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Date: May 2009
Issue: #2
Spring 2009 Newsletter
Featured Article
American University of the Caribbean Celebrates 30th Anniversary

(AUC has graduated more than 4,000 doctors since 1978)

MIAMI, FL ---March 30, 2009--- American University of the Caribbean proudly announces that it is celebrating its 30th anniversary. American University of the Caribbean is a first-choice school in the Caribbean among future medical students. American University of the Caribbean’s commitment to its students through its world-class education, modern delivery of curriculum, state-of-the-art laboratories, residency placements, financial aid and personal attention is among the finest in medical education.

Doctor Bruce Kaplan, Chief Academic Officer of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine states that, “There is no limit to what a student at AUC can accomplish. The American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine has emerged as the leading medical school in the Caribbean.”

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine was founded in 1978 in Plymouth, Montserrat, British West Indies. The first class matriculated in September 1978. Committed to development and growth, American University of the Caribbean expanded its clinical science program in 1984 to include the first clerkships in England. In 1985, American University of the Caribbean’s medical degree program was recognized by the State of California for clinical clerkships and licensure.

On May 1st, 1998, American University of the Caribbean celebrated the grand opening of its multimillion-dollar academic facility in the village of Cupecoy overlooking the beautiful Simpson Bay Lagoon.

Since then, the American University of the Caribbean School of the Medicine has doubled the size of its basic medical sciences faculty. The school has increased its core clerkship numbers, and is increasing and updating the resources and facilities on St. Maarten. American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine has graduated more than 4,000 doctors practicing in every corner of the world.  Its graduates have entered into some of the most prestigious residency positions in the United States at major hospitals including the NYU Medical Center in New York, Kaiser Permanente in California and Providence Hospital in Michigan. American University of the

Caribbean alumni have become leaders in their field, such as Dr. Shukri David, Chief of the Department of Cardiology, at a major teaching hospital and Dr. Roger Gonda Jr., Chair of a Department of Radiology, and leader of a large radiology group serving multiple hospitals.

American University of the Caribbean was founded in 1978. The University’s School of Medicine was originally chartered by the Government of Montserrat and is currently chartered, approved and recognized in St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles.

AUC is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine (ACCM) and recognized by the United States Department of Education as having standards comparable to those of US medical schools. The National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA) of the U.S. Department of Education recognize the ACCM as having standards comparable to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), which accredits medical schools in the USA.

American University of the Caribbean’s contact number is 1-866-DR2B-AUC. American University of the Caribbean’s website: click here.

Newest VMD Features
ValueMD is constantly adding new features to the site to help improve the user experience by making things more user-friendly and fun at the same time. Most of our new features are the direct result of suggestions by our users. Just recently, VMD has added two new features as per the suggestions made by 'RussianJoo', the Reputation System and embedded YouTube Videos. If you like these new features, perhaps show this by offering some "reputation" points to 'RussianJoo' for his suggestions .

Reputation System

What is reputation?
Reputation is a way of rating users depending on the quality of their posts. If the administrators have enabled reputation, then the reputation icon will be visible in posts. Reputation may be positive , negative or neutral . Negative reputation may only be given if the administrator has enabled this. Neutral reputation is only given when the person giving reputation does not meet the criteria set by the administrator to affect someone else's reputation.

How do I give reputation?
To give reputation, click on the reputation icon in the relevant post. This will reveal a form to complete with the reputation type and the reason for giving the reputation. If negative reputation is disabled then it will not be displayed in this form. You may not give reputation for the same post twice.

How do I know what reputation I have received?
You can view the reputation that you have received in your User CP (User Control Panel) where it is displayed at the bottom of the User CP page. Here you will see the latest reputation that you have received and whether this is positive, negative or neutral. Your total reputation will be shown as series of reputation indicators in your posts and profile. The more positive your reputation, the more positive icons will be shown. The more negative your reputation the more negative icons will be shown.

How much reputation is given?
What is reputation power? If the administrator has enabled this, the amount of reputation that each user will give (or take away if negative) is shown in the user's posts as 'Reputation Power'. The value of the reputation power is determined by the administrator and may increase over time depending on the settings they have applied.

What if I don't want anyone to see my reputation?
You can disable the display of your reputation by going to your User CP and selecting Edit Options. On this page you will find a check box labelled 'Show Your Reputation Level'. Un-checking this box will remove the display of your reputation and replace it with the Reputation Disabled icon. You can still give and receive reputation while your reputation display is disabled.

Source: ValueMD Medical Schools Forum - FAQ: User Profile Features

YouTube Videos

Thanks to this new feature, users can now effortlessly embed YouTube videos directly into their VMD blogs, posts, etc. by simply inserting the web address of where the YouTube video is located (no special codes required). Once the URL (web address) is posted, our system will automatically take care of the rest by inserting the YouTube video directly into the post.

We envision that this new feature will add both personal and educational aspects to the users' experience. Not only can users view up-to-date video clips of various school campuses, clinical sites, student housing, etc., but they can also view educational videos as study aids directly from VMD! The possibilities are endless and we hope you will all take advantage of and benefit from this new feature!

State Medical Licensing News
Medical school suing board
Graduates denied licenses in state

Publication: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Date: Apr 29, 2009
Section: Arkansas
Page Number: 9

A medical school in the Caribbean islands is suing the Arkansas State Medical Board and its 12 board members for not allowing its graduates to become licensed physicians in Arkansas.

The lawsuit on behalf of American University of Antigua and four former and current students was filed late Monday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

American University of Antigua is one of 53 schools in Central America, the Caribbean and Africa that are on a list of “disapproved” medical schools approved by the medical board last year. The board developed the list in an effort to identify foreign medical schools so questionable in quality that their graduates shouldn’t be allowed to practice medicine in Arkansas.

But the university claims the board violated its own rules in developing the list “in favor of damaging and discriminating against AUA and other medical schools in the Caribbean region,” according to the lawsuit.

Further, it claims the board is violating the 14th Amendment rights of American citizens who are students at the school by preventing them the “right to practice the professions of their choice and in the right to apply for and to obtain a license to practice medicine in Arkansas without due process of law and without equal protection of the laws.”

The plaintiffs include Ar- kansas natives Amber Milward of Bentonville and Justin T. Harney of Crossett. Both are students at the university and plan to return to Arkansas to practice medicine after they graduate, according to the lawsuit.

Graduates Shreekanth Cheruku of Whitestone, N.Y., and Anjan Patel, of Pennsville, N.J., are also plaintiffs.

The medical board hasn’t yet filed a response to the lawsuit. Bill Trice, the board’s attorney, didn’t return phone messages left with his Little Rock office Tuesday.

New York attorney Leonard Sclafani and the Schults Law Firm of Little Rock are representing the university, its graduates and students.

Sclafani said this is the first lawsuit they’ve filed against a state medical board, although there are other states that deny medical licenses to its graduates.

“We filed against Arkansas because they’re particularly egregious in the way they went about following this trend,” he said. “Other states have done it in a gentler fashion.”

At its June 2008 meeting, the Arkansas medical board voted to use the Medical Board of California’s list of “approved” and “ disapproved” schools as its main guide in deciding which schools should be on Arkansas’ disapproved list.

Arkansas’ list includes schools that either aren’t recognized by California or that are on that state’s disapproved list. Several other states also use California’s list as a guide, including Mississippi, Vermont, Alaska and New Mexico.

At the June meeting, Dr. Trent P. Pierce, chairman of the Arkansas board — who is recovering from injuries suffered in a bomb blast in the driveway of his West Memphis home Feb. 4. — said most states don’t have the resources to review foreign medical schools themselves.

“California is the only state that does its own site reviews of medical schools, and its list in many cases is the gold standard for which schools [state medical boards] will allow and not allow,” he said at the meeting.

The lawsuit argues the board violated its own rules by disapproving the university without conducting its own investigation, or relying on any investigation by a sister state medical board.

“They have no basis to say we’re disreputable,” Sclafani said. “They don’t know anything about us. They haven’t done any site visits, they haven’t asked us for any information.”

American University of Antigua was founded in 2004 by a group of American doctors and medical professionals, according to the lawsuit. It was then sold to Manipal University, a privately owned university in India.

It has no connection to American University in Washington, D.C.

The medical school hasn’t undergone the approval process for California, and isn’t on its approved or disapproved list, Sclafani said. The university was approved by New York’s medical board after undergoing an extensive review process and plans to apply for approval in Florida and California, he said.

To read discussions and/or comment on this article, please click here

New Logo Design

If you’ve visited ValueMD.com recently, you may have noticed our new VMD logo designed by our new Graphics Designer (username = "kieutrinh"). The idea was to make the “V” and “M” of “ValueMD” look like an EKG reading.

Although this effect is most noticeable on our flash format, we realize that some users may not be able to view flash from their browsers (i.e. some mobile browsers, etc). Therefore, we have included a stationary version of the logo as well to help accommodate those users.

Some recent user comments about the new logo:

  • "...I think this new logo brought a much needed face lift to the old one." by MDisME
  • "I love it YEAAAHHHHH!!" by Shiz77
  • "100x better than old one." by Mustango
  • "clever. i like it" by AmericanIMG
  • "i like it, its wild!" by kemper6036
  • "I like it...it's very 'hip'" by AndyMD
  • "That's improvement at its best Me love it, too, a lot." by MDXRS22
  • "Im feeling it. Good job guys " by ay04
Please feel free to read more and/or share your feedback of the new logo at //www.valuemd.com/relaxing-loun...go-up-top.html

1 Million Posts!!!
In a little over six years since ValueMD was created, it recently reached the incredible new milestone of one million posts!

The VMD staff can’t take credit for this accomplishment. Rather, this feat should be properly attributed to the nearly 100,000 registered users who make up ValueMD. Without their many informative posts, we never would have reached this goal.

Although “stephew” held onto the “top poster” position for many years (the first to reach 10 and 20 thousand posts), “FOID” can now claim that title with over 33,000 posts.

So what drives people to keep posting? To paraphrase a user, it’s the “Pay It Forward” phenomenon.

  • “newbies” come to the site seeking information
  • helpful “veteran” users help the “newbies” find answers
  • the “newbies” become “veterans” and feel indebted to the site for its help, so they “Pay It Forward” by passing along the wisdom they’ve gained to others (the “newbies”)
  • the cycle continues
And before they know it, they’re well on their way to building a respectable post count. Click here for a list of top posters (must be logged in).

So congrats to all the users who have ever posted on VMD, and thanks for your helpful posts!

User Ranks  
Newbie   0 posts  
Junior Member   20 posts  
Member   100 posts  
Senior Member   500 posts  
Elite Member   1,500 posts  
Ultimate Member   5,000 posts  
Member Guru   10,000 posts  
Super Moderators      
Site Administrators      

As a small token of our appreciation for our most prolific posters, ValueMD has pledged to sponsor a needy child from a third world country in the name of each user who reaches a post count of 10,000 useful posts (manipulated post counts, such as in the "Increase Your Post Count" thread, are not taken into consideration).

To date, VMD has sponsored seven indigent children worldwide, helping to make a difference in each of their precious lives! (see here)

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