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  1. #1
    7125 is offline Junior Member 516 points
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    Questions about island life, curriculum etc

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    Hi all,

    Im new to this forum and have been reviewing the various threads and posts. I have a few questions directed at current UMHS students in St. Kitts and those that have since left the island. I have not been able to locate this information simply from reviewing the threads and posts on this forum, so please bear with me if you are tired of seeing the same questions.

    Questions pertaining to Island life:


    1. Do you enjoy life on the island? Is it conducive to studying and excelling in your courses?
    2. On average when do classes begin and end on campus?
    3. Where are the more/most desirable places to live on the island that may afford you the convenience of getting to and from campus and do grocery shopping etc?
    4. Is it imperative to own a vehicle on the island? Would you recommend it/recommend against it?


    Questions pertaining to the clinical sciences curriculum:


    1. Did/do you feel prepared to excel in USMLE Steps 1 & 2 by way of the curriculum and coursework? (Note: I am aware that this is largely dependent on your personal efforts to study for the exams).
    2. Did/are you experiencing any delays in your core clinical rotations? If so, how long are the delays?
    3. Does UMHS coordinate all core clinical rotations for you? Are all core rotations Green book? Is it important that all rotations be Green book?
    4. How difficult was/has it been for you to arrange elective rotations?


    Please feel free to share any information that you feel may be important to a prospective student.

    Thank you in advance for your time and attention.

  2. #2
    7125 is offline Junior Member 516 points
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    I suppose no one has answers to these questions?

  3. #3
    thirdworldhipster is offline Junior Member 511 points
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    Prospective student here. These are some very good questions, I hope someone could get to them.

    I think there has been only graduating class and since the school is fairly young, there aren't that many people who had previously gone to school at UMHS and regularly post on this forum, so the answers to your questions from former students who lived on the island maybe difficult to access. I'd actually post these questions on their facebook page, that seems to get more traffic from current and former students.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Unive...?v=wall&ref=ts
    Last edited by thirdworldhipster; 02-05-2012 at 11:15 PM.

  4. #4
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    competitor is offline Junior Member 516 points
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    I will make an attempt at answering this exhaustive and extensive question (or at least what I feel qualified to answer). Third World Hipster is right, that there has only been one match class for UMHS, but we have a lot of students in clinical rotations, entering this years match, and that have been through the basic and clinical sciences program, so maybe some more students can offer their perspectives.

    Questions pertaining to Island life:


    1. Do you enjoy life on the island? Is it conducive to studying and excelling in your courses?
    2. On average when do classes begin and end on campus?
    3. Where are the more/most desirable places to live on the island that may afford you the convenience of getting to and from campus and do grocery shopping etc…?
    4. Is it imperative to own a vehicle on the island? Would you recommend it/recommend against it?
    Living on the island is a love it or hate it experience. While for the most part people really enjoy it, there were definitely a few vocal students who didn't like it at all. They missed the comforts of home. Make no mistake, that you will be in a foreign country, in the Caribbean, with a different quality of living. By the same token, it is a very unique and enjoyable experience if you embrace it, and I find most students do. There's a movie theater, sports complexes, beach bars/clubs, hotels, a casino, etc. So there is ample first-world distractions when you have time (say, after a block of exams). For the most part, you will spend your time on-campus, in lectures or studying. The campus is excellent, air conditioned, fast internet, and very conducive to studying. My friends and I had no problem studying and getting down to business.

    As far as neighborhoods, I don't know where the students are at now - but when I went, the students were in three spots - Camps and Mattingley Heights, which are 5-10 minute walks from campus (or you can take the bus/shuttle), and in Frigate Bay, which is a little nicer and closer to the resorts, but requires transportation (again bus/shuttle or personal car). I didn't find it imperative to own a vehicle at all - there is only one major street in St Kitts that will take you downtown, and there are busses running along it all day and night of a few EC dollars. If you want to get down to the hotel/casino/beach you just grab some friends and split a taxi.

    Questions pertaining to the clinical sciences curriculum:


    1. Did/do you feel prepared to excel in USMLE Steps 1 & 2 by way of the curriculum and coursework? (Note: I am aware that this is largely dependent on your personal efforts to study for the exams).
    2. Did/are you experiencing any delays in your core clinical rotations? If so, how long are the delays?
    3. Does UMHS coordinate all core clinical rotations for you? Are all core rotations Green book? Is it important that all rotations be Green book?
    4. How difficult was/has it been for you to arrange elective rotations?
    See my post in the "Maine 5th Semester Stickey" regarding the preparation for the USMLE Step 1. I felt it was definitely a huge boon to the students that took advantage of it, and frankly, the school couldn't do more in one semester to prepare you for the Step. Of course, your success on Step 1 probably correlates strongly to how well you understand the concepts during basic sciences, so a consistent and strong effort during basic sciences is essential. Personally, I feel that 90% of the courses and lecturers were excellent, and their courses directly helped me with Step 1 - so I do feel the curriculum is relevant and helpful. Step 2 is a much more individualized process - you take less time in preparation, and again, your studies for the core rotations (3rd year) will be a strong predictor of your Step 2 CK scores. It is a little harder to tell the effect that this has, as most students go to different rotation sites, with different levels of clinical "pimping", readings, lectures, etc.
    I have not experienced any delays in obtaining my rotations, however I do have friends who have. Usually the school can place you readily, however, some people have preferences to stay in one region/location, or are "holding out" for a more desirable rotation spot.
    UMHS will coordinate all of your core clinical rotations for you. At the moment, not every rotation site is green book. I would say this is a pertinent issue - and you need to check the licensure requirements of the state that you wish to practice (permanent licensure) in to see if this would be a non-starter for you. One thing I would like to add on this point though, is that the rotation sites UMHS has now will likely not be identical to the ones that prospective students will have - two years is a long time for a school that is constantly probing for new clinical affiliations.
    As far as arranging electives - definitely no easy feat - that is because some states have stopped taking international students for 4th year rotations all together (Pennsylvania, New Jersey), and many hospitals that do have international students rotating in them have "exclusive" agreements - for example, they will only take Ross students if that is whom their affiliation lies. However, with persistence you can certainly find rotations at top-notch institutions, in regions you would like. It's no easy task, and again I cannot predict what that will be like in a couple years - perhaps easier, perhaps more difficult, perhaps the same. It is also very easy to arrange electives if you go through the school's listing of offered electives at affiliate clinical sites. If you do that, you could likely get back to back rotations with ease - the clinical coordinator at the school is excellent.

    Hope that was helpful. If you have any follow up questions, hopefully I can answer those too.
    Last edited by competitor; 02-06-2012 at 01:03 PM.
    "Every silver lining's got a touch of grey"

  5. #5
    7125 is offline Junior Member 516 points
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    Competitor,

    Thank you very much for your response. A lot of valuable information presented in support of my decision to apply to UMHS.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Norma Fay is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I am starting medical school at <a href="http://www.umhs-sk.org">UMHS St. Kitts</a> next year as well. This information is really helpful for my planning. From everything I've seen, they have a great program and really help to prepare their students for a medical career.

  7. #7
    krissi is offline Junior Member 511 points
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    Thanks for the info

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