Why Apply for January? Q&A with the Dean

Smaller class sizes, more flexibility and time to prepare for USMLE exams, and more time to schedule electives are just a few of the benefits.



As you may know, AUC enrolls three student cohorts per year. Ultimately, exactly when you choose to begin your medical school journey is completely up to you, but know that you may get some added strategic value out of enrolling right now for our January 2019 class.

“January is an ideal time to start medical school,” says Heidi Chumley, MD, MBA, Executive Dean at AUC. “It’s like having an eight- to nine-month head start over students who begin in the fall.”

Why wait? Get started on your application for AUC’s January 2019 class.

Is it time for you to begin your journey towards becoming a physician? To help you make an informed decision, we sat down with Dean Chumley for a quick Q&A to dive deeper into the benefits of a January start at AUC. Read the Q&A below.

Q: What are classes like for students who start in January?

Dean Chumley: Expect smaller classes than traditional fall starts—something I see as a great benefit for our students. Not only does this mean more individualized attention from professors, but a more intimate class fosters much closer relationships with your peers. That’s especially important for a school like AUC, where we emphasize collaboration and camaraderie among our learners—we think students with these qualities make the best doctors. In addition, with a smaller class, you’ll have more opportunities for leadership positions within the class.

Q: Will a January start affect study time for important exams, like the USMLE?

A: It will, but in a good way. Students who start in January and proceed through the program on schedule have more flexibility and time to study for the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE) Step 2 CK and CS exams. In a similar vein, students also will have more time to schedule clinical electives.

Q: What about residency? If I enroll at AUC for January 2019, will that delay my match?

A: January students, if they proceed through the program on time, will be eligible to enter the match at the same time as May 2019 or September 2019 students—this year, that will be 2023. The key benefit here of a January start is that you’ll finish academic study and clinical rotations much earlier than traditional September students, freeing you up to schedule and attend residency interviews without having to think about the next lecture or exam.

Q: Is there anything else I should consider about a January start at AUC?

Dean Chumley: In general, you can have more opportunities, flexibility, and options. For example, if you stay on time with your studies, you’ll be back home in September through December of your second year, enjoying time with family and friends during the holidays while you’re studying for the USMLE Step 1. And if you choose to graduate in December 2022 after completing the clinical sciences curriculum, you’ll have a nice break to work, reconnect with family, and prepare for your training before July, when most residency programs begin.

Q: Any parting words or thoughts?

Dean Chumley: If you’re not fond of chilly wintry months, you’ll love January in Sint Maarten.