There are a vast number of reasons why students transfer from other Caribbean Medical Schools and choose AUIS as their final and permanent choice. Most students come to AUIS through other students’ recommendations. We find a student-to-student referral to be the highest form of a compliment to our school; it speaks to our commitment to the quality of education and the attentive service that we provide our students.
As the Director of Student Enrollment and Advisement, I have the fortunate opportunity to get to speak with students each day.
Much of what our students have to say provides consistent messaging: “The staff seems to care.” “You answer your phones.” “Faculty and staff are accessible.” “You make me feel like I matter.” “You give me the confidence to proceed with my studies and fulfill my goal of becoming a physician.”
One of our Clinical Medical students recently shared the following with me. “I chose AUIS because of the flexibility in choosing the time and place of rotations. All the staff, from Registrar to Clinical Department has been extremely supportive. To me, this is more important than any aspect of the program. As IMGs, we will face many hurdles, but to have our university be on our side and help every step of the way to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible is so important. I have found that in AUIS. The staff is kind and helpful and that goes an extremely long way. I also like that AUIS has been implementing changes that make the process of rotations and exam setup easier.”
In addition to the sense of being cared for by staff and faculty, there is a consensus as well on the size of our classes. They really appreciate the small class sizes which allows them to have contact with their professors and offers a more conducive environment for learning. Professors are often seen working with students after hours in the evenings and on Saturdays.
Students are also impressed that we test weekly, they like knowing how they are doing on a regular basis. At AUIS, we have learned that in doing this, students and professors can catch deficiencies early and can focus more to correct them. We are seeing a significant improvement in test scores by implementing this change. Frequent testing acclimates students to testing and reduces test anxiety. In addition, some students have taken advantage of our Assist Program, which is a more individualized provision of academic support.
The students that transfer in as fifth semester students often choose AUIS over other schools for our extensive and high-demand clinical rotations. Our Clinical Medicine Department has worked extensively on expanding our number and the breadth of Rotation Sites that now includes 60 different Clinical affiliations in 22 states. Students have commented on our ability to transition them seamlessly after completing Basic Sciences and passing their Step 1 Exam, immediately into their first clinical clerkship.
We continue to welcome transfer students as they contribute so significantly to the rich fabric of our student body, bringing varied foundational experiences, skills and perspectives to our program. The single question that I keep asking myself as I connect with these students is, “If our transfer students seem to be so happy after they transfer to AUIS, then why didn’t they choose AUIS from the beginning of their medical education?”