Closing the Gap

Ever since leaving the island, I’ve been joining the Facebook groups of different incoming classes at AUC to update myself as of what’s going on on campus, and to be of use here and there and participate in discussions. I’m probably the only clinical student that still participate in the groups, which were originally created for the student orientation advisors in Basic Sciences to communicate with incoming AUC students, but I think because of the way AUC is structured, it’s something important to do.

You see, unlike US med schools where Clinical Science and Basic Science students are often on the same campus, at AUC and the other Caribbean schools, clinical students are scattered in hospitals across the US and UK, away from the rest of the students in Basic Sciences on St. Maarten, and therefore do not get the communication connections with each other like their American counterparts. When I was in my first few semesters in Basic Sciences, I didn’t know anyone in clinical rotations to get their opinions on different sites and get tips on how to succeed. Because of this gap, past student “wisdom” is not often passed down, making the transition between Basic Sciences and Clinical Sciences often confusing, at times frightening, and feel like a journey into the unknown. To close this gap between Basic Science students and Clinical Science students, I think social media platforms like Facebook are the answer. I think it’s important for more clinical students to connect with Basic Science students and vice versa, so that there would be increased communication and sense of community between Basic Sciences and Clinical Sciences. After all, we are one school.

Lesson of the day:

  1. Befriend people not just within your class but with upperclassmen and those in classes below you. You never know when you need advice, words of encouragement, or if you can help someone out. Connections make these happen.
  2. While on the island, a lot of upper semester students were more than happy to help me adjust to med school and the island, and let me in on the tricks of the trade. In clinicals, this mentality of helping each other out has not changed. We succeed by working together.
  3. Join Basic Science and Clinical Science Facebook groups I’ve listed here on the right-hand column: http://www.caribbeanmedstudent.com/guide-to-auc/.

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