ELHT and UCLan to support American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Date: 03 October 2017

auc hurricane irma

Students, academics and support staff from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) are in Lancashire this week as plans are finalised to potentially allow them to continue their programme of study after a hurricane damaged the School’s home country. 

Hurricane Irma had a devastating impact on Sint Maarten, the Dutch-French island where AUC’s students complete their first two years of pre-clinical medical school. Determined to allow students to proceed with their studies, AUC is working with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) on plans to host the school for its autumn semester, pending necessary regulatory approvals.

The plan is for AUC to utilise the University’s academic facilities for teaching, and for students and staff to be accommodated in numerous halls of residence and houses within Preston city centre. The visiting students would complete their regular curriculum on a modified schedule, ensuring the existing UCLan student timetables are unaffected. The students would also have access to a range of UCLan facilities including the library and the Student Services team, and be associate members of the Students’ Union. Clinical skills training would take place at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital and, potentially, Burnley General Teaching Hospital.

UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Thomas said: “What’s happened to their island and the whole of the Caribbean is utterly devastating. We pride ourselves on being a University that is always willing to help our community, be it local, regional, national or international. This situation is our chance to offer help to people whose lives have been turned upside down through a natural disaster.”

East Lancashire Hospitals has been welcoming and training medical students from the AUC for more than 10 years. The close working relationship between UCLan and ELHT, which sees UCLan medical students undertake placements in the Trust and throughout East Lancashire, was the nucleus that attracted AUC to ask the University for help.

Kevin McGee, Chief Executive at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We already have a close working relationship with AUC and UCLan, and we’re delighted to be able to build on this to offer support and ensure that the AUC student cohort can complete their studies with the minimum of disruption.”

Rico Barronon, President of the AUC Student Governors’ Association, said: “We are all incredibly grateful to UCLan for welcoming us to Preston. The intention to move an entire medical school across the Atlantic in a matter of weeks is incredible and shows the resilience of AUC students who have been through a very traumatic time.  We are looking at our time at UCLan as a new adventure and I am sure we will be well taken care of.”

  • Summary:

    Students, academics and support staff from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) are in Lancashire this week as plans are finalised to potentially allow them to continue their programme of study after a hurricane damaged the School’s home country. 

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