Fifth Semester Party!!

To celebrate the end of Basic Sciences, every class at AUC holds a Fifth Semester Party, a formal gathering of the friends and colleagues you went to classes with everyday during your time on the island. This semester, our Fifth Semester Party was at the Westin, one of the nicest hotels on the island with one of the most beautiful…

Dr. Raymon!!

I walked into the lecture hall like any other day, sat down in the front row with my friends and took out my iPad about to take notes. Today was a special day, the start of our five-day Kaplan Live review course for Intro to Clinical Medicine 6. As I raised my head, I was pleasantly surprised to see a…

One-Way Ticket

Benji and Meow-Meow have a one-way plane ticket outta here! That’s right, I just bought a one-way ticket from St. Maarten to Miami and I just can’t believe it… finally, my last month on the island! There’s still a lot ahead of me right now as I prepare to take the next NBME comp exam next week as well as…

What Is Fifth Semester?

So I’ve gotten a few questions about what exactly fifth semester is from some students in other semesters. So here, I’d like to explain a little more about what fifth semester is like. What classes do we take fifth semester? During fifth semester we take five classes — Pharm II, Behavioral Science II, Med Ethics II, ICM 5, and ICM…

Zee Best: Popular Local Breakfast and Bakery Establishment

Atmosphere: Zee Best has the feeling of an outdoor European cafe, with both seating outside under the shade on the patio and indoors as well. The restaurant is located away from the main street, but not completely hidden from it either, giving it an open, yet private relaxed atmosphere. Service: The service was great when we went. Food: Zee Best lives up to its name. Specializing in breakfast and baked goods, it's hard to pass up on Eggs Benedict, fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee, sweet crepes, and almond croissants, especially when you can get it after noon.

Aldywan: Casual Lebanese Eatery A Student Favorite

Atmosphere: Aldywan has a casual dining atmosphere on a deck, under a canopy by the roadside. Their kitchen and cashier are inside. The tables are clean. Service: The service is good, and the family that owns the restaurant are really nice people. Food: Aldywan serves some good Lebanese favorites. My personal favorites are the Shish kabob platter, which would more than fill you up. The shwarmas are also very good. Try it with a side of home-made hummus or baba ganoush. The prices are very reasonable for this island, and the proportions are generous.

Only In St. Maarten…

Welcome to St. Maarten… …where every trip to the beach is a near-death experience. …where the most common roadkill is crab. …where you can order beer at a fast food. It’s true… just go through the drive-thru at McDonald’s. …where the special of the day is…. (picture courtesy of Laura Akers) …where familiar signs don’t always point to familiar stores.…

ICM Physical Examination Equipment

The Physical Examination is one of the most important components of evaluating patients, and learning the proper skills is not something you can get from self-learning in books. You’ll need training from experienced physicians (our ICM professors), regular practice on each other, and last, but not least, the proper equipment needed to conduct the physical exams. I’ve compiled a list…

Comp Studying Time!

After several semesters of approaching medicine from all different disciplines, from Genetics to Pharmacology, we spend our fifth semester integrating everything we’ve learned. Although in a typical fifth semester, students take Pharm II, Behavioral II, Med Ethics, Intro to Clinical Medicine (ICM) 5, and Intro to Clinical Medicine (ICM) 6, I feel the latter two courses especially trains us for…

El Condor Pasa

Last night, I found this free app for the iPad called “Virtuoso Piano Free 3.” It doesn’t come close to feeling like a piano but it’s free, portable, and fun to play with. Check it out!…

Airport Emergency Drill

“Sir, can you hear me? If you can hear me, please squeeze my hand.” I didn’t squeeze his hand and the rescuer called over some others to help put me on a stretcher. Laying as limp as I’ve ever been, I was carried with my neck stabilized to another part of the ground where I was seen by a doctor,…

Maintaining a Long Distance Relationship in Med School

Dear all, I recently received a question from a blog reader about how Irene and I maintain a long distance relationship while we are both in school. I’d like to share my answer with everyone: Hi there! I agree. Maintaining a long-distance is not easy, especially during med school when you’re always busy, and in another country, a few thousand…

Breast, Genital, and Rectal Exams… Oh My!

Breast, genital, and rectal exams… how do I even begin? Well, I can begin by saying that I was nervous about this week for a long time. Ever since second semester, we’ve learned how to perform physical exams on most of the body, from palpating for tactile fremitus on the lungs to testing deep tendon reflexes with a reflex hammer.…

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ: Friends, Fun, and College Football

Atmosphere: Brother Jimmy's BBQ has a fun, college-town atmosphere. Brings you back to the days... Service: Fast service. Food: Any Southerner can probably tell you Brother Jimmy's is not really all that Southern, but some items are good nevertheless, like their Northern Ribs, Black-eyed Peas, and Brunswick Stew.

My Day in the O.R.

After dressing up this morning in a nice button-up shirt with khakis and a newly-washed AUC-logo-ed white coat, little did I know that in 20 minutes I’d be asked to remove them and put on a pair of green scrubs, face mask, and hair knit. I was going into the operating room today. This was the second of the two…

1.. 2.. 3… Another One Bites the Dust!

Before we start our clinical training in the states, we get trained and certified in “Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers” during our last semester of Basic Sciences here at AUC. The class was quite long, lasting from 8am to 3pm, with a 1 hour lunch break in between. With mannequins, masks, air pumps, and defibrillators laid out in…

Drive-In Pizza: The Biggest Pizzas on the Island

Atmosphere: Delivery. But in the presence of study buddies, and lecture notes spread out on tables, it's great. Service: After ordering your pizza, they usually have the pizza delivered between 20-40 minutes, depending on how busy they are. I'm not sure if the French are used to getting tips for pizza delivery, as the delivery boy gave us confusing looks the last two times we gave him tip. But they were nice anyway. Not everyone there speaks fluent English, so be prepared to meet some language barriers. Food: Great if thin-crust is your style. Pizzas are definitely the biggest I've seen on the island, as they have claimed.

My First Taste of Emergency Medicine!

I just came back from my Emergency Medicine rotation at the St. Maarten Medical Center with Dr. Houston, and I must say, it was a great experience. I saw fifteen different cases of all sorts and severities, including trauma, high fevers, inflammations, unconsciousness, septic shock, and bowel conditions. I even heard what lung crackles sounded like for the first time…

Celebration in Curaçao

About: Curaçao is a Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela. It has a unique culture that blends Latino and Dutch characteristics. Geographically a part of South America, it is unique among the Caribbean islands for having a desert landscape, yet has gorgeous beaches and excellent diving. Highlights: Shopping and exploring the nightlife of Punda and Otrobanda, Trying pastechis at a local roadside snack stand, Check out the freshest fruits at the Venezuelan floating market, Enjoy the unique Dutch-Caribbean architecture in Punda, Walk the floating bridge, Explore Boka Tabla and Boka Pistol at Shete Boka National Park, Climb to the top of Mt. Christoffel, Kas Abou Beach, Kura Hulanda, Lunch with the locals at Plasa Bieu, try iguana at Jaanchie's (taste like chicken), Scuba Dive, Day trip to Klein Curaçao, Ride, pet, and eat ostrich at the Ostrich farm, Exploring Hato Caves, Swim with Dolphins at Sea Aquarium.

Butterfly Farm

About: The Butterfly Farm isn't just a place to see beautiful butterflies from around the world, but an organization that is helping to save the planet by inspiring others to plant butterfly-friendly environments that will let these creatures thrive and help in the much-needed cross-pollination of plants and trees. Highlights: Getting close and personal with our fluttery friends, learning about butterflies and how they help the environment.