Hey, what’s up you guys? Hey, thanks for watching this video.
In this video, I want to tell you about my Caribbean medical school experience. A lot of people ask me, “What is the best Caribbean medical school to go to if you want to get back into the United States? To…” You wanna get a residency in the United States. I did that myself. I went to a Caribbean school. I went to St. Matthew’s University, and I went through all the process to get back. I’m a US citizen so for some people, it may be a little bit different, but I had to take the- get ECFMG certified. I had to take the CSA and all that good stuff before it was required for everybody.
Essentially, I went to a Caribbean medical school, and I got a surgical residency which is kind of hard to do. So I thought I would tell you how I did that and what I think are the best ways, or best schools to go to to enable you to have the best chance at getting a surgical residency.
First, I wanna tell you a little story. I have a funny story. This is what can happen in a Caribbean medical school, and I’m gonna illustrate this for a specific reason.
Basically, when you go to a Caribbean school – let’s talk about this first – is you have…You go there for two years. You do all your book work your first year and your second year and then before you get rotations in the United States, as in your third and fourth year. ‘Cause the third and fourth year is spent in the hospital learning, taking care of patients and learning about patients that way instead of in a classroom setting. So before you’re able to be in the hospital and touch patients and all that stuff, most residency, or most programs, for your rotations require you to take STEP 1.
If they don’t require you to take STEP 1, be very careful because they may not be accredited. You may not get credits for when you’re applying to residency. The residency may say, “Well, you don’t have credits for internal medicine because you did it at this specific hospital, which does not require USMLE” or whatever. So be careful.
Okay, so here’s my story. In the end of my second year, my last semester, halfway through the last semester in October at St. Matthew’s which is in Belize just off the coast of Belize.
There’s a lot of hurricanes in the Caribbean, obviously, and we just happened to get hit with a hurricane. The school has this big hurricane call ladder, whatever they want- Call tree. Whatever they wanna call it. And they’re supposed to notify everybody before the hurricane shows up so that way, we can get off the island. Get to the mainland and be safe.
Well, it didn’t happen.
We got stuck in this hurricane and so basically the school said, “Hey, everybody, just go get a bunch of food and some water and hunker down for a couple days because this hurricane is coming. It’s gonna hit us. We don’t know how long it’s gonna be.”
So we’re like, “Okay.”
We got a bunch of students together. It ended up, basically for one night…We stayed two nights in an apartment. We stayed in somebody’s apartment we didn’t even know. We had to break into the apartment and all this stuff. It was crazy.
Myself and two other students, who were girls, stayed in this apartment. The winds were, like, 180 miles an hour. It was ridiculous. The roof of the apartment we were staying at, the apartment over actually came off. So we thought the wind was gonna break the windows in the bedroom. The bedroom was in the back, the wind was coming from the back. So we took the bed, we put it in the living room, and we slept in the living room on that bed.
The next morning, I get up and I’m like, “I gotta take a (bleep).” So I get up and I’m like, “Oh my God.” There’s no water. All the water’s off, and it’s 150 mile an hour winds outside. I can’t go outside. If you look out there, it’s like an ocean. There’s supposed to be dirt and land and there’s nothing. It’s only ocean. The tide rose so much that…We were on the second floor. Half the first floor was underwater. So I had nowhere to go. I’m like, “Oh my God.”
So I went in this person’s room, I don’t even know who it is to this day. Luckily, they had a bunch of plastic bags in there that they had kept some, just stored stuff in. I took one of those plastic bags, and I took a (bleep) in a plastic bag. And then I had nowhere to put it. So I had to put the toilet paper and the turd in a ziploc, clear plastic bag. Then…the girls are sleeping. I had to tiptoe through the bedroom like this and open the window and pray to God one of the girls did not walk in when I have a clear bag of (bleep) in my hands and toss it out the window.
As soon as I tossed it out the window, that thing took off like a (bleep) rocket ship, and I never saw it land. I shit you not.
That’s one of my stories about being in a Caribbean medical school.
It’s very important which school you choose not only for, to get back in residency in the United States but the quality of life. And if they get, they take care of you while you’re there. That’s important. You can’t just go to any school because a lot of these schools, unfortunately, are just trying to get your money.
You can get a loan because you say that you’re going to medical school. You give the money to them, the money’s gone. They took the money. They’re like, “Peace out. We don’t care if you pass or not.” They don’t- They’re not interested really. They’re more profit machines. So you have to be careful.
But Caribbean schools are a great way for a student who didn’t do that great in college or had some trouble and turned themselves around. Basically, what I did. I did really crappy the first couple years in college. I didn’t have a direction, I didn’t really think I was smart enough. And then I turned it around, and I really got my studying down. The last couple of years of school I did really, really well. I was getting As, I was getting Bs, B pluses, I didn’t get Cs or Ds or anything like that which I did the first couple years.
But when you do that, you can’t get…Everybody applying to US schools is getting straight As and all this stuff. So it was a fantastic way for me to get back in the system, and I think it’s a fantastic way for people to have a second chance. But you have to be careful when you’re doing this.
What I did and the mistake I made was I just sent off, like, two applications. Or one application to a Caribbean medical school and I said, “That’s fine. If I get in there, I’ll just go.” And I did, and I didn’t get into any US schools so I just went to that one. I didn’t do any research. I was an idiot. So stupid. I can’t even believe I did that.
What you wanna do is you wanna get a good school, and let me tell you what the good schools are.
Number one I would say is St. George. St. George has been around for a really, really long time and they’ve got a good track record with residency programs. This is very important because the residency programs in the United States knows that St. George produces good students.
Second, is Ross University. Ross University has also been around for a long time, and they have a really good reputation with residencies in the United States.
Those two schools I would say are my top one and two.
I think AUC, American University of the Caribbean, is probably pretty good too. They have been around a while. They have a fairly good reputation, and the students produced out of there are pretty good.
Let me tell you about Ross and St. George. The reason that they have a good reputation and that the students that I run to are really, really good is because it’s (bleep) hard. It’s a hard-ass school and they don’t screw around. If you do (bleep) the first couple semesters, they don’t let you keep going. That’s the thing. They don’t produce- They don’t send out (bleep) students to the United States, into these residencies, because they don’t wanna ruin their reputation and not have that ability to send students to the US residencies. So when you’re going there, you just have to realize you gotta bring your A game. It’s no bull(bleep) anymore.
In college, you can kind of slide by with some Cs and Bs and stuff like that and maybe do okay. But in med school, it’s really not like that anymore. Now you’re getting into the stuff that is gonna help you take care of people. If you’re slacking on that stuff, if you’re not paying attention, if you’re really not reading and you’re trying to cram for a test and trying to slide by, that’s a (bleep) thing to do to other people because eventually, that knowledge that you don’t know, you’re gonna be treating people. I mean, yeah, we’re treating patients but they’re people man. So you really have to pay attention to that and be like, “Okay, I gotta bring my A game here, and I gotta really try my best and know as much as possible.”
The second reason you gotta do that is because, well, they won’t let you finish. They’ll just drop you. If you get (bleep) grades and stuff, they’ll be like, “Peace out. Go back to the first semester again.” You’ll do some first semester four times and then they’ll take all through your money. They don’t care. Then you’ll be out. You spent all this money, you got all this loan, now you have no way to pay it back.
The other reason is because you have to take the USMLEs, so you have to really pay attention. You have to kick ass in school because if you don’t kick ass in school, then you’re not gonna do very well in the USMLEs. I mean, you’re basically- The first two years of school, when you’re a Caribbean student, you’re studying for the USMLE. That’s your one goal. You need to crush that USMLE to give you a good chance to get into the United States residency. If you don’t do good on the USMLEs, it’s very, very difficult. You can do it, but you just put yourself in such a disadvantage. And then you’re gonna get, probably, a (bleep) residency program in the middle of nowhere or in a place that you don’t wanna be with people that you probably don’t wanna be with.
I think the biggest thing is, first, I would try and go to one of those two schools, Ross or St. George. When you get into one of those, you gotta bring your (bleep) A game. If you’re not ready to do that, if you’re not committed, then just don’t do it. Maybe it’s not for you. Maybe your parents want you to do it, but you don’t really wanna do it. You gotta really find out why you’re doing that. That’s very important because you gotta have that. Everyday you’re studying eight to 10 hours, 12 hours, you really need to have that why. Why am I sitting down and reading? That why has to be really, really strong. If it’s not strong, you’re not gonna sit there and do it. You’re gonna do crappy, you’re not gonna do well on the USMLEs, or you’re not gonna take it, or you’re not even gonna be able to get past the first semester and go to school and it’s gonna be painful, and then you’re gonna have loans that you can’t pay back.
That’s my spiel on Caribbean medical schools. If you guys have any questions, no problem. Put them in the comments below. I’ll answer as many as I can. If you like this stuff, subscribe to my channel, share it with some friends if you think it’ll help them. I appreciate you guys being here. All right. I’ll see you in the next one.
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