Kate Essad, a resident in neurology at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, knew that AUC was the right school for her the first time she saw it.

“I had gotten into several medical schools but when I went down to St. Maarten for a campus visit, I felt like I belonged there,” says the 2012 AUC alumna. The school, she says, appealed to her adventurous spirit and her penchant for taking the road less traveled. “I thought that being nontraditional was a challenge that would make me better and more proud of my accomplishments,” she says.

AUC Prepared Her to Handle "Absolutely Anything"

Her first impressions turned out to be on target. 

“After attending AUC, I felt like I was intimately prepared to handle absolutely anything,” she says. “Being farther from home was a challenge, being in a new country was a challenge – all those things helped me develop the ability to adapt more easily to any environment. Thanks to what I learned both inside and outside the classroom, I can interact with people no matter their background, and can find a way to relate to them.”

A Collaborative Approach to Medical School

Essad says that she especially appreciates the relationships she formed with AUC faculty and her peers. “Whether you’re the smartest person in the class or you’re struggling on an exam, everyone is there to support you," he says. "There’s a sense of everyone fighting together to succeed. I don’t think that is necessarily how people picture medical school.”

Even after graduation, she says, fellow AUC graduates look out for one another and offer each other places to stay when on the interview trail or during rotations. “It’s a network, a web, of AUC.”

Essad’s clinical rotation at Providence/St. John’s in her home state of Michigan allowed her to save money by staying with her family. She felt that it also prepared her well for her residency at Dartmouth Hitchcock.  “I feel very well respected by all of my colleagues, my attending, and the administration. I think my confidence in my medical knowledge and competence in my choices are all things I learned at AUC.”

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Posted February 12, 2015 03:27 PM

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