Medical Students Officially Welcomed at Fall 2010 White Coat Ceremony

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On Monday August 16, 2010 over 400 students took the oath of Professional Commitment to mark their entry into the medical program at St. George’s University School of Medicine. This year’s bi-annual White Coat Ceremony was held at St. George’s University Taylor Hall, where an excited and emotional crowd—including family, faculty and special invited guests—filled the hall to maximum capacity to witness the ceremony.

During opening remarks, St. George’s University Chancellor Charles Modica reminded students that their journey has just begun, and is supported by dedicated and accomplished faculty members. Speaking to the enthusiastic crowd, Chancellor Modica said, “You’re here because we believe you can do it— and you believe you can do it.”

The Chancellor reassured students that St. George’s University is not an institution where you have to compete, but one in which students learn and succeed together. Chancellor Modica pointed out that at St. George’s, “Everybody has the potential to succeed together— no one has to be left behind.” He further stated that the fall 2010 class has the luxury of following a legacy of success, from the 1977 charter class to the successful graduation of over ten thousand doctors. “With this history of success, the outcome is inevitable as long as there is application.”

Chancellor Modica explained one of the best things at St. George’s University is that “there are a lot of important and individual stories, you get to meet important people, and each one of you has the opportunity to achieve your goals when you arrive in Grenada.”

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Lord Walton of Detchant, the keynote speaker for the ceremony, sought to pass on lessons to the students, saying that classroom, laboratory and clinical experience “is crucial to the practice of medicine in the 21st century, all of which are part of a learning process which you are all beginning today.”

John Walton (Lord Walton of Detchant) Kt TD MA MD DSc FRCP FMedSci, qualified in 1945 with first class honors from the Newcastle Medical School of the University of Durham. He was a former consultant Neurologist to the Newcastle upon Tyne hospitals, Professor of Neurology in the University and Dean of Medicine from 1971-81.He became a Knight Bachelor in 1979 and was awarded a life Peerage as Lord Walton of Detchant in 1989.

Lord Walton of Detchant held the positions of President of the British Medical Association from 1980-82, of the Royal Society of Medicine from 1984-86, of the General Medical Council from 1982-89, and of the World Federation of Neurology from 1989-97. Adding to the list of accomplishments, Lord Walton has also chaired the House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics and was a member of its Select Committee on Science and technology for ten years. In 2006 he was presented with the Hewitt Award by the RSM Foundation Inc.

Relying on this expansive experience and qualification in the field of medicine and research, Lord Walton pointed out that in order to provide proper diagnosis and treatment “it is important to recognize that you need core knowledge- knowledge of human structure and function, of anatomy, physiology, bio-chemistry and genetics because it is very important for many, many reasons.”

In addition to knowledge which is fundamental, Lord Walton highlighted the need for core medical skills, citing the importance of taking a complete medical history and carrying out comprehensive physical examinations. “History and physical examinations,” said Lord Walton, “are at the core of patient care.” Lord Walton also addressed issues such as the importance of doctor-patient communication and establishing a trusted relationship with patients. He further stressed the importance of research, saying, “Today’s research brings tomorrow’s medicine.

The esteemed doctor shared his experiences with the incoming medical class, reminding them that the practice of medicine deals with living, thinking beings and this should never be forgotten, and always taken into consideration, when treating patients.

Following the keynote address the students were robed in their white coats, took the oath of professional commitment, and were officially welcomed as “Medical Students” to the St. George’s University School of Medicine.

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St. George’s University Celebrates 43rd School of Medicine Commencement

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On Sunday, June 13th, 698 students representing 58 countries graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine at its 43rd annual Commencement Ceremony held at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York. This year’s graduating class marked the 8,925th Doctor of Medicine degree conferred by the University.

Provost Allen H. Pensick opened the ceremony with an introduction of the SGU faculty including Chancellor Charles R. Modica, and gave a special welcome to Her Excellency Dr. Dessima Williams, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Grenada to the United Nations. On behalf of the people and the Government of Grenada, Dr. Williams congratulated the graduating class, which included five Grenada nationals, on their accomplishments. Dr. Williams drew a poignant comparison between the cultural diversity and number of countries represented at the United Nations (UN) and at St. George’s University (SGU).

Her Excellency spoke to them on earning the title ‘Doctor of the People’ in honor of Dr. David Lambert who was commonly referred to by that title. Dr. Lambert was a member of the SGU Basic Medical Sciences Faculty who died on January 27th, 2010. Ambassador Williams conveyed, “You are not just a doctor, you are a healer,” and urged them take their passion and love for medicine into their new careers.

Dr. Charles Modica, Chancellor of St. George’s University, acknowledged the importance the graduates had placed on their degree. He expressed, “I recognise the love and care and devotion a physician has … (and) look towards you as having those same qualities.” He took the opportunity to present Dr. Joseph Feldman, a graduate of the St. George’s University School of Medicine (’89), with the St. George’s University Medal of Merit for his exemplary service to the University community. Dr. Feldman is the Vice President of the SGUSOM Alumni Association and over the years had repeatedly demonstrated his care and concern through his continuous involvement with the University, Grenada, and the medical community.

Another special presentation, the Order of the Mace Award was bestowed upon Mr. Andy Belford, Director of Design and Project Management at St. George’s University. He is the 4th recipient of this prestigious award which is symbolic of the unique spirit of the University.

Other key moments of the ceremony included the conferral of the degrees on the graduates and the recital of the Hippocratic Oath – a universal rite of passage for all doctors, which was led by Dr. Stephen Weitzman, Dean, School of Medicine. Dr. Weitzman explained the significance of the oath and highlighted the key themes it contained. He reminded the graduates that medicine is as much an art as it is a science and they would be called upon to display professionalism, competence, knowledge, humanism, and sensitivity. “Medicine like all sciences changes rapidly and your real learning begins after this.”

Another highlight of the event was the induction of 24 SGUSOM graduates into the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS). The GHHS was established in 2002 by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to foster and acknowledge humanism among medical students. The GHHS has been established at 47 US medical schools and three international medical schools since its inception. St. George’s University became one of the three in 2005.

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India Medical Experience Selective Launched

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St. George’s University Students Embark on Academic and Cultural Adventure

St. George’s University Department of Pathology launched a new selective for qualifying fourth term medical students. Beginning in July, 2010, the two-week India Medical Experience Selective will offer hands-on clinical experience in a state-of-the-art teaching hospital in rural Western India.

The Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences University Karad (KIMS) is one of the most regarded medical colleges in India. Set amidst 60 acres of picturesque mountains and valleys, KIMS will provide our medical students exposure to a new health care delivery system and a rich cultural exchange with students from all over India. Its 25 year history of innovative teaching methods, highly technical campus and facilities, experienced faculty, and robust academic curriculum which emphasizes community service and research will compliment and enhance St. George’s University students’ globally focus medical education and skill set.

Students who participate in the India Medical Experience Selective will benefit from first-hand patient experience in a region that has a high incidence of oral and breast cancers. Students will be exposed to patient history taking, physical examination, treatment for outpatient and inpatient practices of medicine including alternative health care delivery, and KIMS community outreach projects designed to educate, prevent, and manage disease.

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India Selective Course Director Dr. Bharti Bhusnurmath

St. George’s University’s Dr. Bharti Bhusnurmath is the Course Director for the Selective, and has high hopes for the clinical experiences to be gained by the students who will be participating. Dr. Bhusnurmath explains, “This (Selective) will put them at a great advantage when they start their formal clinical training in year three in the US or UK because this extensive hands-on experience is less freely available in the western world. SGU students will gain a life-time perspective of the cancers they witness, rather than a one-time image from books or hospitals.” The students participating in the Selective have already finished the pathology course, providing them with a solid foundation in the basis and evolution of the various disease processes and preparing them well for actual patient interaction.

The KIMS was specially chosen not just because of the facilities but because it has faculty and administration committed to helping the poor patients of India, even if they are unable to pay for health care services. This mindset demonstrate a philanthropic attitude towards the art of healing, unlike that displayed in many other commercially run health care facilities. Dr. Bhusnurmath expressed that a large proportion of St. George’s University medical students from Indian extraction would love to return to their roots and gain an additional perspective of India’s health care model.

The KIMS is an 845 bed modern hospital with facilities for critical care, joint replacement, endoscopic surgeries, dialysis and more. Students will have access to all state-of-the-art equipment at the Institute including radio-diagnosis investigations including MRI, CT scans, mammograms, and color Doppler. In addition to the professional experience, St. George’s University students will join medical and dental students from diverse Indian backgrounds as well as students from other countries, working together in a hospital setting and living side by side on campus.

St. George’s University Students Develop Online Medical Application

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School of Medicine students David Polizzi and Jaskaran Sawhney have developed a popular free application to give medical professionals quick and accurate information about lab test values from their iPhone or iPod Touch.

David and Jaskaran started MD Ezlabs a year ago. According to co-creator Polizzi, “We got our inspiration from widely published science-fiction author and professor of bio-chemistry Isaac Asimov. His theory states that to truly understand a subject you need to break it down into the lowest levels and write about it. The two innovators invested numerous hours developing the program and conducting market research to ensure that their program would be both practical and useful. Having recognized that understanding and proper interpretation of lab results is a necessary skill for medical professionals in all specialties, their goal is “…to make MD ezLabs the standard for quick lab reference around the globe for all medical professionals.” They are in the process of having the current application translated into German and French.

Version 1.0 was released on March 19, 2010 and a planned release of Version 2.0 is expected in August, 2010. MD ezLabs is presently receiving between 500 and 1,000 downloads per day and is listed among the top 18 free medical applications on iTunes. Polizzi and Sawhney are already thinking of further improvements and intend to add sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratio, SI units, pediatric valves and many more lab tests.

Sawhney, from New York, appreciates new challenges. He selected medicine as a career in large part because of the opportunity it gives him to help society. Prior to attending medical school at SGU, he worked with the UN-affiliated, international non-profit, non-governmental humanitarian organization UNITED SIKHS and looks forward to continuing with humanitarian mission work there part-time. Polizzi, a native of Houston, Texas, developed a love for patient care while serving as a Medic in the army. Among his goals, he intends to create technology that merges with medicine to create efficiencies, reduce medical errors, and enhance the patient care environment. Although they each arrived at their chosen career from different paths, both find it very rewarding and share a passion for the profession they have selected. “We are very proud of the opportunities that SGU has given us and are determined to make an impact in global medicine. We hope that other hardworking SGU students who share our vision will join us in our success,” said Polizzi. Interested persons can download the free application as well as contribute to its further development by visiting their website.

David and Jaskaran met after their first-term finals at St. George’s University while getting their advanced scuba diver certification on the Island.

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St. George’s University Student Saves Life of Tourist in Grenada

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Pamela Youssef, a Foundation of Medicine student at St. George’s University and native of Lebanon, saved the life of a 61-year old American tourist involved in a traffic accident in Grand Anse, Grenada.

Walking home from her daily swim at Grand Anse beach on Sunday February 27 at around 7 p.m., Pamela heard a crash involving two vehicles near the Flamboyant Hotel. She immediately rushed to the scene where her medical training kicked into gear. Pamela says, “I was a bit hesitant at first but it was like something pushed me there.” Her actions are the reason one man is alive today.

The accident was exacerbated by the fact that the victim was holding a glass bottle between his legs which shattered in the accident, severing his femoral artery. Pamela found the injured man bleeding heavily and half conscious and immediately knew that the situation was very serious. “That is the moment when you think that you have nothing to lose so you need to act—by any means,” she recalls.

Pamela tried to stem the bleeding with a shirt, but when this failed she used her thumb to stop the flow of blood while she waited for the ambulance. Pamela spoke to the victim and asked him questions about himself to help keep him conscious. Some well-intentioned bystanders attempted to assist by giving the man water and moving him from his vehicle, but Pamela dissuaded them, as she knew that those were both very bad ideas. Instead, she suggested they help by calming and assisting the victim’s wife and the driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision, who were both physically unharmed.

Pamela leaned on the first aid training she received during the two years she volunteered with the Red Cross in Lebanon and credits her training in the Foundation of Medicine program at SGU for giving her the skills needed to assess the situation and react quickly. The basic sciences courses at St. George’s provide instruction on anatomy and the regular emphasis on medical and emergency cases helped her to remain calm and confident during the incident.

The experience has reminded Pamela of the very reason she chose to pursue a career in medicine and has given her new motivation. “Nothing feels like saving a life… and I feel just lucky. I was lucky enough to be there to do it.”

Pamela has since spoken to the wife of the victim who informed her that he is doing well. The couple flew home on March 3 to the US where he continues his recovery.

St. George’s University is very proud of Pamela Youssef and commends her on her heroic action. We look forward to the day when she will join nearly 10,000 alumni and become a great St. George’s University-trained doctor.

SGUSOM Student/ Film Maker Justin Salerian’s First Documentary Highly Praised

Prior to his acceptance to St. George’s University School of Medicine (SGUSOM), Justin Salerian, a native of Washington D.C., volunteered as an Emergency Medical Technician in South Africa. With a childhood passion for film-making, he brought along an HD video camera to chronicle some of the six month experience he had spent riding with the paramedics. At the time, he had no expectation that the rough footage he captured would be transformed into a powerful documentary that would be recognized by peers, mentors, and film critics; and submitted for entry to numerous film festivals across the globe.

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Throughout a period of four months, Justin Salerian worked as an EMT with the local medics from Netcare 911, one of the largest emergency medical care providers in the world, to deliver critical medical care to South Africa’s most economically diverse communities. It didn’t take Justin long to recognize the disparity in the health care system. His desire to expose the harsh realities of this polarized country was the impetus for his first feature film, “Tell Me and I Will Forget.”

For one hour and eighteen minutes, this film takes its audience on a powerful and uniquely intimate journey that depicts the pervasive violence and lacking medical care in present day South Africa, a country that more than 15 years earlier ended its oppressive Apartheid government. Justin explained that today there are two medical systems in South Africa; the private medical system serving primarily the financially and socially established population, and the public system serving the struggling socioeconomic class, which represents at least 80% of the population. By many accounts, the public system is underfunded with little resources.

While the film was shot over a period of six weeks, the three days he spent in the public system is the foundation and heart of this film, and as Justin explained “the real story to be told.” Justin expressed a genuine love for South Africa, its natural beauty and its people, but wants this film to illuminate the division of its medical system and the violence that hinders the country. He hopes that the timing of this film’s release will be even more impactful as it coincides with the high profile 2010 World Cup South Africa. “All eyes will be on South Africa in the months ahead, creating more opportunity to raise awareness and generate a change,” said Justin.

This film is a tribute to the many friends he made in South Africa and continues to stay in contact with, individuals who are fighting to care for their fellow countrymen in a system that leaves the majority of its people without sufficient medical care. In addition, he hopes that the story “will provide lessons” for his home country (USA) to learn from as well.

Justin plans to return to South Africa in July, before beginning his clinical program, with wishes to invite his friends to the Durban International Film Festival which takes place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, and is one of many festivals internationally where the film will be submitted.

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Justin describes this project as a true collaboration with high school friend and now Producer, Michael Marantz of The Loft Productions, who played a key role in bringing the film to life. Most of the creative process including the writing and editing for “Tell Me and I Will Forget” took place on St. George’s University’s True Blue campus, between Justin’s first and fourth terms. Through the use of Skype and two synced hard drives, Justin and Marantz (based in Los Angeles) edited 30 hours of raw video footage into the 78 minute film. Even Justin’s voice-over track was recorded in Grenada using a foam egg-crate mattress to sound proof the room.

Justin is indebted to his family, friends, and St. George’s University staff and faculty for their incredible support. His family, bar none, provided the financial and emotional support integral to getting this film made. His father, a physician and great inspiration, mother and uncle are investors.

Justin credits Dr. Calum Macpherson, St. George’s University’s Vice Provost for International Program Development, for the title of his first feature film. Unbeknownst to Dr. Macpherson, the inspiration came from a Chinese proverb he had displayed during the first day of Parasitology class: “Tell me and I’ll forget; Show me and I may remember; Involve me and I’ll understand.”

“Tell Me and I Will Forget” has already been shared with over SGUSOM 400 peers in Grenada, whose standing ovation response left Justin overwhelmed with joy and and sense of accomplishment. He is equally excited about an upcoming screening which will take place on March 2nd during the Clinical Faculty meetings in Grenada. Having also received high praise from an audience of film industry professionals, “Tell Me and I Will Forget” is entering the international film festival circuit.

To view a video clip of Justin Salerian’s “Tell Me and I Will Forget” please visit:

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St. George’s University Announces Winners of Student Research Competition

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Five winners of a student research competition were announced by the Office of the Dean, St. George’s University School of Medicine. This competition was instituted to encourage and promote the research component of St. George’s University’s medical program. Senior medical students were invited to submit an abstract of their research completed during their SGUSOM medical education. All submissions were accompanied by any published abstracts, papers, posters or manuscripts used in preparation of the work.

A faculty panel reviewed the submissions and chose five winners (from a pool of 70 submissions) based on originality, scientific merit, and level of involvement. Each of the winning students will receive an all expenses paid trip to Grenada the week of the clinical faculty meeting (March 1-5, 2010), with the opportunity to present and discuss their research with faculty and students on True Blue campus. This is a unique opportunity to showcase their work to the SGU community at large, and will likely support other students in their research endeavors.

The University congratulates the winning students as well as all other students who submitted their research projects as their initiative further substantiates SGU’s commitment to research in the field of medicine. They are:

1. Kyle Smith – “Effect of Location of Drill Holes on the Bending Strength of Fresh Bovine Bone”.

2. Ashish Jairath – “Active real-time hematoma expansion in intracerebral hemorrhage in the presence of the computed tomography angiographic spot sign”.

3. Ahmad Firas Khalid – “Risk Factors for Emergency Caesarian Section in a Multiethnic Environment”.

4. Supreet Bindra – “Clinical Laparoscopic Appendectomy Conversion Rates Two Decades Later: An Analysis of Surgeon and Patient-Specific Factors Resulting in Open Conversion”.

5. Zachary Klaassen – “Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, A Review”.

Reflecting on being an SGU Research Competition winner, Zachary Klaassen, a medical student who did his core rotations at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ said, “I put in a lot of hard work and it is truly an honor. This award is a culmination of two years of hard work and being placed in a great research environment working with Dr. Loukas.” Kyle Smith, a medical student at Long Island College Hospital, was very excited to be recognized for his work in the field of Orthopedics, “I was very happy my research has contributed to both the field of Orthopedics and has helped to promote the name of St. George’s University within that field.” Ahmad Khalid, a medical student who did most of his clinical rotations at North MiddleSex Hospital in London, sees the St. George’s University Research Competition as a positive sign for the future, “It shows how SGU is committed to furthering the research program. Stressing the importance of research is a great message to send to younger students because when landing residency positions becomes more competitive, a strong research base makes a student stand out from the majority.” Research is the first step towards medical advancement and St. George’s University will continue to support the progress of its students beyond the classroom and across the world.

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Tropical Medicine Selective Provides St. Georges University Students Unique Field Experience in Kenya

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Over the past three decades St. George’s University has gained a reputation as one of the top centers for international education. In addition to drawing students and faculty from 140 countries to the small island of Grenada, SGU encourages students to explore course selectives around the world from Peru to Prague, from India to Thailand, and beyond. During summer 2011, the University will once again offer its third annual Tropical Medicine Selective in Kenya.

Dr. Calum Macpherson, Vice Provost for International Program Development, Dean of Graduate Studies, and Director of Research, launched the two-week long selective in 2009. As a native of the region, Dr. Macpherson has a long standing relationship with many health organizations in the region, and he launched the course in partnership with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF). The collaboration has allowed nearly two dozen students to study Tropical Medicine in Kenya every summer. Dr. Macpherson explains, “The Tropical Medicine Selective is important because it provides students with a critical understanding of the economic and public health relevance of tropical diseases in a developing country.”

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During the first week of the selective, students typically spend a few days at the large hospital in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and largest city at their afternoons at KEMRI. During the day, students accompany consulting physicians on their ward rounds and are exposed to the different research programs. In the evenings, students attend a series of AMREF-hosted lectures and seminars on tropical medicine, community and public health, and current methods to combat tropical diseases. Last year’s group benefited by hearing from the former head of AMREF and new head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Director General Michael Smalley.

The remainder of the trip is spent 250 miles southwest of the capital city among the nomadic communities of Kajiado District. This rural population receives health services from AMREF’s Entasopia Clinic. In 2009, in collaboration with the regional health authorities and Dr. John Nduba, Director of AMREF’s Sexual Reproductive and Child Health program, students conducted an ultrasound clinic on reproductive health as well as cystic hydatid disease. More than 250 people were successfully screened, including 49 pregnant women. In 2010, participants of the selective revisited the clinic to not only provide services, but to donate an ultrasound machine and printer worth $20,000 USD. Twenty-five health workers were trained on how to use the machine so they could continue to benefit the local population without being dependent on the annual Tropical Medicine Selective students. An elaborate handing over ceremony took place to celebrate the event. Student organization International Federation of Medical Student’s Associations (IFMSA) raised funds to package and to ship the ultrasound to Kenya.

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Last year 19 medical students, three physicians, and one parasitologist, representing Sweden, Canada, United States, Nigeria, Kenya, Trinidad and Hong Kong, took part in the selective. “Such a wealth of both practical and field experience that was shared had a profound effect on the students’ outlook on culture, health systems, and health care delivery options,” described Dr. Macpherson. In addition cultural interchange and learning within the diverse group, students benefited by interacting with their Kenyan peers. Throughout the duration of the program, students were joined by local medical students from Nairobi University. The selective ends with a two night stay at the luxury resort at the Masai Mara Game Reserve—one of the best and largest in Africa—where the group can witness the indigenous wildlife abundance and experience the wildlife, domestic animal, and human interface.

The next Tropical Medicine Selective in Kenya will take place from May 24, 2011 to June 3, 2011 and is open to 15 students and three physicians. The summer 2011 Tropical Medicine Selective offers research options in OB/GYN and the nomadic Masai with Dr. John Nduba and Dr. Schleucher, cystic echinococcosis with Dr. Zeyhle, and laboratory studies with Dr. Carter. Additional opportunities are available for students who wish to gain additional experience and extend their stay in Kenya.

SGU Students Get Hands-On Training in India Medical Experience Selective

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Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences University in Karad Hosts SGU Students

Aparna Balasubramanian, Chandana Das, Diviya Kaul and Jordan Watson have the distinction of being the first of many intended future groups of St. George’s University (students to participate in SGU’s India Medical Experience Selective. The students spent two weeks at the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences University (KIMS) in Karad, India earlier this year. KIMS exposed the students to a facility dedicated to patient care and alternate systems of medicine in a secure and picturesque campus environment. In addition to its excellent facilities, KIMS’ commitment to community outreach projects and patient care weighed heavily in its selection.

Dr. Bharti Bhusnurmath, India Selective Course Director, explained that students who participate in the selective benefit greatly as it provides “hands-on experience in clinical subjects, especially in history taking, physical examinations and all sorts of patient care which they studied here [SGU] .” She went on to explain that this selective places its participants at a unique advantage as they are exposed to clinical situations involving primary and tertiary care. “Unlike many other selectives,” Dr. Bhusnurmath said, “students in this selective also have the opportunity to encounter the challenges and rewards of delivering healthcare in a rural setting.”

Students praised the program and were enthusiastic about the experience. Throughout their two-week stay the students received individual attention and training during several rotations. They were provided access to attending physicians and department heads, and were allowed to participate in rotations with residents and interns in internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, radiology, ENT, ophthalmology/breast cancer specialty, oncology and pediatrics.

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In addition to observing in the operating room, they also participated in a breast cancer therapy session and outpatient care. The number of patients visiting the hospital also meant that they were able to see some uncommon diseases, as one student stated, “Because of the magnitude of the hospital, many rare diseases which appear in textbooks and classes can be seen on a daily basis in patients there, providing chances for the application of book knowledge.”

They were impressed by the doctors and staff who hosted them and in particular, Dr. Suresh Bhosale, Vice Chancellor and also Chair of Surgery at KIMS, who inspired them to show compassion for their patients. One of the students commented, “As medical students you always hear that you will not be able to give passion to your patients and he [Dr. Bhosale] just totally went against it and said ‘no’ you do give passion that is why we all want to be doctors.”

They were unanimous in praise for KIMS and grateful to SGU for affording them this unique opportunity. One of the participants, Diviya Kaul stated, “Going to India and interacting with patients has changed how I now conduct hospital visits; I already know what questions to ask and it is helping in making the transition from thinking like a student to a clinician.” Others reported, “The hands-on training, including drawing blood and assisting in deliveries and surgeries is a great way to reinforce everything learned through coursework at school while preparing for whatever comes ahead. This means doing better in the basic sciences, on the USMLE, or preparing for life as a physician.”

The central view of the students and Course Director is that the selective provides an extraordinary experience in clinical medicine, the day-to-day workings of a hospital and practical insight into being a doctor. Additionally, the selective provided an opportunity for the students to experience first-hand how health care systems are administered in a different country especially in a setting with few resources which is required to deliver care to a large volume of patients.

A second group is currently participating in this selective and is expected to equally benefit from the experience at KIMS which will help formulate their sense of clinical judgment that will serve them well in the future as practicing physicians.


Dr. Sean Levchuck, SGUSOM Alum, performs life-saving heart surgeries at St. Francis Hospital through Gift of Life

By Katie Serignese.
Special to Newsday

“This is why I do what I do,” said Levchuck, who has done more than 500 surgeries through Gift of Life. “I get personal satisfaction and get to do something for someone I don’t know.”