Nathan Kwablah, MD, MBA

Nathan Kwablah, MD ’11, MBA ’12, is the very embodiment of individual hard work and dedication, and St. George’s University’s commitment to global medicine.

Born and raised in Ghana, Dr. Kwablah attended SGU on a merit-based scholarship offered to qualified students from Commonwealth countries. He dreamt of becoming a doctor since he was a teenager, inspired by his father, who was a biomedical scientist, as well as the American TV show, ER. When it came time to choosing a medical school, St. George’s University was a highly desirable choice.

“SGU appealed to me because of the learning structure and the opportunities I knew it would give me,” he said. “A family friend had also studied there and highly recommended it. The scholarship offer was the deciding point and I’m delighted at the path I chose.”

The SGU Commonwealth Scholarships are offered to students who demonstrate academic excellence and a commitment to their chosen discipline. They are primarily granted to students from countries where the need for trained professionals is high.

“I knew I’d want to return to Ghana and practice medicine after I graduated,” Dr. Kwablah said.

After earning his Doctor of Medicine at SGU, he stayed in Grenada to complete a Master of Business Administration in Multi-Sector Health Management. His education prepared him well for his return to Ghana, where he currently serves as medical director at Action Clinic in Accra, with designs on becoming a specialist in family medicine.

“There is so much work to be done in Ghana,” Dr. Kwablah said. “We have very capable doctors but limited resources and the country’s medical services are behind in terms of technological advancements. Most doctors are based in urban areas which means medical support for people living in rural areas is hard for them to access.

To resolve this issue, Dr. Kwablah aims to develop health technology in Ghana. He currently is part of a telemedicine initiative that provides a low-cost medical advice service by phone for people who are unable to visit with a doctor. It has proven to be especially beneficial for low-income individuals and families, particularly those residing in remote areas.

“I’d like to do more research in this field and I feel well equipped to take on its challenges after having the advantage of a global education at SGU. The exposure I had during my clinical placements in New York City and California really helped shape my mindset, and I apply the principles from my learning in my day-to-day work.

“As well as a fantastically well-rounded medical education, SGU taught me skills in clinical research, medical education, data analysis, and public speaking, all of which have helped me get to where I am today.”

– Louise Akers

Annie Le, MD/MPH

When one considers the path that Annie Le, MD ’18, and her family have taken, it’s a marvel to see just how far she’s come—and the places she’s sure to go.

“Coming to the US, we pretty much started from scratch,” said Dr. Le, who started her family medicine residency at Borrego Health in California this summer.

In the 1970s, with Vietnam on the precipice of war, her family immigrated to California, settling in a refugee community in San Diego. She lived with her entire extended family in a single home and in poverty. However, she said the experience “built up a lot of character and grit” that helped shape her work ethic and goals.

That includes in medicine, a field she has eyed from a young age. Now as a physician, she is committed to treating underserved communities.

“Being from a refugee community, I witnessed inequality in healthcare firsthand,” she said. “The cultural barriers took a negative toll on my family.”

Dr. Le’s journey toward becoming a doctor began when she obtained her Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), becoming a first-generation college graduate. In addition to her studies, Dr. Le developed a strong research background, first as an undergraduate within UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine’s Department of Hematology and Oncology, and then at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where her responsibilities included coordinating all pediatric brain tumor and central nervous system disease-related clinical trials. As a result, she has been published and mentioned in several research articles.

Still, she felt limited in what she could provide for her patients.

“I knew that a step above, to be able to implement the research and be on the front lines, was to be a practitioner,” she said.

After completing postbaccalaureate courses at UCSF, Dr. Le applied to US medical schools but was waitlisted. Instead of waiting a year to start her journey toward becoming a physician, she applied to St. George’s University at the behest of a UCLA colleague who had taken a similar path.

“Looking back on my clinical years, I really appreciate the fact that I was exposed to so many different communities, different hospitals, and the different ways that they do things. You adapt to each location, and gain knowledge and skills from each experience.”

Annie Le, MD ’18Family Medicine Resident, Borrego Health

“I saw how successful she was going through it, and it was an opportunity to start sooner,” Dr. Le said. “Also, during undergrad I had wanted to study abroad but never did, so this was my opportunity to live in a different culture. Even though I went to UCLA and live in California where it’s diverse, SGU gave me a different level of diversity that allowed me to learn from people from different backgrounds from all over the world. It’s something that I really appreciated.”

While at SGU, she was a member of the Student Government Association (SGA), mentored students through the Academic Education Program (AEP), and volunteered at several student organization health fairs. She was also appointed by her peers as project coordinator of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS), an organization that recognizes students who demonstrate compassionate and patient-centered care.

Dr. Le’s clinical training took her to locations throughout the United States as well as the United Kingdom.

“Looking back on my clinical years, I really appreciate the fact that I was exposed to so many different communities, different hospitals, and the different ways that they do things,” she said. “You adapt to each location, and gain knowledge and skills from each experience.”

Among her stops was Borrego Health, one of more than 70 clinical sites in the SGU network. Through that experience, she built a rapport with attending physicians and staff, making it an easy decision to rank the facility as a top choice for residency. She joined its inaugural residency class on July 1, 2019 and as the first SGU graduate selected for the program.

“In my fourth year, it felt like I was an intern already,” she said. “The relationships that were developed prior to the match allowed me to foresee what the experience would be like working there. I had such a positive experience, so it really felt like home.”

After earning her Doctor of Medicine from SGU and receiving all four honor cords in leadership/academics/humanism/research, Dr. Le added a Master of Public Health, with a focus on preventive medicine, to her resume, further preparing her for a career in family medicine. She will begin her residency at Hemet Valley Medical Center, one of two residency locations underneath the Borrego Health umbrella. Like she grew comfortable at Borrego, Dr. Le hopes that her patients—from wherever they come—feel welcome coming into her office.

“When I was young, I wanted to change some parts of medicine but didn’t have the capacity to do so. But now I do,” she said. “Seeing how hard my family worked has motivated me to push for equal healthcare access for every individual and community.”

– Brett Mauser

Michael Sanwald, MBA

As a veterinarian, Michael Sanwald was trained to treat a wide array of animals, and to create happier and healthier families as a result. But to run a practice of his own, it required more than that. He needed some business sense.

For that, he turned to St. George’s University, from which he earned his Master of Business Administration in 2013. Now the Co-Founder and Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) of Fetch My Vet, Dr. Sanwald has found that the experience has made a significant impact on his veterinary practice.

“My MBA and DVM dovetail into every portion of my role as CVO. I am involved in all aspects of the company, from recruiting veterinarians into our network to being the in-house expert when it comes to the business of veterinary medicine for our team,” stated Dr. Sanwald. “Therefore, my MBA plays an invaluable part in what I do, including developing marketing programs for our clients and even working on the financial aspects with our accounting department to set reimbursement rates on the wellness plans we designed. These are all aspects of everyday life in which my MBA is utilized.”

After completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Findlay in Ohio, Dr. Sanwald made his dream of becoming a veterinarian a reality in 2003 by obtaining his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Ohio State University. He later moved to Virginia, where he spent more than a decade at the Banfield Pet Hospital, earning national merit awards for Best Growth to Plan in 2007 and 2010. In setting off on his own, Dr. Sanwald’s focus swung to the business side of veterinary medicine, prompting him to pursue an MBA from SGU.

“I chose SGU for my MBA because of the unique offering in Multi-Sector Health Management and because it caters to the specifics of medicine and veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Sanwald. “The program was 90 percent online, which allowed me to run the practice that I currently owned, while getting my degree. Additionally, I would have the opportunity to fulfill my two residency requirements on the island, and I felt that since SGU was one of the world’s largest medical schools, the exposure to the resources used to teach their medical students would be a great addition to my current knowledge base.”

Even though he specialized in small animal medicine, Dr. Sanwald didn’t want to limit himself and now treats patients ranging from exotics to traditional pets. He also recruits and trains veterinarians to provide care to client’s pets in their homes throughout Florida, the Southeast, and even nationwide.

Currently, Dr. Sanwald’s plans surround launching a nationwide in-home veterinary service throughout the United States, but he often finds himself thinking of ways to retire to Grenada and become part of the SGU community. He visualizes one day working with the veterinary community both on the island and the University to improve the overall health care of the region and support its veterinary medicine and MBA programs.

“While on the island, experiencing the local culture was absolutely incredible. Grenada is beautiful and its people are nothing short of that,” praised Dr. Sanwald. “Over the period of my two residencies, I was on the island for two weeks each time but I wanted to explore more of it and stay longer. My time there also left me trying to understand ways in which we can give back to areas in this world that don’t have the medical access and benefits that we take for granted in the US. Giving back and being part of a community were themes that I left the island wanting to explore more of in whatever avenues life took me.”

– Ray-Donna Peters

Seleipiri Akobo, MD, MBA

Before and during her time at St. George’s University, Seleipiri Akobo, MD SGU ’15, MBA SGU ’16, had traveled all over the world—from her native Nigeria to the United States, United Kingdom, Thailand, and more. Now with a degree from SGU’s School of Medicine, she believes she can go anywhere she wants to continue her career as a physician.

“In family medicine, you have real experiences, use a wide range of skills, and are trained to deal with patients of different ages and backgrounds,” said Dr. Akobo, a second-year family medicine resident at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “I really want to be better at every aspect of it, and know that I can. I like that there are so many career options, including fellowships, that I can do.

“I can’t tell you for sure how my life will turn out,” she added, “but I see the big picture and believe that I am equipped to make decisions that will help patients and families.”

Dr. Akobo’s desire to enter the world of medicine took root at age 6 when a sickness left her brother bedridden in the hospital. His condition meant many hours waiting for a resolution, waiting for improvement.

“I had all these questions, and I saw how effective the doctors and nurses were in helping alleviate the pain and struggle that our family was going through,” she said.

She expressed her ambitions to her parents, who connected her with family friends in the medical field. Dr. Akobo’s upbringing then included even more trips to the hospital, but for a different reason—she wanted to learn and to help.

Dr. Akobo went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in human physiology from the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria, and then immigrated to the United States to continue her education at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from PSU before going on to serve as a registered nurse in Minnesota and Texas.

Dr. Akobo then turned her sights toward becoming a physician. When considering her options, at some point in the process, she “fell in love with SGU” because of its beautiful setting and track record for graduate success.

“I remember telling my dad that if I was able to go to the Caribbean, it has to be SGU,” she said.

The University’s Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program, for which students spend their first year of study at Northumbria University in Newcastle, England, presented a unique opportunity that she couldn’t pass up. Upon enrolling, Dr. Akobo enjoyed its small class sizes, one-on-one time with NU faculty, and the ability to explore the region in her free time. In addition, her newfound friends became a tight-knit family that joined its Grenada classmates beginning in Term 3.

Dr. Akobo took advantage of the plentiful educational resources at SGU, including its Department of Educational Services, which provided test-taking strategies and study skills that prepared her for important exams and her clinical training in New York City. She diversified her résumé by completing a two-week medical selective in Thailand, as well as a research and teaching fellowship at SGU. After graduating, Dr. Akobo added a Master of Business Administration (MBA) as well, and she also holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Des Moines University.

“It’s nice to put in the work and see it pay off,” Dr. Akobo said. “SGU gives you the resources that allow you to succeed.”

Her success came when matching into the family medicine program at HCMC in 2016, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

“Medical school is not just about intelligence; the process is about staying power and resilience,” she said. “Along the way, you might actually have setbacks, but that you’re passionate about it and that you’re willing to commit to working toward that goal will set you apart. At the end of the day, I wanted this and I did it.”

Nicole Cambridge, BSc, MBA

The road to academic success for Nicole Cambridge, MBA SGU ’15, BSc SGU ’11, has been a winding one, complete with pit stops, twists, and turns throughout. Nevertheless, she persevered, and went on to a Bachelor of Science in economics and finance and a Master of Business Administration, specializing in international business, at St. George’s University.

She earned them both—and maintained a high GPA—all while juggling jobs and taking care of her family. Ms. Cambridge now serves as the Business Development and Research Officer at Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

“Although it took me 10 years and I faced many obstacles, I also had many triumphs, including having my three beautiful daughters along the way,” Ms. Cambridge said.

At the GCIC, Ms. Cambridge supports the organization’s work across a range of areas, including research, policy advice, revenue generation, engagement, and capacity building. She is responsible for collecting and analyzing socioeconomic data and trade statistics, and developing the necessary policy papers to meet the changing needs of the members and stakeholders of the Chamber.

“I wear two caps while working at the GCIC. Some days I work on the business development side of things, drafting contracts, and helping to organize training sessions for local businesses,” stated Ms. Cambridge. “Other days I’m doing research. All of my research skills I acquired through my MBA at SGU, including collecting and analyzing data and reporting, in laymen’s terms, to the average reader. I love what I do. These skills in research methodology and accounting are utilized daily and push me to strive even further in developing my career in finance.”

Ms. Cambridge began as a business studies major at SGU, but altered her course to focus on economics and finance. She was so successful academically that she went on to teach a course in microeconomics in the Department of Educational Services (DES).

Ms. Cambridge hopes to bolster her credentials by achieving certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1, a professional designation given by the CFA Institute that measures the competence and integrity of financial analysts. Additionally, she plans on taking an online Bloomberg Market Concepts Certificate course that introduces market concepts such as economic indicators, currencies (foreign exchange), fixed income (bonds) and equity markets. Her hope is to one day have a career as a portfolio manager, research analyst, or corporate financial analyst.

“To other students thinking about embarking on their own academic journey, although the road may be rough at times, what really matters in the end is getting there successfully,” encouraged Ms. Cambridge. “I would tell them ‘Never give up, and if I can do it, you can do it too.’”

Afia Joseph, BA, MBA

For Afia Joseph and many other young Grenadians, St. George’s University provided an opportunity for personal and professional growth and development, while also allowing them to study close to home.

Just over a decade since she started her journey, Ms. Joseph is equipped with both a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from SGU. She is now the Managing Director at Glenelg Spring Water Inc., a position that unites her two passions.

“What attracted me to SGU were the opportunities it offered to us, the young people of Grenada—those of us who could not afford to travel to attend a university abroad or didn’t possess the necessary qualifications to enter our already limited job market,” said Ms. Joseph. “For Grenadians, SGU allows us to follow our dreams by presenting a chance to afford an excellent university education and obtain a college degree or higher, which opens doors that would’ve remained closed had you not had a degree. SGU makes dreams possible.”

As a visionary leader and innovative executive, Ms. Joseph has been with Glenelg for more than 10 years, working her way up from Financial Manager/Accountant to Marketing and Development Manager to finally serving as Managing Director for the past two years.

“While at Glenelg, I have spearheaded strategic change and structural adjustments, which have led to the sustainability and survival of the business within a very competitive industry,” said Ms. Joseph. “With my proven track record in the management of financial resources, especially cash flow management, I have been able to steer our team in the direction of the vision for the company while keeping on task to meet all goals within the next five years.”

Exhibiting leadership skills from an early age, Ms. Joseph credits the Grenada Junior Achievers, a youth leadership program for high school students, with kindling the flame of her leadership instincts, and St. George’s University with fueling the fire. During the seven years she spent at SGU, Ms. Joseph was also the President of the Business Students Association, a role she feels undoubtedly assisted in the development of her leadership skills.

“Through SGU, I started my growth path to leadership. When you have learned organizational skills and how to respect deadlines at school, this carries over into the workplace,” added Ms. Joseph. “Also, while my primary interest is in business development and management, I am a firm believer in entrepreneurship. One of my goals is to help our young entrepreneurs navigate the challenges in achieving successful businesses in Grenada.”

Jennifer Lopez, DVM, MBA

As a veterinarian, Jennifer Lopez, DVM SGU ’11, MBA SGU ’13, is accustomed to making important decisions that affect the welfare of her patients. Now as Medical Director of VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, her decisions affect the entire practice. It’s a position for which she is well prepared, having obtained both her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Business Administration from St. George’s University.

“The reason I got this job was because of my MBA,” Dr. Lopez said. “They were looking for someone with management experience, and a lot of the things that I learned in class I use every day.”

Having made a positive impression at Banfield Pet Hospital during four separate stints on her breaks from school, Dr. Lopez began practicing as an Associate Veterinarian at Banfield’s midtown Miami location in 2011. It was during that time that she enrolled in SGU’s MBA program, specializing in multi-sector health management. With the exception of two one-week residency sessions in Grenada, classes were held entirely online, which worked well with her hospital schedule. She completed her MBA in fewer than 18 months, and graduated in 2013 with a deeper understanding of international business, global health, and principled leadership.

Dr. Lopez now oversees 12 doctors and 30 support staff in her role as Medical Director. She also works as an Emergency and General Practice Veterinarian, visiting with patients for well visits and conducting critical care treatment, including surgeries, on a regular basis. In addition, the hospital gives back to the community, hosting community days, donating their services and educating owners on how to best take care of their pets. For her leadership, Dr. Lopez was recognized in the 2016 edition of Icons of Pittsburgh, a book that annually recognizes prominent figures in the Steel City.

Dr. Lopez grew up in Miami, FL, where her parents bred Rottweilers. “We always had puppies around, so I thought that was a normal thing,” she said. “I don’t even know what else I would do if it didn’t involve animals.” She obtained her Bachelor of Science in animal biology from the University of Florida in 2001, and went on to earn a BS in business administration from the University of Phoenix in 2004. While pursuing those degrees, she worked in UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine as a veterinary technician, specializing in dermatology, which she also researched in depth.

Tara Paterson, DVM SGU ’03, and Janet Caracciolo, DVM SGU ’03, came through Florida during their clinical year and spoke glowingly about their experience at SGU. They encouraged her to apply, and she enrolled in 2006.

Dr. Lopez found veterinary school to be a challenge, but she was up to that challenge. She embraced the Grenadian culture and appreciated the hands-on experience that the School of Veterinary Medicine provided early on, identifying Drs. Timothy Ayliffe and Marta Lanza-Perea as especially influential figures in her education. She and her classmates held numerous community outreach events, including vaccine clinics and sponsoring lunches.

“It was more difficult than I expected,” Dr. Lopez said. “You don’t just sit at the beach with flash cards every day, although you definitely do occasionally. It’s a good balance. Grenada is a beautiful country and its people are amazing.”

In addition, she served as President of the Jewish Student Association and American Animal Hospital Association, mentored incoming students as part of the SGU’s Footsteps program, and held the position of Student Representative for Pfizer and VCA Hospitals.

“The friends and the connections that I made and the confidence that I gained made me a better veterinarian and person,” Dr. Lopez said. “The faculty spent time with us. They really cared about us doing well, going on to do clinics well, and becoming very good veterinarians.”

She has become one herself, and hopes to pass down the knowledge and skills she has gained to her staff. For a Floridian, relocating to the northeast was an adjustment for Dr. Lopez and her bulldogs, but she admits she has had her time in the sun. “In Florida and Grenada, I wore a lot of flip-flops and shorts, so I’m good with scarves and boots.”

Gifty-Maria Ntim, MD, MPH

Dr. Gifty-Maria Ntim is a double-boarded pediatrician and internist at Antelope Valley Community Clinic in Palmdale, California. She was born and raised in Ghana, but moved to Canada to complete her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at McGill University in Montreal. She found it very competitive to apply to Canadian medical schools as an international student. When she heard about St. George’s University through a professor, she decided it was the perfect opportunity to pursue her dreams.

Grenada was a breath of fresh air for Dr. Ntim—“It reminded me of home on many levels. The people were very welcoming and warm.” Additionally, she was very impressed with the diversity in the student body and actively participated with the African Student Association.

After her first year at SGU, Dr. Ntim worked at the University of Ghana during her summer break on a project funded by the World Health Organization (WHO). “The experience I had in Ghana made me realize the importance of serving communities and not just individuals,” she said. “Hence, after my second term at St. George’s University, I switched from the straight MD program to the MD/Master of Public Health (MPH) dual degree program. The fact that I could get practical hands-on training in a developing country was very appealing to me as well.” In year two, she completed a WHO internship in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr. Ntim went on to become chief resident of the Tulane University School of Medicine combined internal medicine/pediatrics residency program and the principal investigator of the NO-POP (New Orleans Pediatric Obesity Prevention) Project. “I feel my training at SGU is on par with other students and physicians that I have come into contact with. If anything, my training at SGU put me at a slight advantage when it came to infectious disease—which being from Ghana is very handy.”

Dr. Ntim ultimately hopes to develop programs for underserved communities and developing countries. “I am laying the groundwork to be involved in Ghana­­—mainly in the medical education and public health arena. I would love to teach and be involved in program development and sustainable health projects in Ghana.”

Dr. Gifty-Maria Ntim advises future medical students, “I would highly recommend SGU without hesitation. It allowed me to realize my dreams. It’s added to my growth as a person and as a physician, and I would not have it any other way if I could rewrite my life story.”

Elly Masitha, DVM, MPH

Elly Masitha—originally from Bobonong, Botswana—pursued his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Botswana. However, because the University did not offer veterinary programs, and in order to fulfill his dreams of becoming a veterinarian, he decided to leave his homeland to finish his education. Elly always had an interest in veterinary medicine, having spent time taking care of animals on small farms throughout his life. His ambition led him to St. George’s University Preveterinary Program. Upon successful completion of the one-year program, Elly enrolled in St. George’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Elly had many reasons for selecting St. George’s University as the best option for him, not the least of which is the location of the campus. The True Blue campus is indeed an academic paradise. Secondly, the international aspect of the University was appealing because he would meet students from other countries around the world. Lastly, Elly explained, “The school offered me the dual degree option (DVM/MPH) and for me it was all I needed to know to go there. When I go back home to Botswana, my Master of Public Health and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees will be an advantage to my country and my people. Once I decide to go home I can take back that experience.”

Upon arriving to Grenada, Elly recalled, “The people of the island were so welcoming and friendly that it made me feel like I was home.” It was his first time seeing the beach and he also happened to come during one of the biggest celebrations in Grenada—Carnival! He recalls, “I met people from different parts of the world—the Caribbean, Africa, United States, and Canada. I made friends with students from different parts of Africa who I may have otherwise never met.”

In regard to academics, Elly commented, “The professors did a very good job. They tried their best and offered so much of their time and were always available for extra help.” Now that he’s about to receive his DVM degree, Elly can provide some direction for prospective students who are applying to graduate schools. He advises, “On the island you come to work hard and you should work hard, but also enjoy the island and don’t put yourself under too much pressure. Work hard and have fun!”

He recommends the University without hesitation. “St. George’s University is the best school to can prepare you for whatever career you want to choose.” He currently resides in Edinburgh, United Kingdom where he is completing his final year of clinical training. Elly’s dreams include being involved in research, although he is uncertain if he going to pursue further education. While he expects to earn his DVM in June 2011, he recently earned his Master of Public Health degree from St. George’s University in May 2010. While Elly may return to his native Botswana upon receiving his DVM, he would like to return and visit Grenada as well.

Darren Cuthbert, MD, MPH

With each hurdle that he cleared, Darren Cuthbert turned his sights toward another—a higher one in the distance. This March, the 2016 graduate of St. George’s University achieved yet another goal, accepting a highly competitive emergency medicine residency at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He rejoiced not only for the opportunity to continue his training at a state-of-the-art institution but for taking the final step in his long journey toward becoming a physician.

“Emergency medicine broadly encompasses the exciting aspects across all specialties,” Dr. Cuthbert said. “To me, the emergency department is a fun place, free of judgment.  It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from—it’s your right to be cared for in the ER; which also shows the humanistic side of medicine.  It just felt like a perfect fit early on.”

Matching with such a competitive field validates the hard work and dedication put in by Dr. Cuthbert, who admits to having faced a difficult upbringing while growing up in New Jersey. After being confronted with academic failure following the loss of his father and two battles with cancer fought by his mother, Dr. Cuthbert took to heart the incredible work ethic displayed by his parents. Seeing his mother work three jobs while overcoming cancer helped steer him in the right direction, eventually causing him to enlist in the United States Army.

While serving in the Army Reserves, he pursued his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, and also began working as a Unit Clerk at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ. The introduction to medicine only increased his appetite to care for members of his community. Over his five years at SBMC, Dr. Cuthbert graduated to other roles, including transporter, emergency department technician, and burn technician. He was also a volunteer EMT at Ironbound EMS and UMDNJ-University Hospital, both in Newark, until his acceptance to St. George’s University.

Dr. Cuthbert’s journey to Grenada began after several emergency medicine residents whom he worked alongside spoke highly of their experiences at SGU. He enrolled in SGU’s Master of Public Health program, with a focus on health policy and administration. With the help of the University’s award-winning student support services, he graduated magna cum laude and became a member of the Delta Omega Honors Society in Public Health. Dr. Cuthbert earned a spot in the Fall 2012 MD class. A foundation in public health helped him then just as it does now.

“SGU’s MPH program opened the door of opportunity for myself and many others,” he said. “One of the things I love about medicine today is the increased stress placed on evidence-based medicine; public health is the backbone to this practice. Not only does having an MPH make you stick out as a leader amongst your peers, but it broadens your horizon of the world and medicine—eventually creating a better doctor and scientist.”

Throughout his clerkship with SGU, Dr. Cuthbert earned multiple publications relevant to both emergency medicine and anesthesiology. His projects won SGU’s Medical Student Research Competition, and he was runner-up at SJRMC research day. Dr. Cuthbert attributes such successes to the knowledge gained from his mentors within the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, led by Dr. Satesh Bidaisee.

At SGU, Dr. Cuthbert believes he gained an international education, with both its curriculum and its student body. “Going to SGU gives you a different mindset. You assimilate to a different culture, and learn from a diverse array of top professors while attaining relationships throughout the world. I can’t imagine getting a better academic experience elsewhere.”

Dr. Cuthbert continues to take on new challenges. He is in the process of becoming a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, and hopes his story resonates with the children he meets as a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America in Newark, NJ. He cherishes the responsibilities that have been handed to him as a mentor and a physician.

“When you treat patients, you see something you love in those people—the good traits, the human characteristics,” he said. “It’s not really a patient; it’s someone’s mom, someone’s child; brother or sister. You want to treat them like you would want your loved ones to be treated. It reminds you to be careful, diligent, compassionate, and most importantly appreciative of the great gift we’ve been given.”