Far From “Substandard”

Today I met two first semester students who said that AUC is the top choice school they applied to. The guy was definitely not lacking academically. He made a high 36 on his MCAT and he found going to a school like AUC very appealing. He also decided late that he wanted to go to medical school and by applying to a school in the Caribbean meant that he did not have to wait a whole year. The girl graduated from my alma mater, and she was also academically involved and very bright in personality. She was an RA in college, competed in our alma mater’s swim team, performed research, and had the honor to be in Lock and Chain, an honorary society for only the hardest working students at Wash U. She also decided to apply late in the game and did not want to wait another year to matriculate, and had her eyes set on AUC. It is good to see that there are people who actually choose to go to schools like AUC in the Caribbean because it is their first choice rather than their “last resort.” These students are academically far from “substandard,” as evidenced by their scores and the merits they have achieved in college. They simply do not want to waste precious time.

Anyway, today I walked to Maho Beach, about a 15 minute walk away from campus. Here’s some pics I took for the day!

Exploring Maho Beach before school starts.
Looking out towards the Caribbean Sea with some new people I met.
We actually saw a plane take off today, and some people got sandblasted. I have no pictures of that experience since I was afraid sand would get into my camera lens. Perhaps in the future...


It is even more competitive for Canadians to get into medical school. Canadian medical schools often have MCAT cut-offs (for granting interviews) at 10/10/10 or so depending on the province. I met a Canadian student at AUC who did not make any of the cut-offs in his province, despite receiving a 35 total on his MCAT, simply because he scored a 9 on his verbal (which would still be considered competitive in the states). It’s kind of funny that a person with a score of 30 could get in, but not a 35, despite other attractive factors in his application. He graduated suma cum laude and had plenty of research publications and shadowing experiences at one of Canada’s more reputable universities. If he had lived in another province with a lower cut-off requirement, he probably would have gotten in somewhere. And of course, it is difficult for Canadians to compete with Americans for American spots. He’s one of the smartest students I’ve met during my educational career, and he once told me, “just because we didn’t get into an American or Canadian medical school doesn’t mean we are bad students. It just means we didn’t get in.” I think he is a testament to that statement.