Tales from the Caribbean

A year after graduating from Castleton in 2013, Crystal Golding found herself at American University of the Caribbean, a leading medical school located on the island of St. Maarten.

After working as an Emergency Department Scribe, Golding was accepted into two medical schools, but ultimately decided on AUC because of the living conditions. Golding completed the basic sciences portion of medical school on the island in 2016 and traveled to England to complete her OBGYN and surgery clinical rotations at Epsom Hospital in 2017. Golding finished her clinical rotations in New York City last summer.

Now, Golding is back on St. Maarten, working as an introduction to clinical medicine (ICM) teaching and research fellow at her alma mater, conducting breast cancer research on the Afro-Caribbean population of women. She also teaches medical students and prepares them for their U.S.-based clinical rotations.

“Over the last couple months, I’ve been bouncing back and forth to the U.S. completing residency physician interviews,” Golding said. “The goal is to match into a position in March, then begin as an intern in July.”

Golding, who was born and raised in Vermont, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Castleton. While she didn’t start her studies with a plan to be a doctor, Golding says that her mentors at Castleton noticed her passion for science and medicine before she did.

““With their direction and encouragement, I accomplished something I thought was unattainable, and graduated with an M.D. in August of 2018,” she said. “Its small class sizes and warm, knowledgeable faculty not only encouraged me to learn, but to develop close knit relationships with fellow students and professors. The bonds I formed with the faculty of the Natural Sciences department had major influences on my career as a physician.”

Looking back, Golding says that the people she met within Castleton and the relationships she formed paved the way to medical school.

“Not only did Castleton provide me with a strong educational background, but with a strong sense of character as well,” she said. “For such a cold state, the people of Vermont are truly warm, and I believe that especially holds true within the Castleton community. I am proud to be among them.”

Golding runs a blog, AUC Survival Guide, about her experiences in Med School.