Students, staff and scholars from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) are over in Preston this week as plans looked to be finalised that would possibly allow students to continue their study program after Hurricane Irma damaged their home country.
Hurricane Irma ripped through the Caribbean and had a catastrophic impact on Sint Maarten, the Dutch-French Island where AUC students spend their first two years of preclinical medical school. Intent on allowing students to continue their studies, AUC are working hard with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) to allow the school to host its Autumn semester, awaiting the regular necessary approvals.
The plan is to allow AUC to use all the available academic services the University has to offer, such as the library, computer networks, pastoral care and be associate members of the Student’s Union. The students and staff will be housed in several halls of residence and houses within the City Centre. Their clinical skills training will be taking place at associated NHS trust in East Lancashire. All of which will take place without disruption to the current UCLan students.
The AUC has a pre-existing relationship with the ELHT and the excellent working relationship between UCLan and the ELHT in which UCLan medical students go to placements throughout the trust and East Lancashire was what drew the AUC to ask the University for help.
Nate Minigh, Fourth Semester Class Representative for the AUC Student Governors’ Association, commented: “As much as we prepared for the hurricane we hadn’t seen anything on this scale before and as soon as we saw the destruction we knew straight away that we wouldn’t be able to go back to campus. Everyone pulled together and the clinicians we had on site did an amazing job of setting up a triage centre to help as many people as possible. We’ve all been through alot and we are looking forward to settling into life at UCLan and continuing our studies.”