Kyle Bowers, M.D., recent graduate of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC), answers a few questions about his experience as a medical school student, the impact of community service, and his long-term career goals. Dr. Bowers entered the 2015 National Resident Matching Program, successfully securing a preliminary surgery residency position in his home town of Tampa at the University of South Florida.
AUC: Congratulations on your successful residency match. Let’s go back to the beginning of your medical school journey. How did it begin, and what led you to attend AUC?
KB: As with many of my fellow physicians, I knew at a very early age that I wanted to become a doctor. However, my journey really began to take shape during my junior year at the University of Tampa. While completing my undergraduate degree in chemistry, I started applying to medical schools in the US and internationally.
With interviews finished and acceptance letters in hand, it was time for me to decide which medical school was the best fit for me. After researching extensively, I made the decision to enroll at AUC.
I was attracted to the university’s smaller class sizes and its conduciveness to a more engaging learning environment. The sense of community also resonated with me. I wanted to be part of a campus where the faculty cared about the students’ wellbeing as much as they did about their education. Where the students got along socially, but more importantly, collaborated academically. These were the key factors I considered as I made my decision and AUC excelled at each.
AUC: What aspects of your experience at AUC stand out to you, particularly as it relates to preparing you for your future?
KB: My overall experience at AUC was probably one of the greatest adventures I have ever embarked on. I learned so much about medicine and about myself, and each day of medical school helped to shape me into the man and the physician I’ve aspired to be.
While completing my medical sciences studies in St. Maarten, I was involved in numerous student organizations and community outreach activities. I served as treasurer on the Student Government Association’s executive board, contributed to the mission of AUC’s student-run Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians and Allies in Medicine organization, and volunteered to educated the local community on safe sexual practices and general healthy living habits.
These experiences enhanced my strong academic base and clinical skills development. They have made me a community-minded, compassionate and knowledgeable physician ready to begin my residency training.
AUC: What have you taken away from AUC that you wish all medical school students could learn?
KB: Sometimes, as medical students we become so wrapped up in our studies that we forget why we chose to study medicine in the first place. At AUC, the encouragement we had to become involved in service-learning events, and to be team players and leaders, keeps us centered. It prepares AUC graduates to contribute to the medical sciences community in ways that are meaningful – especially to patients. This mindset allows us to take on professional responsibilities from the first day of residency, and to be future leaders in our communities.
AUC: Now that you’ve secured your residency, what are your thoughts on your long-term career goals?
KB: I’ll be working to attain a fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery, and one day go into private practice. This is the areas of medicine I’ve had my heart set on since seeing the transformative effect it had on my uncle. He was in traumatic motorcycle accident which required him to go through a series of reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. The surgeons had a huge impact on his life, and they inspired me. From that experience, I knew I wanted to do that for someone else. I want to change the course of someone's life through the art of surgery.
Posted March 20, 2015 01:30 PM