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Thread: Should a older international student choose SGU 4 year course or UK 5 year course?

  1. #1
    Clibnarii is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Should a older international student choose SGU 4 year course or UK 5 year course?

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    Hey guys,

    I am a first time poster but a long time lurker. My query regards making a choice between SGU January 2012 entry vs UK medical school Autumn 2012 Entry. Keeping the following factors in mind.

    1) I wish to practice in the either the UK or USA, (USA being first choice, although not fully sure)
    2) I am already 26 years old and wish to get my degree sooner rather than later
    3) I am not interested in returning to India to practice, at least not until much later in my career.

    My quandary is as follows. As an international student advanced in years, D.O.B 13/02/1985 (26 y/o) I am wondering weather to join SGU grenada or a 5 year UK medical course, I have already applied for four UK medical schools for autumn 2012 entry and am about to meet SGU representatives on 2nd November for direct application and on spot interview for Jan 2012 Entry. My career aim is to practice in the UK or the USA, with my first choice leaning towards practicing in the USA, although I am still somewhat undecided, I thought the U.S.A would be a change of atmosphere after 6 odd years in the U.K (Although a UK career would be acceptable too, but leaning towards USA right now)

    I am an international student from India who graduated with a BSc (Hons) First Class degree from the U.K this year, since I didnt have sufficient A level/High School Grades. I applied for four five year programmes U.K medical schools (Leeds, Keele, BSMS and Aberdeen) where I feel I have a fairly decent change of getting in based on my University Marks. Thus If accepted I will be doing a UK 5 year medical course

    In this manner I hope to get a choice of being able to work in the U.K or USA as a doctor in the future. The problem is that in the U.K I will start in september 2012 (If I get admission this year) and then graduate in summer 2017. I don't know If I could get into the IMG residency match in the same year since I hear that even if one clears Steps 1 and 2 it takes a few months for an IMG to prepare for step 3 of the USMLE. Which means I may have to apply for the residency match in 2018. The problem with this is that I was born in 1985 and was already a mature student when I started my Bachelors degree in the U.K and will turn 27 next february. Thus being around 32-33 year of age when I start a US residency (providing I get in in my first attempt)

    Compare the above scenario to Joining SGU Grenada next January in 2012 (I was told I could apply for Jan 2012 entry before the 15th November deadline) . The SGU representatives are coming to India on the 2nd of November where I have to meet with them and they will interview me on the spot. If I am looking for a US residency and looking to practice in the USA in the future joining the January SGU session offers me 2 advantages as I see it, which are as follows.

    1) Their course prepares one directly for the USMLEs as opposed to preparing for it by myself If I went to a UK medical school.
    2) If I start this January I will finish sometime in 2016 which gives me 1-2 years more to try my chances at a US residency.

    However weighed against this is the recent drawback that due to the US governments new regulations an international student like me can no longer do clinical rotations in the USA via a B1-visa. Keeping this in mind doing my medical degree in the U.K would more or less guarantee entry into the NHS via the foundation year. Thus by doing my degree in the UK I have a chance of being able to practice either in the UK or USA with a safety net of being allowed to practice in the UK.

    Conversely the UK degree means that I will graduate later and have to prepare for the USMLE's on my own, while the SGU degree would give me better preparation at a sooner date for the USMLE and also give me a shot at practicing in the U.K. Providing I do two years in the country in the which the Awarding University (in this case SGU) is based, i.e Grenada.

    In summary I see the following dilemma between choosing between a 5 year U.K medical course for Autumn 2012 entry vs SGU grenada for January 2012 Entry.

    SGU Pros:

    a) Degree completed by autumn 2016
    b) Course is geared towards USMLE

    SGU Cons:

    a) No more USA Clinical rotations for international students (Like me)
    b) Since its neither a US or UK medical school I would have to chart my own way to a career path in one of those 2 countries

    U.K Five year medical School Pros

    1) Almost guaranteed U.K career (in the NHS) on successful completion of degree

    U.K Five year medical school cons.

    1) I graduate 1 and half years later (than I started SGU In January), which impacts when I can try for UK residency
    2) Will have do solo USMLE preparation if I want to practice in the USA


    Could anyone please offer me advice on this matter, any kind of advice would be welcome, Thanks in advance.

    P.S: I also wish to ask if it is possible to give USMLE and apply for the NRMP as an international student in the same year in which I graduate (providing I graduate in June)

  2. #2
    rokshana is offline Member Guru 11644 points
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    you need to do more research, but you have answered your own question...you finish with the 5 yr UK program and you are guaranteed a residency and the ability to ultimately practice....its a no brainer...

    and trust me..at 27 you are a baby....
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  3. #3
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    Salama is offline Member Guru 8316 points
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    HAHAHA... 26 is "advanced years." LOL
    "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." ~W.E. Henley

  4. #4
    manuka honey is offline Member 511 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clibnarii View Post
    Hey guys,

    I am a first time poster but a long time lurker. My query regards making a choice between SGU January 2012 entry vs UK medical school Autumn 2012 Entry. Keeping the following factors in mind.

    1) I wish to practice in the either the UK or USA, (USA being first choice, although not fully sure)
    2) I am already 26 years old and wish to get my degree sooner rather than later
    3) I am not interested in returning to India to practice, at least not until much later in my career.

    My quandary is as follows. As an international student advanced in years, D.O.B 13/02/1985 (26 y/o) I am wondering weather to join SGU grenada or a 5 year UK medical course, I have already applied for four UK medical schools for autumn 2012 entry and am about to meet SGU representatives on 2nd November for direct application and on spot interview for Jan 2012 Entry. My career aim is to practice in the UK or the USA, with my first choice leaning towards practicing in the USA, although I am still somewhat undecided, I thought the U.S.A would be a change of atmosphere after 6 odd years in the U.K (Although a UK career would be acceptable too, but leaning towards USA right now)

    I am an international student from India who graduated with a BSc (Hons) First Class degree from the U.K this year, since I didnt have sufficient A level/High School Grades. I applied for four five year programmes U.K medical schools (Leeds, Keele, BSMS and Aberdeen) where I feel I have a fairly decent change of getting in based on my University Marks. Thus If accepted I will be doing a UK 5 year medical course

    In this manner I hope to get a choice of being able to work in the U.K or USA as a doctor in the future. The problem is that in the U.K I will start in september 2012 (If I get admission this year) and then graduate in summer 2017. I don't know If I could get into the IMG residency match in the same year since I hear that even if one clears Steps 1 and 2 it takes a few months for an IMG to prepare for step 3 of the USMLE. Which means I may have to apply for the residency match in 2018. The problem with this is that I was born in 1985 and was already a mature student when I started my Bachelors degree in the U.K and will turn 27 next february. Thus being around 32-33 year of age when I start a US residency (providing I get in in my first attempt)

    Compare the above scenario to Joining SGU Grenada next January in 2012 (I was told I could apply for Jan 2012 entry before the 15th November deadline) . The SGU representatives are coming to India on the 2nd of November where I have to meet with them and they will interview me on the spot. If I am looking for a US residency and looking to practice in the USA in the future joining the January SGU session offers me 2 advantages as I see it, which are as follows.

    1) Their course prepares one directly for the USMLEs as opposed to preparing for it by myself If I went to a UK medical school.
    2) If I start this January I will finish sometime in 2016 which gives me 1-2 years more to try my chances at a US residency.

    However weighed against this is the recent drawback that due to the US governments new regulations an international student like me can no longer do clinical rotations in the USA via a B1-visa. Keeping this in mind doing my medical degree in the U.K would more or less guarantee entry into the NHS via the foundation year. Thus by doing my degree in the UK I have a chance of being able to practice either in the UK or USA with a safety net of being allowed to practice in the UK.

    Conversely the UK degree means that I will graduate later and have to prepare for the USMLE's on my own, while the SGU degree would give me better preparation at a sooner date for the USMLE and also give me a shot at practicing in the U.K. Providing I do two years in the country in the which the Awarding University (in this case SGU) is based, i.e Grenada.

    In summary I see the following dilemma between choosing between a 5 year U.K medical course for Autumn 2012 entry vs SGU grenada for January 2012 Entry.

    SGU Pros:

    a) Degree completed by autumn 2016
    b) Course is geared towards USMLE

    SGU Cons:

    a) No more USA Clinical rotations for international students (Like me)
    b) Since its neither a US or UK medical school I would have to chart my own way to a career path in one of those 2 countries

    U.K Five year medical School Pros

    1) Almost guaranteed U.K career (in the NHS) on successful completion of degree

    U.K Five year medical school cons.

    1) I graduate 1 and half years later (than I started SGU In January), which impacts when I can try for UK residency
    2) Will have do solo USMLE preparation if I want to practice in the USA


    Could anyone please offer me advice on this matter, any kind of advice would be welcome, Thanks in advance.

    P.S: I also wish to ask if it is possible to give USMLE and apply for the NRMP as an international student in the same year in which I graduate (providing I graduate in June)
    You will be assured of a place in a foundation program in the UK in a shorter pace of time than through a 5 year program in the UK than a 4 year program in SGU where you will have to sit the PLAB and yet not be sure of a place in the foundation program if you are non Britisher. .If you want to get into to US residency SGU program will not be shorter as Clinical training in the US is no longer possible as you will see from the SGU admissions website. SGU must always be your last resort not your first choice. Go for the SGU interview by all means but reserve your place for the August intake . If you get a place in the UK go for it.

  5. #5
    Clibnarii is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Helpful answers but a bit of doubt remains...

    Thanks for the Answers Salma, Rokshana and Manuka. I feel you all are essentially correct is stating that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush and therefore a UK med school if I am accepted is likely to be the safer choice. Your position that SGU is meant to be a backup choice for those who didnt' get into a UK, US , Canada, etc University is valid. As mentioned in my post and reiterated by Manuka, SGUs loss of US Clinical placments for international students significantly decreases the chances of a non-US/non-Canadian IMG getting residency in the USA.

    However I am still thinking that going into SGU's January 2012 (and graduating in Autumn 2015) session will allow me two extra years i.e 2016 and 2017 over a UK medical school that causes me to graduate in 2017 , wouldn't that give me somewhat of a solid chance at landing a US residency, i.e 2 more shots at the residency match in the years 2016 and 2017 as opposed to having my first shot in the year 2018 (If I graduate from a 5 year UK medical course?)

    Of course If I graduate from a UK medical school I will already have started working with the NHS in the year 2017-18. Still, the USA would have been my first choice and I hear SGU does prepare well for the USMLE's and that will work to my favor compared to other international students from other international schools. (Or so I suppose)

    Sorry If I sound a bit think, just wanted a bit more clarification on what you guys said.

  6. #6
    rokshana is offline Member Guru 11644 points
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    an applicant is the most competitive the 1st yr they apply....having "more chances" to apply doesn't = more competitive.

    i really don't think i was obtuse or unclear with my answer

    if the UK school is a domiciled school, then that is like saying no to a US med school....if your impatience to get started overcomes any common sense...well don't say you weren't warned or didn't know the consequences when you don't match...
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  7. #7
    MrEven is offline Junior Member 511 points
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    26?

    I'm 31 and just applying.

  8. #8
    manuka honey is offline Member 511 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by rokshana View Post
    an applicant is the most competitive the 1st yr they apply....having "more chances" to apply doesn't = more competitive.

    i really don't think i was obtuse or unclear with my answer

    if the UK school is a domiciled school, then that is like saying no to a US med school....if your impatience to get started overcomes any common sense...well don't say you weren't warned or didn't know the consequences when you don't match...
    Agree totally with roks Whats the point of graduating early if you have no job / residency or internship that you can go to immediately after you get MD after your name . Twiddle your thumbs and frame your MD certificate?

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