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  1. #1
    TerrifyingTidbit is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Dismissed from DO, should I try for SGU MD?

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    I'm hoping for some guidance as to whether I can and should stay in medicine and whether SGU might be a good choice.

    I'm a nontraditional medical student with 18 years of experience in computer programming and I have a wife and young child.

    I was dismissed from a DO school after flunking several courses in my first year, and am doing a lot of soul searching right now.

    My study skills are terrible, and I think too slowly. I can do OK on exams where I have the time to prepare, e.g. I scored 30 on the MCAT and I did OK on my premed science courses, but the med school's weekly and twice-weekly exam schedule just killed me and I barely passed those, and obviously didn't pass enough of them. Yet, I got A's and B's in my clinical course work.

    I feel that once I get to the national boards and clinical years, my strengths will come into better focus and I'll probably do better, hopefully learn enough medicine not to kill anybody, and do family practice. It was going to be osteopathic family practice, but I guess I can still do an OMM fellowship later on <sigh>.

    Do you think that I have any chance at getting into SGU? I know that SGU isn't desperate for applicants these days and they may not be interested in "damaged goods" but I would probably do pretty well in my MS-1 courses, having studied the material already. In fact, I've had gross a couple of times.

    I've thought about taking some graduate level courses and reapplying osteopathic, but my lifespan is limited and there's not as much of it ahead of me as when I was 25, so it seemed to me that going offshore, maybe even starting this coming January, was a time saver, even though it would limit my residency choices. But is it that limiting if the goal is family practice?

    By the way, is Grenada a family friendly kind of place? What do the married students do there--get an apartment instead of a dorm, I guess? Do people ever go to Venezuela? It seems to be pretty near by. How much time do you have to spend on the island? It looks like exactly 4 semesters, and then clinicals on the mainland.

    Thanks for any thoughts and advice, and best of luck to everyone, current or aspiring med students!

    -TT

  2. #2
    shadyhtown is offline Senior Member 524 points
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    Not sure what your chances are, but you should go ahead and give it a shot, esp. considering your good MCAT score.

    Also, it seems SGU would suit you better. We don't have weekly or even monthly exams. Most courses have only a midterm and a final, and they're non-cumulative. Some more intensive courses, like Path, have 3 exams, again non-cumulative. And generally the week before the exams is light, so it gives you a lot of time for review.

    They have a few dorms for married couples on campus, but since you have a child, you would need to get an apartment. That's not a problem, as there are many apartments close to campus and along the school bus route, and the rates are comparable to what you would pay on campus.

    Don't know of anyone heading to Venezuela, even though I've personally considered it. Most folks tend to drop by neighboring islands, like Caricou or Trinidad. And yes, we're here for 4 semesters and half a summer.

  3. #3
    CANeh's Avatar
    CANeh is offline Elite Member 527 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerrifyingTidbit View Post
    I'm hoping for some guidance as to whether I can and should stay in medicine and whether SGU might be a good choice.

    I'm a nontraditional medical student with 18 years of experience in computer programming and I have a wife and young child.

    I was dismissed from a DO school after flunking several courses in my first year, and am doing a lot of soul searching right now.

    My study skills are terrible, and I think too slowly. I can do OK on exams where I have the time to prepare, e.g. I scored 30 on the MCAT and I did OK on my premed science courses, but the med school's weekly and twice-weekly exam schedule just killed me and I barely passed those, and obviously didn't pass enough of them. Yet, I got A's and B's in my clinical course work.

    I feel that once I get to the national boards and clinical years, my strengths will come into better focus and I'll probably do better, hopefully learn enough medicine not to kill anybody, and do family practice. It was going to be osteopathic family practice, but I guess I can still do an OMM fellowship later on <sigh>.

    Do you think that I have any chance at getting into SGU? I know that SGU isn't desperate for applicants these days and they may not be interested in "damaged goods" but I would probably do pretty well in my MS-1 courses, having studied the material already. In fact, I've had gross a couple of times.

    I've thought about taking some graduate level courses and reapplying osteopathic, but my lifespan is limited and there's not as much of it ahead of me as when I was 25, so it seemed to me that going offshore, maybe even starting this coming January, was a time saver, even though it would limit my residency choices. But is it that limiting if the goal is family practice?

    By the way, is Grenada a family friendly kind of place? What do the married students do there--get an apartment instead of a dorm, I guess? Do people ever go to Venezuela? It seems to be pretty near by. How much time do you have to spend on the island? It looks like exactly 4 semesters, and then clinicals on the mainland.

    Thanks for any thoughts and advice, and best of luck to everyone, current or aspiring med students!

    -TT
    How far did you get in DO program? 1st year, 2nd year? which school?

    SGU is not any easier than DO program. In fact I will tell you that SGU is harder than many. The curriculum is aimed at USMLE and not comlex.

    SGU does not take transfers so you would have to start in year 1/Term 1. I would think about it and really consider all your options.

    Grenada is family friendly and many people bring their family with them.

  4. #4
    CANeh's Avatar
    CANeh is offline Elite Member 527 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadyhtown View Post
    Not sure what your chances are, but you should go ahead and give it a shot, esp. considering your good MCAT score.

    Also, it seems SGU would suit you better. We don't have weekly or even monthly exams. Most courses have only a midterm and a final, and they're non-cumulative. Some more intensive courses, like Path, have 3 exams, again non-cumulative. And generally the week before the exams is light, so it gives you a lot of time for review.

    They have a few dorms for married couples on campus, but since you have a child, you would need to get an apartment. That's not a problem, as there are many apartments close to campus and along the school bus route, and the rates are comparable to what you would pay on campus.

    Don't know of anyone heading to Venezuela, even though I've personally considered it. Most folks tend to drop by neighboring islands, like Caricou or Trinidad. And yes, we're here for 4 semesters and half a summer.
    Weekly monthly exams are usually better at preparing people and keeping them caught up. So if one can't keep up with weekly quiz the midterm or final is going to seem that much more difficult. The exams are no cumulative but you have to remember a lot of the stuff even after you done the course.

  5. #5
    EhJJ's Avatar
    EhJJ is offline Member 514 points
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    If you're interested in OMM, you may want to pursue a DC degree. You'd still be able to go into private practice and do much the same kind of work, except you'd need to do a lot more referring out for medical (non-musculoskeletal) illnesses. Just something to consider, because, even if first term at SGU is a bit easier (which I don't think it is) than at your DO program, it gets a lot harder as you go along. You don't want to be asked to leave SGU after 4th term because you didn't pass pathology and are now >$100k in debt and wasted 1.5 years in Grenada. Sorry, I don't want to discourage you, but you should be careful what you do next. As for SGU's selectivity, they have been getting fewer applications since the market went soft and, since they had just increased their class size a term before the market crashed, they now have a low applicant to seat ratio. Best of luck to you!


  6. #6
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Ultimate Member 12699 points
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    I just sent you a PM.

    Hang in there. I've been in your shoes. Like, a LOT in your shoes. It kind of freaked me out a little.

    "When I haven't any
    blue... I use red
    ."
    - Pablo Picasso

    BA - Oregon MS - BYU MD - MU-Sofia
    Clinical Research Fellow / Resident
    Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman 1996-2003


  7. #7
    TerrifyingTidbit is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by devildoc8404 View Post
    I just sent you a PM.

    Hang in there. I've been in your shoes. Like, a LOT in your shoes. It kind of freaked me out a little.
    Thanks DevilDoc that was useful info. I'm going to email you. I wish I could reply to a PM

    What scares me is that I know I have some kind of lack of clear vision. What I really should have done this spring was admit to myself that there was no way I was going to pass Neuro. I needed a high pass (86%) on the last exam and I almost never high pass any science exams. I should have gone to the administration, told them I now agree with them I should decelerate, and could I please withdraw from Neuro and decelerate so that I could focus on physio and immuno and stay in school!

    But instead of doing that, I just plowed ahead, stubbornly believing that I could make it if I just studied hard enough. I was fooling myself. I gambled without even realizing how much I was gambling, and I lost completely. How I wish they had forced me to decelerate.

    It's like when I buy stocks; I always seem to buy high and sell low, no common sense. It's this lack of good judgment that makes me wonder if I'd be some kind of a lousy doc, misdiagnosing people and prescribing the wrong treatments.

    Anyway, so I have some 1st year courses and I do think I have learned a lot of the material. I feel as though I could pass neuro if I retook all the exams today. That's why I think I might be successful if I were to start over somewhere, though I realize path and pharm are pretty tough courses.

    Thanks for the frank responses; I appreciate them.
    -T.T.

  8. #8
    TerrifyingTidbit is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by CANeh View Post
    Weekly monthly exams are usually better at preparing people and keeping them caught up. So if one can't keep up with weekly quiz the midterm or final is going to seem that much more difficult. The exams are no cumulative but you have to remember a lot of the stuff even after you done the course.
    Yeah, this is the part where I need to do more self-assessment and maybe get someone else to assess my learning abilities. I've done better when I've not had frequent exams, but undergrad and MCAT are not exactly the same as med school, I'll admit.

  9. #9
    Tipton's Avatar
    Tipton is offline Ultimate Member 6138 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerrifyingTidbit View Post
    It's like when I buy stocks; I always seem to buy high and sell low, no common sense. It's this lack of good judgment that makes me wonder if I'd be some kind of a lousy doc, misdiagnosing people and prescribing the wrong treatments.
    I don't think you have poor judgement. Your clinical grades don't attest to that. You've simply hit a rough patch.

    (and btw - if you want to send / reply to PM's you just need a handful more posts. 5 total I think)

  10. #10
    shadyhtown is offline Senior Member 524 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by CANeh View Post
    Weekly monthly exams are usually better at preparing people and keeping them caught up. So if one can't keep up with weekly quiz the midterm or final is going to seem that much more difficult. The exams are no cumulative but you have to remember a lot of the stuff even after you done the course.
    That's probably true, but in the OP's case, it was the lack of time for preparation that led to his low grades on those weekly tests. On the other hand, on an MCAT where he had lot of time to prepare, he did well. Sure, even at SGU, you do have to keep up with the material regularly, but at least you have breathing space between graded exams.

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