On January 9th it was my pleasure as the executive dean of AUC to join the Prime Minister of St. Maarten, many of AUC’s community partners, and faculty and students of AUC to formally open our new medical education building. The building grand opening and dedication was part of a wonderful week of beginnings. A new group of medical students had arrived to take their first steps on the journey to become physicians. They were recognized at a White Coat ceremony at the end of the week.
The opening of the new medical education building marks the completion of Phase 1 of AUC’s campus expansion project. Upon acquiring AUC in 2011, the DeVry Education Group committed to significant investments to support our mission. The groundbreaking for the new building was held in May of 2012, and now just 19 months later, the building is complete. The new medical education building houses:
· an anatomy lab
· clinical skills training lab
· simulation center
· 400-seat auditorium
· faculty offices and
· additional study and learning spaces for students.
The updated technologies and physical space improvements brought by this new facility complement AUC’s strong learning culture.
On the day we dedicated the new building, I couldn’t help thinking about the beginning of my own medical school journey. Medical school is such a defining time in a physician’s life. I thought back to the lecture hall from my first year in medical school. I remember it exactly – not only what it looked like, but where I sat: right there on the third row, front and center. Years later, our students will hold memories of their time in St. Maarten, the long hours they spent studying, and of course, they will think of this building. It will be that place where they began learning medicine.
The word opportunity is very important to our institution. It’s central to our mission and it is core to who we are. Our students come from around the world for the opportunity to pursue their dream. This medical education building – with the architecture that supports it and the love of learning that will sustain it – is symbolic of that opportunity provides.
I also see this fantastic investment in educational quality as part of the opportunity we have at AUC to realize our vision to become the recognized international medical school. AUC has a strong medical educational program, and is primed to gain global recognition in specific areas like student engagement and social responsibility. This building will be the place where much of that future unfolds. The new facility will also provide a home and support for medical education research, undertaken by our dedicated faculty members in partnership with professionals from other prestigious universities. We want to support educational research that begins to change the way the world thinks about medical education, and begins to change the way the US medical schools view international medical schools.
Dr. Heidi Chumley
Posted January 17, 2014 08:30 AM