The American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) is a private medical school located in Saint Maarten. Unlike some medical schools, AUC has a rolling admissions policy with three start dates. The flexibility of the admissions process and medical curriculum allows students from the US and worldwide to start their path towards becoming a doctor. AUC enjoys accreditation by the Accreditation Commission on Colleges in Medicine (ACCM) and offers a UK-Track medical degree for non-US students wishing to study in the United Kingdom.
Despite the relatively straightforward admissions process, students at AUC must demonstrate academic proficiency and ethical/professional behavior befitting their future profession. A lapse in judgment, mistake, or poor academic performance may delay graduation – or prevent it from happening at all. Without the help of an advisor with experience dealing with Caribbean medical school administrations, students may have to forgo their dream of becoming a doctor.
Common Issues Students Face
Caribbean medical schools cater to students from the mainland United States who may have trouble finding placement in a US-based school. With less competition, flexibility in start dates, and fewer admissions requirements, these schools allow students to start immediately and gain hands-on experience without jumping through hoops.
However, it is for these same reasons that Caribbean medical schools do not enjoy a good reputation. After graduating, students may not match with the residency programs of their choice. Moreover, some healthcare institutions and hospitals may forgo choosing students with degrees from Caribbean medical schools altogether, forcing students to apply abroad.
Another issue with Caribbean medical schools is the exorbitant cost. Although some may assume that since these medical schools are less competitive, they are not expensive. However, that is not the case because the vast majority of private institutions want to attract students with limited chances at home. The result is a staggering amount of debt and fewer chances of starting a robust career after graduation.
These realities are largely beyond your control, though. If you face any sort of medical school issue, your defense should be your priority. With the help of an experienced attorney-advisor, you may resolve your issue and preserve your plans for a future in medicine.
Honor Code and Professional Policy at AUC
The Honor Code and Professional Conduct Policy outlined in the AUC Student Handbook set the professional and academic standards that students must follow. Students who violate the Honor Code and do not meet the minimum academic standards must answer to the Student Judiciary Committee (SJC). The SJC receives complaints and evaluates whether the matter calls for an escalation. AUC's Complaint Coordinator may also choose to escalate the issue and initiate an Administrative Review.
Those who commit multiple professional violations are subject to sanctions, ranging from a written reprimand to expulsion and degree revocation. Fortunately, students may appeal a committee's decision if they disagree with the recommended sanctions or believe the decision was unfair. The Student Conduct Complaint and Appeal Policy mentions that students may have an advisor or attorney present in a scheduled hearing.
Academic Issues and Remediation
In addition to proper conduct, students must also demonstrate mastery of their coursework. Since doctors are in a position of public trust, medical schools cannot risk having students graduate without fulfilling the minimum educational standards. Students facing academic issues still have options to improve their performance through remediation and test re-taking. At AUC, students must meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). If students fail to maintain these standards, they trigger an academic warning status and are subject to dismissal.
Students must follow an academic plan outlined by the administration to get their grades back on track and re-take exams to maintain a satisfactory score or risk expulsion. However, if they believe that their grades and performance warrant a review, they can ask for an appeal of the SAP's decision.
Expulsion from AUC
Whether it is a Caribbean medical school or on the mainland, expulsion has severely damaging repercussions with life-altering consequences. Whether the dismissal is because of professionalism concerns or academic issues, the result is an expulsion charge on the student's transcript. Some of the problems that students face upon dismissal from medical school include:
- The inability to find another medical program
- Reputation damage that transcends education and may affect future career choices
- If the student does manage to find another medical school, they must start the program over
- Loss of time and effort that significantly depletes morale
- The burden of tens of thousands of dollars in debt
- Unexpected financial expenses
- Loss of housing and privileges
- Having to travel back to the mainland US
Students in good standing find it challenging to land residencies, so it is doubly difficult for an expelled one to get future opportunities related to the medical field. Fortunately, every decision to remove a student comes with a panel and a chance for a student to appeal. With the help of an attorney-advisor, the process is less stressful. It can prevent a student's life from changing forever, especially when there is a lack of evidence or overly harsh sanctions.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
Students studying at Caribbean medical schools make significant decisions that have an impact on their future and livelihood. Although no student enters medical school with an intent to leave without a degree, mistakes and missteps happen. An experienced attorney-advisor understands what is at stake and will work with students and their administrations for the best possible case outcome. If students do not “nip” the issue in the bud and consult with a skilled advisor, they risk losing all their years of progress and damage their reputation.
Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento understands what students and their families face when dealing with expulsion charges for academic or professional issues. With years of experience helping medical students with complex cases seek justice, Attorney Lento works tirelessly for the best possible outcome. Whether it's identifying a procedural error, bias, unnecessarily harsh punishment, and lack of evidence, Attorney Lento leaves no stone unturned when seeking justice.
Don't let a lapse in judgment, academic issues, or mistakes end your dream of becoming a doctor at AUC. Call the Lento Law firm today at 888-535-3686 for more information.