I am thinking of going to PUCMM

Maddy156

New member
Sep 5, 2007
6
0
0
I currently live in the U.S. I want to study Medicine in PUCMM. My parents are Domincan and I've been there a few times. But people tell me is not a very good idea since D.R. is a third-world country and doesnt have the technology.
How good is the school? Will I have any problems seeking residency in the U.S. after?
 

Dolores1

DR1
May 3, 2000
8,216
35
48
www.
Go for it. PUCMM is a fine university. Their medicine school right now is located in Santiago, where the HOM will be opening, with the latest of technology. For sure, their students will be working there. I also have heard that PUCMM plans to open a medical school at their Santo Domingo branch. In Santo Domingo, the most modern technology, I believe, is at the Plaza de la Salud. The better universities usually make arrangements for their graduates to use new technologies.

Hundreds of Dominican university graduates are practicing medicine in the US, and many have achieved outstanding positions. The savings are the main incentive. You can graduate without being heavily in debt. Plus in the DR you get more hands on experience with patients, which is helpful.

You should consider getting your exequatur, which enables you to practice in the DR, even if you plan to work in the US. I have been told it works in your favor when being foreign trained and seeking employment in the US to have been authorized to practice in the country where you did your training.

My sister, a former DR medicine graduate (INTEC), works at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and encourages Dominican graduates to seek medical residency in Texas.

Hillbilly, is the DR1 resident expert on PUCMM affairs. He may respond to you with specifics about the PUCMM medical school.
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
18,946
502
113
Thank you Dolores.

Of course you should come to PUCMM.
IF you have good Spanish, like to study and really want to become a doctor. The university does not cater to non-Spanish speaking students.

As for difficulty getting into a residency in the US, a lot will depend on your scores in the "boards", and just precisely what field you are going to specialize in....some are more difficult to get into than others. But that is 6 years down the line....
Basically, as a US citizen, you have a big step up from foreigners frying to get into residency programs..

Good Luck,

HB
 

Maddy156

New member
Sep 5, 2007
6
0
0
Thank you for the insite.

I speak fluent spanish and can read and write very well also. I just got out of high school and plan on attending in January 2008 in Santiago. My relatives think that going to D.R. to study Medicine is insane. They believe that there is nothing better than the U.S. "the land of oppotunity". They say that the people over there (DR) want to come here (US) to study and im going backwards. I plan on doing my med education there then come back to the states to specialize in Pediatrics.

I heard its much harder now to get residency in the U.S. after what happened with the closing of the two Dominican Universities and the "selling" of diplomas.

Dolores: Was is difficult for your sister to go to the U.S? How long did it take her? Was she treated differently since she's a foreign student?

Hillbilly: Are there many international students at PUCMM now? How is the staff/ professors? What can I expect going to PUCMM (academically and socially)?
 

Dolores1

DR1
May 3, 2000
8,216
35
48
www.
The closing of two Dominican universities and the "selling" of diplomas happened many many years ago. The successes of Dominican med graduates has paved the way for newcomers. My sister was one of the first graduates of INTEC to go abroad and opened many doors for future graduates of Dominican universities, including the PUCMM.

She took the INTEC five year program (there were only two week breaks between each trimester), and then did a year working at the leading San Pedro de Macoris public hospital to get her exequatur or license to practice in the DR. Then she took all the tests to secure a residency as an intern in the US (she started in Trenton, New Jersey), and then did her specialty, geriatrics (I believe that was at John Hopkins, Maryland). She also did post graduate studies in teaching medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She has been president of the Texas Society of Geriatrics.

She dates back to the early 80s, a time when not much was expected of a Latina. I recall her telling me that those who would interview her for a job (many times filling a quota for woman and Hispanic) would be surprised when they met her. She also had a hard time back then because the closing of the Dominican med schools was recent.

Not so long ago she mentioned there is a deficit of doctors in the US, so there are more openings for foreign graduates. Of course, it will depend on your own efforts. The doors are open but you will have lots of competition.
 
Last edited:

fightingirish

New member
Dec 8, 2005
210
2
0
Allow me to be the voice of dissent:

I don't think the PUCMM, which is the country's best university, measures up favorably with any American university. No doubt it's possible to get an education there.

But don't expect it to be like most American universities and don't expect Americans (like those who make decisions on residencies) to treat it as such.

The DR is a great country and a wonderful place to live. But its educational standards are lower than North America. Don't let anyone kid you.
 

JOKL

New member
Oct 30, 2006
47
0
0
Allow me to be the voice of dissent:

I don't think the PUCMM, which is the country's best university, measures up favorably with any American university. No doubt it's possible to get an education there.

But don't expect it to be like most American universities and don't expect Americans (like those who make decisions on residencies) to treat it as such.

The DR is a great country and a wonderful place to live. But its educational standards are lower than North America. Don't let anyone kid you.
In other words..If you go to a bad US university it will be better that if you go to a good one in DR. Why? well is a kind of stereotype that overseas universities are not better than american ones. You can be a pretty good professional but will find yourself with a recent-graduate salary in US.
 

bob saunders

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
27,877
1,501
113
dr1.com
Allow me to be the voice of dissent:

I don't think the PUCMM, which is the country's best university, measures up favorably with any American university. No doubt it's possible to get an education there.

But don't expect it to be like most American universities and don't expect Americans (like those who make decisions on residencies) to treat it as such.

The DR is a great country and a wonderful place to live. But its educational standards are lower than North America. Don't let anyone kid you.
I don't necessarily disagree with you, but on what are you drawing your answer? Do you know PUCMM graduates that haven't fared well, show poor educational standards. Otherwise, as the voice of dissent, qualify your statement. I've met many graduates of so-called Good universities in the USA, and found some of these people have been sadly lacking in many of the basics of Science...etc.
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
18,946
502
113
I can happily let the record of PUCMM graduates at resident programs around the world speak for itself. It does a good job at preparing doctors, no doubt about it.
Our laboratories are modern, the teaching facilities are more than adequate and the professors are well trained.
The curriculum was originally modular all the way. Designed by the University of Chicago, Harvard and the World Health Organization. I forgot how many man/years of planning went into it. It was cutting edge.

Over the years, there has been some modification of the curriculum, and the latest revision will place more emphasis on some of the medical sciences in order to better prepare the graduates that want to take the "boards".

As for your parents, tell them to thank their lucky stars you are intelligent enough to make this decision. Do they have $250,000 for your Undergraduate studies in pre-med? And another $530,000 for your Med School bills (conservative estimate at current tuition levels at major schools)??????????

Give me a break! Your chances of even getting into a pre-med program are minimal at best unless you went to Choat, Andover or Exeter or St. Paul's or Canterbury and were top of your class. Or #1 with a huge CV at a public school.Plus 1500 + on the SATs.....

At PUCMM we tend to weed out the poor students and the ones with real vocation for medicine are the stars..and we find them, believe me, we find them.

You had better start the process if you intend to start in January. You need a bunch of stuff from the states translated, a Dominican passport would be needed, too, or you pay as a US citizen. Let me know if you need help with any of this.

How do I know this? Like 42 years teaching there, and a whole flock of administrative duties way back when....

HB
 

Maddy156

New member
Sep 5, 2007
6
0
0
Thank You all for the helpful information.

Dolores: You must be a proud sister! Your sister has accomplished so much in her career. She has broken so many taboos not only being a female, but a Hispanic female. I hope to one day be as accomplished as she is.

About Dominican Universities not measuring up to American Universities:

Fightingirish: Like bob saunders, not to contradict what you are saying but along with JOKL, I think that foreign universities are stereotyped. I've done a lot of research and there are many American Universities that have partnerships with PUCMM (specifically speaking) so that their students can go abroad and study. So if Dominican Universities dont measure up, my would "Good" American Universities/Colleges allow their students to go to such? I understand that the curriculum and the way of teaching isn't the same. This is the exact point that my relatives argue with me. Its always good to see the other side of the spectrum.

Hillbilly: It is ridiculous how hard it is to get into pre-med! If you didnt graduate from a prestigious boarding school, or have a parent who is a doctor or a parent who graduated from the University you are applying to, then your chances are very slim. And you better believe my parents dont have $250,000 for pre-med and the $530,000 is definitely out of question! I will definitely start the process this coming week. The dominican passport.. I get from my parents..right? I intend on going to D.R. in November for the inscription and testing.
 

caprichearabe

New member
Oct 1, 2007
1
0
0
med school

This is directed to the initial concern of the young student considering coming to the DR for med school at PUCMM. I wish not to engage in any online debate and assure you I will not be checking this site often. I simply wish to offer my advice to any American (or Puerto Rican) wishing to come here. I am an American (or gringo) that elected to recieve my education at PUCMM and I am closing in on three and a half years of studies, none of which have offered me a desireable experience. I have experience here, personal and professional and have recently taken the USMLE and it's respective live courses (by exceptional US professors) in the US. I am offering you the opportunity to contact me personally via email if you desire more of my personal experience. If you want the extremely short answer...if you studied in the US don't come here. Yes, it is possible to return to the US and practice, I will be doing so. If you must be a doctor and this is your only avenue, strap on the patience parachute and dig in for an unorganized, trying and often unfare educational experience. I wouldn't do it again. I have not read any of the other entries or replies so I cannot comment. I am also unfamiliar with the personal email feature of this service. I suppose I wait to see if anyone has questions. Please, if you are not an American student seriously considering attending medschool here do not consult me. Thank you and I wish you all the best.
 
This is directed to the initial concern of the young student considering coming to the DR for med school at PUCMM. I wish not to engage in any online debate and assure you I will not be checking this site often. I simply wish to offer my advice to any American (or Puerto Rican) wishing to come here. I am an American (or gringo) that elected to recieve my education at PUCMM and I am closing in on three and a half years of studies, none of which have offered me a desireable experience. I have experience here, personal and professional and have recently taken the USMLE and it's respective live courses (by exceptional US professors) in the US. I am offering you the opportunity to contact me personally via email if you desire more of my personal experience. If you want the extremely short answer...if you studied in the US don't come here. Yes, it is possible to return to the US and practice, I will be doing so. If you must be a doctor and this is your only avenue, strap on the patience parachute and dig in for an unorganized, trying and often unfare educational experience. I wouldn't do it again. I have not read any of the other entries or replies so I cannot comment. I am also unfamiliar with the personal email feature of this service. I suppose I wait to see if anyone has questions. Please, if you are not an American student seriously considering attending medschool here do not consult me. Thank you and I wish you all the best.
Just curious if it was so bad why have you stayed for 3 1/2 years?
 

Newlifedrj

New member
Oct 17, 2007
12
0
0
See the problem with people like the above poster (caprichearabe) is that they had a terrible experience in the DR. They went with expectancies and they feel as though they were let down.

The students that fail the boards in foreign med schools are the ones that from the beginning whine and complain, thus consequently sabotaging their goals. If people like this were to go to DR without ANY expectations, were to take things as a positive light and realize that they've been given a second chance and are studying for more less than 1/4th of the cost to attend medical school here, they would NOT be accusing and blaming the current academical "system" that DR has adopted. People like this stop at nothing to discourage future IMG's...

If your American (gringo) and are seriously considering going to the DR or any other Caribean med school for that matter; get over yourself, humble yourself, expect nothing thats comparable to the US higher education, suck it up and study your but off! You've been given a second chance, I suggest you use it.....

Insights welcomed...
 

Bob K

Silver
Aug 16, 2004
2,500
89
48
I was not going to comment, but I must. There has been some good advice here and Hillbilly and I are graduates from the same university in the US for undergrad and grad degrees.
I am a retired US doctor who now lives in the DR. I spent 15 years teaching at a major medical school in the US as well as having a large private practice. Having seen the quality of Medical care and talking to some of the doctors concerning medical education here I have the following to add:
1. Yes you will find the exceptional student that will be a star no mater where they are studing, but here being a star will be difficult at best. The teaching, equipment, clinics, etc are for the most part not up to US standards.
2. If you are a resident of Florida then your tuition would be managable. If not it is true private medical shcools in the US can cost you multiple body parts.
3. Having sat on many residency application boards I can tell you that preference is given to US graduates first, and depending on your choice of speciality your chances may be slim and none when it comes to matching a program.
4. Having said that as a US graduate coming to the DR to practice is very difficult as you have to take the boards over in spanish and serve a intership/residency here as well.
To sum up my thoughts, your education will be far superior in the US, it may also be somewhat difficult to return to practice here, but it certainly can be done.
Not sure if this helps or not.
Feel free to PM me as well.

Bob K
 

Maddy156

New member
Sep 5, 2007
6
0
0
I totally agree with you newlifedrj
Some people go about applying to DR med schools thinking that they will get the same quality they would studying in the U.S. In DR med schools everyone is there for a purpose and wont be catered to just because you are a gringo.

I think is a matter of being optimistic.
 
Last edited:

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
18,946
502
113
It is totally different. In the first place the PUCMM, for one, does not cater to foreign students. In fact it hardly recrutis them at all, much unlike UNIBE that pays recruiters $300 for each student sent to the school.
The PUCMM prepares doctors for work in the DR, not the US. IF you want to pass the boards, you have to study, and study hard. Make no bones about it. Just do it.
The only negative I have heard recently is that there seems to be marked prejudice agains foreign medical school graduates in many residence programs. This is sad, since a lot of these young doctors can offer a lot.

HB
 

corsair74

Bronze
Jul 3, 2006
1,330
116
0
It can be done.

I know that thread is over two months old, but my cousin just graduated from med school in SD so I thought it appropriate to post here.

She started her med education in Cuba but had to finish in the DR for reasons that I don't fully understand. My mother just told me that she just got a residency here in the states so I know that it is possible. I also recently met a young lady who attended medical school in Korea and is doing her residency at Georgetown here in D.C.

As stated, there are some politics involved, but it's more a matter of performing well on the board certifications. I also have a cousin who graduated from UTMB, one of the best medical programs in the U.S., but had trouble passing his certifications. He has yet to acquire a residency.

Bottom line. Study hard and apply yourself whever you go.


Vince.