Reflections from Dr. Kirkland

Associate Dean for Clinical Student Affairs


It has been a busy four months since our first Clinical Connections newsletter went out in February, and a lot of exciting things have happened. The National Resident Matching Program® was held on March 19, 2016 and AUC graduates successfully obtained residencies at over 150 sites in 36 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Congratulations to all of our graduates who are now entering residencies. A full report detailing the 2016 MATCH™ will soon be released and posted on our website.

In April, Dr. Julie Taylor, AUC’s Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Sciences, several AUC clinical students, and I attended the Academy of Women’s Health 24th Annual Congress in Washington, DC. This was an informative meeting with presentations ranging across diverse topics in women’s health, including transgender healthcare and management of dementia. This was also an ideal opportunity for students to network with national and international leaders in women’s health, including leaders from the National Institutes of Health. I am hopeful that AUC’s presence at this annual event will continue in 2017 with even more clinical students and faculty attending.

AUC’s 2016 commencement ceremony was held in Sint Maarten in May. The keynote speaker, Dr. Paul Nanda, is an AUC graduate who specializes in family medicine. In his speech, Dr. Nanda reflected upon his experiences as a medical resident completing an international rotation in Zimbabwe and how this rotation provided him with invaluable training in primary medical care, ultimately leading to his successful career.

Soon after commencement, AUC held our annual Clinical Symposium and on-campus Hospital Fair. Clinical faculty and staff from our sites around the US, UK, and Canada came to Sint Maarten to take part in continuing education opportunities and to talk to first- and second-year students about clinical sites. Dr. Patricia Wetherill, from the Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN), attended and spoke to students about clinical training opportunities at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, CT, in addition to Global Health Clinical Electives available through the WCHN. This program affords AUC students the chance to complete an elective clinical rotation in one of five countries: Vietnam, Russia, Dominican Republic, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Learn more about global health electives on our website and read about an AUC’s graduate’s recent experience in Vietnam  later in this issue. 

Given the overarching global theme of the last several months, I thought it would be fitting to highlight global health in this issue of Clinical Connections. Our Faculty Connection this month is Dr. Helen Coutts who specializes in pediatrics and is based at Blackburn Hospital in the UK. We have also included an article from the journal Academic Medicine which discusses the importance of global health experiences in the training of physicians. 

I hope that you will use this newsletter as a jumping-off point in your own journey of discovery about where global health rotations might lead you. These experiences will not only add depth to your residency application, but will also provide unparalleled opportunities for you to gain personal and professional development while improving your diagnostic, physical exam, and primary care aptitudes. 

As always, I welcome your feedback and suggestions for future newsletter topics. 
My very best to all of you!


Kimberly Kirkland, PsyD
Associate Dean for Clinical Student Affairs
Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Clinical Sciences