What factors led you to select Trinity School of Medicine for your medical education?
I chose to attend Trinity for a few reasons. First was the caliber of the professors, both full time and visiting faculty. Second was the personal attention that would be available to me due to small class sizes. Another was the the quality of the clerkship program, all in US teaching hospitals, with no wait time to get in, as opposed to many other Caribbean schools. And finally the island itself, it's a beautiful place with interesting people.
You've just completed the first five terms of the Basic Sciences, what was your most memorable experience?
My most personally rewarding experience so far was the trip a group of us took to St. Benedict's, the local orphanage, (Seth and Shanique are pictured at left) to paint a mural with the children. Although Trinity provided a number of community outreach programs and research projects, this was my most memorable experience.
Did you find the small class experience to be beneficial?
Absolutely. The small class experience is great. First of all, there is significantly less competition. You get to know all of your classmates and with them you share a sense of being 'in it together'. As such you end up supporting each other instead of competing for the top mark. Additionally, you develop a one on one relationship with your professors. This makes you comfortable approaching them, and gives them the ability to track your progress and counsel you if you need help.
Would you say having studied abroad expanded your horizons?
Yes. Studying in St. Vincent and the Grenadines afforded me a significant appreciation of another culture that I would never have received otherwise. Coming to the island, there was a bit of a learning curve - getting familiar with the local customs, currency, and accents but the people are friendly and the culture is vibrant and all in all it was a great experience.
What will you miss most about St. Vincent?
By the end of my time in St. Vincent I had developed a number of meaningful relationships with my peers, the staff, the faculty, and the local population. I felt a part of a community and it is that sense of community I will miss the most.
Of course the next question has to be, what will you miss the least?
Going into the town to get things like food and other personal supplies is a really neat experience. It is a vibrant atmosphere unlike anything you would experience in North America and in that regard I enjoyed it very much. However, it took much longer than it would take at home and it can become stressful when you are busy with school. Most of the time it was not a problem, you learn to plan ahead for periods of high stress like exams, presentations, etc.
You aced your USMLE Step 1 exam, congratulations! What are you looking forward to as you embark on the clerkship terms?
I am most excited about transitioning from the classroom to the clinic. As important as the first two years of my medical education were, one of my main drives to enter the medical profession was the clinical environment itself. I can't wait to take on a more active role in patient care, and to continue learning in a real world environment.
Do you have a sense for what type of medicine you'd like to practice?
I know that I like to work with with my hands, I enjoy interacting with patients, and I want to make an observable difference in people's lives. Although I am completely willing to accept that my preference might change as I gain more clinical experience I think Emergency Medicine is most in line with my interests right now.
Any words of wisdom for others evaluating their medical school options?
Admissions to North American medical schools are extremely competitive and many qualified applicants are turned down every admissions cycle. Additionally, there is no doubt that choosing to study abroad will present you with many challenges not seen otherwise. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself how much do you really want to be a doctor? What are your true motives? It is my belief that Trinity provides a firm path for you to become a physician, and to return home afterwards if that is your desire. At the end of the day, no matter where you go to med school, it all comes down to you and whether or not you are willing to commit to the work, and the lifestyle that follows.
Seth Studied at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and is from From Ontario, Canada and began his medical education at Trinity School of Medicine in September, 2009