This might be premature but things tend to catch up to me in a hurry.
While I still have some applications being evaluated for an interview. I have been thinking about backup plans if this application cycle doesn’t work out as planned.
After talking with my father, he feels I should, assuming I get into a caribbean medical school, is go to the caribbean medical school and while I am there reapply for admission to US schools as a first year student, not as a transfer. Im not sure how feasible that would be or smart or anything else. The reasoning behind it is that I would not lose another year of my life waiting on my butt while I could at least be working towards something. If I didn’t get into a US school then I’ll be done with a year of medical school.
After receiving the rejection letter/explanation of rejection from TCOM is about the post-bacc pre-medical certification program. It would be 10 months of classes and if I received a 3.5 or higher gpa while there I could reapply for admissions to TCOM and probably help with my other applications. Admission isn’t garunteed but they say a high percetange of the students get into TCOM, I guess around 90%. I guess the others didn’t get the gpa they needed. My fear with doing this is the “what if” I dont make it.then I am left with a 10 month certificate that doesn’t grant me a degree of any kind. On a side note, this program seems to be aimed at individuals like myself who have a rocky academic past and have been slow in getting back to academic respectability.
This might be premature but things tend to catch up to me in a hurry.
They ask you on the AMCAS if you have ever matriculated at a medical school and possibly for the circumstances of leaving - certainly you'll need to list your transcripts for the Caribbean school. So - why would a school accept a matriculated medical student as a new 1st year?
I don't think this is a good plan - I'm not sure it is even a realistic plan - just my 2 cents.
The post-bacc looks like a better deal to me. Can you call an admissions counselor at TCOM and have a chat about your record and your chances? I can't remember if you've gotten any other rejections. Some schools let you talk with an admissions counselor after rejection to see what got you rejected. Perhaps you can find out if they think a formal post-bacc program would improve your chances for next time.
I would be very cautious about taking the Caribbean route for many reasons. The most important of which is that it will become progressively more challenging to land a US residency as funding cuts are phased in. I believe it was the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, although it may have resulted from later amendements to the Act. In essence, the US has had a history of having many times the needed number of funded residency slots. Last figues I saw were for, I think, FY1999 and there were like 28,000+ funded residency positions in the US. Take that in context of the fact that there are only ~16k US-MD & 2k US-DO grads produced every year – yielding an excess of 10k spots. Residency funding is managed through HCFA, an agency subcomponent of the MediCare/MedicAid system – US citizens fund them through the taxes we pay.
Omitting much of the details, largely because I cannot accurately recall them all, the policy mandates that over a span of time, beginning circa 2002 and fully implemented by circa 2007/8, HCFA was placing a funding cap on all US post-grad training. There are two major prongs to these restrictions:
1 - w/o substantial jusitification, then current post-grad training centers could not add to their net aggregate of funded training slots – they can sitch them back & forth b/t the programs they have, but not create new ones w/o jumping thru massive governmental hoops & demonstrating demographic/geographic need.
2 - that over the phase in period, the number of available funded slot would be reduced to reflect a number that is 110% of the total number of US-graduated MDs & DOs. At the time that this all came out…it was heavily discussed during my first year & a half of med school…both the AOA and ACGME came out with statements that indicated that all reductions in funded slots would be taken from the IMG/FMG applicant pool and not the US-grads.
The crux of all of this – it has become far more difficult and will become much, much more difficult for IMGs & FMGs to land slots in US residency programs. It would not preclude you from undertaking residencies in other countries, of course. But, migrating to the US as a foreign trained & licensed physician is extremely challenging. I have worked with a number of nurses, resp therapists, paramedics and such who were Doc in their home country, but were not able to ever secure a license here.
The sum total of my rambling response – I personally feel that you are far better served by doing either a post-bacc or obtaining a graduate degree and then reapplying versus heading to the islands. To my knowledge, none of the island programs are particularly hard to get into…they are more concerned over your ability to pay. I work with several island-school graduates, namely from Ross, Amer Univ of the Caribbean and St. George's – not a single one of them endorse others to follow their course, had positive things to say about their experience or education nor would choose to follow this route again. cumulatively, these folks feel that their primary focus of those schools is to generate income for the schools' owners and essentially provide little to no support of their students. It is profoundly a sink or swin environment.
Now, I will admit that the info in the preceeding paragraph is purely second-hand info. I did not experience it myself. However, considering how congruent each of these people's opinions are and that I have heard this from several graduates – I cannot but suspect that there is substantial factual support underpinning what they claim.
thanks for the response. Its been something I have been thinking a lot lately because the deadlines for those post bacc courses are approaching soon. Ive also spent a lot of time trying to calculate what my gpa is and what I have to do to get it above the 3.0 mark. I dont think doing additional undergrad courses is really a viable option. I have 200 credit hours of class, an insane amount. The more courses I take the less impact they will have on my overall gpa. I have 4 years of social science and about 2.5 years of sciences.
Ive been looking at the post bacc pre-med cert programs at TCOM, PCOM, LECOM. The more I read the scarrier it sounds. But on the other hand, you get through it then theres a very good chance you'll get into the DO program there.
Graduate school is the last option I have. Im not sure but I think I would have to take the gmat? and some of the programs are a good 2-3 years. I guess the time with that is the biggest thing that ruins it for me. 2-3 years I could be a MS III somewhere. Or a MSI if I went with option #2.
Im going to talk with Dr.Wood about everything soon and then have a chat with my parents. They've played a large part in my life since I decided to try for med school again and have been the only supporters Ive had since I left high school, until recently. My success in large part comes from their continued support. I also trust that my father has some knowledge being a foreign med graduate. Times have changed and so everything isn't the same as when he did it, but he had similar hurdles.
I hope to come to a conclusion soon. I think a lot will come down to the advice I get from DW. He supported the caribbean route when I spoke to him about it. But a lot could also change if I get a good score this april when I take the mcat for a 2nd time.
Not an easy decision.
Ya know, you have to take the best route that presents itself to you. I am far from against the island-school path, I was simply compelled to make you aware of how things are becoming progressively more challenging for people who go to any international medical schools…not just the island schools. I have met several people from the Irish school in Dublin, there used to be an OPMer in a school in Krakow, Poland and there is an excellent school, that teaches in English, in Prague, Czech – St. Charles University.
Personally, were I to not have been able to land a US med school slot, I would have opted for one of the European med schools that I mentioned above. According to the people whom I have met, their system, while different than ours in the US, is far more supportive and pro-education than I have heard about from the Caribbean schools. There are also two allegedly excellent schools in Australia that take Americans – one in Sydnet and the other in Melbourne.
Explore your options, all of them, and then make the choices necessary to achieve your dream. You will be far from the first who went out of country to get their MD. It is not impossible to return to the US for post-grad training, but substantially more difficult. I just wanted you to be aware of some these things & take them into account while you are making those choices.
I wish you the best of luck & success!!!
Its not only you. Ive been talking this over with countless people. Its just a growing uncertainty about the whole process. Many have told me to steer clear of the caribbean while others have endorsed it. Just hard to know what is real and what is not when you've heard and read so many opposing opnions.
As for the other schools, Ive heard of them. Australia would have been awsome but when I looked there, the schools required at least a 28 on the mcat or higher. I have looked at Israeli medical schools and have applied to Sackler and this newer school in International Health, Ben Gurion Medical school which has some sort of relationship with columbia and there medical school I imagine.
Ive heard that the schools over in Ireland and England are supposed to be excellent as well but are 5 or 6 year programs, like those in Australia? My mother was trying to get me to apply to this school in Costa Rica she dropped out of in her 3rd year, UCIMED.
Ive explored the other options and i dont feel very good. Language isn't a great strength of mine. Ive been in a household of spanish speakers for all my life and used to spend my summers in costa rica and I still sound like a 2nd semester spanish student from the US.