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Manipal's American University of Antigua transforming global medical education

By Shilpi Chohan | PUBLISHED: 12, Mar 2019, 15:21 pm IST | UPDATED: 13, Mar 2019, 22:21 pm IST

Manipal's American University of Antigua transforming global medical education

Despite India being one of the countries boasting the highest number of medical colleges in the world, there is a great disparity in the number of practicing physicians versus qualified ones. The doctor-to-patient ratio in India is well below World Health Organization (WHO) standards, and studies show that we are going to face a tremendous shortage of doctors soon. To top all of this, acquiring a medical education in India causes inexplicable stress due to various reasons. The health management scenario is certainly far from looking bright.

With a vision to provide a learner-centric education of the highest quality, granting opportunities to underrepresented minorities, fostering a diverse academic community, and ensuring that its graduates develop the skills and attitudes of lifelong learning, compassion, and professionalism, Manipal’s American University of Antigua (AUA), College of Medicine has carved its niche as an innovative medical school dedicated to addressing the projected shortage of physicians.

Mrinalini, the mother of a teenage daughter, recalled her own experience in the 90s when she prepared for the medical entrance exam and anxiously awaited her results. Toiling through the preparation for a medical entrance exam and awaiting the results anxiously was not something to look forward to.

Her daughter Nandini, a brilliant student of Grade XI, made up her mind to study medicine. She started mentally preparing herself to go through the challenges of securing a medical seat. But, Mrinalini was determined to not let her child go through the same trauma, helplessness and chaos, although she didn’t know how. Therefore, she started her quest about the current scenario in medical education.

One day while browsing through the net about her favourite cricket legend Sir Vivian Richards, a press release regarding his newest role as the Brand Ambassador of Manipal AUA caught her attention. Being an ardent fan, she became curious to find out more. She geared up for Manipal AUA’s Made for Medicine India tour scheduled in her city.

Mrinalini along with her daughter Nandini, met the warm and welcoming team from Manipal AUA accompanied by their striking Brand Ambassador Sir Vivian Richards, a native of Antigua & Barbuda (one of the Caribbean nations). She was thrilled to discover that Manipal AUA was the answer to all her doubts, fears and uncertainties. She decided to share her findings with other parents in the same boat.

Made for Medicine Tour, Guwahati, Assam, India
L to R: Mamta Purbey Executive Director of Enrolment Management & Institutional Analytics, Sir Vivian Richards, Brand Ambassador, MAUA, Joshua R James, Associate Director of Admissions – India


  • AUA and AICASA are a part of Manipal Education Americas, LLC (MEA) and is fully owned by the Manipal Education & Medical Group. 
    • AICASA: A two-year pre-med program with a curriculum that provides a comprehensive approach to premedical training which emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills.
    • AUA College of Medicine: Basic Sciences taught on-campus at AUA in Antigua and Clinical Sciences which consists of core and elective rotations that allow students to apply their Basic Sciences knowledge in real-world situations at affiliate teaching hospitals throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain and India.
  • The innovative and interactive curriculum with a 10:1 student to faculty ratio.
  • State-of-the-art facilities including simulation labs, clinical skills lab and anatomy labs
  • First time USMLE Step 1 pass rate of 96% and Residency placement rate of 88% assures AUA graduates’ licensure to be physicians or to pursue other gainful employment.
  • 700+ Residency programs across the United States.

COUNSELLING – A thorough counselling is an integral part of the enrollment process. The personal touch extended while counselling aspiring students is an edge over the conventional ways of inducting new students into the program. Often, the students get more clarity and confidence to make the right choice instead of a forced decision.

SCHOLARSHIPS – AUA has specific scholarships dedicated to Indian students. These scholarships further endorse the fact that Manipal AUA is passionate about not only supporting academically bright students, but also the ones gifted with other talents and potential. 

ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE – Manipal AUA emphasizes the need for well-rounded doctors. The foundation of the AUA medical program is based on compassion, humanity and the sense of responsibility for developing a healthy and healing relationship between doctors and patients. Hence, equal importance is given to the academic performance as well as emotional intelligence. Manipal AUA, utilises a holistic admission process that considers more than just the test scores.      

DIVERSITY – Talking about emotional intelligence, what better than being exposed to diversity in the learning environment that opens the mind to endless possibilities and building a rich outlook towards life. Manipal AUA walks the talk by having formalized anti-discrimination clauses making the medical students future-ready for handling diverse communities, impacting their attitudes and social skills positively.

Manipal AUA has an edge over other medical institutions because of their diverse student body and faculty, qualified faculty who are dedicated to teaching and not research, small student-to-faculty ratios, state-of-the-art technology, as well as, students and faculty who are dedicated to helping one another succeed.

GLOBAL DOCTORATE – In a short span, the university has become one of the few to obtain prestigious accreditations. These accreditations were earned after comprehensive evaluations confirmed the extraordinary quality of AUA’s facilities, curriculum, resources, faculty, administration and student body. As a result of these recognitions, AUA graduates are eligible for residency and licensure throughout the United States, Canada, UK and India.

The institution boasts accreditations and a curriculum that prepares its students to take on the world after acquiring their degrees. Their highest academic standards and the global doctorate programs empowers the qualified doctors to practice in any part of the world.

CAMPUS – The state-of-the-art campus boasts many medical resources to ignite the minds of the young physicians-to-be. The Simulated Learning Centre or Sim Lab gives the students an unmatched experience of the real time scenarios stimulating their aptitude to face the real-world challenges.

The campus is located on the beautiful, safe and English-speaking island of Antigua, in the Eastern Caribbean island, forever brims with cheerful faces, colourful people and vibrant energy which inspires the young minds to take on the world.

Voice of AUA, Sir Vivian Richards is passionate to invite Indian parents and students to explore the 17-acre campus in his home country as the ideal place for medical education. He promises a safe environment, a supportive community and the school’s hands-on training in transforming them into successful doctors who could be placed in any of the prestigious hospitals in the world.

Mrinalini and Nandini are now looking forward to embracing this opportunity with delightful anticipation.  

* The writeup is an advertorial. The views of the writer are in her personal capacity. She may be contacted at shilpi@shilpisvoiceandvisuals.com

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