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  1. #1
    katheryn is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Honest Opinions About Attending St. James

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    Hi! My husband is considering attending St. James. However, I have seen many things that are discouraging to me. I really would like to hear from alumni (preferably) or current students.

    First, some background. My husband graduated from a major university with a degree in accounting. He originally started premed and then changed when he wasn't getting the grades. He is very smart but at age 18 was not mature and did not focus on school as he should have. He successfully took biology, organismal bio, chem 1 & 2, physics 1 & 2, genetics, and organismal chem 1 (did not take 2). His grades were ** and Cs. After undergrad he went to law school. He graduated and passed the bar and has been practicing law now for several years. He has been successful practicing law but is itching to be a physician and regrets him immaturity during his college years. He wonders what kind of opportunities open up to people with a JD and MD. He might be able to get a great job as a malpractice attorney (we would still want him to be able to practice as a physician as well). He read somewhere about St. James and was thrilled to learn he could go without taking the MCAT. He is a GREAT test taker (did very will on LSAT) but feels he would do poorly because so much time has passed since school. He doesn't remember organic chemistry at all, he claims. He is now 31 years old. I am a school teacher. We have young children. The logistics of THAT situation is another can of worms!

    He has called and spoken to representatives at the school and of course they are all sunshine and roses. She bragged that 83% got residencies. I'm not sure what I've seen online reflects that. They obviously want him to go whether it is best for us or not.

    We are okay with the stigma of going to a Caribbean school. We are not snobbish about him doing clinical in an undesirable area. Don't care of others turn their noses up at us. We just want him to be a practicing physician when it is all said and done. I feel like he will work hard, he has proven he can work hard and pass difficult exams already, but I worry that is not enough to overcome the stigma attached to this school.

    I recently looked at the 2010-2015 match lists. I noticed there were very few students. 20-30? How many did not get matched? How many started to begin with? Do some students get their MD and then don't every get matched? Why? That sounds like devastation. Are there options for people who don't get matched? I am leaning toward this being a very bad idea. Am I right?
    Last edited by katheryn; 10-20-2015 at 04:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Torontomed is offline Member 527 points
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    Yes, some students get their MD and don't get matched. Why?
    1. Personal reasons - you haven't done well on your steps or you have red flags on your app like failure in Step 1, Step 2 etc.
    2. The school itself - St. James is unaccredited in ~16 states. This means you can't apply to those states for residency. The most notable exclusions include NY..which is considered one of the most IMG friendly states with programs that no US MD/DO kids want to get into. Other is California. ~5-6 states follow the California rule, and the # of states willing to follow the Cali model is increasing. Source? Life of a Medical Student: Approved States. I know it's just a blog, so to verify this claim, contact each state and find out the exact # of states SJSM grads can't apply for residency to.
    Point #2 is the reason why students pay the big bucks for SGU/Ross/AUC/Saba/AUA etc. all of which are 50 state accredited.

    Your next concern..the match rate. The absolutely best way to verify St. James' claim is to check out the "NRMP Charting Outcomes". It's the report released every 2 years by the actual US board that shows match rate by the Caribbean island name. You can make your own conclusions based on that..rather than relying on anecdotes or St. James administration.

    If you want my opinion..this is a terrible idea ESPECIALLY considering that he has a prestigious career already. If he must do this, i'd consider taking the MCAT and applying to US MD/DO schools. If you must go to the Caribbean and you refuse to take the MCAT, AUA might be of your interest. It's the only 50 state accredited school that doesn't require the MCAT.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Torontomed; 10-20-2015 at 05:53 PM.

  3. #3
    vick2025's Avatar
    vick2025 is offline Member 517 points
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    Hey,

    I do not attend St.James, but will like to just give my two cents here.

    I suggest taking the Mcat and applying broadly to other better Caribbean schools. Its probably too late for your husband to do something in the US such as MD or DO school, so unless he wants to go to PA or NP/RN, international medical schools are his only choices.

    He should get the books either from kaplan or another company from amazon or ebay, they have cheaper prices, and study for about 6 months or so. Now that the mcat has changed, you can't really know how you will do unless you take it. If he does well then maybe one of the better schools may take him and trust me that is a much better option than going here or to any other school that has basically no accreditation in the US. If the exam doesn't go to well, then St. James will still be here but knowing you tried for a better school is a positivity in itself.

    Just a though.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    katheryn is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thank you for your replies! I tend to agree with you both. A question: If he were to take the MCAT and apply to a better Caribbean school, would he need to take Organic Chemistry 2? The idea of retaking organic chemistries are a huge deterrent for him because they would add a year to his education. Or are there schools that would accept him without it? Do you feel like Kaplan would provide adequate preparation for a resourceful person who has been out of school for awhile?

    Again, thank you for your perspectives! I think going might be a huge mistake, especially since we have children!

  5. #5
    vick2025's Avatar
    vick2025 is offline Member 517 points
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    The organic chem requirement may differ from one school to another, so contacting that specific school will give you a better idea. Sometimes, biochemistry can be used instead of organic chemistry, but it all depends on the school. I took an Mcat class from Kaplan back in 2010 and it was helpful. If you can't afford a live lecture class then buy the lecture books from amazon. Something like this:

    Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review: Created for MCAT 2015 (Kaplan Test Prep): 9781618656445: Medicine & Health Science Books @ Amazon.com

    There are other companies like Princeton review that also offer prep review books. Depending on when your husband took the premed classes, if it has been more than 8 years or so then he may have to repeat them. And taking classes at the local community college can be a good start. Again, he may not have to repeat anything and this all depends on the school he'll apply to.

  6. #6
    Torontomed is offline Member 527 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by katheryn View Post
    Thank you for your replies! I tend to agree with you both. A question: If he were to take the MCAT and apply to a better Caribbean school, would he need to take Organic Chemistry 2? The idea of retaking organic chemistries are a huge deterrent for him because they would add a year to his education. Or are there schools that would accept him without it? Do you feel like Kaplan would provide adequate preparation for a resourceful person who has been out of school for awhile?

    Again, thank you for your perspectives! I think going might be a huge mistake, especially since we have children!
    Check out this site for more info about prep materials etc. https://www.reddit.com/r/Mcat/wiki/mcat2015exam
    Also, to put your mind at ease, according to AAMC there'll only be ~12 Orgo questions on the new MCAT (out of 177 science questions). There are many that don't study Orgo at all and do just fine. I'm not saying to skip orgo, but i wouldn't be too stressed about it. Biochem is the name of the game now. Make sure he has a good grasp on Biochem.

  7. #7
    medstulife is offline Member 519 points
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    Hi

    i have been posting about my whole experience with St James you can read all about it, its been going on for the whole 5 year of my journey
    Life of a Medical Student

    and i just recently made a post about my honest opinion about the school

    My thoughts on Caribbean medical schools || Why Saint James school of medicine || Caribbean medical school | Life of a Medical Student
    Don't Forget to Check the Life of a medical student Hidden Content
    Hidden Content Be On top of your game, be the best, ,Get the latest knowledge and help
    Hidden Content google_ad_section_end -->

  8. #8
    Herre22 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I am actually preparing for the LSAT exam with TestMax LSAT Prep Courses and I was wondering does anyone here have some good advice for someone preparing for the first time. I would really appreciate some insights about the exam. Thanks!

  9. #9
    tempcpa is offline Newbie 510 points
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    UGH! I got accepted, paid my $1k reservation fee and now after 23 phone calls and 14 emails, nobody at the campus has responded to me. Seems the organization has taken my money and not confirmed my seat. legal action next!!! ugh! I WILL WARN OTHERS ABOUT THIS. STUDENTS DON"T NEED THIS DECEPTION. I passed up other schools, lost $1k and all materials, and the travel costs. I almost lost my housing deposit but got it back. THis won't look good for SJSM. BE WARNED MAY 2018!!!!

  10. #10
    FutureDrEl is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Has anyone talked to a former graduate I was doing my research and found out saint James isnít accredited which is an issue if you get through the program pay all the money and then you canít even practice because theyíre not accredited

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