Troy Dowers, SGUSOM ’04, has been named to the staff of primary care providers at St. Clare Health Center in Fenton, MO. St. Clare is one of seven hospitals in the SSM Health Care network, which serves Greater St. Louis. The facility visited with more than 100,000 patients in 2011.
Dr. Nicholas Holmes, SGUSOM ’07, has joined the team at St. Croix Orthopedics, PA, which provides orthopedic care in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, with its headquarters located in Oak Park Heights, MN. Dr. Holmes is a specialist in sports medicine.
Dr. Ilona Belinskaya has a new home. The 2003 graduate from St. George’s University School of Medicine been appointed to the Department of Pulmonary Medicine staff at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (CMC/DHK) in New Hampshire.
Over 200 anatomists, surgeons, medical educators, and students attended the 29th Annual conference of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) at St. George’s University in Grenada from July 8 to 13. Grenada is only the fourth country outside of the United States to host this conference, following Canada, England and Austria.
Dr. Marios Loukas and the St. George’s University team delivered a comprehensive program with guest lecturers attending from around the world. In addition to the anatomical and educational symposia, St. George’s University medical students delivered eight oral and eight poster presentations, sweeping the clinical awards. Winning the best student poster presentation was entering term 5 student Christopher Wear with Alesha Prior, also entering term 5, winning the best student oral presentation. Capping off the student presentations was the award for the best student paper published in Clinical Anatomy. The Marion Moore Blue Box Award was presented to Zachary Klaassen for his paper, “Anatomy of the ilioinguinal and iliohypogastric nerves with observations of their spinal nerve contributions”. Closing out the conference was a well-received postgraduate course on ultrasound procedures followed by a lively discussion on whether the growing use of ultrasound technology in clinical settings calls for modifications in the teaching of anatomy.
Honorable Tillman Thomas, Prime Minister of Grenada commented on the gathering of a body of distinguished medical professionals in Grenada, saying, “This gathering of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists here in Grenada is a special experience for St. George’s University and our country. The world has benefited immensely from an explosion in clinical advances, diagnostics and technological enhancements in recent times. Your own research perspectives and conclusions have contributed to this growing knowledge pool.”
In addition to the prime minister of Grenada, conference speakers included Dr. Charles R. Modica, Chancellor of St. George’s University; Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost of St. George’s University; Dr. Anne Agur, President of AACA; Dr. Jeffrey Laitman, President of American Association of Anatomists (AAA); Dr. George Mitchell, Grenada’s Chief Medical Officer; and Dr. Marios Loukas, Chair of St. George’s University’s Department of Anatomical Sciences and Dean of Research. As a supplement to the scholarly presentations, conference attendees experienced Caribbean Spice Isle culture with samples of Grenadian food and planned events showcasing Grenada’s natural environment that included hiking, tours and snorkeling.
“I am happy that St. George’s was able to host this event, bringing together clinical anatomists from around the world to the campus of this unique university,” commented Dr. Allen Pensick, in his address to participants. “At St. George’s University, the anatomy program has always been our anchor and we’ve built our medical program on it. I encourage the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) and the American Association of Anatomist (AAA), to continue impacting the lives of people and medical organizations around the world.”
About the American Association of Clinical Anatomists
The AACA is an organization focused on advancing the ‘science and art of clinical anatomy.’ It encourages research and publication in the field and maintaining high standards in the teaching of anatomy. The organization caters to individuals of various backgrounds involved in research, clinical practice, clinical research, teaching in accredited colleges and universities, administrative or other experience in the field of anatomy. St. George’s University has been part of the AACA for approximately 15 years.
A Continuing Medical Education (CME) seminar on Psychiatry in General Practice in Grenada was held on Sunday, June 10, at St. George’s University’s Alumni Hall.
The seminar targeted physicians, nurses and psychiatry care personnel, with the primary objective of equipping medical personnel with the skills necessary to manage psychiatric illnesses in patients.
At the opening ceremony, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. George Mitchell spoke of the timeliness of the seminar and the Ministry’s enthusiasm to be a part of it. He stated, “The Ministry of Health fully embraces this initiative by the University and the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, indeed this is a very crucial workshop and it comes against the backdrop of a recently held consultation geared at updating mental health policies in Grenada.”
The Chief Medical Officer stressed the importance played by health care professionals in shaping the attitudes and perceptions of the general public towards psychiatric patients. He said, “It is my firm belief that if we begin to address this issue now by first equipping ourselves with the skills to better manage these patients, coupled with the modernized approach pursued by the Ministry of Health, which seeks to integrate mental health into our primary health care revitalization program; there will be a better outcome for mentally challenged persons…I am optimistic that with the quality of facilitators, the objectives of the seminar are bound to be realized.”
A total of eight sessions were held, and at the end of the day, participants would have been more equipped to: handle psychiatric cases professionally, be able to diagnose and initially manage psychosis in medical illness, be able to diagnose depression in general practice, be able to diagnose psychosis in obstetric and gynecologic patients, recognize abnormal behavior in children, be able to diagnose anxiety disorders, have a knowledge of morbidity in Grenada, and provide counseling to patients.
The seminar was facilitated by Dr. Davendranana Sharma, Professor, Department of Behavior Science, Ross University; Dr. Deborah-Ann Stephens-John, General Practitioner and President of the Grenada Medical Association; Dr. Dolland Noel, Medical Consultant, Grenada General Hospital; Drs. Dorris KeensDouglas and Evlyn Spencer, Consultants at Mt. Gay Medical Hospital, Grenada; Dr. Frances McGill, Professor, Clinical Skills and Obstetrics – Gynecology at St. George’s University; Dr. George Mahy, Consultant Psychiatrist at the University of the West Indies, Barbados; Dr. George Mitchell, Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health, Grenada; Ms. Lorraine Steele, Psychotherapist at the Psychological Services Center, St. George’s University; Dr. Narasimhan Prabhakar, Professor, Clinical Skills Department, St. George’s University and Dr. Theresa Simon, Obstetrics/Gynecology Consultant, Grenada General Hospital.
The seminar was planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of Continuing Medical Education through joint sponsored by St. George’s University and Caribbean College of Family Physicians, in collaboration with the Grenada Medical Association.
To date, over five hundred Grenadians have directly benefited from a number of clinics facilitated under St. George’s University’s Virtual Hospital Program. The quality of health care has also been positively impacted as in excess of US$500,000 in equipment and medical supplies have been donated, therefore increasing ‘capability’ and ‘capacity’ to treat more patients at the General Hospital.
The Clinics were conducted by alumni and friends of St. George’s University. Brendon La Grenade, Coordinator of the Virtual Hospital Program, stated “Because our network is as great as it is, we had a vast array of medical professionals who are loyal to the University and willing to volunteer their time and service to the development of health care in Grenada.”
He further added, “Soon enough other colleagues got involved and the program evolved from lectures to having senior residents working with the medical staff at the General Hospital.” It was at this juncture, the Virtual Hospital Program evolved to host a variety of clinics in specializations such as ophthalmology, podiatry, endoscopy and cardiology among others for the Grenadian public. As a result, numerous collaborations have been established with health care providers, hospitals and agencies throughout the United States, and around the world.
St. George’s University’s Virtual Hospital Program was established in 2007 following a signed memorandum with the Government of Grenada, to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and the General Hospital in the delivery of optimum health care. The program which was designed to mentor health care providers officially began in 2008 on a one-week rotation, in which segments of the emergency curriculum were lectured and demonstrated at the General Hospital to members within the Accident and Emergency Department.
The program continues to facilitate a holistic approach to health care through teaching seminars and clinics and the Program Coordinator noted “We are constantly working with the Ministry of Health on ways to bridge the short falls at the General Hospital and the medical community at large, because the aim of the program is to improve health care delivery in Grenada.” As St. George’s University seeks to nurture the relationship forged with the Ministry of Health and the Government of Grenada, future plans include increased collaboration in the areas of pediatric ophthalmology and intensive care training for staff at the General Hospital.
On Saturday, June 9, 2012, the Doctor of Medicine degree was conferred on more than 940 graduates during the St. George’s University School of Medicine two Commencement Exercises at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City, NY. The Class of 2012 represented 46 countries, including the United States, Grenada, the United Kingdom, Canada, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, India and Colombia.
In his address to the graduates, Chancellor Charles R. Modica, JD stated “Our charter class established some very important values which are as relevant today. They took a chance, faced many challenges and succeeded. Your class was the first to exceed the average of US scores for the United States Licensing Examination Step I. You have studied hard and persevered for your success. You are joined today with your classmates from all over the world to achieve success and I am so proud of you.”
Her Excellency Dr. Dessima Williams, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Grenada to the United Nations, also addressed the proud School of Medicine Class of 2012, which included 11 Grenadian graduates. She exhorted the graduates to go out into the world and make a difference. She asked them to use their training and education “to work to uplift the living conditions of those who live in poverty, to aid the disenfranchised in need of health” She cheered the graduates and the University stating that “Whenever I meet an SGU graduate, I say ‘There goes a doctor that was trained at SGU; there goes a healer of the world.” She extended her congratulations to the graduates and also congratulated them on behalf of the government and people of Grenada.
As part of the ceremony, distinguished guest Her Excellency Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, Ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the United States, was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of her being a visionary leader for her country in her drive to further the educational possibilities for the youth of Botswana and to establish Botswana as a hub for international education. Margaret Lambert, SGU’s Dean of Enrolment Planning, described Ambassador Seretse as “one of those rare people whose effect on those around her is immediate and profound” and stated “The people of Botswana have an indefatigable champion working hard for them.” After receiving her honorary degree, Ambassador Seretse stated: “I am most humbled by this honor which I know so many people deserve … and I now regard myself today as part of the class of 2012.” Addressing the graduates, she said: “Please heal the world. We need all of you to participate to help your individual countries but remember you are needed all over.” There are almost 100 Batswana students enrolled at St. George’s University.
As part of the ceremony, Chancellor Modica also conferred SGU’s prestigious Medal of Merit on Professor Pam Briggs, Dean of the School of Life Sciences at Northumbria University in recognition of her contribution and tireless efforts towards the unique and successful collaboration between SGU and NU.
Two Student Speakers, Edwin Raffi and Danielle Krol, addressed their class at the ceremony. Edwin Raffi noted: “We are the product of an institution with a very large network that has accomplished much over the past 35 years … We saw and helped our institution grow. Let it not end today, become an active part of the alumni and take your role seriously. If you think something needs fixing, become a part of the solution.” Danielle Krol urged the graduates to remember their dream: “Our paths came together at SGU. We came together on different roads and it has brought us here today. Don’t ever forget the road you took to earn this degree. In the years ahead, you will impact the lives of your patients.” Among the proud family members present to witness the ceremony was Charter Class member Anthony Coppola whose daughter was among the graduates.
The School of Medicine Commencement Ceremony concluded after the Academic Oath was administered by the Dean of the School of Medicine, Dean Stephen Weitzman, MD. He explained the import of the Oath’s pledges, ensuring that the graduates knew that they were pledging to keep up with their knowledge base, to be the best physicians possible, to not maliciously cause harm, to be discreet, and to celebrate the practice of the art of medicine. Hats and cheers and smiles ensured. A reception followed where the jubilant new graduates celebrated with their families, friends, peers, faculty and administration. St. George’s University’s newest doctors will join the over 10,000 medical graduates who have been licensed in all 50 states and have practiced in more than 45 countries around the world.
By Laura Mann
Dr. Richard Zito, a 1989 graduate of St. George’s University School of Medicine, has been named the president of the Suffolk County Medical Society.
The 2012 National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) has again resulted in St. George’s University School of Medicine graduates attaining many top choice residencies to start the next phase in their lifelong educational pursuit of the practice of medicine. More than 670 graduates will enter their chosen fields in the US this June when they report to their hospitals for orientation to medical records systems and advanced life support courses while discovering mundane things like where the on-call rooms are located or the best place to find a cup of coffee at 2 a.m.! Generally, patient care responsibilities begin on July 1 after this two-week orientation process.
St. George’s graduates will be reporting to residency programs in all the specialties including anesthesia, emergency medicine, family medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, general surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics & gynecology, internal medicine, orthopedics, psychiatry and others. They will be joining programs at university hospitals in California, Nevada, Arizona, Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, Colorado, Wyoming, Florida, Tennessee, Texas as well as the State University of New York in Stony Brook, Syracuse and Brooklyn. St. George’s University affiliated programs and clinical centers that train our students during their third-year clinical core rotations as well as elective ones during their fourth year were also represented by New York Methodist Hospital, Miami Children’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, Lincoln Medical Center, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Newark Beth Israel, and the Cleveland Clinic. Twelve graduates will begin postgraduate training in Canada.
For a complete list of residency appointments, visit our website. We wish all our graduates well and congratulate them on this next stage of their career!
By Marjorie Hack
Dr. Thomas Vazzana, SGUSOM 1985, says he sees the deterioration of human health on a regular basis as a partner at Vazzana and Bogin Cardiology Associates in Staten Island and cardiology division director for the Staten Island Physician Practice. Fast food and a sedentary lifestyle have taken their toll on many of his patients.