AUC Welcomes New Students during May White Coat Ceremony

More than one-hundred new students celebrated the official start to medical school during AUC’s White Coat Ceremony on Monday, May 6

More than one-hundred new students celebrated the official start to medical school during AUC’s White Coat Ceremony on Monday, May 6. The event closed out a week of orientation activities and marked the beginning of their careers as physicians-in-training.

For Baton Rouge, Louisiana native, Chelsea Taylor, the ceremony was a giant step toward realizing her dream of becoming a doctor. She hopes to one day open a clinic in a medical desert and help people with little to no access to healthcare.

“That moment when I received my white coat was immensely powerful and symbolic,” she said. “I now carry the weight of care of my future patients but I also know that I am about to receive all of the tools I need to be the best physician possible. Being recognized as a student doctor and physician-in-training gives me great pride and strength.”

Chelsea joins a class of diverse and talented new students who bring a variety of experiences and backgrounds to AUC. Her May 2019 classmates are citizens of Sint Maarten, China, India, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States—of which 25 different states are represented. They are first-generation college graduates, immigrants, humanitarians, athletes, computer programmers, and farmers. And they share—regardless of their upbringing—the same desire to leave a mark on the world through medicine.

As the White Coat ceremony unfolded, students were reminded of the equally diverse and unique environment where they will be spending their next two years of medical school: Sint Maarten.

“Sint Maarten is a truly dynamic and vibrant island,” said Dr. Colin Michie, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. “I urge you to make the most of your time here. Become pioneers: change, grow, make new contacts and networks, and to never stop in the pursuit to learn and serve your patients.”   

For AUC alumnus and keynote speaker Dr. Robert Flannery (Class of 2006), Sint Maarten has had a profound impact on his approach to patient care. Fifteen years after first arriving to AUC, he still recalls how the “friendly island” taught him how to treat people.

“The people on this island are polite but they also expect respect. I hear from my patients all the time that I have a good bedside manner and that all started on this island. If you let it, Sint Maarten will help you become a more well-rounded person.”

Dr. Flannery left new students with one final piece of advice: There is no better place in the world than this island after you finish your exams. But first, finish your exams.


>> View photos from the May 2019 White Coat Ceremony