Okay, so the title of this post is very misleading. I am attending Ross University School of Medicine, and I would like the world to know that I have had a very positive experience with Ross thus far. I have never regretted my decision to attend a Caribbean medical school. But I’ll admit that I am also a “chronic optimist.” I tend to always see the glass as half full, and I very rarely complain about things. However, I receive emails all the time from people who want to know the “dirt” on Caribbean schools. And I received an email a few days ago from a student who asked me to list the “top 10″ things that I don’t like about Ross (in order of importance). This will be a very hard list to create. But here goes:
1) The stigma. As I’ve said many times, there is obviously a stigma associated with attending a Caribbean medical school. However, I must say that I have found this to rarely be a problem (again, my darn optimism!).
2) The large class size. Yes, Ross accepts many students every semester. And for some people, this makes it challenging to “be heard.” But again, I will say that this has never been a negative for me. I’ve almost always found that I’ve gotten the attention I needed…but that leads me to number three.
3) Scheduling clinical rotations can be challenging. Because of our class size, and because of the fact that there are limited clinical spots for us students, it can sometimes be difficult to get individualized attention, and the “best” spots available. But all in all, I must say that I have been “mostly” satisfied with my scheduling, and most of my rotations.
4) The cost. This might be the worst thing that I can complain about. Ross’s tuition and fees is on par with the more expensive U.S. medical schools. And when you add on the additional costs related to traveling, the price really adds up. If I have one regret, it is the astounding amount of student loan debt that I’m facing.
5) Living in Dominica. This one is really difficult for me to count as a negative. For me, this was one of the TOP reasons for choosing Ross. I was truly excited about living in Dominica. But for those people who can’t appreciate the beauty of this wonderful country, I guess they count it as a drawback.
6) There isn’t really a “home base.” Since you spend a portion of your time in Dominica, and then the rest at various sites in the U.S., it can sometimes feel a little discombobulating. For me, this was actually a great advantage. But for others, it can be unpleasant.
7) It’s difficult to place into competitive residencies. Yes, it’s harder for Ross grads (or other non-AMG grads) to place into more competitive residencies. But the reality is that you CAN place, and it does happen. But you may need to work harder and have a better CV than your AMG counterparts.
8 ) Not enough administrative guidance. Since we really don’t have a solid “home base” and because there are so many of us, it can be difficult at times to get good guidance from the school. Although, I’d say in my experience, I have been mostly satisfied with the response I’ve received.
9) Having to repeat semesters. Many people complain about the fact that if you fail one class by even one point, you must repeat the entire semester. While I can understand and appreciate this complaint, I also understand Ross’s policy. If you are struggling with even one class, it means that you really need to get a better hold on your studying routine, and try again.
10) It ain’t Harvard. Nuff said.
Sorry if you were expecting better complaints, but I am just not a good complainer!
Note: I actually had to google “Ross Sucks” and go onto ValueMD to come up with this list!