Help me! I think I'm falling, in love with a school....

I know I am all over the map these days…but after the conference, I wrote a thank you note to every admin person I spoke with at the conference who was engaging, and kind, and encouraging. None of them have replied at all except one - SGU. SGU is falling all over itself with me - phone calls, emails, talks with MS-4’s, hooking me up with grads in my state, huge package of materials, and an amazing experience with a webinar. Lo and behold, they have a post bacc, that can serve as a segway into thier medical school provided you maintain a 3.5 and reasonable scores on the MCAT. Admin counselors discuss the financial aid as GENEROUS in the calculations for this program. I am slowly drifting away into a dream of three to four years in Grenada with possible study in the UK to go with it…now my husband ( whom some of you met) thinks I have gone certifiably insane…But the flowers! The Candy! The special attention! The dream!!! It all seems so VERY, VERY possible and achievable!! Am I, the mental health clinician, having delusions???

I think that’s incredibly generous of the school, and it’s great to see that it made you so excited!

I would be so curious as to what you find out by communicating with the graduates and students. My guess is that the accounts of their experiences will help you to make your decision.

Congratulations on catching their attention- that has to feel good!

Don’t fall for it. It’s still the Caribbean and “word on the street” is that residency positions are going to get really tight in 2017. I have good friends who’ve gone to Ross and SGU and neither wanted IM but that is what they matched into AFTER scrambling. They both told me that once on the island it’s every man/woman for themselves.

They do a great job of wooing students but in the end the MO for the Caribbean is to admit a bunch of students, let the cream rise to the top, and not care about the rest. It’s a huge money making machine, run by the debt incurred by many a med student who never graduated.

Ask them how many students who matriculate per class do NOT graduate. Look into what specialties they do match into and then look for how many do NOT match.

Four years ago I didn’t see a problem but unless a glut of residencies open up in the next four years there are many Carib graduates that are going to have a very expensive degree with no where to go.

It’s a sales pitch. Caveat emptor.

Even though SGU has a rood reputation for medical training (I would not hesitate to be treated by a SGU grad) and currently has a residency placement rate of over 80% for graduates (see note at bottom), it still leaves two big questions.

  1. we dont have good data on how many they accept and who is still there 4 years later. I dont want to explore the financial and ethical issues but just on numbers, or lack thereof is cause for concern.

  2. Residency slots are just going to get tighter and tighter which will squeeze the off shore schools hard. (Ironically, as we increase the number of US medical school seats, we still are not making more doctors due to the lack of residency slots).

    So you always try to get US MD or DO first before consider the Caribbean. Dont make the choice based on money. In the end, you have to ask yourself what you are willing to give up to become a doctor

    *(note: with main residency match and secondary SOAP match, 97% of US based grads got a residency slot. Over 500 US MD/DO grads did not match at all)

At the webinar, they said the number of students that did not complete or graduate was 7%…Is that high? Average? medium? Low?

that’s on the high side but unless I saw the actual data or know what is and isnt included.

  1. how many people are accepted and then fail out of their postbacc, which I think has a direct acceptance to med school class?

    2)how many first year students are accepted, what are the average GPA and MCAT of matriculants?

  2. how to the above numbers compare to 3rd clinical slots?

  3. how many students pass USMLE and on how many attempts

  4. Residency acceptance rate. I think that their rate is effectively a little higher than reported as they have a large indian segment of students who apply to US residency match without much hope; many places will not consider non-citizens and these students were fully expecting to return to india

    Usually the “Big” 3 (or 4) schools have most of this data on their site.

    In the end though, no matter the quality of the school, the financial benefits, etc, the squeeze of residency slots is an increasing risk for you. Its kind of like spending all this money on a big vacation and having an 85% chance that the plane wont crash


Although I have a limited experience unlike Gonnif, I would be very careful with SGU.

7 % attrition rate is very high. In most school in the US you are looking at 1% or so. The cost is horrible. The residency placement is well below US schools and each time new schools open, it will only get worse because residency positions are not following the trend.

So I can’t really be an expert here, but if SGU is doing all that for you, it means that they need you more than you need them. That alone would make me a bit suspicious.

Like Gonnif said, would you take a plan knowing that it had 85% chance of not crashing? I am sure I wouldn’t. Too risky.

Hi Vicky! SG has been harassing me for over a year now sending me letters, booklets, catalogues and all I did was leaving my address on their website. It is a very expensive school in a beautiful location but definitely an option. But as many suggested I would try US MD/DO before SGU. Although I have met a lot of people from Ross and SGU that practice medicine and those schools and their own effort got them where they wanted to be.

I think you should just start with prerequisites and keep moving forward wherever you choose to be. Perseverance, determination and focus on your dreams is the key. And hope for good health.

If you don’t give it 100%, no school is going to get you into residency/ or med school.

There are many doctors in this country that got their undergraduate medical education in all corners of the world and they take years to study English before they can take their boards and they are successful. And no one knows the teaching style, success rate or credentials of those schools whatsoever. Carib at least teach in English:). I am foreign and it is very difficult to study science in a foreign language, because on top of the material you are learning couple dozen new terminology words a day.

Surround yourself with people that make things happen no matter what and be your own success story. There’s so many people on medical forums all over internet that got nowhere themselves but eager to give out advice based on someone else’s experience, they would blame school, time, wife, teachers, workload etc…Be positive and make a first step