US Navy Inspires SGU Students During Visit to Grenada

The US Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort, while on a five-month deployment to Central and South America and the Caribbean, stopped in Grenada last month as part of the US Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative. During their visit, US service members and medical professionals toured St. George’s University’s True Blue campus, and met with SGU students, faculty, and staff to showcase the ship’s medical capabilities and answer questions about life as a physician aboard the Comfort.

“Trying to give long-term care to patients when you only see them for 20 minutes is very tricky,” said Captain Jill Emerick, a 27-year Navy veteran and pediatric endocrinologist. “I joined this mission to learn more about humanitarian medicine and to give back—however, I got back much more than I expected. It’s been amazing interacting with the host nations’ physicians and medical students and learning how things are done in different countries. We were happy to answer all of the students’ questions and felt like we were really making an impact on their future medical careers.

“The most rewarding part of the mission has been in providing patient education,” she added. “It has allowed us to help fill in some of the gaps that there might be in their current health care setting.”

The Comfort’s current team consists of more than 900 personnel, including medical specialists from the military, non-governmental organization volunteers and personnel from partner nations. The 12-country mission includes stops to Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti. So far, the Comfort has had over 40,000 outpatient encounters and performed more than 850 surgeries during the Enduring Promise 2019 initiative.

“I enjoyed meeting the crew and hearing their thoughts on being a doctor in the Navy,” said Matthew Carvey, a second-year medical student and president of the Emergency Medicine Club. “I wanted to learn about their camaraderie and how well they work alongside each other after being cooped up together for months at a time. I deeply respect and admire people in the Navy for lending their time and expertise to these missions. I also think that, after I become a physician, possibly joining them one day would be a great experience.”

Originally the SS Rose City, built in 1976 as a San Clemente Class oil tanker, the USNS Comfort was converted into a hospital ship in 1987. Today, the Comfort is equipped with 1,000 beds, a full-service laboratory and pharmacy, and can provide clinical support such as, casualty transportation, decontamination, oxygen production and portable water production. Its medical site capabilities include pediatrics, cardiology, optometry, dental medicine, physical therapy, and preventive medicine.

“SGU is grateful to the crew members of the USNS Comfort for their candor in sharing the pros and cons of being a physician in the US Navy,” said Dr. Anna Cyrus-Murden, deputy chair of SGU’s Department of Clinical Skills. “Those in attendance all seemed to value the experience, especially the students. Their visit has not only impacted some students’ choice of specialties but has also piqued some of their interests in now serving in the Navy as well.”

Since 2007, personnel involved in USNS Comfort deployments have treated more than 488,000 patients, performed over 5,500 surgeries, completed more than 100 engineering projects, and conducted countless other assistance activities. Their visit to Grenada reflects the United States’ ongoing commitment to friendship, partnership, and solidarity with partner nations.

-Ray-Donna Peters

Cardiologist’s Heart Is With Grenada

St. George’s University graduate Thomas Vazzana, MD ’85, feels compelled to give back to the place where he began his three-decade-long career in medicine. Now a practicing interventional cardiologist in New York, Dr. Vazzana provides essential cardiology services to the people of Grenada free of charge.

The impact of his visits is undeniable, but there is still work to be done, which is why he returns two to three times a year to the island that gave him his start.

“Education is key, especially when explaining how important it is for patients to continue taking their medication—but I think we’re making progress,” said Dr. Vazzana, associate director of the cardiology fellowship program at Staten Island University Hospital. “I see several of the same patients and follow up with them when I’m here, and they’re doing fine.”

His visits are arranged through the SGU-Physician Humanitarian Network (SGU-PHuN), a program that enables St. George’s University alumni and friends to aid the Ministry of Health and Government of Grenada in improving healthcare in the country.

Since its official launch in 2008, the adult cardiology program continues to provide much-needed heart care services for at least 10 months of the year. With each visit seeing approximately 15-20 patients per day and about 80 each week, the program offers consultations, cardiac testing, pacemaker implantations, angioplasties, echocardiograms, and referrals for those needing advanced care. It has provided millions of dollars in service to the Grenadian community, resulting in countless lives saved.

“Dr. Vazzana is a very special member of our cardiology team,” said Brendon La Grenade, vice provost for institutional advancement. “He makes up one of only a handful of interventional cardiologists providing vital cardiovascular services to our population. From the program’s inception under coordinator Johansen Sylvester, MD ’00, to now in its 11th year, we at SGU are thankful to Dr. Vazzana and the vast network of alumni and friends who allow SGU and the Government of Grenada to bridge the cap in healthcare disparity.”

For several years, Dr. Vazzana has been making the trip to Grenada with his wife, Kathleen, a hospital administrator who serves as his clinical assistant while in Grenada. Now, also eager to return is their daughter Virginia Vazzana, MD ’17, who attended SGU after she and her older sister participated in the Med-Vet Summer Leadership Academy a few years earlier. While there, Dr. V. Vazzana also married fellow SGU alum Hamfreth Shaul Rahming, MD ’17. Both are currently completing their residencies in pediatric endocrinology and internal medicine respectively. According to the elder Vazzana, he made sure to pass along his passion for paying it forward.

“I always say, especially to my students, ‘when you get to your final destination, don’t forget where you came from,’” Dr. Vazzana added. “Because if it wasn’t for here, you wouldn’t have gotten to there.”

 

About Dr. Vazzana

Dr. Thomas Vazzana graduated with a bachelor’s degree from New York University in 1981 before earning his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in 1985. He then completed an internship and residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Paterson, NJ, before serving as a cardiology fellow at the former St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, West Brighton (now Richmond University Medical Center). He became an attending physician at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in Manhattan and held the same position at the former Doctors’ Hospital in Concord and again in West Brighton until July 1991, when he opened his own practice.

Two years later, Dr. Vazzana teamed up with fellow cardiologist, Dr. Marc Bogin and was managing partner at Vazzana and Bogin Cardiology Associates in Staten Island until 2011. Dr. Vazzana also served as co-director of the cardiology division for the Staten Island Physician Practice until 2012 and is currently an associate professor at Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University.

– Ray-Donna Peters

St. George’s University to Host International Veterinary Simulation Conference

Aerial images of Sir Eric Gairy Hall and Andrew J. Belford Centre.

With increased emphasis on simulation at veterinary institutions around the world, the 7th International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching (InVeST) Conference, to be held May 1-3, 2020, at St. George’s University, will welcome researchers, developers, and educators to the island to explore and discuss techniques, technology, and its rapidly growing implementation.

Grenada will be the fifth country outside of the United States to host the conference, following South Africa, Germany, St. Kitts, and Canada.

“It is our pleasure to host the InVeST conference in 2020,” said Dr. Neil Olson, dean of SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine. “Our university, an international center of excellence, is uniquely positioned to provide a meeting of high scientific quality and training in veterinary simulation. SGU is outfitted with the facilities and personnel to educate conference participants, while the scenic university also offers an atmosphere of relaxation as they earn continuing education credits.”

Participants will include veterinarians, educational institutions, InVeST members, and researchers, along with students and alumni from SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine. The two-and-a-half-day conference to be held in the newly established Andrew J. Belford Centre will feature keynote addresses, poster presentations, workshops, a reception, and various social events.

“By creating a space for these experiences and ideas to come together, SGU will continue to drive progress in all areas of veterinary medicine.”

Dr. Neil Olson, SVM Dean

 

Presentation topics previously covered include; effective delivery of simulation with realism and teamwork; best practices in educational technology: from games to virtual reality; getting started with simulation research; and voice user interfaces and their potential role in veterinary education. By partaking in the conference, attendees are eligible to receive 10 RACE credits.

“By creating a space for these experiences and ideas to come together, SGU will continue to drive progress in all areas of veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Olson.

InVeST was established in August 2011 following a successful Veterinary Simulation Exchange symposium hosted by the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. The group has grown exponentially through the Network of Veterinarians in Continuing Education (NOVICE) project, reconvening every 18 months for the InVeST conference.

“Ultimately, InVeST 2020 will provide an avenue for veterinary medical personnel to thrive and build on their professional knowledge while networking with peers,” said Dr. Olson. “The conference will enhance professional collaboration and camaraderie among veterinary experts, and we are excited to continue the growth of this group of innovators.

Alumni Association Announces “Art of Medicine” Continuing Ed Conference

 

The St. George’s University School of Medicine Alumni Association (SOMAA) invite SGU graduates and all medical professionals to its annual “Art of Medicine” continuing medical education (CME) conference in Grenada from March 9-12, 2020.

According to SOMAA President Bruce Bonanno, MD ’83, SOMAA president, its goal is to further harvest physicians’ passion for medicine, on the island that, for many, is where it all began.

“This conference welcomes doctors to reconnect with their profession, to build upon the foundation they’ve already created, and for SGU graduates, to get back to their roots,” said Dr. Bonanno, an emergency medicine physician based in New Jersey.

The four-day event features presentations from experts on a wide variety of fields, with several discussions led by SGU alumni. They include:

  •  “Hematologic Disease in Older People” – Shannon O’Connor, MD ’05
  • “Headache: It’s All In Your Head” – Paul Mathew, MD ’05
  • “Hypoxia – When Seconds Matter” – Pierre Moeser, MD ’83
  • “Maintenance of Certification: Reform or Reboot?” – Paul Mathew, MD ’05
  • “Monoclonal Antibody Use in Rheumatic Diseases” – Pierre Moeser, MD ’83
  • “Decoding the Alphabet Soup of Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)” – Nirav Shah, MD ’02
  • “All About Gout” – Suneet Grewal, MD ’08
  • “Genetic Diseases in Cancer” – Shannon O’Connor, MD ’05
  • “Hepatitis is a Cure” – George Gartin, MD
  • “Psoriatic Arthritis” – Suneet Grewal, MD ’08
  • “How to Have a Baby Without Having Sex: New Frontiers in Reproduction” – Samuel Jacobs, MD ’82
  • “Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS): Where Are We Now?” – Nirav Shah, MD ’02
  • “Nutrition in Chronic Disease” – Taraneh Soleymani, MD ’07
  • “Obesity Treatment – How Far Have We Come?” – Sunil Daniel, MD ’07
  • “Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)” – George Gartin, MD

Conference participants are eligible to receive 16 CME credits certified by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). In addition to the discussion schedule, visitors can enjoy a full slate of leisure activities, including campus tours, dinner at the University Club, catamaran cruises, and more.

“Each year, we have added more and more to the continuing medical education conference in Grenada,” said Dr. Bonanno. “We encourage all alumni to take advantage of this opportunity to learn and to once again enjoy this beautiful island.”

Career Day Helps Students Choose Path Toward Successful Future

For more than a decade, St. George’s University and Rotaract Club of Grenada Career Day has been important not only for the future of Grenadian citizens but for the island as a whole.

This month, the True Blue campus welcomed hundreds of secondary school students and young adults from across the nation to explore a diverse range of career opportunities and the educational tools to help them reach their goals. It allowed attendees to mix with Grenada’s industry leaders and other respected professionals in smaller group settings to evaluate how they can develop themselves, their families, and their country.

“St. George’s University provides an ideal setting to offer this kind of guidance to students in answering the oft-difficult question of what career to choose, given this constantly evolving and competitive global marketplace,” said Colin Dowe, associate dean of admissions at SGU. “It is critical that we encourage our young Grenadians to explore non-traditional and emerging disciplines, which can foster both personal and national development.”

The SGU/Rotaract Club Career Day experience featured dozens of presentations utilizing its Career Track System, as well as interactive sessions led by current St. George’s University students. Eight different career tracks, ranging from agri-business and fashion to communications and meteorology, were set up in each of the major halls on campus. In addition to presentations for the students, the event featured the popular and informative Parents Session led by Mr. Dowe. The special session covered a range of topics—from financing your education to responding to the challenges faced by today’s students.

“I’m elated that SGU offered a special Parents Session at Career Day,” said Camme Roberts McIntosh, a Cherry Hill resident and mother of three. “I found the discussion on letting go and allowing your child to make their own decisions most helpful. It’s easier said than done when dealing with my eldest son, but I’m learning how to step back, release the reins a little bit, and trust him.”

“This is our second time coming to the Parents Session,” stated Petal Duncan from Laborie, St. Paul’s. “My husband and I were here last year when our daughter attended Career Day. We thought it was informative then and found it even more valuable this time around. There’s something very comforting about knowing you’re doing all you can to help prepare your child for university life and their future career. We thought it was important to be here and our daughter felt so too—in fact, every parent should be here.”

By holding Career Day, SGU’s goal is to assist students and parents in making informed career choices and motivating them along their journey towards educational and career fulfillment. As the largest private employer in Grenada, the University makes a point to fulfill its mandate as a good corporate citizen, embracing the opportunity to equip students with the tools to build a successful career path.

– Ray-Donna Peters

Fall 2019 Visitors Join Extended SGU Family at 18th Beyond Spice Family Weekend

For James and Joyce Johnston, supporting their son Alexander’s dreams wherever they’ve led him was always a priority. First it was in his pursuits as a competitive ice hockey player. Now Alexander is a first-term student at St. George’s University School of Medicine, which prompted the Johnstons to join their son in Grenada at SGU’s 18th Beyond Spice Family Weekend.

“After getting injured while playing hockey, our son became inspired by his orthopedic surgeons to become a doctor,” shared Mr. Johnston. “We found out about SGU while researching medical schools together online and I encouraged him to apply. We couldn’t be prouder of his accomplishment.”

The Johnstons were one of dozens of families who soaked in Grenadian culture over the weekend, taking part in events such as a heritage tour, sea excursion, shopping opportunities, and a sunset barbecue. In addition, the weekend coincided with White Coat Ceremonies for medical and veterinary students, an event that marks their official entry into their respective professions.

“It’s a little hard on us with him moving so far away, so we decided to make it a vacation and join him for Family Weekend,” said Ms. Johnston. “I think every student should have a family member here for the Family Weekend. It connects parents with their students by letting them see firsthand what they’re getting involved in and it helps the parents get a better peace of mind.”

Michael Jacoby’s parents, on the other hand, had no qualms about their son moving three thousand miles away to attend medical school at St. George’s. Through their own research, Annie Allen and Doug Engman knew that students’ safety was paramount to SGU. The couple worried more about how Michael was going to get any studying done surrounded by such a spectacular view.

“I wasn’t the least bit worried about my son coming to SGU because I knew he would be safe there,” said Ms. Allen. “The island is wonderful and I’m already planning my next trip back.”

“The campus is distractingly beautiful, but in life, you’re going to have distractions,” stated Mr. Engman. “You have to be laser-focused on your goals. I don’t think SGU could have provided a more peaceful setting for students to get their studies done.”

Now celebrating its 11th year, Family Weekend continues to invite family members to visit the country and campus that their students have now made their home away from home.

“Each semester we happily look forward to opening our doors to host students’ families who’ve traveled from across the globe to experience a weekend of sun, sea, and family in the Spice Isle,” said Robert Ryan, dean of admission. “Family Weekend was also designed to allow our visitors to have meaningful interactions with our top administrators. The sense of pride and accomplishment with which the parents speak of their students not only brings joy to us but serves as a reminder of St. George’s deeply held commitment to assisting students in realizing their various academic and professional aspirations.”

According to Mr. Ryan, those who attended the sunset barbecue even had the opportunity to witness a green flash, a natural solar phenomenon that rarely occurs just as the sun dips below the horizon.

– Ray-Donna Peters

A Family Affair at School of Medicine White Coat Ceremonies

Oftentimes older siblings have a strong influence on their younger siblings. Such was the case for St. George’s University medical student Moe Badran, who followed in the footsteps of his sister, Nawal Badran, MD ’09, and brother, Sam Badran, MD ’11, each of whose path to a career in medicine wove through Grenada.

With his own SGU education, Moe Badran looks forward to joining his sister, a board-certified physician in internal medicine based in Southern California, and brother, a child psychiatrist in Cincinnati, OH, in the medical field. He took one step closer to that goal, partaking in the Fall 2019 SOM White Coat Ceremonies.

“I grew up hearing about SGU for almost a decade from my siblings,” said the first-year student. “I had always heard great things and knew for a fact that SGU had that prestige and reputation of producing great doctors, so I proudly accepted the offer to come here.”

Similarly, Dr. Cameron Charchenko, a urologist from Bismarck, ND, was very influential in his sister Celeste’s decision to attend medical school. According to Dr. Charchenko, coating his sister was the second greatest day of his life, after his wedding day.

“My field of interest is surgery, but I’m hoping that one day my brother and I can work together,” Ms. Charchenko said. “He’s shown me a bit of urology surgery that I find really interesting so I’m hoping to grow up to follow in his footsteps. Sharing this moment together and him coating me was amazing and something I will never forget.”

This sentiment of families following in each other’s footsteps and working together was echoed by alumnus and master of ceremonies Leonard Levin, MD ’83. He returned to SGU after coating his son, Jacob, in this very same ceremony last year. Dr. Levin looks back fondly on his medical student experience.

“SGU is a family,” stated Dr. Levin. “There are families you’re born into and families that accepted you and you accepted them. Unlike being an undergraduate where there’s a lot of competition, here a rising tide floats all boats. So be there for each other, help each other, work with each other, be a team, and support each other through the trials and tribulations that will be out there in the future.”

Delivering the keynote address was Dr. Ross Upshur, who in 2015 was named one of the Top 20 Canadian Pioneers in Family Medicine Research and Family Medicine Researcher of the Year by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He reminded members of the Class of 2023 that they stood on the threshold of commencing a career in one of the most respected professions and that, after donning their white coats, they would join a tradition of service to humanity that dates back through millennia.

“I’m thrilled that you have chosen to make the practice of medicine your career,” said Dr. Upshur, Dalla Lana Chair, Head of the Division of Clinical Public Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. “You will be constantly stimulated, seldom bored, and often awestruck by what you learn from your patients. They will be your greatest and most humbling teachers. You will garner insights about humanity that few others can.

“You will have enormous power and privilege—use it wisely and judiciously,” he continued. “Be generous and give back. I wish each of you success in your studies and hope that you have long and rewarding careers.”

In addition to serving as a rite of passage for aspiring physicians, the School of Medicine White Coat Ceremonies coincide with a weekend of activities that help make up Beyond Spice Family Weekend. The University’s bi-annual event welcomes students and family members to soak up nature and culture in Grenada.

– Ray-Donna Peters

Fall 2019 Veterinary Class Embarks on “Unique Odyssey”

Once a St. George’s University student herself, Deborah Coy, MD ’88, returned to Grenada 17 years later with the eldest of her three daughters, Danielle, now a first-term School of Veterinary Medicine student at SGU. The veterinarian-in-training joined her Class of 2023 brethren in August for the SVM White Coat Ceremony, marking their entry into the veterinary medical profession.

This fall marks the 20-year anniversary of the school opening its doors in True Blue. Dr. Coy marveled as the changes to campus, and cherished the opportunity to coat her daughter as she took the next step toward becoming a career in veterinary medicine.

“The changes to the campus since the last time I was here are so impressive. I love it,” enthused Dr. Coy, now a practicing pediatrician in Towaco, NJ. “I am so very proud that my daughter chose to attend SGU. I feel like she’s reliving what I did so many years ago.”

“In a way, I grew up here at SGU,” shared Danielle Macstudy. “My mom brought me back several times until I was about 4 or 5 years old. I’ve always known I wanted to work with animals, so from a young age I knew I wanted to become a veterinarian. Then I fell in love with SGU from hearing all of these wonderful stories from my mom.

“That’s why I wanted to come here just like she did.”

Also returning to SGU was alumnus and master of ceremonies Tatiana De Oliveira, DVM SGU ’12. She welcomed them to the veterinary medical profession, assuring them that opportunities were boundless but also reminding them, that regardless of which career path they took, they would now have the ability to make a huge impact on the lives of people and animals.

“Get to know your amazing faculty. They are your biggest supporters,” she encouraged. “Go explore this beautiful island, there’s so much to do, to see, and to learn. Remember to set goals for yourself, big and small. And finally stay focused and seek help when times get tough. Always remember why you started this journey in the first place and remember how inspired you are today.”

In his keynote address, Dr. Willie M. Reed, an internationally recognized expert in avian pathology, diagnostic medicine, and infectious diseases, also touted St. George’s University for providing an excellent foundation for more than 1,600 veterinarians since opening in 1999. He advised the students to set their goals one brick higher than they thought possible on the foundation that they would be given as veterinary students. He encouraged them to never stop pursuing their dreams, to always have more dreams than memories, and that dreams don’t end upon admission to veterinary school.

“You will be the leaders who must guide the veterinary profession as it expands its horizons in the 21st century,” stated Dr. Reed, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Professor of Veterinary Anatomic Pathology at Purdue University. “The challenges will be significant, but rest assured the next four years will prepare you to assume this mantle of responsibility. I encourage you to take full advantage of the unique odyssey you are about to embark upon to fulfill the potential which each of you possesses.”

St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine recently earned full reaccreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education. This allows SGU graduates to seek licensure in the United States and Canada after passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. It also allows US students to apply for federal loans and deferments through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

St. George’s University students spend their first three years in Grenada and complete their final year of study at an accredited affiliated school. The SVM has clinical partnerships with 29 other universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and Grenada.

– Ray-Donna Peters

Eugene Becomes First Caribbean National to Lead SAS

Dr. Lucy Eugene

As the new Dean of St. George’s University’s School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), Dr. Lucy Eugene is deeply committed to its growth. Her appointment as dean is the latest advancement in her near decade of professional service to SGU.

Dr. Eugene assumed her new role on August 16 after serving in the position in an interim capacity since February 2019. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, she is the first Caribbean national to become the school’s dean. Given that many of the school’s nearly 800 students as well as faculty are from Grenada and the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean, she plans to use knowledge of Caribbean culture to her advantage.

“I want students and faculty to continue to be proud that they belong to a school that recognizes their Caribbean upbringing while enhancing opportunities for them to make meaningful contributions not only in Grenada but regionally and internationally,” said Dr. Eugene. “That’s what this position means to me—being able to make a difference in their lives.”

Dr. Eugene has been a part of the SGU faculty since July 2010. Dr. Eugene served eight years in the Department of Business and Management Studies as a professor and chair, where she lectured on international business law and trade regulations. In May 2018, she took on the role of associate provost for faculty and administrative affairs for SGU before becoming interim dean for SAS.

“We are very pleased to appoint Dr. Eugene as dean of SAS,” said Dr. Glen Jacobs, SGU Provost. “Lucy’s longtime commitment to SGU, her deep involvement in the school through various committees and initiatives, and forward thinking about the future of the SAS and the student experience will ensure continued success in her new role.”

Dr. Eugene has placed enrollment growth, quality assurance (including accreditation), and faculty development at the top of her priority list. She has already launched plans to standardize quality assurance processes and obtain accreditation for SAS programs through the Grenada National Accreditation Board (GNAB) and other professional international accreditation bodies. For faculty, Dr. Eugene wants to create opportunities for them to further their own professional aspirations including working closely with SGU’s Department of Educational Services.

“As a longtime faculty member and administrative member of SAS, I am very familiar with the issues and concerns of the students, faculty, and staff, and I am approaching this position with a sensitivity and appreciation of those issues,” Dr. Eugene said.

For example, she noted that, as dean, she has been able to pursue classroom upgrades in a meaningful way so that classes are “consistent with the high quality evident throughout the rest of the university, giving students and faculty a sense of integration with the rest of the SGU community.”

Dr. Eugene received her PhD in Law from the School of Law at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. Before joining SGU, she lectured at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus. In addition to her academic appointments, Dr. Eugene served as the regional coordinator for the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) UWI training programs throughout the Caribbean. Her research interests include international business opportunities for small- and medium-size enterprises—particularly those in developing countries—as well as investment, educational services, and labor law issues related to international trade.

“To have been recognized and appreciated is very fulfilling for me in this stage of my career,” Dr. Eugene said. “I am honored to have been given this opportunity and I look forward to using my experience and perspective to grow SAS to its full potential.”

– Laurie Chartorynsky

Summer Academy Provides Students With Insight Into Medical and Veterinary Medical Careers

In its 17th year, the St. George’s University Med/Vet Summer Leadership Academy continued to provide an insider’s view for college and high school students interested in exploring a career in medicine or veterinary medicine. This summer also marked the largest turnout since the program’s inception in 2002, with 133 aspiring physicians and veterinarians visiting the University’s True Blue campus in Grenada.

The high school student program ran for 10 days, while the Medical Leadership component of the college student program spanned 12 days. Qualified students are eligible for college credit through the School of Arts and Sciences.

“By coming here, students get the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not this career choice is right for them,” said Avi Bahadoor-Yetman, director of the Med/Vet Summer Leadership Academy. “This experience will either reinforce their passion to practice medicine or veterinary medicine or help them decide this is not the professional path for them.”

Hailing from the United States, Canada, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines and more than 10 other countries, the students were taught through a series of lectures, small-group problem solving sessions, hands-on training, and practical lab work. This year’s lectures ranged from cardiology and neurology to musculoskeletal and gastroenterology, and each is followed by sessions in the anatomy lab during which students work with human and animal cadavers.

However, the program isn’t all work. The academics are balanced out by watersports such as sailing, waterskiing, and snorkeling, as well as hiking through Grenada’s rainforests and other activities that highlight the culture and beauty of the island.

Nonetheless, fatigue is built into program and no matter the schedule, the 15-hour days are by design.

“Attending medical school or veterinary school is both rigorous and exhausting in nature,” said Ms. Bahadoor-Yetman. “Hence the program is designed to create an authentic experience successfully balancing a challenging academic program with extracurricular activities. They get a taste of curriculum, SGU, and Grenada. In addition, the quality of the professors and the organization of the staff help make this an invaluable experience that enhances students’ knowledge in the field of medicine or veterinary medicine, while also offering a tremendous opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery.”

– Ray-Donna Peters