SJSM Tuition Increase and Warning about AICM



Here’s the news people, SJSM raised their tuition $300 for basic science and $350 for clinical science. Here is the news letter with the updated info. SJSM was known to be the cheapest medical school in the Caribbean that had descent accreditation but I guess that change. I hope loans come out soon and stay permanently otherwise students will have trouble paying so much for clinicals. In my opinion if you want to go to SJSM but you don’t have money then take 2 years and save up the money, of course by then the tuition can go up even more. SJSM is gaining good accreditation and it’s developing very fast if you look into it. People in Bonaire told me the new MD1 class has 90+ students plus more students from the pre-med group. I don’t know how they could fit so many people in those two campuses. My class had 50+ students and we felt crowded.

As I progress through the months, I realized that AICM could’ve been well optimized if and only if I was better prepared in Bonaire. AICM can be a good program if taught by certain teachers but it can be a waste if it was taught by other teachers; however, the same can be said with Kaplan and Falcon review courses as well. My biggest mistake was that I started to prepare late. I cannot emphasize enough on that enough. When you’re an MD4 use every second of your free time to prepare for the USMLE Step 1. Of course you have to keep up with the MD4 courses, and that should come first, because without passing those you’re not getting off the island. Preparation early is the best option, but the living conditions in Bonaire was horrible for me so I was tired and I was not motivated to study. In MD4 semester all I could think of is how much longer till I get off the island and get back to the beautiful United States of America. But anyways that’s my two cents for now.


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4 comments:

thuc huynh, md said...

thanks for the heads up. i'll update this on my site : Compare Caribbean Medical Schools

imgstudent said...

Thank you, and keep up what you're doing...you're writings are a very product read, especially since you have the degree with the credibility

fall2012-MD4 student said...

Well as a student from that 90+ incoming class fall 2011. We've had it with SJSM. They clearly were not prepared for a class of this size. Granted we started at 94 students. we were down to 91 students by the first exam. 90 by the end of the MD1 semester.

5 students failed MD1, along with some who didn't come back
MD2 started with 79 students (+4 class repeaters)

BY the end of MD3 we still had 78 students.
MD4 (fall 2012) we started with 74 students, we lost 4 students to CMU because they didnt want to deal with the 5th semester tuiton.

Leaving the island now, its safe to say that they will lose another 7-8 students, to end with 68ish.

Although there is no one reason why people leave. based on my own experiences, its because SJSM doesnt have the ability to provide seats for AICM for students. students are being placed in AICM for APRIL (22 students).
Thats 1 semester before the next class starts AICM.
With those kind of delays, making the 2015 match is impossible.

Also with 5th semester (AICM-CS1) tuition being due early december and CS2 due in april. you are forward paying for another semester of tuition before you even start AICM in some cases. BY the time april class finishes AICM, you have to pay tuition for CS3.

So you have not taken the step yet, but are already out of pocket 2 semesters of tuition.

I think these billing practices, along with seat availability are why people leave the school. Not to mention that It doesnt seem like the school is increasing their number of rotational spots. (unless you want to do JPH all day for all rotations)

Medical Student said...

@fall 2012-MD4 student - I agree with you, the billing policy is actually counter productive for SJSM students. But 94 students is way too much. I think SJSM needs to build its own campus like the Dutch government wanted in the beginning.

Also I understand the struggle that students are going through. I had to go through it but I thought to myself I started it so I may as well finish it.

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