Campus, Culture, and Beyond at AUC

At medical school, we're all in this together

AUC parents guide student - communityWhen it comes to getting a medical education, where you go and who you’re with can be just as important as what you learn. American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine’s (AUC) unique campus environment, students-first ethos, and collaborative culture make our medical school a place that’s truly special. If this sounds like the type of educational environment your son or daughter is looking for, we encourage you to read on to learn more.

Questions or comments about this guide? Send us an email.

Jump to: Our Culture | Curriculum Basics | US and UK Clinicals | The Island

A few words on AUC’s culture, and why it’s important

You may have heard that medical school can be an extremely competitive—even cutthroat—place to be, depending on where you ultimately go. And that could be an accurate statement for many schools. But that’s not what AUC is all about, and that isn’t the sort of philosophy we instill in our students. We don’t compete—we collaborate. Frankly, we think that makes the best doctors.

We aren’t the only ones who think along those lines, either. There’s an interesting 2014 piece—published in IMpact, a newsletter for the American College of Physicians—that aptly differentiates between competitive, me-focused medical school students and those who instead choose to reach out to medical school peers for support, encouragement, study guidance, and inspiration.

AUC parents guide student - communityYou can read the full piece here, but we’ll sum it up for you now. In the story, written by Angie Hamouie, Class of 2016 University of Texas Medical Branch student, Angie describes two distinct types of medical school peers: gunners and Petras. Gunners, Hamouie writes, have been around medical schools for years. The term refers to “a student who will sabotage his peers in [an] effort to be number one”. We discourage that type of behavior at AUC. It just isn’t us.

She points to her friend Petra, whom she met in her second year of medical school, as the polar opposite of a gunner. Rather than compete, Petra would mentor Hamouie. She’d offer advice. She’d motivate her. And it made a difference. “My second year of medical school was completely different for having known Petra,” writes Hamouie. “I hope more medical students will see that while gunners may get the best grades in school, Petras will make the best doctors.”

You won’t find many gunners at AUC. But we expect you’ll find lots of Petras.

Curriculum basics

AUC parents guide curriculum info

Students learn the basic sciences (termed Medical Sciences in AUC’s curriculum) in St. Maarten—the on-island portion of medical training lasts for roughly half of your son or daughter’s AUC education (72 weeks, less than two years). Dedicated faculty—many of whom were recruited from United States institutions—teach a US-modeled basic sciences curriculum to AUC students in highly advanced lecture halls and facilities in our high-tech, high-touch campus environment.

Explore our medical sciences curriculum.

US clinicals

When your son or daughter successfully completes AUC’s Medical Sciences curriculum in St. Maarten, he/she would then proceed to clinical rotations at affiliated hospitals in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom. Learn more about our Clinical Sciences curriculum here or read about our teaching facilities here.

Curious what it’s like to rotate abroad? Check out this page to discover what it’s like learning clinical medicine in the UK.

The medical sciences campus

Completed in 1998, AUC’s Medical Sciences campus provides a unique setting for teaching and learning. From the moment they step foot on our campus, students can experience the powerful academic and technological resources in place to help them make the most of their medical school experience. In recent years, we’ve implemented innovative teaching programs, modern laboratories, supplemental electronic curriculum delivery, and other technological advances geared toward enhancing your son or daughter’s AUC experience even more.

Learn more about our campus environment.

The Island

AUC - all about the island of St. Maarten

St. Maarten is a well-known tourist destination. Located about 150 miles from Puerto Rico, St. Maarten is about 37 square miles and is shared by the governments of France and the Netherlands Antilles (AUC is on the Dutch side). English is spoken everywhere, the US dollar is the accepted currency, and the island itself is dotted with beaches, winding roads, and small villages. Our campus location enables AUC medical school students and their families to access diving, sailing and sports activities, movie theaters and golf courses, and countless local markets and duty-free shopping.

Want to learn more about the island? Read more here.

Clubs and Organizations

auc clubs and organizations

AUC offers more than a dozen clubs and organizations that your son or daughter can join, including the American Medical Student Association, honors societies, and a number of cultural clubs. View a comprehensive list of clubs and organizations.

Campus Safety 

The Safety & Security Department at AUC provides outreach and education on crimes affecting campus community members, and works proactively to reduce or prevent incidents on campus. Offered services include facility security, escort services, a security shuttle service from 7 am to 3 am, emergency safety information, and parking and vehicle registration.