Socially adventurous. Incredibly passionate. And, in her words, quite funny. That’s how American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) graduate Brittany Mott, M.D., would describe herself before today.

Now, though, she can proudly refer to herself as something else: a first-year psychiatry resident at the University of Rochester Medical Center's Strong Memorial Hospital. In 2015, Dr. Mott was one of hundreds of AUC graduates to earn a residency appointment through the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP).

Starting Her Journey to Medical School

“As a high school student, I dreamt of many career paths – from becoming an astronaut to an archeologist. However, I realized I’m prone to motion sickness, and didn’t fancy the idea of constantly having dust in my contacts,” laughs Dr. Mott. “Then, I was exposed to medicine. I found it to be the perfect blend of applied science and interpersonal communication. A new dream emerged. I was hooked.”

When it came to actually selecting a school, though, she already knew what was important to her: small class sizes, a supportive learning environment, and strong student outcomes on the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE).

She saw those things in AUC, and joined the school in September 2011.

Campus and Community Involvement Leads to Personal Growth

At the center of AUC’s mission is to create a learning environment that fosters a lifelong commitment to public health and community service—an ethos that translates into students who are just as eager to learn medicine through a community event as they are in the classroom.

Dr. Mott was no exception. Shortly after beginning her medical school journey, she was selected by her fellow physicians-in-training as the Fall 2012 Student of the Semester—an award recognizing the remarkable respect she had for her peers and faculty, the high level of professional integrity she held, and her demonstrated commitment to leading community-focused events.

She’s particularly proud of her work with BGLAM: Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians, and Allies in Medicine and the Student Volunteer Committee. “During the three semesters when I served as president of BGLAM, we raised funds for the St. Maarten Battered Women’s Shelter and the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation,” says Dr. Mott. “I believe that BGLAM made AUC a more accepting place for LGBTQ individuals, helped educate my peers on the health issues they face, and helped to dispel negative stereotypes.”

“The personal growth I achieved from being a member of the BGLAM team was astronomical,” says Dr. Mott. “Not that many medical schools have such groups, and I believe this makes AUC progressive, unique, and admirable.”

Dr. Mott was also led the fundraising efforts for the Student Volunteer Committee. The committee’s primary goal is to provide complimentary healthy breakfast options to students at several St. Maarten schools. To fund this endeavor, members held on-campus events throughout the semester.

“My most memorable fundraising initiative was our famous ‘Pie Your Professor’ events. We always had a great student turnout and many faculty members were gracious enough to participate,” says Dr. Mott. “It was wonderful to see that sense of community and pride between faculty and students.”

“AUC’s focus on community involvement, and my participation in it, solidified my passion for the human connection, which is what I believe to be the heart of medicine,” she adds.

Clinical Rotations in the United Kingdom Expands Knowledge of Healthcare Systems

When Dr. Mott began rotations at Romford Hospital in the United Kingdon, she could still hear the guiding voices of her favorite faculty members, Kathleen Shupe, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology, and Susan DeMesquita, professor of neuroscience and physiology.

“AUC truly offers a strong basic sciences foundation for us to build on during our clinical years. I felt fully prepared for the clinical phase of my medical education,” Dr. Mott says.

“The UK offered a phenomenal experience. I learned extensive procedural knowledge and most of my days were spent one-on-one with an attending. This was very different from my experience rotating at US hospitals,” she says. “For me, the greatest advantage of rotating in England was practicing medicine in a healthcare system different than the United States. It made me a better physician, and allowed me to see the big picture of healthcare.”

Support Proves Key to Residency Success   

It was an emotional moment when Dr. Mott received the news that she successfully matched.

“I’m a firm believer that hard work can make even the most difficult challenge attainable, so I gave it my all during medical school, but without the support of my AUC family, my success would not be possible, “she says.

“At AUC, you don’t just learn medicine,” says Dr. Mott. “You experience it.” 

Tiara Brewster

Posted March 20, 2015 01:30 PM

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