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.

St. Maarten Zoo

About: The St. Maarten Zoological Park is a cute little zoo near Philipsburg in Dutch St. Maarten. They have animals from all over the world, like monkeys, parrots, bats, and reptiles. The coolest thing about the zoo is that you can feed the animals with peanuts you buy at the visitor center. Highlights: Feeding the parrots and monkeys, looking for Jamaican Fruit-Eating Bats in the Bat House, Petting the goats and rabbits at the petting zoo, seeing and learning about different animals from around the world.

A Happy Man

The two things I miss the most on St. Maarten are:
1. Irene
2. My Piano
Tonight, I’m with both and I’m a happy man!…

AUC Spouses Organization

Adjusting to life in the Caribbean can be challenging to many who are not used to living abroad. It can be especially challenging to wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, families, and significant others who come with students to the island (or an awesome long-term vacation, depending how you see it). Whatever your situation is, the AUC Spouses Organization is there to…

She Said Yes!

It was Cinco de Mayo when it all happened. Irene had just finished a brutal week of final exams the day before and flew into St. Maarten from Miami that day. It had been more than a year since she was last in St. Maarten. We had many many things we wanted to do, like visit the St. Maarten Zoo,…

Exploring Dominica

About: Dominica, nicknamed "The Nature Island," is an island country known for its stunning unspoiled beauty. It is 290 square miles (8x larger than SXM) and has a population of around 72,000 people. Highlights: Second largest boiling lake in the world, Valley of Desolation, hot sulfur springs, warm welcoming people, Champagne Reef, Waterfalls, Ross University School of Medicine.

Trip to Anguilla

To celebrate the end of our semesters, Gundi, Eileen, and I went over to the neighboring British island of Anguilla for the day. This would be Gundi and Eileen’s first time going to Anguilla, while it was my third. Just to recall, my first time was during first semester when we went out after block exams to celebrate Arif’s birthday.…

What Step 1 Score Should I Aim For?

As the USMLE Step 1 Score is the #1 thing residency programs look at when deciding whether or not to grant you an intervew, you should of course aim for the highest score possible. But realistically speaking, not everyone (or anyone) can get the theoretical maximum possible score of 300...

100 Feet Under the Sea

About: Diving the Foo-Sheng and the Gregory wrecks on Dutch St. Maarten with Octopus Diving. The Gregory is 50 ft deep. The Foo-Sheng is 100 ft deep and therefore requires an advanced open-water certification. Highlights: Seeing and touching a shipwreck up close (but watch out for fire coral!), being in awe about the power of nature as it takes over the wrecks, having a good time with people you know.

I Believe

I believe… …everything can be seen with a good and a bad side, a yin and a yang, and all shades of gray in between. …seeing things objectively is as important as seeing things subjectively. …that we should all see for ourselves what things are like. …in being active in obtaining your goals. …in being open to new ideas, but…

Using the iPad to Take Notes

When I first came to AUC almost a year and a half ago, tablet PCs were “in” among our class for note taking. It was handy and it was dandy. However, I noticed a shift of technology use the past two semesters. Coming back from the semester break, I noticed there was a surge of students around school using a new gadget in their studies… the iPad! Several colleagues at school and blog readers have asked me about how I take notes on my iPad during lectures, so I thought it’d be neat to do a video demonstration on the application I use called Noterize.

AUC students help community in Diabetes and AIDS screening

Hello everyone! I’d like to share with you an article I wrote for The Scope about the recent Health and Wellness Fair last Saturday! This past Saturday, AUC students volunteered in free public HIV and Diabetes screenings at the Health and Wellness Fair in Carnival Village in St. Maarten. This large event is organized every year by the Lions Club…

AUC Students Celebrate Holi 2011

Hello everyone! I’d like to share with you an event that took place this past weekend at AUC. I did not attend this event as I was in Miami that day, but looking at the pictures, the event looked really cool. All the different colors along with the blue sky and water are just amazing. Holi, also called the Festival…

Birthday Weekend

This past Monday, March 21, I had my 27th birthday! Yes, that’s right, BIG 27!!  I could have spent that special day on the island, but it wouldn’t be the same without the person that I love. Because of this, I decided it would be the perfect time to take a trip to see Irene in Miami. I just had…

Vote for Rudy and Silvia – a match made in paradise!

Hey everyone! I received this story from a colleague of mine from AUC, Rudy Smith. It was at AUC when Rudy and Silvia met. Rudy was a new first semester student in the anatomy lab while Silvia was a head anatomy TA. Rudy instantly had a crush on her but thought she was out of his league. But luckily Silvia…

Holy Grail

As I said before, I’ve really struggled with classes where you have tons of seemingly random facts and names to memorize… namely, med micro and pharmacology. For the last part of last block, I tried out a new way of studying, and it increased my exam grade by 20 points. Since it worked, I figured why not apply my new…

All That Matters

I recently received a message from a reader who was contemplating between two choices of med schools and needed some insight about how I feel about coming to AUC. I thought this was a good question, so I’d like to share my answer. Here was his question: If you had the opportunity to start AUC over again, would you? Hi,…

View of St. Kitts and Nevis from St. Maarten

On most days, it’s pretty easy to see Saba, Anguilla, and St. Barths from St. Maarten. On clearer days, St. Eustatius appears. And on the clearest days, one can see gigantic St. Kitts looming in the background, 50 miles away. I never thought I could see anything farther than St. Kitts… until today. Today the horizon was so clear that…

My Heritage Through Food

After spending the day studying without eating much, I finally decided I couldn’t stand hearing my stomach growl another second longer and told my study group that I needed to go home and eat. Once I got home, all I wanted to do was cook, cook, and cook some more. My brain finally got some rest and it was therapeutic.…

Blue Mall Update

So as I have talked about in an earlier post, a new mall is currently being constructed near AUC. I remember when I first came to AUC, the Blue Mall was just a lifeless, monolithic concrete skeleton. Over the semesters, I enjoyed seeing it grow little by little, becoming more and more complete and beautiful. Living not too far from…