada or find opportunities in the US, you are mistaken. If you are from a non-EU country and you think this offers you significant advantage over other schools, you are also mistaken. If you're thinking that you will have a "backup" in Great Britain, consider the current situation there, and know that is not a given for the future. Know the rules of your country and whether their post graduate training will even count for anything (it doesn't in the US). There are a few Carribbean schools of good reputation that offer a great education. This school has all of the downsides of a Caribbean education with none of the upsides for US and Canadian students. There are better European schools who treat education as their primary motivation. There are medical schools in Mexico and Latin America whose names garner significant respect and don't restrict your ability to get licensed in the IMG friendly states like this one does. You can go to a British university that's actually in Great Britain. There are even Australian schools that take US students now. You have options. You have a choice. Choose well.
    Shoot . When something seems too good to be true...

  3. #62
    thechouse is offline Newbie 513 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by fightorflight View Post
    As a fourth year I think I can provide the long view on my education here. Over these last four years I have been made to regret my choice of school. In spite of my success, I think my education ultimately suffered from my coming here. Instead of listing personal grievances I will provide my understanding of events thus far in an attempt to give you the unofficial information you request.

    The issues of my first two years here are well documented-- the progressive exclusion of non-US/Canadian students from the US clinical sites, the inability of the school to provide those students with US clinical experience, and their "problem solving" by shunting students to Puerto Rico during years three and four.

    Quiet on the message boards does not mean all is well. Last year the "flagship" site of Tel Aviv was made exclusively for Israeli students, creating another placement crisis. A few students decided to venture to Puerto Rico against advice of the students who were already there. Those students have realized the "drama" and "whining" were legitimate grievances that were going to be impossible to address given the structural and resource issues of the Puerto Rican clinical site, so at this point they have almost uniformly decided to leave. Still, this year the school decided they did not have enough clinical spots in Cyprus and decided to shunt two dozen non-US/non-Canadian students to Puerto Rico. This issue is being fought out, and it looks like the school is relenting.

    In Chicago of the original 25 students sent there, only about a dozen remain. The rest were forced to return to Cyprus after multiple step failures or refusal to take the step. Consider that of a cohort of 100 English speakers, only 12 have a clinical education that is in English. Do you like your odds of being in the lucky twelve? Of those who remain, in Chicago, most are getting residency interviews except for a few Canadians. Add this to the half dozen or so students at the other sites getting significant numbers of interviews, and you will see that no matter what percentage gets reported, only twenty or so students have the possibility of matching in the states in a cohort that had about 50 US and Canadian students to begin with.

    Canadians are largely trying to go to England, because for the US they will need visas to work during residency which is a hassle for programs, and therefor leads to their frequent exclusion from interviews and the match. Those Canadians need visas to work in the UK too, but the British system of allocations work differently. Of all students getting interviews in the US they are mostly in IM, FM, psych, and neuro. Of those hoping to match in Canada, very few interviews have been given out. Of those getting none, many are hoping to go to the UK. The ability for non-EU/non-UK to obtain permission to work as doctors is being actively negotiated at the moment. It looks favorable, but it is still an example of the lack of clarity students at this school or looking to come to this school have with regards to their post graduation futures.

    The future of students is not the school's primary interest though. In the words of our Dean: "our job is to make sure you get your degree, not to make sure you have a job afterwards" -- a rough transcript from memory, but still the essence of his stated motivations.

    The SGUL UNIC program exists to perpetuate itself, not to educate students in manner consistent with their country of origin. It is not an "international medical program," it is a British program grafted poorly onto several hospitals in Cyprus, Israel, and the US. It lacks the resources and clout of a large Caribbean school, so it's ability to acquire and sustain US clinical sites will always be an open question. The name SGUL carries an air of prestige (or at least is easily confused with SGU in Grenada), but as our reputation grows, this effect is sure to wear off.

    If you are a US student, think twice about coming here, and then don't come here. If you're a Canadian student who thinks that this school will help you get back to Canada or find opportunities in the US, you are mistaken. If you are from a non-EU country and you think this offers you significant advantage over other schools, you are also mistaken. If you're thinking that you will have a "backup" in Great Britain, consider the current situation there, and know that is not a given for the future. Know the rules of your country and whether their post graduate training will even count for anything (it doesn't in the US). There are a few Carribbean schools of good reputation that offer a great education. This school has all of the downsides of a Caribbean education with none of the upsides for US and Canadian students. There are better European schools who treat education as their primary motivation. There are medical schools in Mexico and Latin America whose names garner significant respect and don't restrict your ability to get licensed in the IMG friendly states like this one does. You can go to a British university that's actually in Great Britain. There are even Australian schools that take US students now. You have options. You have a choice. Choose well.
    MS-4 here like fightorflight. Just thought I should add my own opinions as I edge closer to ending what has been a long 4 years.

    "The issues of my first two years here are well documented-- the progressive exclusion of non-US/Canadian students from the US clinical sites, the inability of the school to provide those students with US clinical experience, and their "problem solving" by shunting students to Puerto Rico during years three and four."

    Yes, for all the rest of the students who wanted to be in Chicago, but did not get a spot due to visa issues and/or over saturation of Chicago spots, the school tried to solve this issue by giving students the option of a "US experience" at a Ponce in Puerto Rico. Do the rotations in PR count as US rotations ? Do US PDs view the ACGME rotations as relevant US experience ? The answers are debatable.

    "Quiet on the message boards does not mean all is well. Last year the "flagship" site of Tel Aviv was made exclusively for Israeli students, creating another placement crisis."

    Damn right. Message boards are quiet because the final years are busy with interviews and preparing for exams. The "Flagship" site in Tel Aviv is closed for good. Unless you are Jewish or hold an Israeli passport. Period. There are only 4 students in MS-3 in Israel because foreigners are now barred from the Tel Aviv site.

    "In Chicago of the original 25 students sent there, only about a dozen remain. The rest were forced to return to Cyprus after multiple step failures or refusal to take the step."

    No one to blame but themselves for failing the steps. This has nothing to do with the school. We see students who fail the steps in the Caribbean too.


    "Canadians are largely trying to go to England, because for the US they will need visas to work during residency which is a hassle for programs, and therefor leads to their frequent exclusion from interviews and the match. Those Canadians need visas to work in the UK too, but the British system of allocations work differently."

    Some programs prefer US citizens over Canadians due to visa issues. Furthermore, Canadians are not guaranteed a job in the UK. As of this point in time, all Canadians from this program who are applying for F1 (intership/residency) in the UK have had their visas rejected. The UK is not an option to non-European citizens. It doesn't matter if you are from the USA or Antarctica, if you do not hold an European passport, you are NOT ELIGIBLE to apply to the UK
    .

    In all fairness to the school, they are working on getting citizens from specific countries (Australia, Canada and New Zealand) a special exemption which will allow them to work in the UK. But once again, as of this point in time, citizens from the countries listed above are NOT ELIGIBLE to work in the UK as a doctor.

    In light of the Brexit, when the UK formally leaves the UK when article 50 is triggered, European citizens will also be affected 2 years after article 50 is enacted. What this means is that the 1st and possibly the 2nd year European students maybe excluded from working in the UK. What will happen after the Brexit is pure speculation, but note that in order to be issued a visa to work in the UK as a doctor, you MUST have graduated from a UK medical school. In the eyes of the UK foundation program office (Residency Program Office), graduates from SGUL-UNic are not considered UK graduates. Hence, you are not entitled to a visa.

    The lack of transparency from the school with regards to visas and the right to work in the UK has been a source of frustration and stress for the non-European students (~40% of students)


    "The future of students is not the school's primary interest though. In the words of our Dean: "our job is to make sure you get your degree, not to make sure you have a job afterwards" -- a rough transcript from memory, but still the essence of his stated motivations."

    I was sitting in the lecture hall with at least 70 other students as I listened to our Dean vocalise those words. Fightorflight quoted our dean pretty accurately. I remember him saying the same exact thing. Its sad to see this kind of attitude coming from him. Furthermore, he is mistaken. If you go to a UK medical school, you are entitled to a Tier 4 visa which will gives you the right to work as a doctor in the UK. If you go to an Australian medical school, you are given a work visa which gives you the right to work as a doctor in Australia and New Zealand. A medical degree is useless without an intern year to allow you to get a full medical licence. This applies in the US and UK.

    So if you are a prospective student who is a non-EU or non-UK citizen, don't expect the school to sort out your visa for you as you will be on your own. No UK/EU passport = No job in the UK. Period.


    Now to comment about the quality of education. The first 2 years are fairly uniform.

    Classes are PBL based and mostly clinically orientated. You are given learning objectives where it is up to you how much you want to study. Note that this is a BRITISH program which does not cover any USMLE material. What I and my American peers did was supplement whatever we learnt in PBL with our USMLE material from Pathoma, Kaplan or First Aid. For example, if we had a PBL case with Tuberculosis, I would do all the study for learning objectives e.g. signs and symptoms of TB, medications used in the UK to treat TB. Following that, i would do additional USMLE based study i.e. cell pathology, pathophysiology of TB, ZN staining slides etc etc. What this means is that you are to be very hard working and disciplined to ensure you cover your UK AND USMLE curriculum concurrently. Impossible ? No. Many of us have done it. Myself included. My years USMLE Step 1 scores range from repeated fails to 255 and everything in between. How much do you want it ? If you want it bad enough, you'll put in the time and effort. All the course material is readily available to you.

    Clinical skills classes are run by attendings who follow the handouts word for work. These handouts are from the UK and will serve you well to build a solid foundation for your *****. Other additional clinical skills you learn from the attendings who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Most of the attendings are UK grads who did their medical school and residency in the UK so they know what they are talking about and are approachable and patient. The clinical skills lab is brand new and very well equipped.

    Anatomy Lab is brilliant. If you put in the hours, you'll know your anatomy. The surgical leads Dr Alex, Dr Panos and Dr Stavrou are all approachable, brilliant and enthusiastic about teaching.



    Now, lets talk about the clinical years (MS-3 and MS-4)

    It is largely hit or miss depending on which site you go to.

    Chicago only has 12 students left after the rest were weeded out by the unforgiving USMLE, but everything is in English so you can pick up on this easily.

    Cyprus: There are 2 sites which you will be allocated to 1) Nicosia General Hospital and 2) Limmasol General Hospital. From the feedback i hear from my fellow classmates, Nicosia General is the better site by far as the doctors are more willing to teach and we have some faculty staff there. Limmasol General is pretty bad. Doctors don't want to teach and there are no formal teaching sessions. You are left on your own apparently.

    Israel: If you are Israeli and speak Hebrew, its a better place to be than Chicago. If you don't speak Hebrew, its still a better place to spend your clinical years as its the biggest hospital in the middle east and there is a culture where teaching is promoted and doctors are used to having students rotate in their departments. However, if you are not israeli...... keep reading on cos Israel is only open to Israelis.

    Puerto Rico: Everything is in Espanyol aka Spanish. Lectures are conducted in Spainish. Ward rounds are in Spanish. Most patients speak only Spanish. If you can speak Spanish then its a good option. if you dont ...... i really have no idea how things will work out.

    This is just a summarised version of the clinical sites and I can comment more about the clinical sites if any of you are interested.



    Hope this helps all prospective students.



    TLDR:
    1) If you are a US citizen who is disciplined and hard-working, it totally possible to smash the STEPS. And if you are lucky to obtain a spot in Chicago, then you are pretty much set for obtaining a residency in the USA. If you smash the USMLE but end up not in a US site, it is still possible to secure a residency as long as you do some rotations in the US.

    2) As of this point of time, If you are a non-uk / non-european citizen, you will not be able to work in the UK as a doctor. Period.

    3) If you are a European citizen, Brexit will change visa requirements and you may not be able to work as a doctor in the UK 2 years after article 50 is triggered.

    4)Clinical sites are hit and miss depending on your personality and what languages you can speak.

    5) The quality of education from the PBL style teaching is good, but it is self-directed and you must be able to drive yourself hard in order to master the material.


    kind regards,
    the c house !
    Last edited by thechouse; 01-22-2017 at 06:28 PM.

  4. #63
    SGUL UNic Administration's Avatar
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    The Medical School would like to clarify some issues raised above:

    - We have 45 places in Chicago for each cohort, and US / Canadian citizens are guaranteed a seat there, on a first-come first-served basis, until those 45 places are filled. Our admissions advisers can explain more and update candidates on how many places are left each year.

    - The Medical School, SGUL, GMC and the UK Foundation Programme Office are working closely to resolve the issue over UK visas with the Home Office. We are also looking at alternatives to allow eligible non-UK/EU students an opportunity to take up surplus F1 slots at the end of the cycle, or to undertake the equivalent of F1 training abroad.

    - At this point, we do not know how the UK will treat EU citizens in the future. However, considering how dependent the NHS is on EU doctors, it is unlikely that severe restrictions will be placed on the ability of EU citizens to participate in the Foundation Programme.

    - In addition to offering free Step 1 and 2 practice tests, starting in this academic year we have supplemented the curriculum with lectures that reinforce learning on topics covered in the USMLE.

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    Nothing But The Truth is offline Newbie 511 points
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    So I see a lot back and forth about slots in Chicago. So has this been worked out or not? Or in the future, is it just Ponce or Chicago? I would like to believe a British represented school would have a easier time getting more clinical sites as time goes on versus alot of these Caribbean schools. I've visted 3 of the big four, and im sorry, I don't know what you know about them, but they are in fact garbage. I don't care about their 50 state accreditation, the education is crap, except maybe for AUC and St Georges, but the 2nd has a enormous incoming class of 800+. That makes it impossible for quality education no matter how much money the campus has. This school seems just to have main problem with the clinical issue.

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    fightorflight is offline Junior Member 523 points
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    The education here isn't any better. The best education you get is the one you give yourself. The most important part of picking a foreign medical school is the clinical experience in years three and four, because that's what PD's will interrogate you on in residency interviews. SGU, AUC, Ross, etc have huge endowments and are competing with an increasing number of US MD and DO schools for clinical spots. The fact that Cyprus has only been able to secure one US site means it's small fish. In fact we've had clinical sites bought out from beneath us before. The British-ish-ness of the school doesn't mean anything to hospitals-- the fact that the school doesn't have much money and the fact that the London campus dictates the curriculum--making educating us a pain--makes us a pretty unattractive catch. The clinical situation here has never been stable. Every year something changes. Promises and contracts from Cyprus are meaningless-- I cannot stress that enough. "45" was the seemingly magic number 4 years ago too, and that never materialized. If you go to SGU, 870 is their magic number. If you do what supposed to you will get indisputably US clinical experience of a quality that is well known.
    Last edited by fightorflight; 01-28-2017 at 09:36 AM.

  7. #66
    SGUL UNic Administration's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nothing But The Truth View Post
    So I see a lot back and forth about slots in Chicago. So has this been worked out or not? Or in the future, is it just Ponce or Chicago? I would like to believe a British represented school would have a easier time getting more clinical sites as time goes on versus alot of these Caribbean schools. I've visted 3 of the big four, and im sorry, I don't know what you know about them, but they are in fact garbage. I don't care about their 50 state accreditation, the education is crap, except maybe for AUC and St Georges, but the 2nd has a enormous incoming class of 800+. That makes it impossible for quality education no matter how much money the campus has. This school seems just to have main problem with the clinical issue.
    We have stated this in another thread, but to repeat: There are 45 clinical training places in Chicago for each cohort. These places are reserved for US and Canadian citizens on a “first come, first served” process of allocation based on admission to the programme and subsequent tuition deposit. All students in the last two starting cohorts who are interested in doing their clinicals in Chicago have been guaranteed a place there. And all students in the current 3rd year, as well as in next summer’s 3rd year, who were eligible for and wanted to go to Chicago, have been placed there. Your admissions advisor can update you on the number of seats in Chicago still available for this year's entry class.

    If you would like to speak directly to one of our students about their experience in Chicago or during the first 2 years in Cyprus, please PM us and we can put you in touch with them.

  8. #67
    GlobalMDTransfer is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgulunicthetruth View Post
    Im a student at the school for 2 years and from day 1 when they promised me Chicago they were lying. Im from the US and yet I didnt get placed there even though I'm from the US because they don't have enough spots for US citizens.

    If I was a prospective student looking to come to the school I would not even bother looking to come here. They are selling you on false promises, and if your international you can't go too the US now, they didnt tell people at the school this when they signed up.

    The schools admin is slow and the dean of the school basically dosent acknowledge any of the concerns of the students and rather just repeats that everything is ok and you should grin and bear it. The school has had 3 different providers in 2 years for Chicago but they just can't get it right.

    What people don't know is that the dean has a financial stake in the medical school in nicosia and also has one in the new school at Ponce. This may be why he's pushing students to go there instead of finding real places for students to go to.

    the bottom line is that if you actually want a good reputable medical education look elsewhere. SGUL Unic is not for you.

    This is the honest truth coming from someone whose annoyed at the school and would like to leave, but I'm too far along to try and start again at a different school. I wish this information had been around so I knew before coming here what it is actually like.
    Hey sorry to hear that - have you found another place and sorted now ?

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