Chauncey Thuss Jr., MD

For Dr. Chauncey Thuss, occupational medicine has been in his family for nearly a century – first his grandfather, then his father and uncle, and now he carries the torch as medical director at St. Vincent’s Occupational Health Clinic, the largest provider of occupational medicine in downtown Birmingham, Alabama.

“What I like that you really get a good feeling of what’s going on in the city because I’m talking to and treating all these different people,” Dr. Thuss said.

Thuss’s grandfather, William G. Thuss, started Thuss Clinic in 1924, one of only three industrial medicine clinics in the southeastern United States, and the family ran the business through 2008. Dr. Thuss served as the physician, medical director and partner for Thuss Clinic and Thuss Medical Group for more than two decades before joining Gadsden Regional Medical Center’s Occupational Health Center beginning in September 2008. In July 2012, he was appointed to the medical director position at St. Vincent’s.

Dr. Thuss classifies occupational medicine, which relates to workplace injuries, a cross between internal and emergency medicine. He treats injuries that occur in the workplace, anything from strains and lacerations to broken bones.

“You never know what’s going to come at you,” Dr. Thuss said. “It isn’t quite as hectic as an emergency room but it’s right up there with it.”

In addition, he has owned and operated Absolute Drug Detection Services, a third-party drug test administrator with multiple terminals around the US, for more than two decades. He had long performed such tests at Thuss Clinic, and business boomed when the Drug Free Workplace Act made them a requirement for certain federal organizations in 1988 in an effort to create a drug-free environment.

Dr. Thuss was also one of the first 75 certified medical review officers (MROs) in the country and has co-chaired the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) and is a Board Member of the Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association (SAPAA) and certified by, and a member of, the American Association of Medical Review Officers (AAMRO). He was also one of the first Certified Medical Examiners under the newly created National Registry for Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME), a registry of medical providers that administers mandated Department of Transportation physical examinations.

Although he grew up in Birmingham, Dr. Thuss obtained his Bachelor of Arts in biology from Boston University in 1978, and he went on to complete postgraduate training in natural sciences and mathematics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham before enrolling at SGU. After two years in Grenada and two more at Kent and Canterbury Hospital in the UK, Dr. Thuss earned his MD before completing his internal medicine residency at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH. He treasures the opportunity to have studied in a variety of locations in the US and UK.

“Some people join the Navy to see the world,” Thuss said. “I say go to medical school see the world.”

The basic science years tested his mettle, with many long nights put in, but in between study time, Dr. Thuss still managed to enjoy all that the island had to offer.

“One time I wanted to go out on the beach so badly but I couldn’t because I was getting ready for a test that was coming up, and I remember a guy told me ‘don’t worry about it, it’s going to be beautiful tomorrow too,’ ” said Dr. Thuss. “And that was true. Every day was another day in paradise.”

Brian Butler, DVM, MPH

Brian Butler’s early career is a true testament to the opportunities and impact made available with a dual DVM/MPH degree from St. George’s University.  Brian has recently returned from a second visit to Africa, a world away from Missouri where he was born, raised and attended undergraduate school.

He was first introduced to the people of Western Uganda through a grant funded by the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF), an independent research and education institution based at St. George’s University’s True Blue campus.  As part of a project set up by WINDREF Director Dr. Calum Macpherson, Brian spent ten weeks among the Bsongoro people researching the effects of Cystic Echinococcosis (CE), a global zoonotic parasitic disease with human and livestock incidence.

CE is common in many East African pastoral peoples, but has never been investigated in the specific Bsongoro community.  It is transmitted most commonly from dogs, but is thought that wild carnivores play a significant role in the transmission of the disease as well.  Brian worked with a local wildlife veterinarian, tagging and tracking lions and hyenas, and documenting the relationship between wildlife and the local people.

As a result of his work, which satisfied the practicum for the MPH Degree, Brian received funding from the National Institutes of Health to continue his study of the physiological and pathological similarities and differences between diseases in humans and animals as he pursues his PhD in Comparative Pathology at the University of California, Davis.

Brian returned to Uganda this past summer to attend a one-month course where he studied and worked along side African colleagues in an effort to uncover solutions to Africa’s most challenging infectious diseases, most specifically pediatric malaria.  After he completes his PhD, he hopes his career pursuit in tropical medicine and tropical diseases will continue to offer opportunities to visit many more wonderful and exciting places.

Brian credits St. George’s University for offering the unique opportunity to attain both his DVM and MPH simultaneously, an opportunity which broadened his exposure to the field of research and its global application in public health and guided his current path, of which he is most proud.   He looks forward to one day returning to Grenada and making a contribution to the research and veterinary public health programs at St. George’s University.

Austin Enright, MD

Having grown up playing competitive rugby, Dr. Austin Enright was exposed to the magic of orthopedics at a young age.

“I probably broke 16 or 17 bones playing various sports,” he estimated.

Now a fourth-year orthopaedic surgery resident at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, he is on the other end of these procedures, treating conditions involving the musculoskeletal system. From arthroscopic surgery and knee replacements to hip fractures and rotator cuff repair, Dr. Enright has seen a wide variety of issues at the hospital, a place with which he was all too familiar as an athlete.

“As I went through medical school, I realized that I really liked that part of medicine,” Dr. Enright said. “For the most part, you’re working with your hands, and you also don’t have to wait long to see results in your patients. If someone comes in with a hip that’s really bothering them, you can have them walking two days later without that pain.”

He has thoroughly enjoyed his experience in Winnipeg, and is now looking forward to starting a fellowship in spine surgery at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand.

Originally from Vancouver Island, Dr. Enright obtained his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from the University of Victoria. When weighing his options, his mother, an anesthesiologist, explained that a colleague’s son had come through St. George’s University. Dr. Enright learned about the SGU’s new Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program, which allowed students to spend their first year of basic sciences at Northumbria University in Newcastle, United Kingdom. There he learned the UK medical system while enjoying small class sizes, personal relationships with faculty, and a centrally located campus. In addition, he carved out time to play hockey for University of Northumbria and competitive rugby with The Newcastle Medics RFC.

Dr. Enright spent his second year in Grenada, and then it was on to clinicals, for which he felt well prepared.

“It was hard not to like living in the Caribbean, and we received the same quality of education in our classrooms as students in the US and Canada,” Dr. Enright said. “When we reached clinicals, I thought we were easily on par with the American students and certainly as good as or better than those from other Caribbean schools.”

Dr. Enright strengthened his residency candidacy by completing orthopedics electives at the University of Manitoba, the University of Saskatchewan, and Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“In vying for this position, I certainly thought I was competitive,” Dr. Enright said. “Visiting electives are a big factor in the match process. If you go somewhere as an elective student and do well, you have a leg up on anyone else competing for the spot.”

His time in New York City saw him continue to play competitive rugby for The Village Lions RFC in New York City. The Big Apple is also where he met his wife, Kristen.

On the side, Dr. Enright has even made his way back to the rugby pitch, albeit on the sidelines as a coach, his injuries finally catching up with him. He knows full well the risks that are involved, having seen injuries as a patient and now as a clinician.

Asif Ghauri, MD

Growing up in Essex, England, Dr. Asif Ghauri always had the ambition to study medicine.  Competition to gain acceptance into medical schools in the United Kingdom is very intense, regardless of the strength of one’s grades, and so Dr. Ghauri decided to become a pharmacist.  This was “the closest thing to medicine” that he had the opportunity to study in the UK, he said.

Though an accomplished pharmacist, Dr. Ghauri headed to the United States for a new challenge and started taking classes toward an MSc in Biology at the University of Texas, Arlington. While he was enrolled in classes, he had a chance meeting with a premedical advisor who suggested he apply to St. George’s University School of Medicine (SGUSOM) if he was still interested in pursuing his dream of becoming a physician.  He was accepted to SGUSOM in 1998 and so began his journey.

Dr. Ghauri received excellent grades in medical school and was a top scorer on many of the medical exams, including the USMLE and the PLAB. One would think that getting a job after graduation would not be too difficult for this former pharmacist; however, in the early 2000’s in the UK, for every spare internship job not filled by a UK medical graduate, there were hundreds of applicants.  This situation made it rather difficult to obtain an interview.

“I got myself an interview at the Eastern Deanery and started to promote myself, talking about my excellent medical education and how well I had done academically and professionally,” Dr. Ghauri recalled. “Somehow the conversation turned to old cars and their restoration, which happens to be a hobby of mine, and we must have talked about cars for more than two hours!” After this interview Dr. Ghauri had a medical internship job specially created for him and funded by the Eastern Deanery so that he could become a registered UK physician in one of the toughest markets in existence – something that had never been done before for an international medical graduate.  With his foot finally in the door, Dr. Ghauri worked very hard, using his medical knowledge to care for patients at Basildon University Teaching Hospital and working long hours to prove that he was motivated and determined. He is currently Chief Resident in family practice at Laindon Health Center in the UK and he credits St. George’s University for giving him the tools he needed in order achieve.

Dr. Ghauri’s experience at SGU was a great one: “The training I received during the Basic Science years was very good,” he said. “In hindsight, looking at the education I received it was excellent.  The SGU administration and faculty set high standards for medical students.  SGU prepared students for clinical training just as well as any UK medical school.  They made us go that extra mile and achieve that much more.”

“One of the things I especially liked about SGU was the combination of training opportunities in the US and the UK,” he continued. “It is very unique for someone with my background to be able to learn about the two different systems of medicine at one school.”

Dr. Ghauri did his clinical rotations in Jersey City and some electives in UK teaching hospitals. After graduation he considered furthering his training in the US but, in the aftermath of September 11th, he decided he should return to the UK to be with his family. He commenced his postgraduate training program in 2003, and was the highest scoring applicant in family practice at the Eastern Deanery for that year.  Now that he is settled and enjoying his work, Dr. Ghauri tells his story about the way he secured his position in the UK. His experience has led him to start a consulting company where he helps foreign medical graduates figure out the best way to negotiate the UK system and become successful, practicing physicians.  Dr. Ghauri is and will always be very thankful for his years at SGUSOM: “St. George’s University provides opportunities for those who really, really want to study medicine,” he said. “If you are totally determined to become a doctor, come hell or high water, then this is the place to be.”

The future looks bright, and he is quick to once again express his gratitude for SGUSOM as he concludes: “As of August 2008 I will be joining my father’s practice as a full GP principal and partner. I am still extensively involved in the training of doctors and nurse practitioners. Hopefully our practice will be taking on final year residents in family practice in the not-too-distant future. Also quite soon, I will be undertaking a senior position for the local drug and therapeutics committee that ties in with my pharmaceutical background. Once again I cannot thank SGUSOM enough for making all of these dreams possible.”

Amie Dmytryshyn, MD

Dr. Amie Dmytryshyn grew up in a close-knit family in Vancouver where she always knew she wanted to study medicine. She recalled, “My father is a physician, so dinner time conversations about surgery was the impetus to my desire for medicine, then surrounding myself volunteering and working in health care solidified it.” In 2002, Amie earned her Bachelors of Human Kinetics with honors from the University of British Columbia.

She heard about St. George’s through a fellow Canadian and good family friend who had a great experience as a former student at the University. Like many students who might be fearful of medical school in the Caribbean, Amie explained, “I thought I was going to a third world country, but the facilities were first-rate, top-of-the-line with superior equipment.” Of island life, she explained, “My first impression was that it was breathtaking. I loved the beaches and the tropical rainforests.”

Still, Amie was nervous about leaving her family and long-time boyfriend, but their frequent visits to Grenada helped ease the transition. Additionally, her boyfriend moved to be with her, completing his degree online. The couple was very active during their time in Grenada, participating in annual dodge ball tournaments, weekly beach volleyball, running clubs, and more.

Initially Amie believed it might be a challenging process to return to Canada; she was pleasantly surprised it turned out not to be the case at all! “It’s a difficult process no matter what because it’s a competitive field, but I think I was well equipped to come back. St. George’s University prepared me extremely well for my board exams—Canadian and American. I did fantastic and it’s not because of memorizing—because I can’t! The school shows you how to study and how to learn for your own needs. I feel indebted to the school for what they did for me.”

Amie admitted that for most people medical school in the Caribbean might not be their intended route. She believes St. George’s University compares favorably to other medical universities because “there is passion that comes with having to travel around the world to get your medical education.” In regard to the faculty she says, “We had the best of the best!” The greatest advantage of studying in Grenada was her early hands-on experience with the local population. “Clinical experience blends into your first two years—at least one session a week of practice really prepares you for your third and fourth clinical years.”

Amie graduated St. George’s University in 2008. She was married to her long-term boyfriend in Summer 2010 and is currently practicing pediatric medicine in Vancouver. Although she would love to return to Grenada, Amie is busy finishing her last two years of residency. In December 2010, she was promoted to Chief Resident of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in British Columbia. What does Amie love the most about her job now? “Sounds cheesy, but working with children and learning how to put a smile on their face is a skill I have started to learn and it is a lifelong purpose. Watching children heal is a joy.”

Dr. Dmytryshyn hopes to continue this lifelong learning process practicing pediatric medicine in Canada. She and her husband hope to travel the world and continue their global education. “I have friends to visit throughout the States, UK, Australia, and New Zealand!”

She is most proud that she had the courage to leave her home, adapt to different cultures, and learn about medicine in different environments. She advises prospective students, “Do not be afraid. It is common to be apprehensive about not knowing what will happen after medical school. If medicine is your dream, let go of your fears because St. George’s University will prepare you well. Your dreams will be fulfilled.”

Alicia Chilito, MD

When it came time to choose the path down which she would travel, Dr. Alicia Chilito, MD SGU ’94, weighed her options, and chose the field that offered the most variety – family medicine. More than a decade into owning and operating a successful practice in Miami, she is more than pleased with her choice.

“I thought about going into surgery, but I like that I can visit with patients of all ages and backgrounds, and also treat different diseases and conditions,” she said. “In family medicine, you have to know a little bit about a lot of different areas of medicine.”

Born and raised in Colombia, Dr. Chilito immigrated to the United States at 17, residing with her grandmother in Texas. She earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1987. Dr. Chilito was admitted to a US medical school, but when that ceased operation during her first semester, she met with a past professor, Dr. John Cush, MD SGU ’81, the director of clinical rheumatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, who spoke highly of his alma mater.

She welcomed the opportunity to experience a new country and culture, and professes that the diverse student body and faculty at SGU has helped her in her current practice, which sits in one of the US’s most diverse cities.

“At SGU, you meet people from all over the world, and I really liked that,” Dr. Chilito said. “You learn to respect people’s different religions and different beliefs. It was very rewarding to learn about these different points of view.”

When it came time to apply for residency, Dr. Chilito focused solely on family medicine. “I didn’t want to specialize in one thing because I didn’t want to get bored,” she said. “Family medicine is very broad, so you always have to study and you’re always learning.”

Dr. Chilito completed her residency at Allegheny Family Physicians in Altoona, PA, and after working at Miami-based clinics in the late 1990s, she opened her own practice in 2002. Outside her practice, she is the medical manager for the Miami-Dade Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue unit. She also volunteers on numerous medical missions, treating underserved patients at clinics throughout the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Africa and the Middle East. A recent trip took her to Haiti, where she worked to address the country’s outbreak of cholera.

“It’s wonderful to provide medical care for people who need it and are very appreciative,” Dr. Chilito said. “To change someone’s life like that is very rewarding.”

Dr. Chilito has served in the United States Army Reserves since 2000, ascending to her current rank of lieutenant colonel. In October 2013, her active-duty commitment took her to a clinic in Afghanistan, where she helped treat military personnel and contractors.

Zachary Klaassen, MD

Medical research started as a curiosity when Zachary Klaassen was a student at St. George’s University. It soon blossomed into a hobby, and then a passion, and it’s now an integral part of the 2010 graduate’s future in medicine. A Urologic Oncology Fellow at the University of Toronto, Dr. Klaassen is also working toward a Master of Science in clinical epidemiology and health care research at the Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation.

“I love taking care of the patient, and I equally love trying to figure out how to make care better,” said Dr. Klaassen, who will join the faculty at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) following his fellowship. “Ten years ago, I might have said that research would make up less than 10 percent of what I would do. It’s probably greater than 50 percent now, and if you asked me what my dream job was, I would say 50 percent clinical and 50 percent research.”

His fondness for research began when he launched and directed SGU’s Medical Student Research Institute (MSRI) with Dr. Marios Loukas, Dean of Research, and Dr. Ronald Chamberlain, Chairman, St. Barnabas Health in New Jersey. Dr. Klaassen soon discovered that he both enjoyed conducting research and was efficient at it. He earned the Senior Medical Student Research Competition Award and graduated magna cum laude with research distinction. Dr. Klaassen has since co-written four book chapters, been published in more than 65 peer-reviewed journals, and presented his research at over 35 regional and national conferences.

Research complements the clinical training he’s receiving at U of T. The first year of fellowship has been spent predominantly in research, allowing Dr. Klaassen and his colleagues to present cases at renal tumor and multidisciplinary bladder cancer conferences. In year two, however, fellows dedicate their time to patient care and surgery and move into junior faculty positions.

“It’s a great program, and so far it’s been excellent,” Dr. Klaassen said. “In urologic oncology, you have to enjoy the big, six- to 12-hour surgeries, which I do, and I’m also able to talk to the patients and their families, rather than just treat the cancer. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”

Like research, urology wasn’t always the primary goal. Dr. Klaassen had expected to specialize in vascular surgery until he was invited to shadow a family friend who practiced urology in New Jersey, a three-day experience that changed the course of his career.

“The beauty of urology is it’s very specialized, but within the specialty, it’s huge,” Dr. Klaassen said. “I loved the breadth of the procedures and the patient population, and I found that, generally, the urologists’ personality fit with mine.”

Despite being one of the most competitive fields in medicine, Dr. Klaassen matched into a urology residency at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University (now Augusta University). He was named Urology Chief Resident, and ultimately Resident of the Year, for 2015-16 at MCG and looks forward to joining its faculty following his two years of fellowship.

Dr. Klaassen has also served as a Visiting Professor for SGU, to which he arrived after obtaining Bachelor of Science degrees in molecular biology and biochemistry in 2005. In Canada, he experienced both rural and city life, having been born in Main Centre, a town of 12 people in the prairie province of Saskatchewan, before moving to Vancouver, British Columbia. Dr. Klaassen had been turned down by highly competitive Canadian medical schools and instead entered a vibrant and diverse community of students in Grenada. In addition to his MSRI tenure, he participated in the Surgery and Anatomy Dissection Clubs.

“It was an amazing, multicultural experience that you never would know you were missing if you haven’t experienced it,” Dr. Klaassen said. “Academically, it was second to none; I went down there and received excellent training. I was able to funnel my energy toward really learning the basic sciences and doing well on my boards.

“Between the academic experience and the life experience, I couldn’t see doing it any other way,” he continued. “I would never have experienced all that SGU had to offer if I had stayed in Vancouver, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to get out of the box, to experience other places, and gain the perspective that I did.”

Yousra Hawli, MD

Dr. Hawli specializes in endocrinology and metabolism, osteoporosis, obesity-related problems, and internal medicine for adult patients.

She completed a degree in biology at the American University of Beirut (AUB) before enrolling at St. George’s University School of Medicine, from which she graduated in 2004, having scored in the 99 percentile on her medical exams. Her exceptional performance led to a coveted residency at the University of Connecticut Health Center, where she specialized in internal medicine. She returned to Lebanon in 2007 for a two-year endocrinology and metabolism fellowship at AUB.

Dr. Hawli currently runs a medical practice specializing in diabetes care, osteoporosis, internal medicine and obesity-related problems in Tripoli, the second largest city in Lebanon. The center focuses on prevention as well as treatment for diseases, including diabetes, which includes delivering education programs for adults and children living in and around the city.

Dr. Hawli is a published researcher and her 2009 joint paper on insulin pump therapy during the Ramadan fast was awarded Best Research Paper from AUB’s medical school.

You started your academic career studying biology at the American University of Beirut. Did you always hope to become doctor?

“I’d always dreamt of becoming a doctor. I did well at school and enjoyed studying the sciences, which was a good base on which to build a medical career. My father had diabetes and I was involved in his care, which led me to following a career in endocrinology.”

Was it a challenge to leave your home country to study at St. George’s University?

“It was a daunting decision to make but SGU had a great reputation, not just for its teaching, but as a medical school that could provide opportunities for training in the UK and USA.

“The first semester at SGU was actually quite difficult for me—not least because it was challenging to focus on studying when I was based in such a beautiful country. I found it hard to be so far from home and my family, but this pushed me to work hard and excel. I wanted to make the most of my opportunities there and prove myself. I also wanted to have my own career and not have to depend on anyone else financially. In the end, being away from home was a good learning experience and I soon began to enjoy it and thrive academically.

“The teachers at SGU were all wonderful. They would arrange for international speakers to visit us and contribute to our curriculum and lectures. The material was challenging, but we loved it. The medical school was small enough for us to receive dedicated teaching as well as forging strong friendships. I still have friends from my time at SGU, and it’s great to see that they’re all extremely successful. It was definitely a group of high achievers.”

After completing a residency at the University of Connecticut, you decided to return to Lebanon. What prompted that decision?

“I always thought I would return to Lebanon to be near my family again. It was wonderful to be welcomed back to the American University of Beirut, my alma mater and where I studied for my biology degree before enrolling at SGU.

“During my residency at the University of Connecticut, I had worked in the University’s St. Francis Diabetes Care Center, which inspired me to bring a similar full-service, outpatient clinic for diabetes to Lebanon.

“I was eager to establish a center that would provide a wide range of specialized care in a more accessible environment to people in Lebanon because I recognized the desperate need for development in this area of healthcare.

“Diabetes is just as big a problem in Lebanon as it is in the UK and US, but education about the condition is not as well resourced and the health sector in Lebanon is poorly financed, which makes it challenging. Medication is not covered by individual health insurance so people with limited incomes don’t always take the medicines they need. Because of this, patients with diabetes often become hospitalized, which ends up costing more financially as well as increasing mortality rates and long-term associated conditions.

“On top of this, I’m seeing children suffering from diabetes-related conditions such as kidney disease or blindness. This is particularly horrific because diabetes is often avoidable with lifestyle changes. It’s a huge problem and makes preventative education all the more crucial.

“The clinical care and education provided by my clinic helps to raise awareness of diabetes as well as promote prevention and treatment options available.”

What are your hopes for the future of the clinic?

“I’m looking forward to the clinic expanding and providing treatment to more people as there are very few medical centers in Lebanon that are specifically designed to meet the needs of people with diabetes and other hormonal or obesity-related problems. The clinic now has a dietician and psychologist, and we work together to encourage people to make healthy lifestyle changes. We have plans to recruit a cardiologist and ophthalmologist in the near future.

“I hope to do more for the public sector in Lebanon in terms of educating people as well as supporting other medical professionals by continuing to research this area and providing mentoring support and talks in public hospitals.”

When you look back on your education and career, are you pleased with the route you’ve taken?

“Definitely. I’ve had such a varied education and I’m so proud that I have brought something important and vital to Lebanon. The clinic is providing outreach support to members of the community who would otherwise not have access to this much-needed health care and education. It has been worth all the hard work to achieve what I have so far.”

Vincent Lam, MD

For Dr. Vincent Lam, his affinity for ophthalmology is all about quality of life for his patients. As an ophthalmologist at North Toronto Eye Care and cornea and refractive surgeon at North York General Hospital, he’s practicing an aspect of medicine that he thoroughly enjoys while also seeing the distinct difference he’s making with his patients.

“It’s incredible how ophthalmologists can drastically improve a person’s quality of life,” said Dr. Lam, whose responsibilities range from corneal transplants and cataract surgeries to resident training. “It’s great because the amount of technology in the field is tremendous, and I enjoy the breadth of patients that we see on any given day.”

Born in Winnipeg and raised in various cities in western Canada, Dr. Lam began his undergraduate training at the University of British Columbia. He received an early admission into optometry school, attaining a Bachelor of Science in visual sciences in 2003 and a Doctor of Optometry in 2004, both degrees from the New England College of Optometry (NECO) in Boston, Massachusetts. However, it wasn’t until a fourth year externship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute that ophthalmology developed as his preferred career path. He called it a “life-changing” decision and jumped on an opportunity to pursue his Doctor of Medicine at SGU

“I was waitlisted at a Canadian med school, but in retrospect, SGU is probably why I am where I am today,” he said. “By going to SGU, you learn so many life lessons and learn to work that much harder, and that stays with you for the rest of your life.”

He also praises the University’s award-winning Department of Educational Services (DES), which provides students with academic development and support services. The course material review sessions, testing, and study skills programs contributed to his strong performance on his step exams.

Dr. Lam’s clinical training included a fourth-year ophthalmology elective at Medical College of Virginia/VCU Medical Center, which paved the way for other SGU students to do the same. He later obtained his residency in the Department of Ophthalmology at the same institution, a program directed by another SGU graduate, Joseph Iuorno, MD ’00.

“We weren’t any different than students from US schools,” Dr. Lam said. “If anything, I think we worked harder and went the extra mile on many occasions. The attendings would tell us that. What it comes down to it, no matter whether you’re in Grenada, the US or Canada, it’s the same thing – you’re provided with information, and it’s up to the student to run with it.”

Furthermore, Dr. Lam followed up residency with a one-year fellowship in uveitis at the University of California at San Francisco’s Francis I. Proctor Foundation. Dr. Lam went on to complete a fellowship in cornea, external disease, and refractive surgery at Columbia University’s Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute in New York City.

Dr. Lam hopes to continue to give back to SGU as a member of its Alumni Admission Mentor Program (AAMP), for which graduates take part in a variety of recruitment efforts. Since graduating, he has conducted admission interviews as well as partaken in University information sessions and webinars.

Terry Reding, MD

Dr. Terry Reding considers himself fortunate to have combined his life’s two passions, athletics and medicine, into a successful and influential career in sports medicine.  For nearly 25 years, Dr. Reding’s expertise has been utilized in many capacities.  As a team physician for Fresno State University in his native state of California, he treats a myriad of injuries for the country’s top-tier athletes.  Dr. Reding was himself a competitive athlete, playing for the University of California, Davis championship water polo team as an undergraduate student in the mid 1970s.

Dr. Reding is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), instructing second and third year family practice residents.   This faculty position at UCSF is coveted, as the university is considered one of the country’s best medical schools, second only to Harvard.

For the past several years, Dr. Reding has been a tremendous asset to St. George’s University by attending countless Information Sessions throughout California. His outstanding credentials have helped dispel the urban legend that graduating from an international medical school could hinder opportunities to practice medicine in the state of California.  Dr. Reding believes that it is his responsibility to give back to SGU, as he credits its faculty and administration for much of his success.  In particular, said Dr. Reding, “Among the many outstanding professors at SGU, I believe that the superior anatomy instruction given by Dr. Robert Jordan (now the Associate Dean of Enrolment Planning and Chair of the Anatomical Sciences Department) played a critical role in my career selection.”

This was much more than he expected from a university which came to his attention through an article in Prevention Magazine.  After a discouraging meeting with an undergraduate advisor at UC Davis, who did not think Dr. Reding had what it took to become a doctor, he investigated St. George’s University as a viable option. As he reflects upon his inaugural trip to Grenada nearly 30 years ago, he remembers arriving at night and taking a cab ride “into the jungle.”  While he admits to having an instinctual “What have I gotten myself into?” reaction, he had made a commitment to the University and was eager to begin his education.  “That education,” he explained, “provided the foundation and inspiration for my life’s work.”

Terry Reding is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice and Board Certified in Family Practice and Sports Medicine.  He is married with two children, one of whom has recently applied to St. George’s University School of Medicine.