Cheers to a New Beginning!

Hello everyone!
Today I create this blog to document my experiences as a medical student and to organize all the thoughts that I may have along the way. I’ve been accepted to the September 2009 semester at American University of the Caribbean, and am very excited to begin my journey. I hope the next few years I can be as open as I can on this blog to paint a realistic picture of my experiences.
Cheers to a new beginning!

20 comments to Cheers to a New Beginning!

  • Tatiana

    How was the interview conducted? I love how detailed this blog is. Thank you for sharing!

    • Benji

      Hi Tatiana,
      Not everyone gets interviewed by AUC. Often, students get accepted into the school without an interview, particularly if they have decent scores and a good application. However, if the school feels there needs to be some clarification in your application, they will ask for an interview. The interview is conducted over the phone. From what I understand, they will ask you the basic med school questions as well as some pertaining to AUC, like:

      – Why do you want to become a doctor?
      – What characteristics do you have that you feel would make you into a great doctor?
      – Why AUC?
      – Did you get into a US/Canadian med school? If not, why?
      – What are your strengths/weaknesses?
      – How do you feel about living in a foreign country with a different culture and standard of living?

      Also it would help to know some of the current issues in healthcare right now, and if you have anything that raise eyebrows in your application, make sure you know how to explain it.

      Best of luck!

  • Tatiana

    Thanks a lot Benji!

  • Laura

    Hi Benji,

    I wanted to ask if graduating from an adult college like Thomas Edison State College would be a disadvantage in terms of admission into AUC. But the prereqs were taken at another university though.



    • Benji

      Hi Laura,
      I’m not too familiar with the adult college system, but if the school is properly accredited and you have at least a bachelor’s degree and decent GPA/MCAT, I don’t see why it would matter too much. We have students from all sorts of diverse university backgrounds, so if anything, you’d be contributing to the diversity of the student body. You could always contact the school to find out more. Best of luck Laura!

  • Stephan

    Hey, Benji!

    Just wanted to thank you on your first post for taking the time and having the dedication to keep up with this blog. I am sitting here, currently, waiting for the admissions decision on my application– I am told it will occur on Monday! Ahhh! 3 days!

    Your blog has definitely helped me survive the waiting process– at the cost of me becoming more and more emotionally attached to AUC.

    Regardless, thanks for everything! IF I get into AUC, I look forward to devouring your blog and using everything you have so graciously provided.

    Good luck with your promising future and thanks again!

    • Benji

      Hey Stephan, this is exciting and I hope you get good news soon! Coming to med school is a life changer so I bet you are looking forward to starting your journey. Let me know if you have any questions about anything and all the best tomorrow!

  • Itoro

    Hi Benji,
    I met you last year at the AUC open house in Atlanta, I’m happy to say that AUC offered me admission for May semester. I’m excited but very nervous. How was your days leading toward your departure, its like I won’t have all I need before time.

    • Benji

      Hey Itoro!
      Congratulations on your acceptance to AUC! So happy for you! It is definitely exciting and scary. Like anything in life, moving down to the Caribbean and starting medical school is a big adjustment, but it is just the beginning. Starting clinical rotations, and then later starting residency, and then becoming an attending are all big adjustments down the road, but good ones. Wishing you all the best in your journey!

  • Hi Benji,
    I am really, really an old non traditional student in late 40s who has nurtured the desire to be an MD since childhood. Life happened and it didn’t work out as planned. Graduated BS honors in Geology, Got married, had 4 children, got widowed early and raised children through undergraduate degree and pharm school as a single parent. Now, i decided to pursue my dreams. Did all my pre reqs at a community college with 3.9 GPA. Taking MCAT this April. Already got accepted into AUSOM, St Lucia. I want to still apply to AUC but it requires the MCAT. Applied to AUA. Waiting on response. My handicap is finamces, AUSOM has no loan programs. Debating on whether to accept or not. I an really excited at the opportunity but also not certain with matching and residency opportunities. I am glad to read your blog. Gives hope. I have been scouring the web to find information. What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance. Will you be able to email me?

    • Benji

      Hi Ukay,
      I admire your determination in pursuing your dreams. Going to med school is a big, expensive decision, and not an easy one either, even though it may be your dream. There are lots of risks involved such as not passing med school, not matching, and getting yourself in a lot of debt. I am currently $317,000 in debt. Luckily I matched and am able to continue my training as a physician and continue my career so I can pay it off. But for many of my colleagues who do not match, that is $317,000 of debt they will be carrying with them without a job as a physician. For you, I don’t recommend accepting your acceptance to AUSOM or any Caribbean school right away. Wait until you get your MCAT score back, then apply to a US med school, which will give you more chance to get a residency. If this doesn’t work, and you still want to take the risk of going to the Caribbean, then go to a Big 4. This is a decision not to make in haste.

  • Dedrick sims


    What are the Big 4?

    • Benji

      The Big Four are considered the top four offshore Caribbean medical schools, in which graduates are able to be licensed in all fifty states, get US Federal student loans, etc. These schools are American University of the Caribbean, Ross University, Saint George’s University, and Saba University.

  • Ngoc

    Hi Benji,

    I came across your blog and have enjoyed reading your experiences. If I want to get into the May semester, is it a good time to apply now?

  • N.khan

    Hi Benji,

    I am Canadian interested to apply AUC, my GPA 3.2.MCAT (NEW)score 502, graduating this year, so what are the chances? Also is that any difficulty for Canadian to get residency in US?

    • Benji

      You probably have a chance at Caribbean medical schools. Apply and see. That’s the only way to know. Canadians have a more challenging time in getting into residency in the US because many residency programs do not sponsor visas. You’d have to be top notch.

  • Kriti

    Hai BENJI..

    Great blog you got here, really helpful…THANKS

    But i still have some doubts,…
    ; does these BIG 4{all of em} needs MCAT as an admission requirement?
    ; is there any other med schools which stood a chance of having accreditition in all the states of US {without MCAT or TOEFL as admission requirement for non-natives}

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