This relates to the recent events of Bonaire campus becoming the subcampus of Anguilla. Saint James School of Medicine Bonaire is scheduled to be completely closed in December 2014 and operations to be continued in Anguilla after December 2014. The question is, should I stick with SJSM or should I transfer out?
You have to consider several things and everyone’s situation is different. First think about how far you are in your MD. If you are in basic sciences on the island or in AICM and still haven’t registered with the ECFMG then you have the option of transferring out without any problems.
For those who are not familiar with the ECFMG, it is the US medical organization you need to register with in order to take your USMLE tests since you go to a non-US medical school. When you register with the ECFMG, you basically tell them who are and what school you started medical school with. After registering with the ECFMG, they will know everything after you make any changes you make afterwards.
If you are in AICM 5th semester and you didn’t pay for the 6th semester or above, and you didn’t register with the ECFMG yet, then you have an option to transfer.
However, for us clinical clerkship students, we have to finish what we started because we already paid the majority of the tuition. Also we already took USMLE Step 1 and some of us are already registered for USMLE Step 2 CK or CS or both so, there’s no point in transferring. Transferring after all we did will only make things more complicated with the SJSM, ECFMG, and with residency.
Since our transcript will show that we transferred, it will have a minimal impact from what I was told. The reason is we are transferring from one campus to another, yet we are still with the same school. Therefore, we still have one transcript.
So that’s my two cents about transferring. So, if you transfer, make sure you look at all your options and angles before doing so.
The title says it all. Keep one thing in mind, this post is regarded to the Bonaire island only. I never been to Anguilla campus so I don’t know how the teachers there are like. From the Bonaire campus, multiple students will tell you that the teachers put them down. The teachers are not encouraging. They pick and choose people to favor who get good grades, but those students who get good grades, are the ones who are financially secure. Those students take the teachers out to eat or party or I don’t know.
I experienced demoralization on the island when the teachers told other students that I will never pass the USMLE Step 1, and yet Lord behold, I did pass with a score above the national average. It’s unfortunate that these teachers think they can say whatever they want and get away with it.
I have nothing against them, as they seem as if they were not taught the etiquettes of being a good teacher. Most of them come from India and other neighboring countries so it’s understandable why they would say these things. These teachers are our competition also, some are also waiting to get residency in the United States. I don’t feel bad about the negative things they say, because us students have an advantage; we are US and Canadian citizens or permanent residents, which gives us an edge. Residency programs don’t want to deal with J1 or H1 visa, plus they know that we will not leave US to go back to India after completing residency. Residency programs know that it’s a better investment to hire a US/Canadian citizen because the chances of us staying and serving in US is high.
So that’s my two cents. And this doesn’t apply to teachers only; it applies to anyone and everyone who puts you down and stays you will never make it. Have faith in God, and stay focused and you will make it.
Well, after all the run around of rumors we finally get the truth. The Bonaire campus for Saint James School of Medicine is now closed. I called up some sources to find out why this was the case and it started years ago; it was all about money. You would think SJSM would gain more accreditation because it’s in it’s second decade and the number of students getting residencies are increasing but no. Apparently from what I found out, the Dutch government wanted a percentage of the profits from SJSM in order for the school to run in Bonaire. This happened after the Dutch started to move in, because according to them the students were causing trouble to the local Bonarians. Good riddance to the locals because the local Bonarians used to rob from the students and now they won’t have that $10+ million per year from students. When I was in Bonaire the locals treated me badly and they gave me such a hard time because I was a foreigner. They would also overcharge me in Subway multiple times and I couldn’t say much. Now those Bonarians will not have laptops to steal from students or their cars.
Anguilla Campus Extension for Bonaire Students
A source from Anguilla said that construction, and yes you read it right, construction of a new campus is currently going on for the Bonaire students who are coming in. The construction for the Bonaire students are being done on steroids; he said he has never seen something being done like this so fast by SJSM. Also, new computers and new network systems are being installed and upgraded for the big change.
The new building will only house the Bonaire students and teachers. While the Anguilla students will be in a separate building. Unfortunately, Bonaire students are loud, rowdy, and aggressive compared to the Anguilla students. So this is going to be a wacky mix.
Apparently all of us Bonaire graduates in clinical clerkship have our transcripts with the Anguilla location. I spoke with someone and he said that since we are not transferring schools there would not be transfer status on the transcript. The only way to see the transfer status would be to see it on ECFMG papers, which is unlikely done by the residency program directors. So when you submit your transcript it should just say Anguilla. However, I could be wrong so take this information with a grain of salt.
If you hear anything about Anguilla campus closing down in January from someone, especially from a student from another school, just take that with grain of salt also. SJSM is having a new building built for the incoming students, and building a new building on those islands costs a lot of money. On top of that, the Anguilla locals favor the students and they want the students to stay unlike the Bonaire locals, according to and Anguilla source.