More About MERP: Student Testimonials

AUC students share their MERP experiences

After completing the Medical Education Readiness Program (MERP), students who received conditional acceptance to American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) then matriculate to semester one in St. Maarten. During their time in MERP, students work toward building the foundational knowledge they need to succeed and thrive in medical school.

It turns out that many students who complete MERP move on to the Medical Sciences curriculum feeling that they're positioned for success—that they have a head start on some of the advanced coursework they then tackle in medical school. Read some testimonials below from MERP students who have since moved on to become medical students, and find out how well MERP prepared them for AUC's curriculum.

MERP Student Testimonial: Kai Ackley

Anticipated graduation date

September 2018

Hometown

Sulphur, Louisiana

Undergraduate institution

LSU/McNeese State University

Specialty of interest

Emergency medicine

Why I Chose American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

During my undergraduate studies, I worked in the ER with several physicians who graduated from AUC. Working with these outstanding physicians, I had the opportunity to observe them and saw that they were extremely compassionate and had an excellent bedside manner. These qualities were ones that I wanted to develop during my training to become a physician. These physicians’ qualities played a tremendous role in my choosing of AUC.

How MERP Helped Me as a Medical School Student

Getting conditionally accepted wasn’t quite the answer I was hoping for when applying to medical school. But little did I know that the MERP program would give me such a big advantage in my studies here at AUC. During my time in MERP, I got to attend sessions on study techniques and test-taking skills. This rigorous 15-week program allowed me to master my own personal study method and because of this program, I was very prepared for medical school. MERP gave me the foundational knowledge I needed and this knowledge was extremely beneficial during my first two semesters. MERP also helped me adjust to St. Maarten much more smoothly, because I had already established a group of friends [during MERP] going to the island. This program is extremely beneficial and I attribute much of my success thus far at AUC to this program!

Mohir-Ajmeri-MERP-Student-AUC.jpgMERP Student Testimonial: Mohit Ajmeri

Anticipated graduation date

June 2018

Hometown

Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Undergraduate institution

University of Waterloo

Medical specialty of interest

Cardiology

Why I Chose American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

After attending many Open Houses and information sessions, I ended up choosing AUC for reasons that were fairly straightforward. AUC is accredited, and students are eligible to apply for licensure in all states in the US , and has a wide variety of clinical rotations that are all over the US and even one in Canada (which is great for me since I’m Canadian, eh!). Moreover, the island of St. Maarten was a huge plus -- it's well-developed, compared to all the other options I was looking into. St. Maarten has many stores that are equivalent to everyday stores back home, which adds to the convenience factor.

How MERP Helped Me as a Medical School Student

To be honest, when I got accepted to MERP, I was fairly disappointed, knowing I would have to jump through an extra hoop just to get my acceptance into AUC. However, after starting the program in Toronto, it really gave me a glimpse into the workload that medical school was going to throw at me. Being close to home while attending MERP allowed me to get used to the workload so by the time I moved to St. Maarten, I was doing well in school and I only had the “island life” to get used to. In addition, MERP gave me a boost with several courses because I had already seen some of the information before, so nothing was foreign to me.

AUC-MERP-student-esther-bell-web.jpgMERP Student Testimonial: Esther Bell

Anticipated graduation date

October 2017

Hometown

Miami, FL

Undergraduate institution

University of Florida

Medical specialty of interest

Pediatrics

Why I Chose American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

I chose to attend AUC because it gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of becoming a physician. AUC allowed me to prove to myself, and to others, that I did have what it took to be an excellent physician in spite of any obstacles I may have faced on my way there. While other Caribbean medical schools were a possibility, I wanted the smaller class sizes and personalized attention AUC provided.

How MERP Helped Me as a Medical School Student

MERP was a challenging program that gave me a head start on the material we would be exposed to at AUC. Mostly, MERP helped me discover the best study style for me and allowed me to prepare myself mentally for the Medical Sciences curriculum. Having been exposed to material before my classes also allowed me to have the freedom to be more involved in extracurricular activities. Because of the time management skills I gained in MERP, I was able to be Student Government President during my third and fourth semesters as well as have leadership roles in various other student organizations.  I always say that being “MERP-ed” is the best thing that ever happened to me, because it gave me exposure to material and allowed me to fulfill my goal of being inducted in the Honor and Service Society during my fifth semester.

MERP Student Testimonial: Ramandeep Kahlon

Anticipated graduation date

2018

Hometown

Brantford, Ontario, Canada

Undergraduate institution

Ryerson University, Toronto

Specialty of interest

Undecided

Why I Chose American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

After carefully considering all of my options, I ended up choosing AUC for its small class sizes, its students’ performance on USMLE® Step 1, and the graduates’ residency success. Additionally, the fact that AUC is accredited* and  Canadian students attending AUC are eligible to apply for both the NRMP and  the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS). also played a role in my choosing of AUC. Other factors I considered when choosing AUC were that the island is well developed in comparison to other Caribbean medical schools and the fact that AUC fosters a sense of a close-knit community among its students.

How MERP Helped Me as a Medical School Student

When I was first accepted to the MERP program, I wasn’t overly excited, as it was another obstacle I needed to overcome to begin medical school. However, after going through MERP and now a couple of semesters at AUC, I can honestly say it was a blessing in disguise. The rigors of MERP definitely prepare you for what’s ahead and provide a solid foundation you can build on. MERP also gives you the opportunity to figure out study habits and what works for you before you get to medical school.

Learn Even More About MERP

Click here for more on MERP. Please visit our application page for more information on applying to AUC or to get started on your application.