It’s my fourth semester and clinical rotations loom on the horizon. I can’t wait to interact with patients and apply everything I learned in the classroom, but I still have a difficult decision to make:  where should I go to complete my last two years of medical school?

We all know that as clinical students, we may have to travel to various sites to complete rotations and I’ve heard that sometimes you have to wait a while before the next one begins. As eager as I am to begin clinical rotations, I’m really not looking forward to moving from site to site and the idle time between rotations makes me anxious.  I need to maximize my time; I don’t want to sit around and wait.

I know that AUA has worked hard to set up clinical campuses in Atlanta so we don’t need to move around as much, but now there’s a program through FIU that will allow me to complete my rotations back to back.

Obviously, the location is awesome and has all the comforts of home, so moving to Miami is a no brainer.  Being able to stay in one city will provide some consistency to this stage of my medical education and I won’t have to worry about living out of a suitcase.

When I complete the program, I’ll receive a FIU transcript and a FIU Certificate of Completion. Residency positions are highly competitive, even more so for Caribbean medical school graduates, so having a transcript from a U.S. medical school will distinguish my resume and hopefully strengthen my residency applications.  Medical school is expensive and I have invested a lot of time and money getting to this point, so it’s nice to know I’ll get something really worth it out of this program.

Also, by staying in one place, I can spend time making a name for myself in one hospital and build a whole new network of friends and professional contacts.  The buzz is elective rotations will be available at FIU in the near future but I’ll probably participate in these electives elsewhere. It’ll give me a better perspective on how medicine is like at different teaching hospitals, and again, broaden my network.

This program really changes the clinical sciences landscape for AUA by offering the opportunities provided to U.S. medical students. I know that if accepted into this unique clinical program, I’ll be more than prepared for its challenging curriculum and even better prepared for work after medical school.

by Jonathan Schirripa, Class of 2015