AUC 2012 Commencement Ceremony

I’m watching the AUC graduation ceremony webcasted live going on right now! Congratulations to all the recent MD graduates. I know several people who are walking across that stage today, and thank you for being an inspiration for all of us in Basic Sciences and Clinical rotations! Looking forward to the day when it’s hopefully my turn to walk on stage.

There will be two ceremonies today: in the morning and in the afternoon. The livestream will start broadcasting the ceremonies at 9:15am and 2:15pm respectively. They are held at the Sonesta Maho Ballroom in Maho, St. Maarten.

Live stream by Ustream

4 comments to AUC 2012 Commencement Ceremony

  • V

    Hey Benji,

    I hope your doing well, congrats on your marriage. I had a few questions for your regarding AUC. I was actually given conditional acceptance to start at AUC in January 2013 as long as I successfully complete a program called MERP. I think its something DeVry did for a while with Ross, but now they are starting it for certain AUC applicants who they feel could benefit from the program. According to the website MERP has about a 70% pass rate. I was wondering if you or anyone you know were familiar with the program? I’m kind of not sure what to do anymore, I’m not sure if MERP (which is really expensive, and only qualifies for private loans) is worth the gamble. I’ve heard though that the Ross students who did MERP actually scored higher on the step 1 than those who got direct admission.

    Also I was wondering if you knew how starting in January would affect the timeline of things? Like if I started in January, when would I take the steps, get matched for residency…etc? I’ve also heard that starting in January can make the timing of some of these things difficult.

    thanks!

    V

    • Benji

      Hi V,
      Thanks for visiting my site and for the wedding wishes. I am doing well. I’m not too familiar with MERP, as this is something that has only recently been offered to prospective AUC students, as you mentioned. I personally don’t know anyone who has gone through MERP, since I don’t think there has been any yet. My guess is that it will be similar, if not the same as Ross MERP.

      I think MERP is expensive, but it may be an opportunity. They teach you exactly what you need to know to be ready for med school, versus undergrad class, which may not necessarily do that. You will also be with like-minded people who never give up on their dream to become a doctor, and this may be a good environment to study. I feel if you feel you have the discipline and ability to do well, it may be worth the money. For a student’s perspective on MERP, someone who has gone through it, I’d recommend checking out this blog: http://theroadtoresidency.tumblr.com/ . The author of that blog passed Ross MERP and moved onto first semester at Ross University, but did not make it beyond that. Nevertheless she gives an honest account on her experience at MERP.

      Another option is to take the MCAT again and try to pull up your score and reapply. It will take a longer time, however, and may not guarantee that you’ll score higher, but it is definitely the cheaper option.

      If you started in January 2013, you will take step 1 sometime between September-December 2014. You can either try to match in 2016 or 2017. IF you try to match in 2016, you will need to take the Step early around September and start your rotations at least by October or so, and do your rotations pretty much back-to-back, even up to right before you start residency. If you try to match in 2017, you will have plenty of time to complete your rotation, and can take breaks in between rotations if you wanted (but must complete all rotations within 7 semesters, as required by AUC). However, you may have too much extra time before you match, and should find something to do between completing your rotations and matching. You’ll also have to worry about what to do financially during that time as you won’t be getting financial aid anymore at that time since you technically “graduated.” In terms of timing, starting in May would be most ideal.

      Good luck V!
      Benji

  • Jo83

    Just a note on MERP, V, the 70% pass rate is a load of BS. The previous class had about a 50% pass rate. I am not saying the program is bad. It is actually not a bad option at all and the material is valuable. The cost seems high bit compare it to any out of state program/ post-bach and it seems a little more reasonable. The private loan thing does suck but usually people who are MERPed don’t have many other options and well a one month program that guarantees acceptance into an MD program if passed is something to be considered.

  • W

    Hey Benji,
    I just got accepted to AUC and wanted to know what was the pros and cons of going to AUC? I was so happy to be accepted but I hate the mix reviews on going to school in the Caribbean. Why do you think people graduate but have yet to be matched or find anything after going to med school in the Caribbean?
    Thank You

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