6 Questions with 2019 AUC Graduate, Dr. Arash Rahimi
While packing his bags to face the unknown wasn’t entirely new for 2019 AUC graduate Dr. Arash Rahimi, pursuing his medical degree on the island Sint Maarten certainly was. Born in Las Vegas and growing up across California (Fresno, Clovis, Folsom and Rancho Cordova), Arash is a big believer in working hard to chase your dreams no matter where the journey may lead. We sat down with him for some advice on what aspiring undergrads should look for in a medical school, how AUC fit the bill for him, and where he sees himself in the future.
What’s some advice you have for students pursuing their medical degree?
Start strong and don’t stop. It’s definitely an uphill marathon that doesn’t end but it’s rewarding all along the way. Medical school is very difficult — and to excel and succeed will consume your entire life. I learned to become extra efficient when working in order to maintain time for family and friends.
Any words of wisdom for those considering your chosen field of surgery?
General surgery is one of the most taxing residencies, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the highest board scores. Program directors are looking for individuals that are hard-working, moldable, persistent, have a strong foundation of knowledge, are humble, and can maintain a great attitude despite the stressors.
Did you have a favorite AUC course or a professor whose class you really enjoyed?
My favorite course was Pathology with Dr. Cecil Cone. I thought about pursuing pathology my entire medical school career and even obtained a competitive clerkship at Mt. Sinai in New York City during my fourth year. I was proud to leave a positive image of AUC for future students.
Did you always know that you wanted to be involved in medicine?
I always loved physics and found it fascinating. I studied civil engineering for two years before making the switch to medicine. I always knew I wanted to devote myself to changing lives and figured that medicine was the best way to do that. I also love physiology/science in general and knew I would enjoy the work.
What is campus life like at AUC? What stands out about your AUC classmates?
Sint Maarten is unbelievably beautiful and surprisingly modern. There are endless things to do with your free time: perfect beaches, sunset boat rides, swimming in crystal clear water, fishing, and plenty of beautiful sites to hike to. The island is a true French and Dutch experience with some incredible food. And, just like home, there are movie theaters, grocery stores, ACE hardware, ATMs—almost anything you need.
As for AUC students, they’re some of the coolest people I’ve ever met and several remain, to this day, some of my best friends. We all have such unique and interesting stories. Hanging out with them after an exam that we all spent weeks and weeks studying together for was so rewarding. Those were my favorite weekends: just enjoying the beach with my colleagues.
You’re currently in residency, how’s life now?
Life as a surgical resident, especially as an intern, consists mainly of two things: work and sleep! But all jokes aside, residency will be the toughest experience any medical graduate will face with many, many new responsibilities. But with new responsibility comes new friends, new adventures, and there really is still time to go out if you try — just don’t tell my program director.
Dr. Arash Rahimi is currently a general surgery resident at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut.