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Q: Facts and comparisons of Carribean medical shcools ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Facts and comparisons of Carribean medical shcools
Category: Reference, Education and News > Job and Careers
Asked by: fj1217-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 04 May 2002 19:25 PDT
Expires: 11 May 2002 19:25 PDT
Question ID: 13180
COuld you compare the Ross University School of Medicine and St
Georges School of medicine and American Medical school (all in the
carribean) on the basis of being able to practice medicine in the
states after graduating  and rate where they stand in comparison to
the other international medical schools?



Basically I already am familiar with the admission process and the
pros and cons of an Foreign medical graduate (FMG).  I am from the
states.  I am a non-traditional student going back to school.  I want
to practice medicine, and don't want to wait another year to apply to
state side medical schools.  At the same time I don't want to spend
160,000US$ and not be able to practice in the states.  I have been
accepted to one of these schools and am applying to the other.  I am a
facts and comparison kind of person, and would like to see some stats
like the following:

The number of FMG's who graduated last year and those who did not (for
a specific year).
The number of FMG's who gained residency in the states and those who
did not
The number of American FMG's (from these schools)vs. Foreign FMG's who
gained residency in the states.
A comparison amongst the three schools with regards to the quality and
accredibility of their clearkship programs.

Thank you for your time and speed.
Subject: Re: Facts and comparisons of Carribean medical shcools
Answered By: ephraim-ga on 05 May 2002 01:22 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

You've asked some very specific questions which don't lend
themselves to short answers. Some of the questions you asked
had easily available answers. Others I needed to dig for,
and some of the answers appear unavailable. Please feel free
to request a clarification if you need one.

Based on the the information available, I would say that Ross
and St. Georges appear to be slightly better choices than

I was able to obtain some general statistics on FMGs obtaining
residencies in the US from two sites. I've included the links
and brief excerpts from what I found on those links:

"In 1997, 20,209 first-year residency positions were offered through
the Match, with an additional 3,000-4,000 offered outside of the
Match, which were mostly filled by IMGs. Of the 14,614 graduating U.S.
medical school seniors participating in the Match, 13,544 (92.7%)
successfully matched. In comparison, of the 9,557 IMGs participating,
3,430 (36%) matched successfully. While this percentage is very low,
participation in the Match significantly increases an IMGÆs chance of
obtaining a residency slot as compared to going outside of the Match.
Even if you do intend to apply for a position outside of the Match, it
is desirable to also register with the NRMP as it will only increase
your chances of finding a residency position. There are two ways to
find programs outside the Match. One, you may ask the programs
directly if they offer any positions outside of the Match and if so,
how you may apply. The second way is comparing listings in the Green
Book and NRMP data. If programs are listed in the Green Book and not
in the NRMP program book, then those program positions are offered
outside of the Match. If you feel that your chances of matching are
low, it is worthwhile to look at results from past years to see which
positions go unfilled and then apply to those programs as they will be
more likely to accept IMGs."

The site "GHETTO for International Medical Graduates" at
has useful information for FMGs, and also includes the following
statistics page:

"* In 1998, 93.5 percent of the 14,610 U.S. medical school seniors
that participated in the Match received a first-year position, a
slight increase over the 92.7 percent that matched last year. The
number of U.S. seniors not receiving a match was 6.5 percent, the
lowest percentage since 1989. This year, 79 percent of U.S. seniors
matched to one of their first three choices for first-year programs,
while 94 percent matched to first- and second-year programs.

* This year 1,700 U.S. international medical school graduates (U.S.
IMGs) matched at a rate of 45.5 percent, an increase from the 43.5
percent last year. U.S. IMGs are U.S. citizens who attend medical
schools outside the United States and Canada. Since 1994, the number
of U.S. IMGs participating in the Match has increased by 1,032.

* The 7,957 international medical school graduates (non-U.S. IMGs)
that participated this year matched at a rate of 31.4 percent, down
from 34.5 percent in 1998. The 133 fewer IMG participants in this year
s Match over 1997 represents the first drop in six years."

Specific information for the 3 schools you've asked about is listed
Some of this information comes specifically from the schools
Other information comes from "fan sites" or discussion boards about

St Georges:

The St. Georges' page has a useful comparison of USMLE part 1 pass
rates for
St. Georges' students, US medical school students, and "all foreign
medical schools" here:

In year 2000, 94% of SGU students, 93% of US medical students, and 65%
all foreign medical students passed part 1.

More useful information from the site is here:

"St. George's pass rate for the USMLE Step I in Calendar Year 2000 for
US first-time test takers was 94%. The 2000 pass rate for first-time
takers from U.S. and Canadian medical schools was 93%."

"Our attrition rate in the first two years is generally 1-2% for
personal reasons and 3-5% for academic reasons. Approximately 10% of
students transfer to U.S. medical schools, generally after the second
year of study. The attrition rate in the final two years is almost

"99% of those eligible U.S. graduates who applied obtained
ACGME-approved residency positions in 364 hospitals throughout 41
states (taken from alumni surveys with a 96% response rate), Our
international graduates obtain postgraduate training in the United
States, the United Kingdom, or in their home countries."

Hospitals that provide rotations are available here:

Some bulletin board postings comparing Ross to SGU may be found here.
WARNING: Take these with a grain of salt as they're anonymous!

One St. Georges fan site at gives the
reason for attending St. Georges in response to two questions:

"What about other Caribbean schools such as Ross University or the
American University of the Caribbean?
Sorry, but I can't give you much comparative information on the other
schools as I've never visited them. St. George's is the only school
where 100% of all US Hospitals for clerkships (during our 3rd and 4th
year of medical school) are ACGME (Accreditation Commission on
Graduate Medical Education) approved hospitals, (means that at every
hospital where St. George's students rotate there are students from at
least one US medical school doing their rotations) which means that
come Residency time, we shouldn't have any problems. I don't know what
the current situation for other medical schools is, but if their
clerkships are not like St. George's, it can be a great pain in the
butt come Residency time. One suggestion, you should really speak with
students at the other schools and visit their facilities if possible."

"What about the academics? I hear the overall pass rate for Foreign
Medical Graduates on the USMLE Step 1 is only 50%.
Yes, you are correct in that, overall, the pass rate on the USMLE Step
I ("the Boards") for "foreign medical students" IS around 50%.
However, St. George's distinguishes itself from that group, over the
past five years our pass rate has consistently gone up. A few years
ago the pass rate for St. George's students was 90%. Yes, that is
correct, my classmates and I (way back in June 1996) had an overall
pass rate on the USMLE Step 1 of 90%!!! (Incidentally, the overall
Pass Rate for students at US Medical Schools is around 92%.) The pass
rate in 2000 was 94% for US citizens! Apparently, those numbers have
even gone up a little subsequently. So, as far as the Boards are
concerned, you don't have to worry (for the most part). The program
follows the curriculum of most medical schools in the US. Our entire
curriculum, which is a four year program, from the first 2 academic
years through the 2 years spent in clinical clerkships, has been
approved by the educational boards of New York, New Jersey and
California, states that have the most rigorous standards on medical
education. Therefore, be assured that with a degree from St. George's,
you shouldn't have trouble practicing medicine in the US."

Ross University Medical School:

"In the last 5 years, 96% of eligible RUSM graduates have obtained
residency training positions in the United States."

"During 2001, RUSM students taking the Step I of the United States
Medical Licensing Examination, for the first time, have a pass rate of

"The overall student attrition rate over the course of the Basic
Science Curriculum  -- including personal situations, academic
reasons, and transfers to other schools  -- has been approximately 10%
since 2000.  This represents a significant drop in the attrition rate
due, in part, to substantial investments made by the University in
preparing students to undertake the rigorous curriculum, personal
counseling, academic tutoring, enhanced facilities, and improved
admissions processes."

"RUSM has affiliations with over 40 teaching hospitals in the U.S. in
which its students complete core clinical clerkships. Ross University
is affiliated with more hospitals in the U.S. than any other
international medical school. Ross University maintains clinical
affiliations with hospitals in the states of NY, FL, NJ, CT, MA, MO,
MD, CA, IL, OH & Washington D.C. An up-to-date list of
Hospital/Clinical Affiliations can be found here:"

"* Approximately 86-94% of first-time RUSM test-takers pass Step 1 of
* Approximately 82-86% of our students pass Step 2 of USMLE; Over 90%
of RUSM students who earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher,
pass Step 2 of the USMLE the first time.
* Over 96% of the 2000-2001 RUSM graduates obtained residencies. Four
percent of our eligible graduates, who do not obtain residency
training, often do not because they choose either to participate in a
medical career in a country other than the United States, or because
of other commitments or other choices, elect not to enter residency
training. The University believes that one of the reasons for it's
outstanding success in this area is the strength of our clinical
training program, which is closely supervised and takes place in U.S.
teaching hospitals.
* Approximately, 68.5% of our graduates obtain residencies through the
Match (National Resident Matching Program ; 9.5% of our graduates
obtained residencies pre-Match and 22% of our graduates obtain
residencies outside of the Match
* All residencies are obtained in the U.S.
* RUSM students complete all of their core requirements in teaching
hospitals which are located throughout the U.S. (Over 40 sites total
in NY, NJ, CT, OH, MO, MD, Washington DC, FL, IL, MA & CA)"

According to Ross fan site,
specific classes, "Typically, about  15-25% of your classmates (in any
given semester) won't make the cut."

The following should be "taken with a grain of salt" as they were
on (mostly) anonymous bulletin boards about Ross, but they may still
some insight into the ease of obtaining residencies after graduation:

Excerpt from one of the above:

"I applied for Ob/Gyn programs through the match. I applied to about
50 programs, I was invited to about 20 interviews. I think I actually
interviewed at 14 or 15 programs. I put 7 of those programs on my rank
list and I matched at Mt Sinai Medical Center/Chicago College of

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine:

I'll begin by saying that the AUC web site had the least amount of
information of any of the 3 schools you've asked about. The
I was able to discover indicates that this may be the least
of the 3 schools you listed. I would definitely be concerned that
site does not advertise many statistics on their graduation and
rates. The one concrete number they give (USMLE step 1) is much lower
Ross or St. Georges.


"AUC students taking the USMLE step 1 in the year 2000 had an overall
pass rate of 81%."

"Yes, AUC has affiliated core clinical sites in California,
Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, New York and Ohio. There
are also numerous core clinical sites in the UK and Ireland that are
available to AUC students. Many students find that there is more
opportunity for hands-on patient contact and direct supervision by a
physician at these hospitals than may be available with American

"AUC students are generally considered equally prepared for clinical
rotations as students participating from US medical schools. All AUC
students are expected to take the USMLC step 1 prior to commencing
clinical rotations. AUC's clinical coordinators are dedicated to
helping students arrange their core and elective clinical rotations."

"AUC graduates participate in the National Resident Matching Program
(NRMP) along with graduates of schools in the U.S.A."

A sampling of residencies obtained by some graduates is available

The bulletin board I described above had one posting which described
an open house session for potential AUC students. The site is here:
Again, please confirm these facts since they are the opinion of a


"Board Pass Rates -
They estimate that the current Step 1 pass rate for first time takers
is 70%. However, 2/3 of those that passed scored over 200. They don't
have any information regarding Step 2 as they don't collect scores or
"have much contact with the students after they leave"."

"Attrition -
They typically lose about 8% after the first semester. They lose an
additional 20% between semesters 2 and 3. Attrition is very low for
the remaining time there. The 28% attrition is blamed on admissions

"Clinicals -
She said that they have plenty of open spots available in the US, if
that is where you want to do your clinicals. She said that the only
hospital with which they have an agreement with in California is Kern
County and they have not sent any students there in a while. She added
that the agreement is signed by AUC but when sent to Kern, it was
never signed nor returned. They just were approved in Florida but do
not have any affiliates there. The other thing that she mentioned was
that whenever they have unfilled spot in the US, other med schools
take them, and they sometimes lose spots that way. So why the unfilled
spots? She says that students (even honor students) do not feel they
are ready for the board exams and take a lot of time off to study."

"Residency -
They don't require students to report where/if they matched or
where/if they are doing a residency -- some do and some don't. They
have a partial list of residencies for this coming July, and they are
trying to contact each student to get their info. "
fj1217-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Excellent answer and all details of the question covered and a speedy
response as well.  Thank you very much.

Subject: Re: Facts and comparisons of Carribean medical shcools
From: robertskelton-ga on 04 May 2002 20:10 PDT
FMGs are morely commonly known as IMGs (International Medical Graduates)

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