We had an episode talking about our medical school experience and we just wanted to share a quick little summary about the episode in case you're further interested in our journey or would like some information to help with your own!
Basically, Adelynn and I both graduated from the American University of Antigua College of Medicine (AUACOM) but we will just call it what we know it as, AUA. We graduated a year apart from one another but nevertheless, we had some amazing and... not so amazing times together haha! This medical school is accredited in the states and now that at least one of us (being me) is already in residency we thought we would share our thoughts on taking the Caribbean medical school route... this way you can see if this is something you would like to do!
I decided to go ahead first to AUA because I always knew I wanted to be a physician as far as I can remember. Psychology was my major throughout high school and then further into college so what I did was take all the pre-requisite classes for medicine which included biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and I believe that's it. My best friend at the time who is now my boyfriend actually went in the middle of college but I decided to get my bachelor's degree before going. This should makes sense now that it was easier for me to make that jump to a school in a different country... better yet on an island because I already had someone there.
It also made it easier knowing that many people from our culture kind of took a similar route and seemed to be doing okay. Little did I know how hard it would be to actually get back into the states for residency but I always had my eye on the prize! Anyways, back to the point, so I went there had no idea what to expect and really it was an eye opener regarding how much studying you really need to do. Let's just say up until that moment, no matter what I said about studying I didn't know what studying was.
Fast forward one year... Adelynn was trying to figure out her life. She started in pharmacy school then transitioned to psychology as well and realized that she wanted more. She also set out to the Caribbean and despite all my warnings she had to find out for herself what life really was like. Even when it came down to packing, we warned her to only bring a few bags but no Adelynn showed up with 6 bags. HAHA.
So a few key points to understand: your life is studying in medical school but you also can have a lot of fun once you get the hang of things and learn to time manage. There will be days it will feel like paradise but there will definitely be days (aka hurricane season) where you really learn how to fend for yourself in a so-called "third world country". You drive on the other side of the road, so that was fun (listen to the episode to hear my little story about it). You also learn how to study and the importance of QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS. There will be days you're crying and days you can't stop laughing. There will be times you will fight or leave people during a hurricane because you know you're just feeling some type of way... LOL (another reason you need to listen to the episode).
But as you know, some people have the frat or sorority house experience well this was ours and to be honest we wouldn't have changed that for the world. Don't forget that everyone and we mean EVERYONE is stressed the .... out and that's normal because these are the future doctors who take care of real people!
We will say looking back now, we are so blessed to have had this opportunity that many people never had and we also grew up a lot going there so we are forever grateful!
Getting back on track... fast forward a little more and we are all back in the United States undergoing clinical rotations. Mine were split between Miami as well as, New York and Adelynn went straight to New York. At that point, we knew how to study, learned to not rely on many sources, question banks particularly U-world become your best friend. That question bank is the key to both Step 1 and Step 2 (our board exams for those who don't know what that is). When we look back on the past we wished we focused more on U world on its own for Step 1 which is exactly what we did for Step 2 CK and man was that a game changer!
Clinical rotations are a time to learn your skills, see what you like and really know what you want to do however, this is not the case for everyone because unfortunately coming from the Caribbean you don't necessarily get the best programs to rotate through. But you make do with what you have and also appreciate the fact that some places let you out early so you can study as well as, enjoy other extracurriculars. No judgment here, we get it because we also like to have a good time. Like they say, work hard play hard!
The takeaway is that no one can tell you anything to prepare you for this! You learn as you go and that's just... well life. Things will always change including the curriculum so you have to adapt to your environment. It does get easier as you go on, because you just learn the hang of things. What we do want to leave you with is that if you want to make your dreams come true, you can. As two ambitious women we also love our downtime but we take our careers very seriously because our immigrant families came to the United States to give us these opportunities and it would be a shame if we didn't grab them as they came!
And like we say in this episode, "you never know, if you never go". We need to copyright this statement by the way, but whatever. Thank you to Antigua as well as, to all the amazing humans we met on the island and of course thank you to AUA for the experience... who would've thought! We will definitely have to go back soon... but we also recommend it for a nice vacation!
That's all for this week, don't forget to leave us feedback, rate, review, subscribe and send in your questions so we can continue to improve as well as, provide you high quality content!
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