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Poll: Medical School vs. Foundations to Medicine Program

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  1. #1
    California123 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    St. George's FTM vs. Ross University

    I am deciding between entering the September 2009 class at Ross University and the Foundations to Medicine (FTM) track at St. George's.

    While I would immediately begin taking first-year med school classes at Ross, the St. George's FTM track would involve taking 5 classes (abnormal psychology, human anatomy, biochemistry, learning strategies, and physiology) and if I earn a 3.2 and pass a test at the end of the 3-month program, I would matriculate into the med school in January.


    There are pros and cons to each school, so I would love some advice from those who know more about these schools/programs than I do!

    WHICH ONE SHOULD I PICK???

  2. #11
    cavalletti is offline Elite Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by archie724 View Post
    Hi! I was also just admitted into the Ross Class of 2009 as well as St.George's 3 month FTM program. I was wondering if anyone knew what percentage of students that do the FTM program successfully complete the program and enter St. George's medical school right after. Also, how hard is it to get a 3.2 gpa for the FTM? Where can i get more info about this??
    Quick search results http://www.valuemd.com/search.php?se...=1554170&pp=25

  3. #12
    godbless is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOk View Post
    There were several FTM students in my class. Not all of them made the minimum grade requirement, so they were not allowed to enter Term 1. Those who advanced had to repeat some of the FTM classes as MS-1's. It seemed like an awfully expensive and risky way to enter medical school. Getting a 3.2 average is not that easy for some.

    For this reason, I would have to say, you might as well just get started at Ross. Going through that program will present its own set of challenges, but at least all of your classes will count toward the M.D.
    I'm not sure where you're getting your info from but I know for a fact (program director) that all the FTM students from last term passed except for 3. It was about 33/36 students passing and moving on to MD. These are also about the same numbers seen in the last 3 classes as far as I know.

    And that statement about repeating FTM classes as MS-1's is absolutely false unless administration was kind enough to spare this student. You either get the 3.2 or you don't, there is no leniency. There is however leniency with passing the PMSCE at the end of the term. I have heard that they allow students to retake this exam if you don't pass, however this exam isn't hard after preparing for finals.

    The last FTM students that are currently in MD Term1 are also doing really well as they've taken most of the subjects before and are adjusted to studying and being on the island.

    In terms of difficulty obtaining that 3.2, it is VERY doable. You will need to work, but as long as you do, the exams will be very fair. You are also supplied with DES and SL sessions for additional help with your studies. SGU actually cares about how you do, they aren't here just to give you a MD degree and take your money. You are an investment, your success = school's success in MD (esp since FTM has a refund policy).

    Anyway, hope this helps students clarify some details about FTM.

    To the OP: You have a very difficult decision to make in my opinion. Passing FTM to get to med is not difficult as long as you are prepared to study. The advantages are, you will be adjusted to the island, hopefully made a close group of friends, and most importantly you will know how to study for Med. You will also be going to the best Carib school, a better island, more supportive school, and better clinical situation.

    The downside is as Rokshana said, you will be losing a year to graduate and if money is an issue which are both important concerns.

  4. #13
    AOk
    AOk is offline Member
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    Ok

    Well, I am a graduate and going from memory, and it's possible things have changed. The way I remember it is some were admitted on a trial basis and took Term 1 classes. If the GPA threshhold was met (now 3.2), then they would enter as an MS-1 and (re)take those courses for credit. Apparently it was more difficult to do than now.

    For example, OP says s/he has to take abnormal psychology, human anatomy, biochemistry, learning strategies, and physiology in FTM and get a 3.2. Of those courses, at least anatomy and biochemistry are Term 1 classes, and if the OP gets the 3.2 and enters Term 1, then s/he would take
    ANAT 531,ANAT 550,BCHM 550, BIOE 501 for real, no?

    It's a little hard to find out "official" information on this program, and I don't have time. Even so, my opinion really doesn't change. When faced with a choice of starting my M.D., or "getting started to start" my degree, I would choose the former. OP indicates Ross is giving him/her that option.



  5. #14
    12345can is offline Member
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    I would try to talk to your SGU admissions counsellor and explain that you have a direct accceptance to Ross, but that your real preference is to come to SGU. I'd explain your concerns about the extra time and why you are confident that you'd be able to succeed straight away. Can't hurt to see if you can maybe sway them. You never know...

  6. #15
    AOk
    AOk is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12345can View Post
    I would try to talk to your SGU admissions counsellor and explain that you have a direct accceptance to Ross, but that your real preference is to come to SGU. I'd explain your concerns about the extra time and why you are confident that you'd be able to succeed straight away. Can't hurt to see if you can maybe sway them. You never know...
    That's a good idea. It's worth a try.

  7. #16
    Maeby is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    I did FTM and can say that it absolutely helped me prepare for Term 1. In FTM, you take 4 real courses and one 1 credit course that is so ridiculously easy you have to try hard not to get an A in it.

    Anatomy -- 4 credits. It's like a watered down version of Term 1 Anatomy. You learn some embryology (fertilization, implantation), but no clinical aspects (like eventration of the diaphragm). You learn the body based on systems and not regions, as you do in Term 1. It's useful because when you get to Term 1, you've got the basics down for the most part, and if you know there's an area where you're iffy (like autonomics, for example), you know to spend more time on it.

    Biochemistry -- 4 credits (includes a once a week lab). I'll preface this by saying that I'm not super comfortable with biochemistry. It doesn't come easy to me. That said, I'm probably most grateful for this FTM class because it's good for getting you familiar with some of the stuff you'll have to learn in Term 1. Biochemistry is the hardest subject of Term 1 (not an opinion, a fact, considering how many people failed the biochem midterm compared to histo and anatomy). In FTM, you go through a good portion of the stuff you will see in Term 1, like the TCA Cycle, the Electron Transport Chain, Beta-Oxidation. If you've already got this stuff down cold, then I guess it won't matter much to you, but it was a big help for me because in Term 1, the information comes at you fast, and instead of two 1 hour and 15 minute lectures a week like with FTM, you can have 8 hours of biochemistry and that's a lot of information to learn. It's nice to be able to not worry too much about learning what inhibits the complexes of the Electron Transport Chain because you've already done that, and it gives you time to focus on mRNA and 5' capping and all that jazz.

    Abnormal Psychology -- 3 credits. Easy and pretty enjoyable. Four tests, each worth 25% of the grade, which, IMO, makes life easier. Our professor gave us a "blue sheet" before every test everything that we had to know and as long as you are familiar with everything on that sheet, you will get an A. You have to really try hard to not get an A.

    Physiology -- 3 credits. People had the most trouble with this one in FTM, IIRC, and that mostly had to do with the fact that there are no quizzes to buffer your grade and get you into the physio mindset. If you read the chapters in the book that correspond to the lectures, you'll do fine. Some of the guest lecturers are better than others, but if you put work into it, you should be okay. Also, there's some overlap with Anatomy, so that makes life a little easier.

    Pre-Professional Class -- 1 credit. It's an hour every Thursday and a few online self-assessment kind of quizzes where you find out if you're a visual learner or a global learner or whatever and then you comment on what you learned about yourself. You do this a few times. Just make sure you get your stuff in on time and you'll get your A.

    Almost everyone in my FTM class made it to Term 1 and the school definitely goes out of its way to help you. There are DES sessions which are run by upper termers, and Supplemental Instruction sessions which are run by people with science degrees who are married to SGU students. So the resources are plentiful, and if you take advantage of them, you will have no problem. While FTM is not a guarantee that you will get to Term 1, it's pretty close considering how many people end up getting 3.2+ (over 90%). The test they give after finals (the PMSCE) is really, really easy. Because I had just finished studying for finals, I only had to briefly review the old midterm material and I was fine.

    Getting a 3.2 is not difficult if you go to class and put some time into studying. I slacked off for FTM midterms and didn't take it seriously and didn't do as well as I could've. I changed my habits for finals and got all A's and well over a 3.2. It prepared me for what I'd have to do in Term 1 and I'm grateful for it, because come Term 1 midterms I did well, and believe me, it's a relief to not feel like you're in danger of having to repeat a class like biochem.

    I chose FTM over Ross, in part because of what I read on these forums about the clinical crap that was going on with Ross, and because whenever I tried to call/e-mail the Ross people to ask a question, I never got a response. I figured if they can't respond to an e-mail when I'm an applicant, how will they treat me if I'm a student? You might've had a better experience dealing with Ross, though. The attrition rate for Ross is pretty high, as was mentioned in this thread already. From my understanding, if you fail one class in a term at Ross, you have to repeat the entire term and not just the class. And pay for it. Not that anyone goes to med school intending to fail anything, but to me, that policy seemed a little weird.

    It's totally up to you, of course. If SGU had not offered me anything, I would have gone to Ross in a heartbeat. FTM was right for me. It might be right for you, it might not be. Ross or SGU, in the end you still get to add Dr. to your name!

  8. #17
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    pansitpinoy86 is offline Junior Member 511 points
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    Thank you for this plethora of valuable insight! It seems to me that the select courses closely resemble the curriculum seen in undergraduate programs. So as long as you keep your head in the books, you should do fine?


  9. #18
    Vaginitis is offline Permanently Banned 3-8 points
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    I'm a recent Ross grad and everything said about the school in this thread is accurate. There is a high attirtion rate and you are left to learn on your own. Ross claims to have a "support system" but in actuality, it does not exist. If you are a "survival of the fittest type," then Ross is for you.

    As for the clinicals, they are getting better. It seems St. George's has a monopoly on the better NYC sites, but Ross is expanding in Chicago, Atlanta, and Miami. Unfortunately the expansion is slow-going and most students are still forced to go to NYC and do rotations at *barf* wyckoff.

    You'll definately finish your rotations (even peds) and graduate on time, but you run the risk of getting placed into rotations of questionable quality And changing your schedule is a pain in the **** because, frankly, the clinical department is understaffed and can't handle the large number of students. Hopefully, and I say this with great hesitance, if you choose Ross things will get better by the time you get to clinicals. How Ross integrates the Bahamas campus (ie will they expand enrollment once the campus is up and running) will go a long way in determing if the recent problems with clinical rotations are resolved.

    I don't know anything about SGU other than the rumors which circulate among Ross students, so it would be unwise for me to compare and contrast Ross with SGU. My only advice is to continue talking to students from either school and get their impressions about their own school. Once you've sorted through this information then make a decision based on what is right for you.

    Best of luck,
    V

  10. #19
    GLOBALMED is offline Senior Member
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    ..........
    Last edited by GLOBALMED; 11-26-2010 at 03:58 PM.

  11. #20
    shadyhtown is offline Senior Member 524 points
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    I'm going to go w/ Rok on this one.. if it means saving 1 year, I'd go to Ross.. if it was just 4 months, then I wouldn't mind as much..

    Then again, it depends on what's important for you. SGU is clearly better than Ross, and the FTM does prepare you for Term 1, and there's a lot of support here, so if you are willing to wait a bit for that, then go to FTM. But if you feel (like I do) that the school doesn't matter, and it's all up to the individual, and you feel you can take it on and you're raring to get started, go to Ross.

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