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…

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…

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…

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.…

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…

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.