Escape

It's strange how busy one can be without classes. I no longer have any lecture to catch in the mornings. I have no meetings to go to. Yet, this whole week, I've been getting up every morning at 7 or so to make coffee for Irene (and for myself) and get on my computer to do U-World questions or read over some First Aid. Then in the evening, I'd meet up with my classmates online and study for about 4-5 hours.

Step I Study Schedule

As I have mentioned in previous posts, my study buddies and I study together over Google Plus's video conferencing several hours a day, five days a week. Here is our Step I study schedule for the next five weeks. Since all four of us use First Aid in common to study, we decided to organize our study schedule in the context of First Aid. We each use other resources as well, which we share with...

New Home

Greetings everyone! After four and a half years of living apart, Irene and I are finally building our lives together, here in our new home in Miami! New Home The area we now live in is called Brickell, the financial district of Miami, just south of Downtown. Irene has just started her Psych rotations at the VA hospital, just a…

Last Days

This is going to be my last post about my time in Basic Sciences on St. Maarten. My last few days have been both relaxing, fun, hectic, and busy. Looking back, I’d say my time on the island had been absolutely amazing, although bittersweet. It wasn’t an easy 2 years, and there had been ups and downs, but in the…

Panorama

So Abe got this awesome camera that takes panorama shots, so on his last day on the island, we took a road trip around the island together to capture the island with it. Check it out (click photos to enlarge)! Thanks Abe for these photos! By the way, Abe recently was named the recipient of the Summer 2011 Karl Stockhausen…

Hiking in Guana Bay

Hiking is one of the simplest and greatest ways to explore a place and enjoy nature, and St. Maarten is in no shortage of beautiful places. One of my favorite places I have found for hiking is the single-file natural trail along the coastline that links Guana Bay to Geneve Bay, on the eastern side of the island, known commonly…

Johnny B Under The Tree: Good Old Island Hospitality and Food

Atmosphere: Johnny B Under the Tree is literally under the tree. There are picnic tables around and Johnny cooks on the grill right on the side of the road. It's a very modest place, but Johnny's cooking is world-class. Service: Johnny B and his wife are a cute old couple, with a charming island hospitality. My friends and I got the VIP treatment when we were there. Food: Johnny B probably has the most famous lolo (roadside grill) on the island among locals and visitors in-the-know, and for good reason. His lobster is the best we've had on the island.

Philipsburg

About: Philipsburg is the capital of Dutch Sint Maarten and the political, business, and tourist center of St. Maarten Highlights: Shopping, Shopping, more Shopping, Beach, Jewelry stores, Electronic stores, Duty-free shopping, Cruise Ship, Hard Rock Cafe, Blue Bitch Bar, Guavaberry Emporium, Boardwalk, Old Courthouse, Yoda Guy.

Comprehensive

Throughout the semesters we’ve been here at AUC School of Medicine, we’ve tackled the discipline of medicine from all sides, seeing it from the many different angles of expertise that our professors bring to us. After nearly two years of the continuous process of adding knowledge, reorganizing, and integrating our knowledge base, and synthesizing a new level of personal understanding,…

The 16-Year Storm

As many of you in St. Maarten know, Hurricane Luis in September 1995 was perhaps the most devastating natural disaster that hit the island in recent history.  A category 4 hurricane of 165-mph winds, Luis left 19 people dead, nearly 20,000 homeless, and $3.5 billion dollars in damage in the Leeward Islands region. St. Maarten was especially hit hard, nearly…

Basic Sciences….Check!

NBME Comprehensive Exam Passed Kaplan Comprehensive Exam Passed Basic Sciences It’s been great… cya later Basic Sciences! I am DONE! 🙂…

Skip Jack’s: You Choose It From The Tank

Atmosphere: Skip Jack's is right on the water of Simpson Bay Lagoon, very fitting for a seafood restaurant. Service: The service was really good when we went. The guy grabbing our lobster for us was really cool in letting us hold them to pose to take pics. Food: Lobster, fish, seafood.. a great place to go for seafood on the island. The lobster is so fresh that you choose it yourself live from a pool.

Bamboo Bernie’s: Sushi in the Caribbean

Atmosphere: Bamboo Bernie's atmosphere is ultra-modern, exotic, and trendy. With its outdoor elevator leading to the restaurant, leading to the giant Buddha and tiki torches greeting you in the front, and illuminated interior, everything about the way there is well designed. Service: Most of the time, our service has been good, especially during the times we came for Happy Hour. There have been other times though when our service hasn't been that great, but that's more specific to this one waiter that works there at night. Food: Their specialty sushi selection is really good and they get really creative in them, including Caribbean-themed sushi w/ mango in them. Their sashimi is also very good, as well as their Sake Hour selections.

Mock USMLE Step II CS

Two weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the pilot trial run for the HPI workshop, meant to be a “mock USMLE Step 2 clinical skills (CS) exam” that the ICM faculty are considering implementing into the ICM curriculum. For those of you who don’t know, the USMLE Step 2 is taken during our clinical rotation years,…

My First IV!!

As fifth semester students about to enter clinicals, it is important that we learn how to do the basic clinical skills we will be doing in the hospitals the next two years, like venipuncture, phlebotomy, suturing, or intubation. In previous semesters, I have gotten a taste of all of these skills, including drawing blood, but I have never learned how…

The Taste Factory: Art Pieces They Call Pastries

Atmosphere: The Taste Factory has a clean, coffee-shop type of indoor environment. It's a great place to go for a small get together with friends, or just by yourself to read a book, although it'd be hard not to take a peek at the beautiful pastries displayed. Service: Like Sarafina's, The Taste Factory has good service. Food: The pictures speak for themselves.

It’s Sim Man!

Last week, my friends and I saved a man who just had a heart attack!! OK, well it wasn’t really a living man, but it was close… It was Sim Man, a robot patient who has a pulse, beating heart, lung sounds, gastrointestinal sounds, EKG/Blood gases monitor, and who talks and even responds to your questions (albeit via the instructor…

Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Everything Has Got to GO!!!

It’s that time of the semester… Every semester, AUC students hold two yard sales. Within the first or second week of school, the AUC Spouses Organization organizes the First Semester Sale, open to all students to sell their stuff, mainly textbooks that people are getting rid of as well as the usual everyday supplies. At the end of the semester,…

Research at AUC

Although we are a small Caribbean medical school where the professors’ focus is on teaching, we still have some research data coming from our school. Every semester, select students have the opportunity to get involved in research with our professors, like Dr. Shupe (microbiology), Dr. McIntosh (genetics), Dr. Gomez (pathology), and Dr. Nash (anatomy), on a variety of topics. In…

Sunday Champagne Brunch at the Westin

Atmosphere: There are both indoor and outdoor seating at the Brunch, located right by the beautiful tree-lined pool of the Westin. While the indoor seating is nice, I prefer the outdoor seating because of the view you get of the hotel. The place is shaded and the carving station, Indian, Indonesian/Thai, and Pasta stations are outside as well. The other stations are inside. Service: The service was good when we went. Food: Awesome. More than enough to choose from. I personally love the fresh seafood as well as the pasta station. And of course, you can't go wrong with dessert.