Life on the Island

Last semester, the AUC camera crew came to the island to shoot footage of the school and island, and interview students and faculty. I was one of those interviewed. They are now making a series of documentaries that showcase the school. I’d like to share with you all their most recent work about the fun activities that students enjoy on…

30 Things to Accept Before Coming to the Caribbean for Med School

Here are things to understand and accept before coming to the Caribbean for med school. Please understand that…
  1. …power and water goes out more than you’re probably used to.
  2. …there will be hurricanes.
  3. …there will be earthquakes.
  4. …there will be flooding.
  5. …there will be potholes on the road.
  6. …there will be power outages (though in recent semesters, the power’s been

See Four Countries!

This northeastern corner of the Caribbean that we are at is a crossroad of countries, an international hotspot. Just from an eye’s view away I can practically see a mini-version of the United Nations everyday here. On a clear day from campus, it’s easy to see the UK, France, Netherlands, and St. Kitts and Nevis! Let me show you some…

Fort Amsterdam

About: Fort Amsterdam was the first fort built by the Dutch in the Caribbean to protect the Dutch St. Maarten capital of Philipsburg. Today, a few bastion walls remain and ruins of subsequent developments of the fort can be seen. The fort is located within Divi Little Bay Resort. Highlights: Amazing views of Great Bay, Learning about the history of St. Maarten and the fort, exploring the old bastion walls and cannons.

Attrition

In September 2009, the largest class in AUC history set foot into the largest lecture hall in the school, a room of 300 seats. Lecture Hall 1 was the place that will be the place of instruction for the next three semesters for these 199 new students. I remember clearly on the first lecture of the first day of school,…

Pic Paradis

About: Pic Paradis is the tallest peak on the island of St. Martin. There is a trail that starts in Loterie farms and reach the top, as well as a series of trails that take you from peak to peak on the island. Highlights: Amazing views of the entire island of St. Martin. Wildlife, hiking in some of the last bits of rainforest left on the island, Wildlife.

The New Anatomy Lab

Anatomy is a subject that every school teaches differently. Some med schools use intact cadavers while other use already prosected cadaver parts (or even plastic models!). Some med schools teach it in 2 semesters, while others only 1. Some schools have an entire class crowd around an instructor teaching on a cadaver, while other schools have small groups of students…

You Are The Best

I have saved my 200th post for my favorite person in the world. Irene, you are the best!…

White Coat September 2010

Last Friday, the largest class in AUC history, the Entering Class of September 2010, held its White Coat Ceremony. Having attended the last three, I have to say that I enjoyed this semester’s White Coat Ceremony the most. Every semester, it’s always a privilege seeing the new faces on campus being donned the white coat, into the world of medicine,…

Night shots around the island

About: There are a lot of scenic spots in St. Maarten, and the island shows a different kind of beauty at night when the lights turn on and the moon and stars are out. Highlights: Fort Louis in Marigot, International Viewpoint on "The Hill" between Cole Bay and Philipsburg, Courthouse in Philipsburg, Fifth floor of the dorms at AUC.

Aftermath

After our second night staying on campus, we woke up from the patient examination tables we were sleeping on and found everyone else in the other ICM rooms gone. It was 9am and the hurricane alert has ended. We walked outside to a sunny blue sky and nice breezy weather. Yet, all around us laid the evidence of the storm…

Hurricane Earl

As the center of the storm approached us, Hurricane Earl’s fury heightened, bringing gushing wind and rain across St. Maarten. As Earl decided to slow down and grow in strength, the school decided to open the campus one more night as a shelter. Here is some video footage of Hurricane Earl that I took when it came through AUC.…

Shelter

As I counted the islands below me — Andros, Grand Turk, Anegada — I couldn’t imagine that in less than 20 hours, this vast blue ocean and clear sky I see out of my airplane window will soon be engulfed by an encroaching storm. I was flying into Hurricane Earl. I had spent a wonderful nine days with Irene in…

Miami

So this break, I am staying in Miami with Irene. She had just moved down here last week to start her Physician Assistant master’s degree program at Barry University (which by the way is the same university that our current Dean of Basic Sciences at AUC, Dr. Testa, came from). She’s very excited to start and I’m very excited for…

My Expenses

**Updated 5/1/2014** Medical school is an expensive investment especially in the United States as well as the top Caribbean medical schools, and like all schools, tuition is subject to change every year. This is definitely true at AUC where tuition increases every September. When I started Basic Sciences in 2009, the tuition was as follows:
  • Semesters 1-5: $16,000/semester –> $16,000
  • Third Semester Finished!

    Grades are out, and I’m happy to say that I have passed all my classes and I am officially finished with third semester and on my way to my fourth semester of med school! I cannot say this enough times… TIME GOES BY FAST IN MED SCHOOL! I can’t believe I’m a fourth semester already…. it just seems too fast.…

    Goodbye Jack

    Yesterday, we lost a loved and respected member of the anatomy lab, and the AUC community. Jack van Dijk had been struggling with pancreatic cancer the past few months and passed away on Sunday morning. Most of my class and I who took anatomy in September 2009 (and all the classes before) knew Jack, as he ran the lab and…

    The Last Anatomy TAs

    Last Tuesday after the fourth block exams, the anatomy TA program held our end-of-the-semester TA dinner, a final celebratory get-together for everyone who have made the Anatomy TA program possible. This semester, we made certificates of recognitions for the 24 TAs who have completed their 2-semester voluntary commitments to the program, and organized the dinner at Bonita’s Cantina in Simpson…

    Thank you so much everyone!

    This past Tuesday I received a message from the Van Wormer Student Judiciary Committee informing me that I had been selected as the Summer 2010 recipient of the Dr. Karl Stockhausen Student of the Semester Award. I am definitely speechless after hearing the news as it caught me off-guard, and I feel very honored (and humbled) to receive this award…

    First Semester of Head TA-ing… DONE!

    I remember when I was a first semester student, I had always marveled at the TAs and Head TAs. They all seemed so senior to me and I looked up to them so much. Now, just half a year later, I have become one of them, and I still can’t believe it. Today, we held the last mock exam of…