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Thread: Why you should read this before attending AUC!

  1. #1
    azitgos is offline Newbie 44 points
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    Why you should read this before attending AUC!

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    I must first preface this post with the fact that I am NOT an AUC student, I am only dating one... However, I have spoken to many students here in St. Maarten that attend AUC that are completely unhappy with the school. While, I have not polled all students attending the school, I have a prominent business position on the island that allows me to come in contact with many employees and students of the school. Please consider this post as helpful, friendly, and important information that may help you decide about making that GIANT step.

    I have researched and understand that medical school is extremely expensive and the medical field is extremely competitive. It is for sure important to make sure you get the most out of your educational investment. Please consider the condensed, easy-to-read list below as helpful advice.
    Why not attend AUC?

    - Their facilities are old and they have a well-known mold problem throughout the school

    - Their personnel are extremely disorganized and have their students at the bottom of their priority list

    - The medical rotations are pretty much full by the time you graduate and you will most likely wait a semester before you can get in.

    - Most of their medical rotations are in one of the 5 burroughs of NY OR in the upper Northeast of the US. They have others but they are usually the first choice amongst the previous semester students waiting to start their rotations.

    - The school is horrible at communicating with the students and tend to do things at the last minute in a very disorganized fashion.

    - They accept more students than they can handle, thus taking their money and doing all they can to fail or "weed out" those they can't handle or make room for.

    - Make sure to ask a lot of questions, and demand answers before you attend... for example: Where are their rotations offered? What graduated students can you speak to that have good careers after attending AUC? What happens with Financial Aid if you have to wait a semester before starting your rotations? What is the first year failure rate? When was their buildings upgraded/remodeled?

    If you still decide to attend... read below!!

    Do not get ripped off! What you need to know about moving to the island

    - Shop all of the shipping lines for the best shipping rate, if you are moving your stuff. Here are the lines that ship to St. Maarten (Bernuth, Crowley,Tropical, Seaboard Marine, and CMA-CGM). There are others, but these are the best and most reliable. Do not use 3rd party shippers (i.e.: Four Star Cargo) they will rip you off!

    - Buy a VOIP phone either (OOMA, VONAGE, or something similar, you will need it)

    - You will need a cell phone, Chippie (uts.com) is probably the easiest to get refill minutes for your phone. Caribbean cell phones work much like prepaid phones rather than monthly bills. Very few people have "rate plans or post-paid accounts"

    - Shipping your vehicle is a waste! They do not know how to maintain and/or care for vehicles and the island will best your car up! Buy a cheap car on the island- they usually resell for the amount you bought them for. To enjoy your time on the island, GET A CAR!! Many students don't but it limits your access to many things. Crime is bad on any island as its such a small place, its best not to walk many places at night.

    -Look for rentals on thedailyherald.com (Complexes/Areas you should only look in as far as safety and closeness to the school (in this order): Porto Cupecoy, Tradewinds, Rainbow, The Cliffs, Cupecoy Beach Club, The Sapphire, Blue Marine, Beacon Hill, Simpson Bay)

    Where to shop?

    - Groceries: Le Gourmet Marche in Porto Cupecoy is VERY close to the school. They have kosher, organic and many other products. They offer 5% discount to AUC students. They have larger stores Le Grand Marche towards town or in Colebay at the French border.

    -Electronics: Boolchands (in town) Bluepoint (Simpson Bay), Klass (in town), and World of Electronics are the best. They all negotiate on price.

    -Cars/Vehicles: Check the local rental car agencies, they are always sellings cars cheap! other studnets sell their cars on this forum as well

    - Restaurants (some notable ones):
    Temptation/Rare: @ Atlantis Casino chefdino.com Price: $$$
    La Savanah Thai: @ Atlantis Casino
    Sugar Cafe: DO NOT GO THERE! THEY HAVE BEEN SHUT DOWN BEFORE FOR ROACHES
    Moulin Fou, Bamboo Bernies: the best for sushi, steaks, great atmosphere @ Maho Price: $$$
    Granduca: @ Maho Great Italian Price: $$
    La Gondola: @ Atlantis Casino, Great Italian, Price: $$$

    - Pharmacies: you must go to the pharmacy for any medical products as supermarkets are NOT ALLOWED to sell these products. The closest is in Maho.

    ENTERTAINMENT

    - Night Clubs: Tantra @ Maho, Bliss @ Sunset, One 11 in Simpson Bay

    - Adult Entertainment: Platinum Room @ Maho, Golden Eyes @ Simpson Bay

    - Brothels: Bada Bing @ Airport, Carolina @ Sukkergarden (VERY DANGEROUS AREA), Seamans Club/El Capitan @ Sukkergarden (VERY DANGEROUS AREA)

  2. #2
    slevit1MD's Avatar
    slevit1MD is offline Ultimate Member 665 points
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    For everyone's convenience, I have edited out the useless/inaccurate parts, and left the useful bits.
    Enjoy!

    Quote Originally Posted by azitgos View Post
    I must first preface this post with the fact that I am NOT an AUC student. Please consider this post as helpful, friendly, and important information that may help you decide about making that GIANT step.

    I have researched and understand that medical school is extremely expensive and the medical field is extremely competitive. It is for sure important to make sure you get the most out of your educational investment. Please consider the condensed, easy-to-read list below as helpful advice.


    - Most of their medical rotations are in one of the 5 burroughs of NY OR in the upper Northeast of the US.

    - The school is horrible at communicating with the students and tend to do things at the last minute in a very disorganized fashion.



    Do not get ripped off! What you need to know about moving to the island

    - Shop all of the shipping lines for the best shipping rate, if you are moving your stuff. Here are the lines that ship to St. Maarten (Bernuth, Crowley,Tropical, Seaboard Marine, and CMA-CGM). There are others, but these are the best and most reliable. Do not use 3rd party shippers (i.e.: Four Star Cargo) they will rip you off!

    - Buy a VOIP phone either (OOMA, VONAGE, or something similar, you will need it) Or Skype

    - You will need a cell phone, Chippie (uts.com) is probably the easiest to get refill minutes for your phone. Caribbean cell phones work much like prepaid phones rather than monthly bills. Very few people have "rate plans or post-paid accounts"

    -Look for rentals on thedailyherald.com (Complexes/Areas you should only look in as far as safety and closeness to the school (in this order): Porto Cupecoy, Tradewinds, Rainbow, The Cliffs, Cupecoy Beach Club, The Sapphire, Blue Marine, Beacon Hill, Simpson Bay)

    Where to shop?

    - Groceries: Le Gourmet Marche in Porto Cupecoy is VERY close to the school. They have kosher, organic and many other products. They offer 5% discount to AUC students. They have larger stores Le Grand Marche towards town or in Colebay at the French border.

    -Electronics: Boolchands (in town) Bluepoint (Simpson Bay), Klass (in town), and World of Electronics are the best. They all negotiate on price.

    -Cars/Vehicles: Check the local rental car agencies, they are always sellings cars cheap! other studnets sell their cars on this forum as well

    - Restaurants (some notable ones):
    Temptation/Rare: @ Atlantis Casino chefdino.com Price: $$$
    La Savanah Thai: @ Atlantis Casino
    Sugar Cafe: DO NOT GO THERE! THEY HAVE BEEN SHUT DOWN BEFORE FOR ROACHES
    Moulin Fou, Bamboo Bernies: the best for sushi, steaks, great atmosphere @ Maho Price: $$$
    Granduca: @ Maho Great Italian Price: $$
    La Gondola: @ Atlantis Casino, Great Italian, Price: $$$

    - Pharmacies: you must go to the pharmacy for any medical products as supermarkets are NOT ALLOWED to sell these products. The closest is in Maho.

    ENTERTAINMENT

    - Night Clubs: Tantra @ Maho, Bliss @ Sunset, One 11 in Simpson Bay

    - Adult Entertainment: Platinum Room @ Maho, Golden Eyes @ Simpson Bay
    slevit1, M.D. Hidden Content
    PGY-1, Emergency Medicine

  3. #3
    Phur's Avatar
    Phur is offline Member 535 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by azitgos View Post
    I must first preface this post with the fact that I am NOT an AUC student, I am only dating one... However, I have spoken to many students here in St. Maarten that attend AUC that are completely unhappy with the school. While, I have not polled all students attending the school, I have a prominent business position on the island that allows me to come in contact with many employees and students of the school. Please consider this post as helpful, friendly, and important information that may help you decide about making that GIANT step.

    I have researched and understand that medical school is extremely expensive and the medical field is extremely competitive. It is for sure important to make sure you get the most out of your educational investment. Please consider the condensed, easy-to-read list below as helpful advice.
    Why not attend AUC?

    - Their facilities are old and they have a well-known mold problem throughout the school

    - Their personnel are extremely disorganized and have their students at the bottom of their priority list

    - The medical rotations are pretty much full by the time you graduate and you will most likely wait a semester before you can get in.

    - Most of their medical rotations are in one of the 5 burroughs of NY OR in the upper Northeast of the US. They have others but they are usually the first choice amongst the previous semester students waiting to start their rotations.

    - The school is horrible at communicating with the students and tend to do things at the last minute in a very disorganized fashion.

    - They accept more students than they can handle, thus taking their money and doing all they can to fail or "weed out" those they can't handle or make room for.

    - Make sure to ask a lot of questions, and demand answers before you attend... for example: Where are their rotations offered? What graduated students can you speak to that have good careers after attending AUC? What happens with Financial Aid if you have to wait a semester before starting your rotations? What is the first year failure rate? When was their buildings upgraded/remodeled?
    The second half of your post is very helpful and a lot of good advice. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the 1st half. I have been off the island for a year and a few months, but I doubt things have changed that much.

    1) While the facilities aren't amazing, they aren't that bad either. Lecture halls are adequate. Dorms probably do have a mold problem, but they're reasonably priced compared to the surrounding are. Anatomy lab has gotten improvements over the past few years. Technology is adequate. You give off the impression that the facilities are run-down and dilapidated which is just not true.

    2) Disorganized- depends on the prof or the staff member. Bottom of their priority list? Hardly. Most any professors' office I walked into dropped whatever they were doing to help. Non-academic issues you have to press a little harder, but I do think "bottom of their priority list" is extremely exaggerated.

    3+4) This is going to be a little harsh, but it's a pet peeve of mine when people spout purely wrong information and have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. So to clear things up before it gets out of hand... There is NO shortage of clinical spots, and if there were there would be a lot more complaining going on from CLINICAL STUDENTS. Every year there is a big panic on campus that there won't be enough spots, and every year they manage to place everyone. Placement depends on how willing you are to move around. If you want to do everything in the same place, it's tougher and have to wait longer. Most people are able to start within a few weeks of submitting their score to MEAS. All this "All the spots are full" is just plain wrong. Yes, you have to take a LOA after 5th semester (meaning no financial aid), and students should probably be told this sooner so they can plan ahead, but it is not hard to get in contact with someone a semester or 2 above you and get advice. As for locations... yes, most are in NYC, but you can also go to Michigan, Baltimore, Miami, some in Louisiana or the UK. You can do all your rotations without stepping foot in NY if you so choose. Electives you can (and do) set up on your own.

    5)Doesn't get any better once you get off the island. Just as bad in hospitals. Not a unique problem.

    6) This is questionable. It's a for profit school aka a business, and if you don't know that going in, then it's your fault. However, they can and do provide an education on par (or even better based on people I've rotated with) with American schools. They give students like myself who messed up along the way a 2nd chance. Do they accept people who probably won't make it, sure. But at the same time, once you get there it's up to the student. Classes are tough and if you don't have good study habits, you won't do well. On the other end, every semester 15-20% of the school makes dean's list, so obviously it's not impossible. Therefore I think it's unfair to put 100% blame on the professors and school. Somewhere along the way, you have to take responsibility for yourself.

    7) Finally, something I agree with. Of course you should do your homework and ask questions so you know what you're getting into.

  4. #4
    KishCarlton is offline Member 513 points
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    I'm sorry, but I absolutely hate it that just any old, random, person can post anything on here, especially when it is so obviously wrong. AUC is a great school, at least from my experience so far. Just left the island for good, so I'll let you know if my opinion changes once I start clinicals, but up to this point, AUC has done nothing less than exceed my expectations.
    RebeccaB and AUCMD2013 like this.
    kishcarlton.wordpress.com

  5. #5
    RfisherMD is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with everyone else, but the OP. The staff on island is more than willing to help you out and they are updating the facilities, with a new auditorium being built in the near future to accommodate graduation and other events on campus. The dorms are reasonably priced compared to off campus. Not that they are cheap, but most housing is near $1,100-$1,500 per month.

    The clinical office in Miami is more than a little disorganized and you do have to push to be heard and to get what you want. But they will accommodate you eventually. If you want to go to the UK, keep in mind that you need a visa and be sure that the rotation you are assigned provides enough time to get the paperwork done. I can't say anything about the actual clinical staff, as I haven't started rotations yet, but the other stuff I do know.

    I am unsure of electives as they won't allow me to schedule those, but word from those ahead of me is that the school is beginning to regulate those a bit more and even going as far as requiring those students doing cores at NUMC to complete electives there as well. Can anyone at NUMC confirm/deny this? thanks.
    AUC c/o 2013
    FM resident

  6. #6
    Tiger1 is offline Member 523 points
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    I am at NUMC and can add a little more detail. For the next group of core students, they will be required to remain at NUMC for their electives. Neurology and family medicine will be part of the 3rd year now and radiology will be removed from 3rd year and become a plain old elective just as it is for every other clinical student. Those students coming to NUMC will be allowed 12 weeks of electives "off-campus" during the 4th year. This is more than enough to do your away or "audition" rotations at other places you may want to go for residency. I enjoyed having radiology as part of the 3rd year, but I understand why they are making the changes they are and agree with them. It will allow for more AUC students to rotate through radiology at NUMC than are able to currently. It also sets up more of a clinical campus which is an advantage that US students have that we don't. You have 30 weeks of electives and are still allowed to do almost half of them at other locations, so this really isn't an issue. If it isn't something someone wants to do, then there are plenty of other hospitals in the greater NYC area to rotate at that don't have these requirements. The other exception is that students will be allowed to do their family medicine rotation at Bronx Lebanon prior to starting at NUMC and still be a part of the core group. Any other questions about NUMC, I will be happy to answer.

    As for the OP, I am not going to waste my time. Ignore anything related to clinicals because it comes from people still on the island who have NO IDEA about anything related to clinicals. The same garbage about clinicals goes around every semester and the only people who ever complain are those who haven't had any dealings with the clinical people and ought to spend their time and effort on studying for their exams on the island. As for the campus, it is probably newer than most facilities that US medical students use. The campus was built in 1998, and I believe they are supposed to be working on a new building in the next year or two.
    AUC c/o 2012

  7. #7
    AUCKID is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Obtaining a medical education has very little to do with the upkeep of a building made of senseless concrete objects such as bricks or mortar. One only needs the opportunity to pursue a medical degree and license. AUC definitely affords one the opportunity to pursue these goals and to do so while living a rather lavish lifestyle. One would be an absolute fool to not favor attending AUC while pursuing a medical education. In my opinion, your comments above the "If you still decide to attend" part are at best 15% correct. Most rotations are in NY, thats about it. But even after that there are interesting comments. The island is not dangerous. I have eaten at Sugar Cane at least 50 times, if not 100 times and have never once become ill.

    Lastly, the areas in which you find the brothels are not dangerous. First off, Bada Bing is not a brothel, it is a strip club. Next, these brothels are not dangerous. They have more security guards than tantra does overall, not to mention the fact that tantra is 20 times bigger of a nightclub. No one guards the parking lot when you park and go inside to Tantra, but at Seaman's club and El Capitan they do, Carolina's and Casa Blanca to a point as well. I have never once had a problem with the brothels. In my opinion, it is a very safe place especially considering that one of my first times I went there alone and with a decent looking vehicle. They are merely establishments trying to earn money. They respect anyone trying to spend money.

    The incidents that scared me the most were the rapings from outside Tantra and the robbings in the Cupecoy area. Based on these news, I think the AUC and Maho areas are less safe than the street corners of the brothels.

    Now, of course I realize I am just one guy who had an incredible time while furthering my goal to become a physician, yet I am only one guy with one opinion. Still, I think that individuals spread word, and like to get up at arms about things.

  8. #8
    LinkMoto is offline Member 517 points
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    Plus, what's so bad about NY :P

    I could have chosen to stay away from NY, but I wanted to do some rotations there
    Step 1[X]
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  9. #9
    BrianB4837 is offline Member 530 points
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    People were saying the same nonsense when I was starting 6 years ago, and 3 step exams later and one internship year of torture, I will be a pgy2 and applying for fellowship. None of those things matter. All that matters in the end is how well you do in steps 1 and 2, and how you demonstrate that you can be a good clinician.

  10. #10
    AUCMD2013 is offline Senior Member 527 points
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    This post is complete nonsense. I just finished basic sciences and found that it gave me more than enough resources to finish without failing anything. I learned a lot and will now kick some step 1 butt. No one will fail here if they truly try.
    American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine Graduate

    Basic Sciences [X] Step 1 [X] Step 2 CS [X] Step 2 CK [X] Cores [X] Electives [X] Match [X] M.D. Diploma [X] Step 3 [X] IM Residency [X] Medical license [X] Internal medicine boards ABIM [X] Board certified practicing Hospitalist [Hidden Content ]

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