From a young age, Shivantha Amarnath, MD SGU ’17, dreamt of training to become a physician and treating the citizens of New York City. Now a first-year internal medicine resident at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine at Staten Island University, he’s doing just that.
“SGU further reinforced my desire to pursue medicine, and the amazing community of lecturers, colleagues, and staff were truly inspirational and supportive in helping me reach that goal,” he said. “SGU also gave me the opportunity to complete my clinical rotations in New York, and now it’s given me the chance to do my residency here.”
Dr. Shivantha was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and as the son of an ophthalmologist, he gained early exposure to the medical profession. His drive to become a physician was evident in his efforts. Dr. Shivantha was a member of the Sri Lankan Red Cross Society for Humanitarian Efforts, organizing youth camps, serving as a youth first aid trainer, and assisting with tsunami relief efforts. He graduated from nearby Royal College, also playing basketball for its U-13, U-15, and U-19 teams and the Sri Lankan National Team. Dr. Shivantha earned his Bachelor of Science (Hons.) in biology from Manchester Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom and also obtained an Honorary degree in the Royal Society of Biology, UK, being a trend setter in first class. He is a Trinity College of Music qualified pianist and cellist as well.
With a desire to obtain medical training in the United States, he chose SGU because it offered “the same level of education” while also functioning as a gateway to the US.
While Grenada was halfway around the world from Sri Lanka, the setting was very similar.
“The island felt close to home considering my home country is also a tropical island,” Dr. Shivantha said. “The people, the food, and even the culture made me feel close to home. Adjusting to Grenada was a breeze.”
A high achiever at MMU, Dr. Shivantha came to SGU on an International Student scholarship. He admits that it took time to adjust to the American teaching and examination system, particularly with MCQ questions, but worked closely with University staff to overcome those obstacles. With their help, he began to thrive, gaining admittance to the Iota Epsilon Alpha International Medical Honor Society. He ultimately gave back to his fellow students as a tutor for biochemistry, anatomy, and pathology as part of SGU’s award-winning Department of Educational Services. Upon graduating, Dr. Shivantha was inducted into the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Gold Humanism Honor Society, reserved for students, residents and faculty who exemplify compassionate patient care.
“The education system prepared me for the boards since day one, and offering adequate time for preparation for the steps was also a big plus,” he said.
Dr. Shivantha is now well on his way toward the next goal in his career—a fellowship in either gastroenterology or hematology/oncology.
“For anyone from Sri Lanka who wanted to pursue to become a doctor and get trained either in the States, UK, or Canada, St. George’s University is, without a doubt, the best choice.”