It's easy to become accustomed to the tight-knit community of AUC during the first two years of medical school. The campus sits on a 33.59 square mile island, where friends, colleagues, teachers, and staff are always just a few steps away. However, once students leave St. Maarten for clinical rotations, they quickly find themselves spread all over the globe. Each rotation may be spent at a different hospital in a different city, state, or even country and it quickly becomes easy to feel lost in the vastness of the “real world.” I felt the most distance from AUC during a surgery rotation in a small suburb in the outskirts of Manchester, United Kingdom. Like many other students, I needed a way to keep grounded in my school community and to not feel so lost at sea. This is when I became a student representative in the first instance of the Clinical Student Government Association (CSGA) and realized the importance of this organization for students in their third and fourth years at AUC.
As a United Kingdom representative and now a New York representative, I serve as a liaison between students in my area and our school headquarters in Miami and St. Maarten. Students are encouraged to freely report concerns, compliments, and complaints about their rotations with representatives and often feel comfortable doing so, as we’re students too. In turn, representatives work with AUC as a team to implement sought after changes for improved clinical rotations. It is an environment run by peers for our peers, as it enables and encourages student-directed change. It’s a great way for students’ voices to be heard, for students to stay connected with AUC, and to hone members’ leadership skills in order to improve upcoming classes’ experiences.
Throughout my school years, I have always felt a need to be a part of the evolution and advancement of my institution and being a student representative in the CSGA has allowed me this opportunity. I serve in a leadership role that has taught me how to reconnect with my school in order to be a more involved piece in the puzzle of my community. As a future physician, I will continue to be a member of global organizations and I know this experience has better equipped me to join other physicians in order to work towards progress. I never want to be a bystander in society and during my time spent as a Clinical Student Government Association Representative at AUC, I have never felt like one.