Looking back: AUC Graduate Thankful for Opportunity to Begin in May

Dr. Paredes discusses its advantages.

Gaining admission to the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) and embarking on the journey to become a physician alongside her then fiancé were goals that Ingrid Paredes, MD, (’11) focused on as pre-med student. 
Dr. Paredes knew from an early age that she wished to be a doctor. “I wanted to be in the medical field even before I came to the United States from Cuba, and so did Marlon,” she said. With his acceptance already secured, Dr. Paredes was determined for them to begin medical school at the same time. “The fact that AUC has a May semester was ideal for us. I was able to retake the MCAT, attain a competitive score and begin medical school with Marlon. Had it not been for the option to begin in May, our dreams would have been deferred for an entire year,” said Dr. Paredes.


While completing the medical sciences curriculum on the St. Maarten campus, she was an active member of the student body both inside and outside of the classroom. She served as a teaching assistant for the anatomy department and a tutor of the biochemistry course. Looking back on her time on campus, Dr. Paredes said, “I remember being thankful that I began during a semester with a small class size. It allowed me to have more interaction with faculty as well as establish meaningful connections with my classmates. We formed study groups and took full advantage of all of the resources available to us.”
Additionally, Dr. Paredes participated in HIV awareness efforts and tutored children at the I-CAN Foundation’s orphanage. For her high academic achievement and commitment to community service, she was inducted into Alpha Omega Phi, AUC’s Honor and Service Society.
Before beginning clinical rotations, Dr. Paredes took advantage of the time her May start afforded her to prepare for the United States Medical Examination (USMLE) Step 1. The USMLE Step 1 exam is designed to assess medical students’ knowledge of the basic science foundation of clinical practice. “I took two months to study for Step 1 and without any question, having more time dedicated to preparation was valuable. It was definitely key to my success,” stated Dr. Paredes. Strong performance on the national board examinations is one of the most important factors contributing to success obtaining a residency match.
During her clinical rotations in the United Kingdom, Dr Paredes attended a variety of workshops and lectures on topics in obstetrics and gynecology. These included a Fetal Medicine foundation course taught by Dr. Kypros Nicolaides, a pioneer of antenatal surgery. She also worked on “Incidental Adnexal Mass at Caesarian Section ― the Value of Implementing a Comprehensive Consenting Process,” on which she was first author. The research was published in the British Journal of Medical Practitioners.
In 2012, Dr. Paredes graduated with members of the September ’08 class and successfully secured a residency at St. Luke Hospital in Lehigh Country, Pennsylvania. Today, Dr Paredes is a second year resident at St. Luke specializing in obstetrics & gynecology.