May 18, 2014
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) held its commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 17 in Sint Maarten. Family, friends and the AUC community gathered to recognize 172 graduating students who earned a doctorate of medicine degree.
Distinguished guests included His Excellency Governor Eugene B. Holiday, Governor of Sint Maarten. The commencement processional was once again led by the Generations New Status Drum Corps Band, directed by Mr. Urmain Dormoy.
Heidi Chumley, M.D., Executive Dean and Chief Academic Officer of AUC, offered words of congratulations to the graduates and lauded their efforts. “You have walked an extraordinary road to fulfill your dream of becoming a physician. Your experience at AUC, the journey you have made, has helped you broaden your perspective, giving you an advantage going forward.”
A major theme throughout the program was the university’s close connection with the Sint Maarten community, which was also echoed by the keynote speaker Faith Dillard, M.D., who graduated from AUC in 1999. Dr. Dillard, a founding member of AUC’s Alumni Association, is an emergency medicine physician practicing in Western Wyoming. Dr. Dillard completed her emergency medicine residency at George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. She has served as a medical officer for the National Disaster Medical System and New Jersey-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team.
The student speakers were Brett Hiroto, M.D. and Jeffrey Silpe, M.D., who both emphasized the diverse life experiences afforded to them while completing the Medical Sciences curriculum in Sint Maarten.
Students in this year’s graduating class have landed residency positions in prestigious teaching hospitals all across the United States. More than two-thirds will continue their training in primary care specialties, helping to address the country’s significant unmet need in family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics.