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Thread: A Pragmatists experience with UMHS

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    competitor is offline Junior Member 516 points
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    A Pragmatists experience with UMHS

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    I am a 3rd year clinical student with UMHS, and also a "lifer" - that is, I started my first semester in Saint Kitts, and have been with the school to this point. I say this proudly, as I feel extremely fortunate and blessed to have "rolled the dice" and decided to pursue my education with UMHS, for the following reasons:

    Before deciding to take that flight down to an island you (for all intents and purposes) know nothing about, for a school that you know nothing about, where you know nobody - ask yourself first - what are my expectations?. My expectations were simple to satisfy - A) give me a chance to write the US Board Exams. B) give me a degree that will allow me to practice as a physician in the United States. That is all - I knew that I was taking the "back door" into medical practice, and I knew I was going to have to fight every step of the way; to expect anything else is to be unrealistic. Of note: With such simple expectations, you find yourself being pleasantly surprised by the entire experience.

    Saint Kitts is an amazing island - frankly, I feel immensely proud to have lived two years of my life there (something I don't think anybody would have ever predicted). I made friends and shared experiences there so unique that they made the entire journey and all of it's anxieties and obstacles worthwhile. If you have my expectations, you will also be very impressed by the school - it is a organized and operational (that is good enough for me). There is a library, a grand auditorium, multiple classrooms and studying spaces, administration buildings, and a great anatomy lab. It is like a small-scale transplantation of the campus of a continental medical university. You will have the same academic experience as every other medical student in the world - from Los Angeles to Lagos to Damascus; you will cover the same material, have the same love/hate relationship with your school/teachers/classmates, and face the same examinations.

    I would also like to speak on the excellence of the clinical rotations and preparations made at the school. Whether you are a fan of Kaplan or not - the school providing a mandatory comprehensive nationally acknowledged review course is something to appreciate. Personally, I loved the course and made it a fundamental part of my USMLE preparations. The time from writing the Step 1 to the first day of your clinical rotations is extremely short (about 1 month, including time waiting for test results); I would like to shout out the clinical staff at UMHS for their excellence. I would also like to shout out the Island and 5th semester clinical medicine courses - I have never been outmatched, and felt prepared to do a competent history and head-to-toe physical from the minute our O.S.C.E. ended.

    Whereas on the Island the school admittedly sometimes showed it's youth, Clinical rotations is where UMHS really impressed how far ahead of it's age it really is. The rotations I have done have been of excellent quality - affiliated with impressive residency programs, in some of the best cities in the United States to live in. Our rotations are populated with students from top American schools, and only the most successful IMG factories (SGU, Ross, AUC, SABA). The quality of these rotations would be unthinkable for a school that just sprung up a few years ago - but bless the legacy and ingenuity of Dr. Ross (Z"L), for he has facilitated this for us.

    My last point is with respect to reputation. This topic has been so overblown and overdone on ValueMD as a whole, it has reached a 10 on the unintentional hilarity scale. I would like to echo the sentiments I have seen in other threads - and you can't truly appreciate this until you have done a clinical rotation as a UMHS student; All Caribbean students are looked at under the same light, whether it be favorable or unflattering. Going to SGU/Ross will give you an extensive network of graduates and residents, but beyond that, we are all equals. Your (as well as their) success will not be based on whether you went to a 20 year old or a 2 year old international medical school - it is based on personal performance, interactions, and determination. Meeting a few of our soon-to-be residents helped strengthen this sentiment, as they were excellent people, students, and self-motivated... to fulfill the second expectation you can ask of a medical school - to get you into a residency program, so you can practice as a physician.
    anhquoc4m likes this.
    "Every silver lining's got a touch of grey"

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    t-rex is offline Member 521 points
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    Sounds more like an employee of the school than a student. Proud to have lived in St. Kitts, and Same as SGU & Ross huh?!

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    gx255 is offline Senior Member 517 points
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    She/He is Legit.
    UMHS

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    Thank you for sharing you experiences, Competitor. I found it to be very inspirational and helpful. I totally agree with you on the expectations. Good luck with everything!

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    ypl3845 is offline Newbie 511 points
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    Competitor, after reading numerous threads one cannot help question "Am I making the right choice?" After reading your lengthy input, I am refreshed to realized the basic reasons for accepting UMHS. Did I backdoor my way into medical school. I don't think so and I am not the traditional student coming straight from undergrad. I have had one of the greatest experience anyone could ask for before applying to medical school. 11 years pursuit of my goal in getting the opportunity to attend medical school (step 1). The past eight years working in a high volume ED and putting life on hold to soak up everything I could to be the best prepared I could be before starting school. The most unique experience of all is having the opportunity to grow up in "real world medicine". Once a med student passes the books, USMLEs, and residency the real world comes into focus. Politics and money are always leading the way! At times I wanted to end it all and choose another route because the sicking feel you get because you cannot just practice medicine in todays time. But for the last 8 years I have continued to show up and not lose sight of my goals and dreams and hold true to my beliefs for medicine. It's simple for me after all this time. To practice medicine and be responsible for others lives, this is what I want to do. Yes there are other options in medicine, but they do not bring the freedom as does a licensed physician. Even with that said, I truly understand we always have to work within certain rules and regulations which does not make us free. Like you started off in you thread, you found a school that offered you an opportunity to study medicine and can practice in the US. That is what I am looking for! I have worked with 100+ physicians all who have come from med schools out of the country and the US. For the past 8 years I have demonstrate to them and myself my pure desire and determination to get to this next step. From them, they have educated me and demonstrated to me that dedication and determination is what got them where they are today. I start in September and like most if not all the students scrambling to figure out the loan situation, I will be there because I have the opportunity now and I will find away (any assistance is greatly appreciated . No I have not seen first hand the hardships the first two years brings, but rather knowing at the end of basic sciences I have a strong foundation moving into the next step, Application! Competitor, thank you again for uplifting insight to UMHS. Come September, all I can do is be myself and adjust to whatever it takes to achieve my goal. Looking forward to becoming apart of the tradition of UMHS.
    anhquoc4m likes this.

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    realtalk is offline Newbie 510 points
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    What is the score requirement to pass the Kaplan course to be eligible to sit for Step 1 exam. Is there an NBME exam given by school before sitting for step 2 as well. I am assuming you started your clinicals, just wondering how does their grading system work do you take NBME exam at the end of each rotation. Is it hard to find clinical site?

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    realtalk is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by ypl3845 View Post
    Competitor, after reading numerous threads one cannot help question "Am I making the right choice?" After reading your lengthy input, I am refreshed to realized the basic reasons for accepting UMHS. Did I backdoor my way into medical school. I don't think so and I am not the traditional student coming straight from undergrad. I have had one of the greatest experience anyone could ask for before applying to medical school. 11 years pursuit of my goal in getting the opportunity to attend medical school (step 1). The past eight years working in a high volume ED and putting life on hold to soak up everything I could to be the best prepared I could be before starting school. The most unique experience of all is having the opportunity to grow up in "real world medicine". Once a med student passes the books, USMLEs, and residency the real world comes into focus. Politics and money are always leading the way! At times I wanted to end it all and choose another route because the sicking feel you get because you cannot just practice medicine in todays time. But for the last 8 years I have continued to show up and not lose sight of my goals and dreams and hold true to my beliefs for medicine. It's simple for me after all this time. To practice medicine and be responsible for others lives, this is what I want to do. Yes there are other options in medicine, but they do not bring the freedom as does a licensed physician. Even with that said, I truly understand we always have to work within certain rules and regulations which does not make us free. Like you started off in you thread, you found a school that offered you an opportunity to study medicine and can practice in the US. That is what I am looking for! I have worked with 100+ physicians all who have come from med schools out of the country and the US. For the past 8 years I have demonstrate to them and myself my pure desire and determination to get to this next step. From them, they have educated me and demonstrated to me that dedication and determination is what got them where they are today. I start in September and like most if not all the students scrambling to figure out the loan situation, I will be there because I have the opportunity now and I will find away (any assistance is greatly appreciated . No I have not seen first hand the hardships the first two years brings, but rather knowing at the end of basic sciences I have a strong foundation moving into the next step, Application! Competitor, thank you again for uplifting insight to UMHS. Come September, all I can do is be myself and adjust to whatever it takes to achieve my goal. Looking forward to becoming apart of the tradition of UMHS.
    What is the score requirement to pass the Kaplan course to be eligible to sit for Step 1 exam. Is there an NBME exam given by school before sitting for step 2 as well. I am assuming you started your clinicals, just wondering how does their grading system work do you take NBME exam at the end of each rotation. Is it hard to find clinical site?

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    Dr.Torres is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I'm a graduate of UMHS. I loved it. Yes it's more expensive than other schools but worth it in my opinion. You have NMBE shelf exams to gauge your progress during basic sciences and also after each core rotation during clerkships. There is a minimum score you must get on the Kaplan "exit" exam (after you have completed the Kaplan course) but I don't remember what it is, I finished it a few years ago. There is now a Kaplan course and exam, of course, to prep you for Step 2CK. The shelf exams and prep courses are so vital to proper preparation for the Step exams - I can't stress it enough. During rotations, I met students from other schools who didn't have these available to them and you could notice the difference. Even preceptors mentioned it. I will say, however, that tuition hikes are too common - don't expect to be paying the same tuition towards the end, it will be much higher. I ran out of money from my bank loan and had to borrow more from relatives.

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