Nithin Nayini, MD SGU ’13, chose to start his career at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Texas as a hospitalist.
Joshua Stephany, MD SGU ’00, the Chief Medical Examiner in Florida District 9, is visited by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta to discuss his role in overseeing the autopsy process following the Pulse tragedy in Orlando.
Nicholas Sakis, MD SGU ’15, a surgery resident at Orlando Regional Medical Center, found himself in the throes of rescue efforts following the Pulse tragedy in Orlando.
Their paths, and their dreams, led them to Grenada not long ago, and on Sunday, the St. George’s University 2016 graduating class convened once again at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City to celebrate the end of one journey and the beginning of another.
“You persevered and you did what you had to do and then some,” Dr. Modica said. “You have my utmost respect and admiration, and everyone in this room feels the same way about you.”
Attending his first commencement ceremony since being appointed University President and CEO, Dr. G. Richard Olds explained how physicians are viewed as heroes in countries around the world, not for their treatment of individuals but for the steps taken to address bigger challenges.
“You are now very well-trained physicians and will go on to wonderful professional careers,” Dr. Olds said. “However, remember that what we do as physicians only represents about 10 percent of the determinants of health. There is far more to health than what we do as professionals, and we must make sure we too are a part of improving the health of all humanity. I congratulate you on becoming physicians today, but I also hope that we are graduating some heroes today as well.”
The 2016 class will set off for residency this summer, but not before gathering once more in New York City, where they joined a network of more than 14,000 physician graduates from St. George’s University.
“It’s great to be here and be around so many bright minds who worked just as hard as you,” said Seth Garrett, MD SGU ‘16. “I feel a sense of accomplishment and relief to a degree. Now we can move forward and actually start the really hard work in residency.”
Dr. Garrett looks forward to beginning his family medicine residency at Baptist Outreach Services in Montgomery, AL. In addition to treating community members, he hopes to use his background in information technology to assist with the efficiency of electronic health records systems.
“I knew people who had gone to SGU and had been successful, and I knew it was a good path,” Dr. Garrett said. “I’m convinced that SGU is the only path that I could have taken to be where I am today. I would do it all over again.”
Natasha Singh, MD SGU ’16, of California is “ecstatic” to be returning home for residency, having accepted an internal medicine position at the University of California, San Francisco’s Fresno location, her top-choice program.
“I’m proud of everyone here – we all made it, we’re all happy, we all graduated,” she said. “For me, I don’t regret going to SGU. I worked really hard, and I’m glad that my efforts paid off. I’m going to a program that I’m more than happy with.”
She was joined at commencement by Rashad Ramkissoon, MD SGU ’16, who came to Grenada from Texas and will continue on as a family medicine resident at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, VA. SGU has matched more students to US residencies than any other medical school for the last six years combined, including more than 850 placements in 2016.
“Graduating is a big accomplishment, but it’s just a foundation of where you really want to be in the future,” Dr. Ramkissoon said. “SGU helped us get there. It was a blessing, an opportunity, and it really helped me grow as a person and as a physician.”
He, like all graduating class members, attended lectures held by Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek, Senior Attending Physician and Professor of Addictive Diseases at The Rockefeller University. Dr. Kreek was bestowed an honorary Doctor of Science for her roles as visiting professor for more than 35 years and longtime member of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) Board of Directors.
When Mohammad “Moody” Kassem, a third-year clinical student at St. George’s University, went to Washington, DC, for the American Clinical Congress’ Leadership and Advocacy Summit in April, he expected to play a supporting role in lobbying for the organization’s objectives. Instead, he found himself as one of the lead voices in the Surgical Workforce’s efforts to ensure the availability of general surgery where it most needed across the United States.
Mr. Kassem, who is currently rotating at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, visited the nation’s capitol from April 8-12. During that time, he and a team of ACS representatives met with a host of politicians on a variety of topics. Mr. Kassem headed his team’s presentation for the Ensuring Access to General Surgery Act of 2016. According to Mr. Kassem, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) designates funds and resources for its health professional shortage areas (HPSA), or underserved populations in the US, in the realms of dental medicine, mental health, and general medicine. Surgery, however, is not considered, yet the ACS argued that it should be based on the critical service it provides.
“We need to figure out what areas are short on surgeons, what is considered a surgical shortage, and work toward having funds allocated for the areas most in need,” Mr. Kassem said. “We also want to incentivize this program so physicians are encouraged to stay in these communities that are underserved and improve the quality of care and life of these patients. It would give them a better chance of living through a traumatic experience, and it would save money for the government because these are lawsuits that you can prevent.”
The Surgical Workforce throng, approximately 500 people in number, was divided into small groups. Each presented on the five initiatives on the ACS agenda. When it came time to present for his delegate team, Mr. Kassem, who was well versed on his assigned topic, was asked to lead the presentation despite being, by his estimation, the only medical student among the 500 Workforce representatives.
“After giving the first presentation, I felt good about it,” said Mr. Kassem, who is set to earn his Doctor of Medicine from SGU in 2017. “I loved the interaction with such influential leaders. The overall process was extremely interesting. Political leaders forgot about partisan views and reached across the political lines in order to work together and help their constituents. The experience pushed my drive to pursue politics even further.”
The Ensuring Access to General Surgery Act (H.R. 4959) gained the support of US Representatives Larry Bucshon (R-IN) and Ami Bera (D-CA), both of whom are physicians, and on April 15, they proposed the bill, which “would direct the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a study on the designation of Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).” Mr. Kassem expects the bill to be brought to the floor of the US Senate and House of Representatives, and if it passes there, it would be brought to the sitting US President to be signed into law.
The experience was a boon for him as he hopes to one day marry his two passions – medicine and politics. For four days, ACS physicians and administrators led demonstrations on leadership and advocacy topics ranging from how to handle stressful situations to how to propose and push a bill through political channels. It led up to the fifth and final day, during which its representatives lobbied with state politicians for their support.
Politics has long been in Mr. Kassem’s blood. He came to SGU after having earned his Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Wright State University. There he heavily involved himself in student groups, including Director of International Affairs, as well as Student Affairs, for the Student Government Association. He was an active member of the SGA at SGU, while also serving as an Academic Enhancement Program Cohort leader, Footstep Buddy, human anatomy demonstrator, and biochemistry tutor.
“I’ve been involved in leadership organizations going back to middle school,” Mr. Kassem said. “I like coaching, teaching, and being taught. I would like to become a leader in politics, and I think the best path is to get started early, get to know many people, and move your way up.”
In addition to his lobbying experience in Washington, he met and networked with an array of politicians, who offered him guidance on how to launch his political career and balance it with his career in medicine. When he completes his MD, Mr. Kassem hopes to obtain a surgery or emergency medicine residency, and then explore fellowship opportunities in either the surgery or EM realm.
Of his experience in Washington, DC, Mr. Kassem said, “It allowed me to see the possibility of helping my patients beyond the individual level and instead through making a larger impact on patient care by advocating for better medical legislation and policy.”
– See more at: https://www.sgu.edu/news-events/2016/SGU-Medical-Student-Helps-Drive-General-Surgery-Legislation-in-Washington.html#sthash.H9NDV71l.dpuf
At Buckingham Palace this spring, Dr. Chamarthy Subbarao, Professor of Clinical Skills at St. George’s University, was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his outstanding service to health care in Grenada. The OBE award, which is given on the recommendation of the Governor General of Grenada, was presented by Prince Charles on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, Grenada’s Head of State.
“The OBE is a great achievement for any physician,” said Dr. Subbarao. “I am very happy to receive it, and honored that the people of Grenada have recognized my service. I am grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to take care of them.”
Coming from a family of doctors, Dr. Subbarao has served the Grenadian community for over three decades. Before coming to SGU, he worked within the Ministry of Health. He was based at the General Hospital and at Carriacou before being assigned to St. David’s, where he was instrumental in introducing health centers in Vincennes, Belle Vue, Crochu, Westerhall and Perdmontemps, and the St. Martin’s Home for the elderly, where he still serves as Director.
As a member of the primary health care team in St. David’s, Dr. Subbarao has trained many nurse practitioners and led programs to provide health education to community leaders. He helped launch diabetic associations in Gouyave, Carriacou, and St. David’s, sits on the Port Safety Committee, and is active in the Grenada Red Cross to date. At SGU, Dr. Subbarao served as the Director of the University Health Services for several years, and is still the Director of the Grenada Heart Foundation.
Throughout his career in Grenada, Dr. Subbarao has served hundreds of Grenadian families and is known for his kindheartedness and compassion. “I wanted my focus to be humanitarian rather than monetary in caring for patients because some people cannot afford to buy medications or see a doctor,” he said.
Founded in 1917 by King George V, the Order of the British Empire is divided it into five classes – Knight/Dame Grand Cross, Knight/Dame Commander, Commander, Officer, and Member. According to the British Monarchy website, it recognizes “distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service, and work with charitable and welfare organizations of all kinds.”
Published on 6/1/16
Bradly Vo, MD SGU ’15, became the first-ever first-year resident to be named Resident of the Month at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.
The OB/GYN Center at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is now seeing patients at its recently opened second location. The center’s new office is called The OB/GYN Center at Summit and is in Suite 650 at the Summit Healthplex, 6934 Williams Road, Wheatfield. Three new full-time physicians, including Hannah Bailey, MD SGU ‘ 08, will soon bolster the medical staff there and at the OB/GYN Center’s Memorial Medical Center office to treat the growing number of women receiving care.
Citing a projected shortage of physicians in state, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, announced Tuesday that they are negotiating a partnership agreement under which UMDNJ would collaborate in the education and training of St. George’s medical students at New Jersey hospitals.
St. George’s, whose student body includes American students, currently has affiliation agreements with approximately 15 hospitals throughout New Jersey where approximately 350 third- and fourth-year students are enrolled in clinical training rotations. Following graduation, students generally move into hospital residency programs to begin their careers as physicians, and many apply for residencies at New Jersey hospitals. The agreement will specify the manner in which UMDNJ will attempt to enhance students’ preparation for the residencies.
John Walton, Lord Walton of Detchant, sadly passed away on Thursday, 21st April, 2016 after a brilliant career during which he made enormous contributions to many fields in medicine. Lord Walton was born on 16th September, 1922. He graduated with a first class honors MBBS from Newcastle upon Tyne, then part of the University of Durham, England, in 1945. He spent two years in the British army, becoming second-in-command of a hospital ship which covered the final evacuation of Palestine in 1948. Lord Walton spent a year at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston with Raymond D. Adams from 1953 to 1954. He was appointed Professor of Neurology in Newcastle and Dean of Medicine (1971-1981). From 1983-1989, he was head of Green College, Oxford. Lord Walton obtained his MD in 1952, FRCP in 1960, DSc in 1973, and founding fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998. He served as president for many organizations including the British Medical Association (1980-1982), the General Medical Council (1982-1989), the Royal Society of Medicine (1984-1986), the Association of British Neurologists (1986-1987), and the World Federation of Neurologists (1989-1997). He was knighted in 1978 and became a cross bench life peer in the House of Lords in 1989. Lord Walton has honorary degrees from seven British universities and from universities in France, Italy, and Thailand, and is an honorary member of 21 national neurological associations.
Lord Walton served as a first president of WINDREF (UK) from 1999-2002. He made many visits to Grenada and gave the WINDREF lecture titled “A doctor in the house” in 2002. For his contributions he also was awarded the Mike Fisher Memorial award in 2010. He loved his local football team, Newcastle United, and he thoroughly enjoyed playing golf with a tremendously competitive spirit, a quality he brought to everything he put his hand to. Lord Walton’s clear thinking, brilliant mind, and incisive but fair decisions were much appreciated and will be greatly missed by everyone.
Published on 4/29/16