The Caribbean medical school, Trinity School of Medicine, welcomed a record number of medical students into their September class last week after a weekend filled with meet-and-greet activities showing the students around their new home on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
As usual, the Doctor of Medicine students come from a variety of backgrounds and represent a wide swath of diversity, something Trinity prides itself on. This incoming term has several students from St. Vincent who advanced from Trinity's Pre-Medical program, many Canadian and US students, as well as students from India and Egypt and Asia.
The incoming class members have had a myriad of life experiences that propelled them towards Trinity, from working in cell-research and bioengineering, to one student with almost 20 years of Emergency Medical Services and nursing under his belt.
Let's meet some of Trinity's newest medical students:
Kiran hails from Vancouver, Canada, and is a recent graduate of The University of British Columbia. When she was just 10 years old she had to have brain surgery and spent almost a month in the hospital recovering. Her desire to become a doctor was born then; she was both intrigued, and grateful, that the doctors knew how to "fix her." She also enjoyed the constant flux of nurses, doctors, CNAs and patients; everyone had a purpose and worked together towards that goal. She knew one day she would be part of a similar team, and specifically in Pediatrics. In preparation for her career in medicine, she volunteered at B.C. Children's Hospital, and with an organization that teaches healthcare workers how to recognize the signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome. After attending a university where 500+ students in a class was the norm, she was drawn to Trinity for their small class sizes, the personal attention she knew she'd get from faculty and clinical tutors, and a change to tropical weather was an added bonus.
This term boasts the largest number of Vincentians (citizens of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.) in a class thus far. Three recent graduates from Trinity’s Pre-Med program shared their stories, each different, but with common threads. Gamal (far left,) Asfo (2nd to last on right) and Jared (far right) have each aspired to be doctors since they were young children; Jared was especially motivated to become a doctor after watching his mother struggle with illness. He noted that at the time he felt powerless to help her, and didn't ever want to feel that way again.
Each young man had plans to attend medical school elsewhere in the Caribbean before Trinity was founded, but now they can get a first rate medical education close to home. As with all of Trinity’s students, they will attend their clerkships in the US, as well as sit for the USMLEs, which will ultimately let them practice in both the US, and in St. Vincent. Gamal aspires to have a private practice on St. Vincent where he can aid in raising the standard level of care for his future patients.
All three shared that Trinity’s pre-med program had prepared them very well for their Term 1 classes. And each is excited to return to Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where Trinity has an exclusive educational contract for their students, for more in-depth weekly rounds as official medical students.
Lynndsey shook hands with the Govorner General of St. Vincent, Dr. Sir Fredrick Ballantyne, at Trinity's White Coat Ceremony last week. Lynndsey is a recent grad from the University of Kentucky, who is possibly aiming towards a career in Pediatrics or Cancer Therapeutics for adolescents, although she is keeping her options open while on the island and during clerkships in the states. As an undergrad she studied abroad in Rome, and also worked on many clinical research projects, one evaluating how environmental factors relate to Breast Cancer. After her Admissions Interview for Trinity she had an opportunity to shadow Dr. Mark Williams, an invaluable Trinity faculty member, at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianopolis. As she followed Dr. Williams from the ER to the OR to the recovery floors because of his unique work in Pulmonary and Critical Care, she gained greater understanding of how vast, and intricate the field of medicine is. Lynndsey is especially excited to begin rotations at Milton Cato this week; the head start in clinical experience that is offered at Trinity was a big factor in her choice of medical schools, "I believe that Trinity will become one of the most unique and memorable experiences of my medical career."
Brett from Maryland, has been saving lives for the past 20 years. He began as an Emergency Medical Technician, moved into Emergency Medical Services for 10 years, went back to school for his nursing degree and found himself bedside at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. How each doctor would assess and treat a patient, and how each doctor did so differently, often fascinated him. After six years of inquiring about how they arrived at their diagnosis and treatment plans he decided it was time to enroll in medical school to learn for himself. At Trinity, he is very much looking forward to the basis of diseases course work, and having weekly one-on-one time with the faculty to discern the finer points of a treatment plan. He eventually sees himself working to improve non-surgical intervention techniques and technology for congenital and acquired heart defects.
These are just a few of the many fascinating stories that Trinity's new students shared their first week. Check back soon for another round of new student profiles and updates on their time at Trinity.