Looking Back: AUC Graduate Thankful for Opportunity to Begin in May

Now an OB/GYN physician in Pennsylvania, Ingrid Paredes, MD '11 reflects on the benefits of beginning medical school at AUC during the May semester start.


Ingrid Paredes, MD (Class of 2011) knew from an early age that the practice of medicine was her true calling.

“I wanted to be in the medical field even before I came to the United States from Cuba, and so did (her then-fiance) Marlon,” she said. With his acceptance already secured, Dr. Paredes was determined that they begin medical school at the same time.

"The fact that AUC has a May semester was ideal for us," she said. "I was able to retake the MCAT, attain a competitive score and begin medical school with Marlon. Had it not been for the option to begin in May, our dreams would have been deferred for an entire year.”

While completing the medical sciences curriculum on the St. Maarten campus, she was an active member of the student body both inside and outside of the classroom. She served as a teaching assistant for the anatomy department and a biochemistry tutor.

“I remember being thankful that I began during a semester with a small class size," Paredes said. "It allowed me to have more interaction with faculty as well as establish meaningful connections with my classmates. We formed study groups and took full advantage of all of the resources available to us.”
 
Additionally, Dr. Paredes participated in HIV awareness efforts and tutored children at the I-CAN Foundation’s orphanage. For her high academic achievement and commitment to community service, she was inducted into Alpha Omega Phi, AUC’s Honor and Service Society.
 
Before beginning clinical rotations, Dr. Paredes took advantage of the time her May start afforded her to prepare for the United States Medical Examination (USMLE) Step 1. “I took two months to study for Step 1 and, without any question, having more time dedicated to preparation was valuable. It was definitely key to my success,” she said. Strong performance on the national board examinations is one of the most important factors contributing to success obtaining a residency match.
 
During her clinical rotations in the United Kingdom, Dr Paredes attended a variety of workshops and lectures on topics in obstetrics and gynecology. These included a Fetal Medicine foundation course taught by Dr. Kypros Nicolaides, a pioneer of antenatal surgery. She also worked on “Incidental Adnexal Mass at Caesarian Section ― the Value of Implementing a Comprehensive Consenting Process,” of which she was first author. The research was published in the British Journal of Medical Practitioners.
 
In 2011, Dr. Paredes graduated and successfully secured an OB/GYN residency at St. Luke's Hospital in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Today, she is practicing at OB/GYN Care Associates of St. Luke's in Pennsylvania.

Interested in starting at AUC this May? Complete your application here.