Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#221: Going to Medical School in the Carribbean

We know, getting into medical school is hard. There are interviews; there are essays; there are 4 spots for 12,000 applicants; there's housing; there's books; there's that annoying shuttle you have to take to and from your apartment. It's four years of endless torture, gut-wrenching stress and incessant complaining about the bleak prospect of never having another summer off again, despite the fact that no one really has a summer break after college but no matter. Med school is hard and so is the life of someone trying to get in it.

Why then is medical school so popular? Why then are 7 of the 8 Punjabi kids and their siblings who grew up in your same neighborhood going so far out of their way to get into those harrowing halls of health care education? Why do they, despite having absolutely no discernible degree of compassion for anything other than themselves, try so so so so so hard to make sure they are the ones signing your discharge papers when they are 25? It's an irony as confounding as putting one hand in your pocket while the other one is giving a peace sign.

Even more confusing is why after following the system from kindergarten to middle school to high school to college prospective medical students buck the checks and balances of institutional learning and declare that no matter what North American medical college admissions boards say, they WILL become a doctor. After all, what do admissions officers know? If they're such experts on being doctors why aren't they out there attending lavish parties sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and refusing to see patients on Medicare? "I'm totally going to be a doctor!" you tell them, "Because, why, because, because otherwise I don't know what else I'd do!"

23 on the MCAT? So? 3.0 GPA? Who cares? Total lack of character and personality as conveyed by a contrived personal statement about a vague desire to "help people?" Whatever. Indians like going to med school so much that they won't even let medical schools denying their admission stop them. They'll just hop the border like a general of a convicted drug cartel and study epidemiology in the Dominican Republic. After all, it's called the DR for a reason.

19 comments:

Deeya said...

I attended a "top ten" liberal arts college. When I'd be working for an orgo lab, or studying for a bio test, I'd joke and laugh to my friends and be like, "Guys better study or I'll be in the Carib for med school."

I had a solid 3.5 GPA, and scored a 30 on the MCAT. I have a first author publication, along with others as well. Even though my state doesn't have an allopathic school, my hopes were high. I applied and was waitlisted at numerous schools. I was admitted into several DO programs. I decided to give a Carib school a shot so that I could do rotations in a location I wanted.

I thought I would come here being the top of my class, and had a cocky attitude problem like you. I was surprised to meet some of the brightest, hardest working people that I've ever encountered. I'm honored to be classmates with people that show so much commitment, to travel thousands of miles away from their homes and families, many with children, to fulfill their dreams. Let them do that, and stop talking trash about thousands of people who attend these school whom you know little about.

Mahotma in Herre said...

Naw.

Anonymous said...

deeya sweetie, if you find your caribbean crop smart and hardworking and dedicated, imagine what the real american medical students are like.

if you are surprised by them, you'll be blown away by us. its too bad you were never around a caliber like ours.

after all, its beyond coincidence that you people take six months to study for step 1, yet fail significantly more than american students, and score way below your friends up north.

but hey, medicine is medicine, no? so what if you don't learn your shit well? its all $$$ from here on out, except youre in family or rehab and i'm in orthopedics/derm.

btw i went to a mid-tier party state school, drank 3 nights a week during non-college football season, more during the fall, graduated with a 3.7 and a 35 MCAT. i guess some people just have better genes. then again, i heard they dont wear jeans in the caribbean.

sindhi said...

Anonymous - you're a shitbag. Go die.

Mahotma in Herre said...

Yo, wait, my mom's in Rehab. You are a shitbag. Deeya, I love you, I'm just insecure because I was too retarded for pre-med. And no panties with genes - so necessary.

Anonymous said...

ha.. you wish anonymous. The top carib school has USMLE pass rates higher than the US averages, produces more chief residents than any other school in the country (so you'll probably be working for one soon) and are taught by visiting professors from oxford, harvard, yale, etc. the fact that there simply aren't enough spots in the US for the number of qualified applicants is irrefutable.

It's pretty easy to get a 3.7 at a shitty state school isn't it? Try going ivy league and see real competition. Who cares, mummy knows that uncle who is on the admissions board of that school right? You'll fit right in.

I look forward to seeing foreign docs blowing interns like you out of the water in clinicals.

Anonymous said...

Its all about D.O. !!!! Eff all you MD bigots/idiots!

V-reds said...

med school should be easier to get into, but the A.M.A. wants to keep matriculant levels low in order to produce less doctors and keep the average physician salary higher.

This really isnt the best move considering the U.S. needs way more doctors than are currently being educated.

Thus, they're planning to raise med school enrollment, but I dont think it'll be near enough to meet the demand in the coming years. There's a lot of complicated politics involved in med school admission rates, so there's no need for anyone to think they're "dumb" just because they did'nt get into a north american med school.

Anonymous said...

D.O.'s Make better doctors.

Thats the truth.

Anonymous said...

DO's? seriously? Do you guys even study anatomy?

Anonymous said...

a clear example of the competitive nature that is bred by the med schools and students alike.

the fact is we all sit upon our lofty pedestals and hold too much self respect (derived from our own profession/field). none of us is deserving of such, but it makes med school all worth it. to delude yourself to think you make a difference, "changing lives", etc. and thus a better person, we do it all for ourselves. there is little self sacrifice in the profession other than the heavy hours, but even that is compensated with a handsome pay.

we are all shitbags (with a few exceptions) but at least we feel good about ourselves no?

Anonymous said...

Honeslty, OSTEOPATHIC doctors (D.O.) all of the same and extra classes as their MD counterparts. DOs are allowed to match into ACGME (MD) residencies and have their own special osteopathic residencies. Statistically it makes more sense to become an osteopathic physician to get your specialty. Besides, osteopaths make better physicians as they treat the whole patient and don't treat patients as just statistics. If you think otherwise you are probably just ignorant and don't like to look at the facts.

OH and...for whoever tries to point out that the average osteopathic school has slightly lower standards of admissions than the average MD school since when does having a higher MCAT or undergrad GPA make you a better clinician? A better researcher maybe. I'd trust a D.O. with surgery or for any kind of care on my body any day over an MD.

Anonymous said...

All of you championing for Caribbean and D.O. programs can reassure yourselves all you like about how great Caribbean and D.O. programs, whether it's for reasons such as being able to pick "rotations in a location you wanted" and how "osteopaths treat patients as people instead of statistics."

Whatever. At the end of the day, there is absolutely NO chance that anyone with the option to attend a mainland US allopathic program would ever willingly choose a DO program or a Caribbean/foreign MD over it. End of story.

Anonymous said...

LOL. I chose an osteopathic institution over an M.D. school because as a former wrestler in college I used to get injured and I shadowed many orthopedic surgeons. Mine was an osteopath and he really got me interested in the philosophy. I applied to a local MD school - which I got into- mostly as a back up for the out of state D.O. school I now attend. Even if I went the M.D. route I never would hate on D.O. because I respect the philosophy too much. So no- not end of story. You're just an idiot.

Anonymous said...

No. We DO's students don't study anatomy. We dick around for four years and somewhere along the line we take the USMLE (you know, for shits and giggles). After that we graduate and are only allowed to practice medicine 2 days per week in designated state parks.
PS: I'm glad we have our own derm and rads residencies though. Yay us.
PS 2: Go on SDN and expose yourself to some MD student attitude. Yea, those kids are going to make excellent clinicians-pricks.

Rishi said...

It's sad that our generation of physicians have this mentality to outdo our own colleagues - we're all going to be physicians in the end. Let our commitment to patient care be the beacon upon which we're judged.

Anonymous said...

All you dipshits will be replaced by PA's who do a better job. No matter how big a doctor you are I know how you guys jostle with each other at parties for curry and roti, worse than Sudanese receiving aid. You can be a MD DO or DOG whatever..but you'll forever lack class. So suck it up!

wakeMVP said...

While I know that due to the fact that comments on the internet are anonymous and thus somehow inherently cause humans Freudian id to display itself in a violent, egotistical fashion, I am truly repulsed by these comments. Maybe the reason for my reaction is because I place doctors on a pedestal and I believe that anyone that is hardworking enough to become a doctor must inherently understand the conditions all human go through. Aren't we each on our own journey to fulfillment? Why are we reducing ourselves to such competition? Can't we afford to display some type of respect even if it anonymously? When it comes to making life or death decisions I would whole-heartedly trust a doctor that had a passion for their careers over one who only cared about the money, no matter where they attended medical school. My grandfather studied medicine in a tiny village in India before finishing his residency in London and then moving on to practice in North Carolina. Even 20 years after retirement, he has corrected well-educated doctors in the United States who have misdiagnosed members of my family, but he didn't throw his Indian village education in anybody's face then. Why are you doing that now?

Norma said...

I go to UMHS St. Kitts and they are one of the top caribbean medical schools. They have great results and their students are hardworking, as well as successful. Their match results have been really impressive as well.