It used to be that AUC gave direct admissions and only interviewed applicants whose applications they thought needed clarifications. However, as of 2013, AUC now interviews all applicants who they think are competitive. I think this was a good decision because it sets the admission standards higher, makes the school look better (especially since interviews are standard in all US med schools), and gives candidate another way to show the school who they are. So if you receive an invitation for an interview, it is definitely a good sign that the school thinks you may be a good candidate!
About 2-4 weeks after the interview, AUC will notify you whether or not they accept you. From your application and interview, if the school feels that you are not ready for medical school yet but have potential, they may invite you to enroll in the Medical Education Review Program (MERP), another new thing that AUC started offering in 2012 after I was admitted. MERP is operated by DeVry Medical International, and is the same program as that offered by Ross University.
MERP is a 15-week program that takes place in Miramar, Florida and starting in April 2014, also in Toronto via videoconferencing from the Miramar MERP campus for Canadians who are interested. During those 15 weeks, you take classes that prepare you for medical school. Classes include Anatomy/Histology, Physiology/Biophysics, Microbiology/Immunology, and Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology. If you pass the classes at MERP and pass the final exam, then you are given direct admissions into AUC. MERP does not replace first semester at AUC and the tuition for MERP is not covered by US federal student loans. For those who were not offered a conditional acceptance to AUC but are still determined to pursue medicine, MERP is a great opportunity and bridge into medical school for those who are offered it. I’m not sure what the pass rate is, and I don’t want to guesstimate or start any rumors, but those who pass MERP generally do well in first semester of medical school.
Routine interviews and MERP were both started after I got accepted to AUC, and so I don’t have any personal experience with either. However, I did have experience interviewing at other schools in the US and Caribbean, and was also able to gather some information about the AUC interviews from students that came after me. Don’t worry, you won’t have to fly to St. Maarten for an interview. Depending on where you are located, you may either do the interview in person or over the phone, at several different locations in the US. The interviews tend to be short, around 30 minutes. The questions they ask are fairly standard, like the interview questions you’ll get at other medical schools. Be prepared to answer questions like:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why medicine? Why doctor?
- Why AUC?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What makes you stand out as a candidate?
- What can you bring to the field of medicine?
- What are your career goals/future plans in medicine?
- How do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Why the Caribbean?
- Why do you think you were not accepted to a US school?
- What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies or special interests?
- Tell me about ______ (something you did during undergrad, etc.). Be prepared to answer any holes or red flags in your application.
Treat the interview like a conversation. Show up on time. Dress to impress (business professional). Firm handshake. Eye contact. Smile. You know the drill. Most importantly, The purpose of the interview is for the school to better understand who you are, so be yourself. Best of luck everyone!