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thinking seriously about moving to STX

spincycle
December 13, 2016 07:59PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 6

Hello everyone,

I am a doctor in the US, in my 40s, married with a 13 year old daughter and considering a move to STX to join a group there. I have been to the island as well as several others in the Caribbean and have some idea of island living. I have lived in cities and rural areas as well. I was there last year and drove around eating where the locals eat, visited grocery stores, did take out, and walked around town. I have always wanted to live on an island where I can get to know my patients and see them around town at times (you would be surprised how in the mainland it is difficult to get to know your community anymore due to health insurance limits on both patients and providers). But this is not why i write this. I have a few concerns I hope you can give me your honest opinion on:

1- crime. I have lived in cities and understand the need to 'be smart' and not be out in areas you are not sure of. What I am wondering is, how safe is STX overall? I have seen statistics and comments that it is criminal on criminal crime, but is that true? Is there fear in walking in the evening? watching the sun set on the beach? walking down the street talking on iphone?

2-education: How is the high school program? I am considering Good Hope Country Day School. Anyone have experience with this school? nay other recommendations? My daughter is quite smart and a hard worker. also likes visual arts.

3-sports: is there AYSO soccer program? What else is available for outdoorsy friendly people to do? hike? mountain bike? wind surf?

4-healthcare: what is the overriding perception of healthcare on the island? Is there a need for doctors on the island? for what i read/hear the answer is yes, but only based on the fact that often service is not available and people go off island. is that the usual behavior, to go off island for care? i am concerned that to earn a living I need to see patients whos preference it is to leave STX.

5-I am very open and liberal minded (not that conservative people cant be open minded). I get the impression that Crutians are also very friendly to a polite and friendly person. Is there an overriding political bent to the island or is it more split &, like most families, made up of many unique people that get along?

6- Of course I would rent. I would want to buy but am not sure where we would want to live and by the looks of it houses often sit on the for sale market. Are there places to avoid when renting? In what neighborhoods / areas do most of the crimes happen?

This is a lot of questions so I will stop here. I may have to post others as I get deeper into this adventure....

-thanks

Re: thinking seriously about moving to STX

Scubadoo
December 13, 2016 11:41PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 2,074

Crime is as it is everywhere. Most of it is drug related. Use common sense. There are no guarantees but generally most places on island are at least reasonably safe most of the time. I think folks that are traveling off island for heath care do so for specialists and major treatments. General family medicine should do just fine. Any neighborhoods that may be more crime prone you would not want to be staying in anyway. You could work with a realtor for house rental search. Best bet is to do a final PMV just prior to moving to get a rental lined up and other details you would need upon arrival.

Yes, we certainly have plenty of hiking opportunities, wind surfing, snorkeling, diving, mountain biking, some horse riding, kayaking....

Re: thinking seriously about moving to STX

speee1dy
December 14, 2016 08:05AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,603

1. crime is mostly gang related but you would still need to be careful just like anywhere
2.that ( from what i hear ) is an excellent school which should serve your child well
3. not sure about the soccer, but there are as you can imagine water sports year round
4.healthcare can be lacking. we have no private insurance available so if you do not get it from your employer or the government, you pretty much cant get it
5.mostly democrat, and if you are a republican, most people say they are democrat .
6. there are some very nice neighborhoods. judiths fancy, queens quarters. but really a real estate agent would be your best bet

Re: thinking seriously about moving to STX

Gator's Mom
December 14, 2016 08:12AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 877

Quote
spincycle
Hello everyone,

I am a doctor in the US, in my 40s, married with a 13 year old daughter and considering a move to STX to join a group there. I have been to the island as well as several others in the Caribbean and have some idea of island living. I have lived in cities and rural areas as well. I was there last year and drove around eating where the locals eat, visited grocery stores, did take out, and walked around town. I have always wanted to live on an island where I can get to know my patients and see them around town at times (you would be surprised how in the mainland it is difficult to get to know your community anymore due to health insurance limits on both patients and providers). But this is not why i write this. I have a few concerns I hope you can give me your honest opinion on:

1- crime. I have lived in cities and understand the need to 'be smart' and not be out in areas you are not sure of. What I am wondering is, how safe is STX overall? I have seen statistics and comments that it is criminal on criminal crime, but is that true? Is there fear in walking in the evening? watching the sun set on the beach? walking down the street talking on iphone?

The underground currency on STX is pot - and a lot of crime stems from the marijuana business. There are lots of hidden and safe beaches tucked away in neighborhoods that are used any time of the day without fear. This is not to say you shouldn't be on guard as is the case anywhere.

2-education: How is the high school program? I am considering Good Hope Country Day School. Anyone have experience with this school? nay other recommendations? My daughter is quite smart and a hard worker. also likes visual arts.

Good choice. No personal experience but our neighbors' kid goes there are likes it a lot.

3-sports: is there AYSO soccer program? What else is available for outdoorsy friendly people to do? hike? mountain bike? wind surf?

I watch kite surfers from our neighborhood beach. Also kayakers and paddle boarders.

4-healthcare: what is the overriding perception of healthcare on the island? Is there a need for doctors on the island? for what i read/hear the answer is yes, but only based on the fact that often service is not available and people go off island. is that the usual behavior, to go off island for care? i am concerned that to earn a living I need to see patients whos preference it is to leave STX.

STX is a small island with 50,000 people (give or take) plus added on tourists who occasionally interface with the medical community. I find it amazing that the island is able to support a full service hospital - no matter its reputation.

Most people do have health insurance of some sort though there is a stubborn group (about 10%) that work for themselves that are forced to self-fund.

If you affiliate with VI Equicare, that PPO manages relationships with all of the big insurance companies so no issue with that. It also keeps reimbursement rates high.

Many from the mainland (or who have relatives there) have choices to move there as they age. On STX, there are no independent living or assisted living facilities for those of us who don't qualify for subsidized housing. If you need more help, you hire into your home, burden your family/friends or leave. Additionally, others relocate to access individual health care insurance (ACA) that is unavailable in the VI. Some health care specialties are limited.

From observation, I don't think any physician on STX is starving but the medical community can be politically treacherous for some.

5-I am very open and liberal minded (not that conservative people cant be open minded). I get the impression that Crutians are also very friendly to a polite and friendly person. Is there an overriding political bent to the island or is it more split &, like most families, made up of many unique people that get along?

VI politics are very local. Read the news/information sources to get a feel (VI source, VI Daily News, VI Consortium). The VI government is the largest employer.

6- Of course I would rent. I would want to buy but am not sure where we would want to live and by the looks of it houses often sit on the for sale market. Are there places to avoid when renting? In what neighborhoods / areas do most of the crimes happen?

As with anywhere, homes priced right in the right location sell.


This is a lot of questions so I will stop here. I may have to post others as I get deeper into this adventure....

-thanks

Re: thinking seriously about moving to STX

vicanuck
December 14, 2016 08:18AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

1 - Crime: We've lived here 13 years, never worry about it and go out like normal.
2 - Education: Good Hope Country Day is an excellent school and your daughter will love it as mine did. 100% of the grads get multiple college offers.
3 - Sports: There is an AYSO program and lots of other sports activities for teens, especially through school, like volleyball. The daughter will love the beach, especially Rainbow on Sunday Funday.
4 - Healthcare: People usually only go off island for major stuff. Hospital is always in survival crisis mode. You go there only if you absolutely have to.
5 - People are very friendly. Most claim to be democrats. Not sure why.
6 - Housing: There is no shortage of great placed to rent.

I hope this helps!

Re: thinking seriously about moving to STX

Ca. Dreamers
December 14, 2016 08:23AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 381

Most on this page will give a pessimistic view of our health care system here.

That being said, we moved from the "People's Republic of California" and their "wait on line health care" 5 years ago. I had doctors and hospitals that were very good there having my hip replaced in 2008 and shoulder in 2009. Since we arrived here I have had a couple of Cardiac procedures and my Knee replaced by local doctors at our local Hospital.

I now have a PCP that I get an appointment, arrive and am seen within 15 minutes. I can usually talk directly to that Doctor and discuss my issues and have my questions answered. Try that in California and you'll spend the day @ the doctor's office.

Though most decry the condition of our hospital, I on the other hand I have had nothing but good experiences with both the ancillary staff and medical staff.

Regarding Crime, I'm former law enforcement and there are place I don't go here as there were places I didn't go in the states, here common since rules.

I cannot comment on child rearing here as it's been a long time since we had small children a but I'm aquatinted with many that have children and most seem satisfied with there education options.

Regarding your move, one of my sayings is " If you feel Froggy, Jump" you'll never know until you try it.

CD

Re: thinking seriously about moving to STX

mickeyg
December 14, 2016 08:38AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 35

Hello.
Since you are a doctor, I'll just answer the medical question. We are in our 40s and 60s. We go off island for all medical. There is not one doctor here, and we've been to many , that is up to date both equipment and skill wise.

I'm not exaggerating, the mistakes and incompetence of the doctors here, including dentistry, is unbelievable! We go off island for everything. The only patients using healthcare here don't have the money to go anywhere else.

Look through past articles, the hospital is a s@&% hole. One of my favorites is a clean up day the hospital held for volunteers to clean the ER and waiting rooms.

A lot of the doctors and dentists are in business because they are the only one and there isn't really competition.

Living on the island is great! I choose to live here but if I couldn't fly back for medical I would leave.

Re: thinking seriously about moving to STX

Ca. Dreamers
December 16, 2016 08:11AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 381

The only patients using healthcare here don't have the money to go anywhere else.


Do you really want to compare bank accounts?

CD

Re: thinking seriously about moving to STX

LiquidFluoride
December 16, 2016 12:40PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 1,940

Quote
Ca. Dreamers
The only patients using healthcare here don't have the money to go anywhere else.


Do you really want to compare bank accounts?

CD

I had my knee surgery done here, I can afford to go elsewhere.

Hospital seemed fine to me while I was there, I had a couple of issues but they were related to me being a freak of nature, not the hospital or staff.

the couple times I've visited the ER (once for myself, mostly for others) I had no real complaints either.

Re: thinking seriously about moving to STX

watruw8ing4
December 18, 2016 12:56PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 851

My husband had outpatient surgery at the hospital, and, except for the surly guard at the reception desk, I have nothing but praise for that one experience. The surgeon and staff were great, and the surgery did what it was supposed to do, with no hiccups. We had the money and time to go off island, but we're glad we didn't waste either.

Re: thinking seriously about moving to STX

singlefin
December 19, 2016 04:57PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 719

The hospital is good, the political machine that runs it is the problem. They just passed legislation that will allow some of those from the medical staff of the hospitol to occupy board member seats. We're all hopeful that decision finally gets things moving in the right direction again.

Re: thinking seriously about moving to STX

speee1dy
December 20, 2016 08:48AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,603

i had excellent care in january.

Re: thinking seriously about moving to STX

Taken3112
December 22, 2016 12:29PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 23

Following this as I am a Maternity RN, IBCLC and Reiki practitioner looking to move my young family of 6. I'm following the issue of the hospital closely. They just got funding. We will see how it unfolds but so far from local accounts, the hospital is "scary and I would not go there if I were you". That is the advice given directly so far although in my specialty it is not nearly as affected. They meant mainly internal medicine care.
Thanks and good luck!
Hollie

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