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Student Profiles: Success and the  ILP Experience

 Meet Sarah. Sarah is an internal medicine resident in Indiana now. When we first sat down with her, she was a Trinity student wrapping up her clinical rotations. She stood as an excellent example of what the ILP could offer students: the chance they deserve to succeed. 

When we spoke with Sarah, the ILP was limited in scope, created as a separate track through the MD program. That scope has expanded and, in some way or another, each student at Trinity is on an ILP to make sure they have everything they need to be at their best.


Her early story is common of premed students (although she, herself, is exceptional, as you'll soon learn). She has a BS in biology from the University of Illinois and boasted a strong GPA. She had significant and diverse clinical volunteer experience coming into the application cycle, and picked up a number of incredibly inspirational stories about patient interactions that deepened her commitment to medicine. In the middle of all of that, she worked full-time at a neurologist's office and volunteered as a teaching assistant in EMT certification. 

She came to Trinity for a couple of reasons, initially interested in our small class approach, as she does her best with conceptual learning in small group discussion. Our curriculum's opportunity for just that obviously appealed to her. She also ended up our way because her MCAT was, in her own words, "Not great, not really competitive."

We have spoken, time and again, about the inflated competitiveness of US medical school admissions and their over-reliance on the MCAT exam, how the MCAT is not an effective predictor of success in medical school. Sarah is a great example of that.

Sarah was admitted to Trinity School of Medicine's MD program on the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) track. For those who don't know, the ILP program is a reorganization of the early basic sciences that "ramps" the course work up to the standard track's load at the start of term three. ILP students aren't separate in any regard other than scheduling, and given the small size of Trinity's student body, the only real noticeable difference from a social aspect is that they are in St. Vincent for one additional term. Trinity's tuition is also pro-rated for these students. There is no additional tuition cost for ILP students, even though they are on the island for an additional 10 weeks. 

Back on topic: Sarah utterly thrived in Trinity's ILP track, taking that "not really competitive" MCAT score that many students feel would keep them out of medical school, and going on to score a 244 on the USMLE Step-1 exam, and a 265 on the USMLE Step-2 CK
Illustrated a different way, Sarah had an MCAT score that had her anxious about being admitted to medical school at all. Given an opportunity to thrive, and in an environment where she could do so on her own terms, she proved herself to be in the 93rd percentile of not just Trinity students, or Caribbean students, or IMGs in general, but the top 7% of all US and international medical students combined. 

This is important for a number of reasons. First, it should send a clear message to students of what they can accomplish in the right envornment, but it's also a major signal to residency directors. Year after year, Step-1 score is the top criteria for matching.

What follows are answers straight from Sarah. How she felt along the way, what worked for her, what didn't, and how she built success in Trinity's ILP program. 

How was the MCAT prep process for you?
I did not feel good going into the MCAT. I did a Kaplan classroom course. I was there three times a week for a couple of hours, but even still, I was very stressed. I had a lot on my plate. I had a full time job, I was attending undergrad, and had a lot of extra-curricular activities.  I do blame myself, I think my downfall was time management. I felt I knew the information, I was still very anxious, though. To this day, I still think the MCAT was the hardest exam I’ve ever taken. (USMLE) Step-1 and 2 were much easier by comparison.

Topics: Caribbean medical school student success trinity school of medicine Accredited caribbean medical school alumni spotlight Trinity students step 1 score ILP MCAT step 2

Trinity School of Medicine Holds Fifth Term Ceremony for Class of 2019

Trinity School of Medicine held its Fifth Term Ceremony for the class of 2019 on campus last week.  With colleagues, faculty, staff, relatives, family, and friends in attendance, the stage was set for students to reflect on the past two years in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and prepare for the subsequent years in Baltimore, Maryland for their clinical rotations.

Topics: Caribbean medical school student success trinity school of medicine Caribbean medical students Accredited caribbean medical school Trinity students

Trinity School of Medicine Students Join Rotary Club of St. Vincent in Village Doctor Exercise

Trinity School of Medicine students have assisted the Rotary Club of St. Vincent in its Village Doctor exercises around the islands for over five years. The Village Doctor exercise is the flagship program of the Rotary, and it sees a number of healthcare specialists and volunteers traveling to areas within St. Vincent and the Grenadines that are medically under served, conducting clinics and providing medication. 

Topics: Caribbean medical school student success trinity school of medicine Community service 5th term m3 village doctor

Trinity School of Medicine: Setting New Standards for Caribbean Medical Schools

At Trinity School of Medicine, our guiding vision is clear, "To improve access to scientifically-based quality health care and enhance the health status of the residents of the communities served by our graduates." That perspective shapes every decision we make, from the largest pedagogical philosophy to the smallest detail of student life. It guides us from within, and creates new goals with each achievement.

Because that guidance comes from within, we don't look outward that often, at the other schools in our region. However, this letter brought the circumstances students at another institution find themselves. It makes it adamantly clear that while Caribbean medical schools exist because there is a need in the US and Canada going unfulfilled, not all of them are created equally. 

Topics: trinity school of medicine Caribbean medical students Caribbean medical schools Accredited caribbean medical school Trinity students

Trinity School of Medicine Students Join World Pediatric Project on Cardiology Mission

The World Pediatric Project conducted another mission to St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinity students were, once again, at bedside with the visiting specialists.  This third visit of 2017 was focused on cardiology and headed by pediatric cardiologist, Dr. William Moskowitz. The trip culminated in the consultation and treatment of 178 children with congenital defects and rheumatic heart disease.

Topics: trinity school of medicine Caribbean medical students Accredited caribbean medical school Trinity students world pediatric project

Trinity School of Medicine Celebrates Residency Match Success in 2017: New Programs, New States, and a Growing Reputation in Healthcare

Few days loom as large on a medical student's life like Match Day. For those who aren't aware, once a year, the National Residency Match Program (NRMP) releases all of the new residencies for the upcoming year, typically very soon after Canada's own CaRMS releases their match results. These days also coincide closely with graduation, which makes it a very exciting Spring.

While medical students transition from students to professionals at this point, the learning is far from over. Residency, lasting anywhere from 3-8 years, is where students are shaped by their specialization, and even at their completion, often leads students on to fellowships to further refine and specialize, depending on their interests and career goals. 

We're tremendously proud of each and every one of our soon-to-be graduates. So, without further ado: 

Topics: Caribbean medical school student success trinity school of medicine Accredited caribbean medical school residency match Graduates of Trinity School of Medicine

Trinity School of Medicine's AMSA Chapter Attends National Conference in Washington, D.C.

Earlier this month, Trinity student Ramneek Hoonjan attended the annual AMSA (American Medical Student Association) in Washington, D.C. We're incredibly glad she could attend, and excited to share her write up of the experience below!

Topics: Caribbean medical school student success trinity school of medicine Caribbean medical students Trinity students AMSA

Trinity School of Medicine 5th Term Students Join World Pediatric Project in St. Vincent Ophthalmology Mission

In the first week of March, the World Pediatric Project returned to St. Vincent, this time for an ophthalmology clinic. The WPP trip, the third for 2017 thus far, brought another group of the NGO's seasoned specialists to the island nation's Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. As is usually the case, a group of Trinity's 5th term students were there to assist, observe, and learn.

Topics: trinity school of medicine Community service 5th term m3 Milton Cato Trinity students early clinical experience world pediatric project

Trinity School of Medicine Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Amy Hernandez, Trinity Class of 2012

Update: After this article was published, Dr. Hernandez was elected to the position of chief resident for her program. Please join us in congratulating her! 

Trinity School of Medicine has always prided itself on the strength and ambition of its students. So many future physicians come our way looking for something new; whether that's a unique learning environment built on support and a strong relationship with the faculty, a curriculum with an emphasis on clinical skills and service to patients, or just a fresh start. In this next edition of our alumni spotlight, meet Dr. Amy Hernandez, psychiatry resident.

Topics: Caribbean medical school student success trinity school of medicine residency match Graduates of Trinity School of Medicine alumni spotlight

Trinity School of Medicine's AMSA Members Provide Health Screenings at St. Vincent "Glow Run."

Trinity School of Medicine's American Medical Students Association chapter recently took part in providing fitness assessments for participants in the first ever Glow Run, a night-time running event that recently took place on St. Vincent. The fun-run had its participants decked out in glow sticks, as well as irridescent and UV-reactive paints similar to the Color Run phenomenon in the US.  

The event, hosted by Islandwide Fitness, was for diabetes awareness, a chronic issue for St. Vincent. Participants took off from the Richmond Hill Playing Field on Murray’s Road and moved on towards the SOV Restaurant in Villa.  Before their departure, all runners were given medical checks for both blood sugar and blood pressure.

Topics: trinity school of medicine Caribbean medical students Community service St. vincent Trinity students early clinical experience