Thanks for visiting American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine’s (AUC) Guide for Parents, and we’re delighted that your son or daughter is considering joining our medical school community. We created this resource for you: Many of us are parents too, and we’re keenly aware that the idea of attending an international medical school brings with it a whole new set of things to think about, consider, and compare.
Here’s where we bring all of those things together for you. Please read on, or use the navigation buttons below to jump to a specific location on this page.
Questions or comments about this guide? Send us an email.
Why Did We Create a Guide for Parents? | What's in This Guide? | 3 Interesting Facts About AUC
Make sure you do your research on medical schools. We’ll help!
As you may have learned by now, researching medical schools—Caribbean medical schools or otherwise—isn’t as easy as just making a few Google™ searches and calling it a day. This is your son or daughter’s future career. There are lots of facts, statistics, and terms that you’ll need to review and fully understand in order to make a confident, informed decision about where he or she will ultimately obtain his/her medical education. This includes things like:
Accreditation: What organizations have reviewed AUC to ensure that it’s a quality medical school providing an excellent education?
Career Prep: Do AUC graduates land jobs as physicians? How does AUC prepare them?
Getting Licensed to Practice: Can AUC graduates become licensed to practice in the United States? In all 50 states? In Canada?
Paying for Medical School: What types of financial aid and scholarships are available to AUC students?
Living in St. Maarten: What is it like to attend medical school in St. Maarten?
Those are the basics, but we’ll also provide you with information to help you understand the following:
What is the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE), why is Step 1 of that exam so important, and how do AUC students perform on it?
What is the residency match and how do AUC graduates perform in it?
How is the AUC curriculum set up, who teaches it, and what do students learn?
A deeper dive into AUC: Medical school admissions, culture, and outcomes
You’ll see that this resource is divided into five sections:
AUC life: campus, curriculum, clinicals, and beyond. Here, you’ll learn about the journey an AUC student takes—from the time a student arrives on the medical sciences campus in St. Maarten to when he/she graduates and enters residency. Here, you’ll learn about life on campus, the island of St. Maarten (where AUC students begin medical school), and the unique student-centered learning environment we have developed over our history. This section will give you a better idea of what day-to-day life will be like for your son or daughter as he/she studies medicine in an international setting.
AUC’s admissions philosophy. AUC considers each candidate for medical school from a holistic standpoint. In other words, we look at the whole person: character, community service, previous medical experience, and overall commitment are weighted in addition to grade point averages and MCAT scores. In this section, you can review prerequisites and read about other attributes that AUC looks for in a candidate.
Academic and career outcomes. You might be surprised to learn that thousands of AUC graduates are practicing throughout the United States and Canada. In fact, according to a 2015 report, about a quarter of all physicians practicing in the US graduated from international medical schools, and in some states as many as 35 percent of practicing physicians studied outside the US.In this section, we’ll provide more information about how AUC students and graduates perform on important qualifying exams and in the annual residency match. Comparing medical school outcomes data can be daunting – not every school measures outcomes the same way – so we’ll provide some context to help you understand what our academic and career outcomes mean and what’s important to know, and ask questions about, when selecting a medical school.
Financial aid. From scholarships to federal funding, go here to view the variety of ways your son or daughter can fund their medical education. Here, you'll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about financial aid at AUC.
What parents can do to help. From downloading an admissions brochure to scheduling a phone call with an admissions advisor, this page lists ways parents and their sons and daughters can start a conversation—whether it’s with us or each other—about putting AUC into serious consideration.
3 Facts You May Not Have Known About AUC
Want a sneak peek of what you’ll be learning about in the next few pages? See below for three frequently asked questions from parents interested in learning more about AUC. They cover topics like accreditation, physician licensure in the United States, and what types of students we're ultimately looking for.
Q: Is AUC accredited?
A: AUC is accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine (ACCM). You might hear that AUC is not accredited in the United States—but being a foreign operating school, AUC is not eligible to seek accreditation from traditional US accreditors. In addition, the fact is that the US Department of Education has not appointed a US accreditor to foreign schools. Instead, the Department of Education has appointed the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA) as a special review board that focuses on monitoring and evaluating foreign medical education accreditors on their standards. The NCFMEA’s review of ACCM’s standards confirms their recognition with the US Department of Education and has determined that they are comparable to those used to accredit medical schools in the US. This is an important distinction for AUC, for two reasons:
It attests to the quality of education AUC provides.
It qualifies eligible AUC students to participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Only a few Caribbean medical schools currently have this distinction.
Q: Can AUC graduates become licensed to practice in all 50 US states?
A: Yes, an AUC graduate can become licensed in all 50 states.
Q: How selective is AUC in admitting students to medical school?
A: This is a very important consideration to take into account when helping your son or daughter select a medical school. Admissions requirements and standards vary from one medical school to the next, and among the Caribbean medical schools, there are important differences. For example, not all Caribbean medical schools require applicants to take the MCAT and some that do don’t figure the MCAT score into their evaluation of a candidate. This approach might be enticing for students looking for an easier entry into medical school, but at AUC our hope is that students want to come into an environment where they will be held to high standards and be highly motivated to succeed.
At AUC, we have rigorous standards when considering applicants. Yes, we look at the whole person – we want to know about one’s life experience, maturity, and commitment – but we also look closely at how a candidate performed academically as an undergraduate and their MCAT score. Our Admissions Committee is very serious about not only selecting students who have great potential to succeed and become great doctors, but also about creating a learning environment at AUC populated by bright, talented, and driven students.
There’s Much More to Explore in the AUC Guide for Parents
Want more information? We’ve got you covered. Keep exploring the AUC Guide for Parents using the links below.