Any way to meet with future classmates? My class starts in Spring 2017
This is true and has been true a across the board for the past 4 med classes (to my knowledge). I am not really sure why there is such a discrepancy between medical schools anywhere (states vs carib vs euro). Is it the approach/ curriculum? Maybe that's partially to blame, but the school refuses to acknowledge that they are at any fault and continually blames the students (we get at least two emails a semester about why we are/were such terrible students). I think AUA needs an overhaul with respect to how they teach the curriculum and how they handle the student handbook. In the US they provide memory aids (ya know, to help prepare you for Step1) and in the US they certainly do anything to actually improve the school's reputation by actually helping the students. It's not fair to students that AUA has people who have never been medical students advising AUA medical students "how to study" based on theoretical knowledge from their PhD in Education. In fact, AUA has applied "active learning" to waste students' time. Active learning means you teach yourself based on the book and a short video and you're expected to know and apply the knowledge in activities (like in kindergarten)-- waste of time. If you're not clear about how exactly AUA tortures basic sciences students, let me provide you a little insight: They change the student handbook policies in the middle of the semester, and usually the change in never in the favor of the student. For example: attendance is mandatory... and then its not... and then there is complete confusion about who it is exactly that is supposed to be telling the students the final decision on the policy. Another example: the final exam is "cumulative" ... in the handbook it is vaguely written to be interpreted that "cumulative" is for the specific semester. However, the professor states the exam is suddenly "cumulative" over the previous x semester(s). Financial aid is a joke. Good luck getting your refund in time to start classes... God forbid you need to buy things like...food or rent... that's not going to happen unless you fill out forms and wait long enough to starve and be on the streets in a foreign country. All I can say is that I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to study at AUA when my life circumstances had led me to it. However, if I knew that every test and every semester would be part of a weed out process, I probably would have seriously reconsidered my decision. It's quite obvious that AUA is in a transition period right now. They just got Title IV but I'm not sure they'll see the renewal of their contract with as many people as they fail every semester (think about how many students are going to end up defaulting on those loans). My advice: You have to be strong. You have to be at least 10 steps ahead even though you feel like your drowning all of the time. Do not go to AUA unless you're willing to spend at least 12-15hours a day studying and NEVER get behind. It's med school. There are cheaper ways to take a vacation. Do not slack. Do not get behind. This is not undergrad and Good God, if I had studied like that in undergrad I sure as hell would not be at AUA. Please think wisely before you come to the beautiful island.
There's always a Facebook page if you're looking to start meeting people.
As Dean of Basic Sciences and Vice President for Academic Affairs at American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine, I struggled in deciding whether or not to respond to this post. On one hand, a response gives more attention to a post that contains a number of inaccurate statements and misunderstandings. On the other, remaining silent allows these inaccuracies to go unchecked and may lead some to believe them.
It is easy to see and appreciate the pain students experience when their dream of becoming a physician is shattered by an academic dismissal. Sadness, anger, and frustration are understandable emotional responses. I can tell you, the hardest part of my job is having to write those letters. While I share that sadness and frustration, it’s important we set the record straight.
To practice medicine in the United States, graduates of AUA must pass the same licensing examinations as graduates of any US medical school. We currently have more than 1400 graduates in residency programs, and more are in practice throughout the United States. The vast majority of our graduates enter primary care fields, which are most in need of physicians at this time. Furthermore, the diversity of our student body is far greater than that of the majority of US medical schools.
The author of this post claims there is something wrong with our curriculum and the way its taught, but that the school will not acknowledge this and instead, blames students for their failures. The author then complains about changes that have been made and goes on to declare the use of “active learning” as a “waste of time.” Having had over 30 years of experience in medical education, most of which have been at US Academic Medical Centers, I can tell you that our curriculum and teaching methodology is based on the US model. Again, this point deserves emphasis, AUA’s curriculum is based upon and modeled after that of US medical schools.
Our faculty are skilled, passionate teachers committed to finding the best way to prepare our students for success in their medical training. The author complains that PhD educators waste students’ time trying to assist them in their learning. However, our Education Enhancement Department (EED) is an integral part of our strategy to assist students in their pursuit of knowledge. EED is unique in its large size (10 educators with advanced degrees), its role in our curriculum, and its accessibility. The resources it provides are easily available to all students. EED educators apply evidenced-based learning theory to the practical use of improving students’ academic performance. The very things the author is complaining about— the use of professional educators and the introduction of active learning strategies—are practices upheld at any good US medical school.
Although the author claims that we blame our students for failure, the reality is far more complex than that. Students and faculty enter a relationship that requires a mutual commitment to achieving success. Failure to make the grade is a shared consequence for both parties. As I am fond of telling both students and faculty, “our success depends on our student’s success.”
Can we improve our teaching? Certainly. As the fields we teach evolve and advance, the way material is taught must also be considered again and again. Our faculty attend workshops and educational meetings year round. Can we improve the curriculum? Absolutely. Years ago, medical schools only discussed curriculum renewal every ten or more years. At AUA, we have established a process of Continuous Curriculum Improvement. These are not processes that are ever complete, but continue indefinitely. We, and any respectable medical school for that matter, will never stop asking where and how we can improve.
Many of the “changes” the author criticizes have been applied to improve the curriculum and the performance of our students. The claim that we make changes in policy in the middle of the semester is simply not true. Although we do reserve the right to make changes to the Student Handbook at any time if we believe them to be in the best interests of our students and institution, we routinely only make those changes after the semester has ended.
For anyone still unclear about what AUA stands for, I suggest reading our Mission Statement. It really says it all. I am proud of our students, graduates, and faculty, and as always, am sorry that a student did not make it.
American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine is an innovative medical school dedicated to providing a learner-centric education of the highest quality, offering opportunities to underrepresented minorities, fostering a diverse academic community, and ensuring that its graduates have the skills and attitudes of lifelong learning, compassion, and professionalism. We provide students who would otherwise be unable to receive a medical education with the tools to become successful physicians.
AUA was founded with the commitment to support underserved communities and address the impending physician shortage with an emphasis on primary care. As such, the University recognizes its social responsibility to advance the field of medicine and lead the next generation of physicians and healthcare professionals to respond to global healthcare needs.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Executive Dean, Antigua Campus
Dr. A always told us, not to make it a $25k vacation.
This school is far from perfect. However, it is a school of opportunities and it is a shame that the school's alumni are not here to offer their opinions.
Yes, EED thinks they know how we should study.... Maybe they are right but, their methods don't work for me. Nevertheless, any proactive student will head over to FB, find a few upper-classmates and then ask them. From there, they apply what they think will work for them.
Last edited by TheFBguy; 01-09-2017 at 05:13 PM.
Semester 1 [x], Semester 2 [x], Semester 3 [x], Semester 4 [x], Semester 5 BSRC [x]
Basic Sciences COMP [x], Step 1 [x]
FIU Clinical Clerkship program: Semester 5 FM1/IM1 [x], FM [x], Peds [x], OB/GYN [x], IM [x], Surgery [x], Psych [in progress] -- Semesters 6 - 8 [8th semester in progress]CS COMP [ ], Step 2 CK [ ] - Step 2 CS [ ], Match [ ]