How Do You Start A Blog?

Hello everyone! Here is an email (edited for confidentiality) I received from a reader last semester that I’d like to share with you all. At the time he had just been accepted to AUC and was interested in starting a blog too. This semester, I finally got to meet him… he’s a nice, jolly fellow!

Hi Benji,

I was visiting your blog and I must say you rock. How did you start this blog, and is it easy to set up? I would love to compare my experiences to yours. That way people can have various perspectives on what’s going on. Love to be your cohort in crime!

Thanks for visiting my site! That’s awesome you want to start a blog too.. we need more of us “cohorts in crime” out there! And congratulations on your acceptance to AUC as well!

It’s pretty easy to set up a blog. WordPress and Blogger both offer free personal blogs, and they’re easy to use. If you are new to blogging and just want an informal place to express your thoughts, these two sites are great places to start, and lots of people use them.

Like many people, I originally started with a free Blogger site, but after making the first entry, I realized how limiting it is. Because I wanted a web address that was truly my own, like “www.caribbeanmedstudent.com” rather than “caribbeanmedstudent.blogspot.com” or “caribbeanmedstudent.wordpress.com,” I decided to purchase a domain name. And also because I wanted to put a lot of stuff on my site, which would take a lot of memory, I also decided to rent out space in cyberspace to upload and store my site content. This means purchasing a hosting plan from a hosting company. There are several companies out there to choose from, and many of them offer free domain names with a hosting plan. Some plans give you a certain amount of space, like 1GB, while others give you unlimited storage space, for a higher price. You can expect to pay around $10/year for a domain name and about $10/month for hosting with unlimited space. I also highly recommend purchasing SSL from the hosting company to protect your site from hackers and viruses. Some companies you could look into are GoDaddy and Laughing Squid.

Next I downloaded WordPress for free (the downloadable version of wordpress, rather than the online version they have), and uploaded all the files onto the server using FileZilla (also free). I followed the directions at http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress and used WordPress as the template for my site. I added a whole bunch of free widgets from various sites, and now I have a blog!

If you don’t intend to pay this much, like I mentioned above, WordPress and Blogger also provide free blogs, but like I said before, it all depends on what you intend to do with your new site.

Hope this helps and I’ll look forward to seeing your new blog!

Your cohort in crime,
Benji

6 comments to How Do You Start A Blog?

  • s

    Hi Benji

    If you can kindly advise me on how you would rank the Medical schools found in the link below http://www.caribbeanmedstudent.com/Caribbean-medical-school-rankings/ under Tier 5, I want to know if you can list these schools in order in terms of accreditation for work after graduation (if you would to apply to these schools only which one you would select in order) the list of the schools in the link under tier 5 include the following as listed below

    Tier 5: Accredited

    • All American Institute of Medical Sciences(AAIMS)
    • American International Medical University (AIMU)
    • American University of St. Vincent (AUS)
    • Atlantic University (AUSOM)
    • College of Medicine and Health Sciences St. Lucia (COMHSSL)
    • International American University (IAU)
    • Spartan Health Sciences University
    • St. James School of Medicine (SJSM)
    • Trinity School of Medicine (TSOM)
    • University of Health Sciences Antigua (UHSA)
    • University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS)
    • Windsor University
    • Xavier University

    Thanks

    • Benji

      Hi S,

      These schools all have the same level of accreditation, and so that is why I grouped them together under the same tier. They are all accredited by accrediting bodies that have not been shown to use accreditation standards that are on par with the LCME used to accredit US schools. Therefore going to these schools for medical education is a risk. You would still be eligible to take the USMLE but who knows how prepared you will be to pass. You will also not be eligible to get licensed in all fifty states.

      Having said this, there are some things to take into consideration when choosing schools. I think it’s risky choosing a school that is very new like AAIMS or AUS which do not have long enough track records to show that their graduates are matching into residency programs.

      However, a school that has been around longer isn’t necessarily better either. Spartan Health Sciences University, for example, has been around since 1980, however it is strange that its accreditation is still provisional rather than full accreditation. It is also suspicious that other schools that are not nearly as old as Spartan has already gotten NY approval, and other higher levels of accreditation.

      If you ask my personal preference among the tier 5 schools, I would probably prefer UMHS. They were founded by the Ross family who started Ross University and they run the school stably from what I understand, and their facilities seem very nice, at least on their website and videos. Also I’ve met other residents and applicants from UMHS before and have a good impression of them. In the end, it is probably personal preference within each tier of schools.

      Benji

  • s

    Dear Benji

    Thank you very much about your prompt reply which was very helpful

    I would be thankful if you have further ideas about

    1. St. James School of Medicine

    2. St. Martinus University

    3. CIMTESES

    Also would be thankful if you know where the student can take online premed courses specially in the Caribbean or where we can take the courses through distance learning

    Best Regards

    • Benji

      Hi Senan,

      For St. James School of Medicine, I would recommend referring to http://www.medicalschoolmemoirs.com for more info about the experience there. As far as accreditation goes, they recently got Initial Accreditation by CAAM-HP, which is a good sign for now.

      I do not recommend going to St. Martinus. They have a very unstable history, opening and closing several times in the past, and their accreditation is unclear.

      I don’t know the other school.

      Please don’t go to a distance learning school, especially for medicine. It is not a good idea for you or for your patients in the future. You cannot learn medicine well like this. Plus, many states do not recognize graduates from distance learning schools for medicine. It is also highly looked down upon. There are no short cuts for medical school.

      Benji

  • s

    Hi Benji

    Many thanks again for the very useful information

    for CIMTESES, it is non profit, below is there website and it is located in Curacao (NL)

    it is an offshore, offer MD/PhD, established 2012 and listed in both IMED/Avicenna

    http://www.cimteses.org/non-profit-organization.html

    • Benji

      Thanks for the info.
      I would be hesitant going to this school. It’s very new, with little information on the student experience, or success. Their faculty list is also incomplete, which makes me wonder if the school is actually fully functional. Hope you think critically and be careful in making decisions. Best of luck.
      Benji

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