Guide to AUC: Miami
Miami is located in tropical South Florida by the Atlantic Ocean. As of January 2013, AUC students can complete Psych, Peds, OB/GYN, and IM cores as well as sub-internship electives in several different Miami hospitals via the Center for Haitian Studies (CHS). Rotations done via the CHS and its affiliated hospitals are all considered ACGME-accredited (greenbook). Before January 2013, AUC scheduled rotations via Miami Beach Community Health Center (MBCHC), but MBCHC has since terminated its medical education program. All of AUC’s Miami rotations are now conducted via the CHS.
Miami is unique among the major cities in the United States in that the majority of its residents speak another language besides English at home. While most everyone can speak English, 67% also speak Spanish and 5% speak Haitian Creole. Only 25% of the residents of Miami speak only English as their first language. Therefore, while not a prerequisite, having a working knowledge of Spanish will definitely benefit your patient-interaction when rotating in Miami.
- Jackson Memorial Hospital — Major teaching hospital. IM and Psych students often rotate here.
- University of Miami Hospital — Major teaching hospital. AUC students who rotate here have access to the UM Medical Library, which is a great place to study when you’re done for the day. Parking is $7/day at the hospital. However, you could park at the nearby Winn-Dixie for free and take the free shuttle over to the hospital. You could also take the MetroRail here. IM students often rotate here.
- Hialeah Hospital — Emergency medicine shifts during IM rotations are here. Some students doing OB/Gyn may also come here.
- Mt. Sinai Hospital — Major teaching hospital located in Miami Beach. Several rotations, such as OB/GYN, Peds, or Psych may rotate here.
- Miami Children’s Hospital — One of the top pediatric hospitals in the nation, this is where Peds grand rounds are held every Friday.
- Cleveland Clinic — only for electives. They only accept students who have finished all core rotations.
Places to Live
It seems that most AUC students live either in Brickell (the financial district) or South Beach, both of which are safe urban neighborhoods where lots of young professionals live. South Beach is very rowdy and touristy whereas Brickell is calmer and more local. Both of these areas have lots of businesses nearby (and grocery stores) making living here convenient. The cost of living here in Miami is pricey.
Brickell is a good location because it is equidistant from the different hospitals that you may be rotating around, like Jackson Memorial, UM Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and Hialeah Hospital. They are all around 10 min driving from Brickell (without traffic), and UM Hospital, Jackson Memorial Hospital, and Hialeah hospitals are accessible by Metrorail if you want to dodge traffic. However, Mt. Sinai is not. Here are some accomodations in the Brickell area that AUC students have stayed in in the past:
- Four Ambassadors — I know several AUC students who live here. They have 1-bedroom studios with a separate kitchen and bathroom.
Here are some accomodations in the South Beach area that AUC students have stayed in in the past:
- Deco Plage — This complex is located on South Beach, literally, on the beach. It’s right across the street from Lincoln Road, which is a very popular pedestrian mall, with lots of restaurants, stores, and people. This is a convenient place to live if you are rotating at Mt. Sinai.
- Triton Tower — This complex is also located on the beach, and very close to Mount Sinai Hospital, where AUC students may do rotations. There are restaurants and shops nearby, as well as a beach-side boardwalk where people go jogging.
- Kobilka Beach Apartment — Small, but cute place, and in a nice area, right by the beach. This place is in North Beach.
- airbnb.com — This site is especially a great site if you are looking for short term stay. You can read reviews on different hosts, and the site is a platform for payment, contact, etc. You can also check calendar availability directly on the site. I’ve had a great experience using this site!
- sublet.com — This site has a lot of listings as well, but it’s not as reliable as airbnb. In my experience, lots of hosts and landlords on this site don’t respond.
In Miami, students tend to need to travel around a lot, going from one hospital for grand rounds to another for lecture, etc. Because of this, the most convenient way to get around Miami is by car. However, I personally know students who have gotten around without cars by utilizing the MetroBus, MetroRail, and MetroMover systems. The Metrorail takes you throughout the Miami area and costs $2 to ride, whereas the Metromover takes you locally around the Downtown/Brickell area and is free to ride. All the hospitals are accessible by bus, however only University of Miami Hospital (UMH) and Jackson Memorial are accessible by MetroRail.
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Things to Do
While studying is our main priority, it is nice once every while to explore the Miami area while we are here for clinical rotations. Here are some fun things to do and places to see in Miami:
- South Beach– Probably the most famous beach in Miami Beach, South Beach is the place to party, people-watch, check out music, and hang out with the celebrities. The most vibrant section is on Ocean Drive, where it intersects between 5th and 15th streets. Besides clubs, bars, and restaurants, South Beach is also known for its well-preserved Art Deco architecture, and vibrant art scene, with art galleries abound and artists experimenting with new ways of expression. South beach has tons of restaurants, and some of them are fantastic. However, before you go, always make sure to check Yelp and read reviews because many restaurants use bait-and-switch tactics to rip off unknowing customers, and be sure to always ask for price before ordering something.
- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens — The picturesque estate and its beautiful gardens has very well been kept alive and open to the public. To get there, just hop on the Metrorail and go one station south towards Vizcaya Station.
- Zoo Miami — The only tropical zoo in the continental USA!
- Miami Seaquarium — Dolphins, sharks, and manatees, oh my! Don’t miss the killer whales!
- Jungle Island — This is a fun zoological park. It is located between Miami and Miami Beach.
- Everglades National Park– March is the best time to see alligators, cranes, and turtles in their natural habitat, and expect to see a lot of it here. The best place to view nature at its finest is on the Anhinga Trail, a series of boardwalks that take you through and above the swamp. It’s about a 40 minute drive outside of Miami. It may be a bit of a drive away, but it’s worth seeing.
- Little Havana/Calle Ocho — stroll down 8th Street (locally known as Calle Ocho, like in Pitbull’s song) and experience the charm of America’s oldest and largest Cuban community. Some restaurants to check out: La Carreta and Versailles. If hole-in-the-wall dining is your thing, I highly recommend El Nuevo Siglo to dine. It’s a local supermarket but with a cafeteria inside. The food is awesome and they give you tons of food, and it’s cheap. One of our favorite places to go after dinner is Azucar, a popular Cuban ice cream place that serves up some delicious homemade ice cream of unique flavors, like Abuela Maria (guava pastry ice cream), mantecado (Cuban vanilla), flan, sangria, avocado, toasted marshmallow, and cafe con leche-flavored ice cream.
- Bayside — a combination of outdoor entertainment, open-air market, and indoor mall, Bayside is a fun place to go. Not only is it a shopper’s paradise, it also offers fine restaurants and live music almost every night, by the water. To get there, hop on the free Metromover and take it to Bayfront Park Station, which is a very beautiful park worth spending time at. Bayside is just up the street from Bayfront Park.
- Lincoln Road — This is an outdoor pedestrian street with some of Miami Beach’s best shopping.
- Mary Brickell Village — Located in the heart of Brickell, this area is a great place to shop, eat, and play. On Sundays, many restaurants here offer brunch, and an arts and crafts market is set up. By night, several restaurants in Mary Brickell Village have live music.