Batting For Med: Sir Vivian Richards makes a case for the American University of Antigua’s College of Medicine

AUA has been accred by international medical education authorities including the US Department of Education, UK General Medical Council and Medical Council of India, among others
The campus also has simulation labs, clinical skills lab, anatomy lab and other facilities | (Pic: AUA)
The campus also has simulation labs, clinical skills lab, anatomy lab and other facilities | (Pic: AUA)

Before we saw Sir Vivian Richards, we heard his hearty laugh all the way down the corridor leading to the conference room, where we were waiting to meet one of the greatest cricketers ever. He strolled into the room with the same confidence he would display on the pitch and one of the first things he told us was, “You may know me as a cricketer, but today I am here as a proud citizen of Antigua.”

Sir Richards was touring India as a part of the Made for Medicine tour. He also visited Chennai, Kolkata and Guwahati. Sir Richards was part of seminars which were open to the public

And indeed, Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, KNH, OBE, or simply, Sir Viv, was batting for American University of Antigua’s (AUA) College of Medicine which is a part of Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG), one of India’s largest education and healthcare service providers. The cheerful Caribbean went on to tell us about one of the most iconic medical schools in the Caribbean. “AUA’s College of Medicine provides you with a chance to experience Antigua, its people and its culture,” explained Sir Richards. He highlighted how the place offers 365 beaches, “one beach for every day of the year” to go with its stellar academics. They also provide accommodation, which we are told is not a common feature when it comes to other universities of the Caribbean. When we were informed that they follow a US-based curriculum and they are recognised by the Medical Council of India, any doubts about the degree being valid were erased. One can also practise in the US, UK, Canada and, of course, India after completion of the course. AUA has also tied up with Apollo Hospitals in Hyderabad and students can complete their clinical rotation with them.

Always number one: Sir Richards graciously giving autographs at the event | (Pic: AUA)

Speaking about AUA, Sir Richards says that studying among people from different countries and different walks of life is an extremely enriching experience that the students can avail. And because they have been receiving applications primarily from students in Hyderabad and from India, in general, they have merit-based scholarships for Indian students in particular. After all, 40 per cent of their current students and alumni are from India. “If I was a younger man, I would totally opt for this kind of environment,” says the Caribbean who was born in the capital of Antigua and Barbuda, St John’s. He says that the mutual love for cricket both India and Antigua share makes it one of the best things that are common between these two places. “But I absolutely love India,” says the former cricketer. Speaking about Hyderabad, he talks about Mohammad Azharuddin and calls him one of his best mates.

The American University of Antigua has a 17-acre campus. It was established in the year 2004

With that, Sir Richards couldn’t fend off questions about cricket for too long and after stating Virat Kohli as one of his favourites he said, “I like his aggression and that he likes a little bit of confrontation on the field. One cannot turn the other cheek every time and as a result, the Indian cricket team fears no one,” he concludes.

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