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03 PRIME MINISTER’S Special Visit Exclusive Coverage

04 Class of 2022


05 JANUARY 2018 Incoming Class


January Vo lu m e 8, I ss u e No. 3



A Medical School E xperience on an Island unlike any other in the reg ion!

Xavier University School of Medicine Welcomes

Honorable Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes, Prime Minister of Aruba Xavier University School of Medicine had the honor of welcoming the first female Prime Minister of Aruba, Honorable Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes to the school Friday, January 19th. President Ravishankar Bhooplapur and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Arun Kumar Dubey, welcomed Mrs. WeverCroes and gave her a tour around the school. Following that, Mrs. Wever-Croes attended the White Coat Ceremony, where 34 students received their White Coats and took the Medical Student Pledge of Professional Conduct. During the Ceremony, Mrs. WeverCroes addressed the attending students, faculty, staff, and family members. She explained how she

wanted to attend medical school after high school, but her only option at the time was to go to Costa Rica to study. While she said the country was beautiful and her studies went well, she missed home. Ultimately, she came back to Aruba, where her father decided she would study law. Mrs. Wever-Croes was excited when Xavier first came to the happy island of Aruba, as her dreams of a medical school on the island had come true. She concluded her address by encouraging students to focus on the care

of their patients instead of the cost of health care, and congratulated them on this momentous occasion. After her Ravishankar

address, President Bhooplapur and Board of Trustees member Mr. Frank Croes presented the Prime Minister with gifts, and the eager students finally received their White Coats. Xavier is fortunate and thankful that the Honorable Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes was in attendance at such a special event.

Xavier University School of Medicine Official News Publication

Message from Dr. Dubey, Chief Academic Officer










5 6-7











Dear Students and Faculty, At XUSOM, Aruba, the New Year is a time to set new and higher goals; higher goals in terms of education, learning, and success of our students, faculty, and the institute. XUSOM students have done exceedingly well in 2016-17, achieving first-time pass rate in USMLE of more than 90%. The number of students matching in residency, including highly competitive disciplines, has continuously ascended since 2013. We aim at continuing this success story. One of our immediate goals is to further strengthen teaching and assessment of professionalism and medical humanities and further integration of the curriculum for the entire 4-year MD program. Another key area, for both faculty and students, will be to increase their participation in research and publication of research articles. Our new endeavors with the public health department and various community-based research initiatives, launched in late 2017, will be immensely helpful. Wishing everyone a very happy and successful New Year. May everyone’s dream be realized this year.











Message from Dr. Balsamo, Dean Of Clinical Sciences



Greetings and a happy New Year to Xavier students faculty and staff,


18-19 19

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA Xavier University School of Medicine



Xavier University School of Medicine


Arun Kumar Dubey MD Chief Academic Officer, Dean of Basic Sciences

It has been a great privilege working with the staff of Xavier University since my appointment in September 2017. I have had the great pleasure of meeting with a great number of hardworking students at the Aruba campus and at their clinical training sites. I’m inspired by the dedicated faculty, whom I have met with from all years of training. The achievements of our students as evidenced by test scores, clinical performance, and success in residency matching, is a testament to the students diligence and the faculties’ perseverance. Xavier is committed to further advancing our Mission in producing excellent clinicians who are strong advocates for patient and public health. We are continuing to implement ways to integrate the clinical and basic sciences. We have visited multiple clinical sites to ensure quality education through clinical rotations. Xavier University has opened up new avenues for student research, and we will continue to facilitate and encourage participation in this vital area. While proud and encouraged by the achievements of the medical school thus far, we must continue to pursue even higher levels of excellence. With the continued commitment of our enthusiastic students and zealous faculty, I am encouraged that this will be so in the coming years. And so, we begin a new year dedicated to the study of medicine, and renewed in our quest to educate a new generation of outstanding physicians. We are fortunate to have devoted students, faculty and staff. I look forward to the coming year with enthusiasm and optimism. Joseph A.Balsamo, MD Dean of Clinical Sciences

Xavier Welcomes Prime Minister of Aruba

President Ravishankar Bhooplapur (left) and Board of Trustees member Mr. Frank Croes (right) present Honorable Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes with a gift

Students greet Honorable Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes upon her arrival to Xavier

From Left to Right: Mr. Allen Howell, member of Parliament, Mr. Frank Croes, Board of Trustees member, Dr. Gil Apacible, Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Arun Kumar Dubey, Chief Academic Officer, President Ravishankar Bhooplapur, and Honorable Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes

President Ravishankar Bhooplapur presents Parliament member Allen Howell with a gift

President Ravishankar Bhooplapur and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Arun Kumar Dubey give Honorable Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes a tour of Xavier

President Ravishankar Bhooplapur and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Arun Kumar Dubey give Honorable Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes a tour of Xavier


Class Of 2022 White Coat Ceremony The White Coat ceremony for the new medical students this semester at Xavier University was another milestone for the school and the dedicated staff and teaching experts. We, as students, rely principally on the education provided, the level of professionalism from both fellow students and faculty, combined with the realization of a dream we all have, to give back to our communities. Medicine is a career which involves community, dedication and discipline. Our president and Chief Academic Officer, Mr. Bhooplapur and Dr. Dubey, respectively, were honoured to welcome the Honorable Mrs. Evelyn WeverCroes to participate in the ceremony this year. With the Prime Minister of Aruba and the careful leadership of the University, the Ceremony

was a thoughtful and encouraging acknowledgement of the new class of 2022. With welcoming words from Dr. Dubey, exuberant exhortation from Dr. Gil, and a poignant speech from the honorable Mrs. Wever-Croes, the ceremony was both motivational and encouraging. Mrs. Wever-Croes spoke of the passion involved with being doctors. The dedication she felt for a country she loved, the excitement she shared with the educational process, and the overall goals for the school she had were palpable. To take one’s Hypocritic Oath in the presence of such dedicated professionals is nothing short of an honour. To see the school working with the great Island with which it has such a great past and exciting future, makes one proud to be a part of such a collaborative experience.

President Ravishankar Bhooplapur addresses the audience at the White Coat Ceremony

By: Jonathan Rogers

Scholarship Recipients During the White Coat Ceremony on January 19th, 14 students were awarded with scholarships. These students were awarded based on their academic achievements.

From left to right: Dr. Gil Apacible (Dean of Student Affairs), Abdalwahab Kawaiah, Elson Sema, Jared Stewart, Ali Akhter, Mohammad Khalaila, Ismail Mourad, Abbas Hassan, Anastasia Pougno, Himani Patel, Jessica Page, Sali Al Jelo, Artem Artemev, Huma Ahmad, Kahmalia Sada, and Dr. Arun Kumar Dubey (Chief Academic Officer)

SAVE THE DATE! Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremony When? Saturday, June 16th, 2018, 5:00 PM Where? D’Angelo Center at St. John’s University 8000 Utopia Parkway Jamaica, NY 11439 Register at:

ORIENTATION 2018 eager to begin their medical school journeys. Before students dove into their classes, they participated in three days of orientation. This most recent orientation took place from Monday, January 8th to Wednesday, January 10 th.

Dr. Gil Apacible, Dean of Student Affairs

A New Year signals change and opportunities for people to pursue their dreams and accomplish their goals. With this New Year came the start of a new semester at XUSOM with students

Dr. Dubey, Chief Academic Officer, opened the program by giving a warm welcome to new students and parents. Next, Dr. Gil spoke about working hard and succeeding in medical school. He also reviewed the rules and regulations and the importance of respect. Faculty members were introduced, and, in the afternoon, students had the opportunity to mingle and introduce themselves to faculty. Aside from the faculty, students also had access to Ms. Hilda and Ms. Cathy to get their business affairs in order with

regards to school uniforms, tuition, and immigration. Jonathan Rogers, a former pre-med and now MD1 student, acted as MC. He was funny and engaging and gave good advice about the island. A number of presentations were given throughout orientation, including passing the USMLE, library orientation, and staying well and succeeding in medical school. There were also small group activities that allowed students to interact and get to know their fellow classmates. After three days, students were excited and ready to finally begin their medical school journeys and start on the path to fulfill their dreams.



Abdel-Salim Kamel

Barbara Marie Klima

Emily Viglianco

Hassan Abdalla


Ajene Edwards

Bilakchhana Basnet

Ephraim Consera

Iman Hamid

Amadou Jawara

Anjaly Mohan

Brea Dillard

Diana Parra

George Romley

Grant Varty

Jay Pillai

Liron Lashevsky

Megan Rivera

Minahil Roshan

Nicholas Carberry

Nicole Antonucci

Ramya Sree Maddella

Swathi Arunachalam

Neeharika Thota

Natheer Al-Janabi

Okorie Jason Ikpechukwu

Raymond Lamptey

Peter Merageas

Samantha Jane Perry

Thomas Amaul Ring

Siddh Pitroda

Waleed Fazal


Interview with Albertina Sebastian, Clinical Student Have you done any elective rotations? If so, what have you done? I have completed one of my elective rotations prior to starting my cores. I did a general/vascular surgery rotation at Baltimore Washington Medical Center. It was such an amazing experience that, besides the scheduled 4 weeks, I asked to do an additional 2 weeks since I had the opportunity and the availability. Also, the doctors were very open and I also got to follow the GI doctor on most of his procedures. It was a great way to familiarize myself with some relatively common procedures, which gave me an advantage over other students.

Albertina Sebastian

it actually turned out to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve experienced in medicine so far. I not only got to deliver a baby on my first night of labor & delivery, but I also got to scrub in on C-sections and other gynecological procedures such as D&Cs and hysterectomies.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you started your rotations? To be honest, I don’t think there is anything specific I needed to know prior to beginning my rotations. I think that OSCE on the island really prepares us for proper history taking and physical examination. I felt pretty confident with my patient skills from the beginning.

Why did you choose that elective? Which rotations have you completed so far? The core rotations I have completed so far are Family Medicine, Pediatrics, OBGYN, Internal Medicine, and I am currently in my Surgery rotation.

Where have you completed your rotations? I’ve been a little all over the DMV area. Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Surgery I did in the Baltimore area. For OBGYN, I had the chance to work in Washington, D.C. at Providence Hospital. For Pediatrics, I worked in a clinic in Elkton, MD.

I chose that elective because I’ve always been interested in surgery, but I found that I hadn’t been exposed to the OR enough to know if that’s what I truly wanted. I got great exposure with the attending I was working with – he had surgeries scheduled in two different hospitals, as well as in an outpatient clinic so I saw everything from laparoscopic cholecystectomies and femfem bypasses to simple lipoma resections.

What has been your favorite rotation so far and why?

Any advice for students about to start their rotations? The biggest piece of advice I have for the students about to start their clinical rotations is to always review your information prior to showing up for your assigned shifts. Whether it’s in the OR or during morning rounds, your preceptor will definitely ask you questions about different procedures, values and imaging. By: Albertina Sebastian

My favorite rotation so far has to be OBGYN. Although going into this rotation I was dreading the process of child birth,

Congratulations to our students who recently passed the USMLE exam! Utsav Aiya Jude Akpede Abdulmuttaleb Al Soufi Tatyana Beaubrun Darshan Bhatty Ahmad Faour Amar Gokli Ella Marie Kabia Jessica Kainth


Deepti Kalani Hasan Khan Svetlana Kharchenko Alimohamed Manji Pouria Mohammadi David Nwasike Niraj Patel Shivan Patel

Shoyeb Patel Terence Riley Qanwarpartap Sidhu Sherelle Smart Juliett St. Louis Aaron Walker Phillip Yohannan Shabnam Zahedi

Xavier is proud of our over 90% first-time passing rate on the USMLE Exam

Interview With Marcus Jennings, Alumni Of Xavier What made you choose your specialty? My career interests are in adult medicine. A residency in internal or family medicine would allow me the opportunity to realize this goal. The field of adult medicine caught my attention during my clinical rotations. The opportunity to impact the lives of my patient through education, prevention, and continuation of care are the prime reasons for my choice. What was your favorite rotation?

Marcus Jennings

Did you match? If so, where and what specialty? Currently, I am on the interview trail for the 2018 NRMP Match year. In March, I will find out whether I have matched into my chosen specialty. Thus far this season, I have benefited from many interviews at programs that have my strong interest. I am hopeful for a successful match. I have chosen to apply broadly to both internal and family medicine residency programs. This year I submitted my Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) application to more than 110 programs around the nation.

My favorite rotation was an elective in Pulmonary Critical Care-ICU. I believe any medical student, intern, or resident would agree that it is during intense rotations, like ICU, that your learning grows exponentially. During my pulmonary-ICU month, I was able to create treatment plans for the management of critically ill patients. This forced me to learn ventilator settings, IV-fluid regimens, among a host of other critical-care skills. Training like this has prepared me to be an effective intern. What is one piece of advice for those entering their 4th year? Plan, plan, and plan! The fourth year can be very costly. As international medical

Any advice for students about to start their rotations? The best piece of advice is to take each rotation seriously. There is so much medicine to learn, so take advantage of every learning experience. Do not be one of those students who only does what is required. If necessary, stay late, ask questions, and take advantage of any and all opportunities to learn. As you start your clinicals, even the smallest task, like retrieving a blood draw for a lab, is useful experience.

Canadian Students

U.S. Students EdMed Loan ProgramSouthEast Bank • Students can borrow up to the full cost of attendance • Students can defer interest payments while in school as well as for up to 48 months of a residency • Amounts up to $60,000 per year

graduates, it is wise to apply broadly, and this can get expensive. In addition to the ERAS application cost, one must be prepared for the cost of interview travels. This is all done while you are still completing academic requirements, so plan to complete any busy, or mandatory, fourth year rotations early before October of the year you apply for residency. In addition, stay positive. If interviews don’t flow in at first, send emails to program directors and remember, interview offers can often flood in towards the end of the season, when other applicants start to cancel and/or decline offers.


Government Loans through: • Student Aid Alberta • Ontario Student Assistance Program • StudentAidBC • Other provinces available You can also apply for a private

For more information, please contact

loan through TD Bank: • Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident • Up to $50,000 CAD in the first year


New Student Interview: Anastasia Pougno Anastasia Puogno was previously a pre-

entering the MD program with classmates

and learn, and it’s a once in a lifetime

med student at Xavier who recently

and friends from Pre-MD and I got to


transitioned into the MD program.

know all the professors already so it is a great feeling to grow professionally with

How was the transition to MD from Pre-


MD? It was extremely exciting and challenging

How was the orientation for MD?

at the same time. Changing your mindset

It was a lot of fun and very interactive. I

to a Medical Students is a big step and I

got to meet new friends as well as learn

am confident I can achieve it. It has always

about my path for the next 4 years at

been my dream to become a Physician

XUSOM and during rotation. It alleviated

and now I can finally be on that path I

all my concerns and fears and now I am

always dreamed of. Pre-MD was a great

ready for the journey.

preparation of what is to come and I am grateful for what is coming my way.

What are you looking forward to in the next 4 years?

What were you most excited about coming


to MD1?

personally and professionally, gain tons

I think that a change in the pace of

of knowledge and become a better

studying and knowing you are studying to

medical student so I can become a great

score well on the USMLE and become a

physician in the future. I am so excited

great doctor is very exciting. Also, having

for all the aspects of medical school;

more people in class and meeting many

OSCEs, clinicals, orientations, meeting

new and interesting individuals is always

with patients and other colleagues,

fun. My family is also proud and excited

even studying for USMLE! With XUSOM,

for me and I cannot let them down. I am

there are tons of opportunities to grow






Anastasia Pougno, MD1 Student

Post-Graduate Programs PG Diploma Courses 2 years post-MBBS Nephrology, Radiology, Sleep Medicine PG Fellowship Programs 2 years post-MD Geriatric Nephrology, Neonatology, Radiology M.Sc Programs 2 years post-BSC degree Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Microbiology MD Program (post-graduate) 3 years post-MBBS Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Highlights: Pathology, Radiology, Sleep • Applications accepted on a rolling basis Medicine, Nephrology •

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Why I Am Interested In Medicine: Student Narrative associated with an organization called Free The Children. Through this leadership club, I had the privilege to attend WE DAY. At WE DAY, the Kielburger brothers shared the story of how they came up with the idea of Free the Children after reading an article about how Iqbal Masih got murdered because he spoke out against child labor. The Kielburger brothers were touched by Iqbal’s story just the way I was touched by Mina’s story. After hearing their story, I got the motivation to do something for children who are suffering through so much just because they are living in third world countries.

Himani Patel, Student

Mina was only ten-years-old when I met her in a small village in India. For more than half her life she had not been able to walk on her own two feet. When I asked her what happened to her feet, she told me it was a result of a disease she had called Polio. Mina suffers from polio merely because her parents were not aware that there is a vaccine to prevent it. I was stunned. I had been under the impression that polio has been eradicated from the world. After doing some research, I learned that I was wrong. Even though there is a vaccine that helps prevent polio, thousands of children in Asia and Africa are affected still by the disease. When I realized that children who are growing up in third world countries do not have the same privileges I had as a child because of the lack of knowledge and facilities, I wanted to do something for those children. At the time there was not much I could do because I had no one to guide me. However, once I started high school, opportunities opened up. All throughout high school I was involved in a leadership club that was closely

After WE DAY, I got involved in multiple initiatives organized by Free The Children, such as We Scare Hungry, where we collected food for our local food bank to ensure that no child in our community has to struggle with hunger. Another initiative was to fundraise money so that we could provide a family in Africa with a goat so that they could make a living off of it. Moreover, we sold rafiki bracelets to help provide families in India with clean drinking water and also to help build schools in Africa. Through my high school’s leadership club I also became familiar with UNICEF. This organization not only focuses on saving children’s lives but it is also trying to ensure that every child receives their basic rights. This is exactly what I plan to do in the future. However, I felt that just joining a humanitarian organization like UNICEF to help those children is not enough. I wanted to do something more. That is how I came across another organization called Doctors Without Borders. After doing research on Doctors Without Borders, I learned that they are a group of doctors who travel around the world to provide medical help to those who need it. I realized that if I became a doctor I would

also have the opportunity to personally help children all around the world just like they do. These two organizations shaped my dream of providing medical help to children around the world, and turned it into a goal. By pursuing a career in medicine, I want to ensure that every child in the world gets the medical rights they deserve. No child should have to suffer from any condition because of the lack of knowledge and facilities in the country they live in. I believe that all children should have the same privileges and that the country they live in should not be a factor in determining whether they should or should not receive those privileges. I feel that I should not take the privileges I had for granted, and that is why I want to make use of these privileges to start an organization that contains elements from both UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders. I want this organization to consist of pediatricians whose focus would be on children’s health and survival, and they should be willing to travel the world in order to make this possible. The field of medicine has always fascinated me, but my encounter with Mina was the first step towards me wanting to become a doctor. Since then, countless other experiences, such as working with Free The Children and learning about UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders, have made we realize that the knowledge of medicine can help me in improving the lives of children all around the world because, with this knowledge, I can personally care for those children. The thought of personally helping those children gives me a sense of satisfaction and this has strengthened my endeavor to pursue a career in medicine. By: Himani Patel


New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Teofilo Espada-Brignoni Medical autobiographies are fascinating and complex narratives that allow psychologist and physicians to comprehend how patients make sense of their physicians, their diagnosis, their prognosis and life itself. Why did you decide to enter academics and become a professor?

Dr. Teofilo Espada-Brignoni

Where are you from and what educational institution(s) have you attended? I was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts but I grew up in Puerto Rico where my family is from. I studied at the University of Puerto Rico where I completed a B.A. in Psychology, a M.A. in Social-Community Psychology and a Ph.D. in Psychology. What sparked your interest in the field of medicine? As a social psychologist, I have always been interested in doctorpatient relationships and the role of medicine in society. Doctor-patient interactions create an interesting and complex situation where both psychological and social factors are at play. They show the social nature of human beings by providing roles and expectations for both patients and doctors. The improvement of such relationships has positives outcome for patients, physicians, and society. Likewise, I have always been interested in medical humanities, specifically medical autobiographies.


When I started studying psychology I had wonderful professors who shared not only their knowledge but their enthusiasm towards their discipline. It was during my M.A. when I became a teaching assistant that I discovered I also enjoyed sharing what I learned with others. It was then I realized one of the best ways to learn is teaching. After completing my M.A., I began teaching at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, where I taught many courses (among my favorites Personality Psychology and History and Systems of Psychology). It was a rewarding experience sharing my passion for psychology with my students. Once I completed my Ph.D. I already knew teaching was one of my passions. Teaching required hard work, constant research, but also enough flexibility to help different students, each learning in a different way, acquiring the knowledge and skills they needed to become competent and caring professionals. What piece of advice would you give to a student starting clinical rotations? To understand the value of their patients’ stories and their need to be heard. We live in a world of time constraints, where occupational, social, and personal schedules saturate not only doctors’ lives, but also the life of their patients. Many patients are vulnerable, both medically

and emotionally. Allowing them to share even a brief account of their experience, not only their symptoms, will allow you to understand better what they are going through. Have you conducted research in the past? How did you get involved in research? I have conducted mostly qualitative research, but I have trained students at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Puerto Rico in both qualitative and quantitative psychological research. I have done research related to the history of biology, the autobiographies of musicians, and the way music is used to make sense of the world we live in, among other topics. As a researcher, I’m interested in how individuals, groups, and cultures make sense of the world they live in. I also believe that personal documents, like autobiographies and diaries, can be one of the most complex and interesting human products allowing researchers access to the subjective experiences of the writers and, if read carefully, how social forces have shaped them and their tale. I got involved in research after reading the works of social psychologists such as Kenneth Gergen and Ian Parker (whom I had the chance to meet when they were guest speakers at the University of Puerto Rico), among many other psychologist who use a social constructionist standpoint to study how individuals, groups, and cultures make sense of their world and how their image of the world is related to their personal and social practices. For example, the way doctors are trained to think about their patients will be the burden and/or skills they will carry once they are face-to-face with them, and vice-versa.

New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Manisha Hansda What sparked your interest in the field of medicine? I was motivated during my school days about this dignified profession, the magnanimous responsibility, and the service it always had towards the community. Where are you from and what educational institution(s) have you attended?

What do you love the most about the field of medicine?

I am from New Delhi, India and the

I like enduring the challenges and it brings in a set of discipline in my life.

medical school I attended is called, Lady Hardinge Medical College.

Why did you decide to enter academics

and become a professor? I have always believed that teaching and shared knowledge in an interdisciplinary field of medicine is a way to integrate more perspective in life. I love the challenges associated with academic problem solving, collaboration, and communication. What is one piece of advice you would give to a student preparing for the USMLE Step 1 Exam? Do not panic, do not cram, keep perfect, and never give up.

New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Lalit Mehra Where are you from and what educational institution(s) have you attended? I am from New Delhi, India and I have done my MBBS from Kasturba Medical College in Manipal and I did my MD, anatomy and histology from Lady Hardinge Medical College in New Delhi. What sparked your interest in the field of medicine? My fascination for the biological sciences drove me towards medicine. The constant effort which is needed to keep oneself updated is what makes medicine exciting to me. What do you love the most about the field of medicine?

It is dynamic and it is ever changing and there is always something new to learn. Have you conducted any research in the past? How do you plan on carrying that forward? I have done research on the surgical anatomy of the coronary venous system and it’s relation to mitral valve annulus. All my research articles are published in Pubmed journals. Why did you decide to enter academics and become a professor? Knowledge increases by sharing, and I couldn’t think of a better way of increasing my knowledge than to enter academics.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a student preparing for Match? Start preparing the first day of medical school, give your best, and don’t rest until you have nailed it.

New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Fidelis Nwachukwu What sparked your interest in the field of medicine? The thought that the sick and dying people can be helped and restored back to health by the application of knowledge.

Where are you from and what educational institution(s) have you attended? I am from Nigeria. I received my Bachelor’s of Medical Laboratory Sciences from the University of Nigeria, and my Doctor of Medicine from All Saints University, St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

Why did you decide to enter academics and become a professor? My passion for teaching and the beauty of breaking down complex topics into simpler understandable forms so that students can understand and apply them. What piece of advice would you give to a student starting clinical rotations? Make the MD (Medical Dictionary) your

best friend, go with an open anxious mind and learn as much as you can. Have you conducted research in the past? How did you get involved in research? I have conducted research on the effects of some medicinal plants on blood parameters, tocolytic effects of Garcinia kola,  HTLV and Adult T-cell Leukemia/ Lymphoma published by the West Indian Medical Journal. I got involved in research as part of my MSc work in Clinical Pharmacology, and following my keen observation of sporadic cases of Adult T-cell lymphoma.



Student Government Association Xavier University has found its success not only

one of the top goals for SGA and we strive to

because of the hard work of the Deans and

make sure that students are comfortable with

Trustees, but also because of the teamwork

coming forth and talking to us no matter what

present between the students and the staff. The

the situation is. We’re taking measures to make

staff is constantly adapting to accommodate

sure that students get a chance to voice their

the needs of the students, as well as being ever

opinions on events, such as the recent White

ready to assist them in any matter that comes

Coat Ceremony, as well as any others that might

up, and the students are more than happy to

come up in the near future.

suggest any improvements to help better the

Vice President, Med: Lakisha Haran

school. This is where the Student Government

Our other goal, for not just this semester,

Association (SGA) comes in.

but also this year, is getting students to have

Treasurer: Marie Claire Larmonie

SGA, in a sense, is the oil that keeps the cogs

involving them in more health fairs and charity

turning smoothly, as they act as the mediators

work. SGA would like to work more closely with

between the students and staff. We do our

the other groups and associations, such as the

Secretary: Jessica Audet

best to make sure student concerns are being

Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) and

addressed and that suggestions put forth are

the Pediatric Medicine Interest Group (PMIG),

being implemented to the best of our ability. We

within the school to find volunteers amongst

Social Director: Eleonora Nkwanyuo

try to ensure that students, both new and old,

the student body and to provide students with

feel comfortable not only in the school but also

opportunities in their areas of interest.

more experience in dealing with the public by

adapting to the island life as well. As seen in the

Welcome Committee Director: Jonathan Rogers Welcome Committee Coordinator: Deepali Razdan Alumni Coordinator: Albert OtooAnnan

last two semesters, we’ve found success with

The major goal of SGA, is not only to see success

the newly implemented Welcome Committee

for the students and the school, but to also

with positive responses all around.

ensure that the students can leave XUSOM with not just the feeling of being part of a school, but

As every semester passes, SGA works hard to

also being part of a big medical family.

improve communication between students and staff on important matters. This will always be

By: Azia Karjikar, SGA President

Vice President, Pre-Med: Navneet Dhaliwal

SGA Executive Board (from left to right): Azia Karjikar, Navneet Dhaliwal, Deepali Razdan, Jonathan Rogers, Eleonora Nkwayuo, Albert OtooAnnan, Marie Claire Larmonie, Jessica Audet, Dr. Segie, Associate Dean of Pre-Med and Student Affairs


A Message From The Welcome Committee Dear New Students: As Chair of the Welcoming Committee, I want to extend my warmest greetings. Aruba is a tropical paradise, and for this semester, you will be delighted to get away from the cold weather of North America, and enjoy some of the best beaches in the world. As in the previous semester, our committee picked up students at the airport, and showed them around the island, in order to fully assist them in adapting to a new environment. We strongly believe that academic success must be paired with healthy student activities, and for that reason, we place great emphasis on making students feel relaxed and welcomed. For the next two years, you will be combining academic life and touristic enjoyment, and we are delighted to be part of it. Sincerely, Dr. Gabriel Andrade Welcome Committee Chair

Student Organizations Host Health Fair With Aruba Bank





attended the health fair hosted by the

organized as an outreach to provide basic

Xavier University School of Medicine.

medical screening to the employees at

The fair was held at Aruba Bank from 8

work. The Aruba Bank health fair provided

AM till 12 PM. Due to the joint effort of

employees an access to appropriate and

the various XUSOM organizations such as

comprehensive health services, resources

FMIG, PMIG, and SAO, the healthcare was

and education. The health fair set out to

very successful. Throughout the morning,

be an example of another way that XUSOM



continues to take care of the community.

members, Xavier students worked hand-




When asked, XUSOM students explained

in-hand to provide free services such as


checking blood pressure, determining

interaction they had with the employees

the BMI, and blood glucose screenings.

and how it was an opportunity for them

Along with these services, MD 6 students

to practice and utilize their medical






also provided the students with free brief

skills. The XUSOM students valued their

University School of Medicine to organize

consultation regarding their results from

experience and encourage all XUSOM

a health fair for the employees of the

the screenings.

students to partake in future health fairs.

Aruba Bank which was held on November 24, 2017. On that Friday morning, more

The health fair was set to be an

than 50 employees of the Aruba Bank

educational and an interactive event

By: Justina Babu, MD 5


Medical Humanities And Professionalism: Teaching Students To Balance Between Patients’ Interests And Physicians’ Duties human values, rules of time-dependent m e a s u r a b l e behaviours. Medical humanities open the doors to viewing medicine through the lenses of literature, social sciences, art, history and philosophy. Professionalism streamlines the vision towards a singular focus on polished behaviour forming the environment for inculcating humanistic attitude and critical thinking skills. Medical humanities train a medical student to expand into infinity during his/her journey towards becoming a doctor. Professionalism creates awareness about the need to hold on to behaviouristic finiteness while encountering patients or patient families. Medical humanities tap and develop the tendency of naturalism in medical practitioners; Professionalism grooms them into leaders of formalism. In this context, medical humanities can question the meaning of professionalism (an unintentionally, its virtues) and viceversa.

Although medical school curricula has always embraced and appreciated the need to train students to be compassionate towards patients, medical education in recent times has imposed a mandate to include medical humanities as a structured course in medical curriculi. Concomitantly, recent concerns about the need for Professionalism as a competency in medical curricular goals have led to the development of a professionalism charter consisting of a set of professional responsibilities for the practising physician. Introduction of these two new courses in medical schools has not been an ‘easy to handle’ change for medical teachers who have two ends of a spectrum to teach, or for medical students who are still pots in the making. While medical humanities Thus, the need of the hour is a change are anchored on roots, Professionalism management strategy by medical teachers is anchored on rules – roots of timeless to understand and explain that teaching

or learning in a medical school is not any different from teaching or learning math- a math which anchors on finite numbers to appreciate the importance of the infinite numbers present between every two consecutive finite numbers. While a patient at the receiving end needs an infinitely thinking physician to touch his/her disturbed emotions, he/she also needs that the physician confine himself/ herself within the limits of formalistic finiteness to restrict the disturbance of emotion from blowing into infinity. While professionalism requires that a doctor adhere to the protocol of distributing his/her time fairly to all patients in need, medical humanities require that the doctor justify that a patient in greater distress is a patient in greater need (the distress here not confined to definitions of the majority behaviour). As a faculty serving the XUSOM curriculum committee, my fundamental contention here is that both the newly launched courses can fly towards infinite dimensions if teachers and students in transition work as a team within a medical education framework. They could thus assist each other in allowing the courses to grow for the making of ‘gen next’ doctors whose modern formalism grow widespread openminded branches on the roots of ancient naturalism! By: Dr. Malpe Surekha Bhat

UPCOMING GUEST LECTURERS Dr. Brian W. Little, Past Chief Academic Officer of Xavier February 19th-27th Topic: Pathology in the Nervous System Who are the lectures for? MD2 Students Dr. Richard Derman, Associate Provost for Global Affairs at Thomas Jefferson University February 23rd-28th Topic: Interactive lectures on postpartum hemorrhage and global health Who are the lectures for? MD5 Students


Xavier Fitness Club

Imagine a scenario where you are a pedestrian, sitting down on the sidewalk observing cars going by. Now, imagine those cars as distressing and negative everyday thoughts (the thought of failing the upcoming ICQ, embarrassing yourself presenting your CCP, whether you’ll pass your STEP 1), going by as you observe them. You aren’t trying to stop them, you’re just observing them, not getting in their way and trying to stop them, just letting them pass and leave your mind. Do that for 45 seconds. Feels better, doesn’t it? That is the aim of the Xavier Fitness Club- to help stressed out medical students overcome many of the negative emotions that we experience throughout the day by managing them appropriately and very easily. What if I told you that those 10 minutes you spend every day stressing about these things amounts to 70 minutes by the end of the week! 70 minutes that you can spend answering UWORLD questions. Watching Pathoma. Or just reading up on some old lectures that you didn’t understand well. Really, time is a currency you can spend on anything, and meditation will help you save that. Exercising, if

you choose to partake in it, will give you an excuse to get out of the chair that’s been hurting your back because you’ve been sitting in it for so long. Coming to a club where you have to talk to new people will sharpen the social skills that you need in rotations. So, really, you’re investing in your future by coming to our club. My request is for you to come along and join our awesome community for just one short session! The best part is that if you don’t like it, there are no commitments. Our club meets every Saturday morning at 10-11 AM in the SGL1 room. The first 30 minutes consist of an exercise portion (body weight exercise or yoga), while the second 30 minutes consist of meditation (different types of meditative techniques aimed at stress, anxiety, and other themes). You may come for either, or both- whatever you prefer. If you have any questions about Xavier Fitness Club, message Ghaith Ati on Whatsapp (+297-7423985) or Facebook.

Xavier Students Visit Casa Cuna Orphanage donated food packets, toys, clothes, books, and many other things to the kids of the orphanage.

A visit to an orphanage is a life-changing experience as it is filled with emotions and sentiments. Volunteerism, civic engagement and advocacy are the driving forces for creating change and making a positive impact in our community and society. They bring on a great impact and social change and ensuring that we learn a lesson before we start advocating for change and how much we care about others.

Our arrival at the orphanage was met with shrieks of joy and sweet voices uttering “Hoi” and happiness to see new people around them. They gave us a tight hug and tried talking to us in their language without feeling strange. The staff at the orphanage greeted us and expressed their gratitude at having us visit. There were around 30 little kids and babies at the orphanage. Some kids were playing in the sand, some of them fought for swings, a few drove toy cars and a few of them sat on our laps trying to interact with us. They played with our phones trying to capture selfies and trying different filters. It was so much fun to play with the cute little babies as well as feed them. The elder kids took care of the younger ones and there was mutual understanding and caring amongst them. And at the time of leaving; the way they eagerly reached out to touch our arms and legs, craving affection was really emotional and priceless.

Several students from Xavier University volunteered at Casa Cuna in several groups during the months of November and December. It was a worthy impact towards the community and understanding the complexity of social changes leaving behind the daily realities. There was a huge donation given from all the classes where people

We are so thankful and privileged to provide ample time doing activities with the kids from the orphanage. It was an amalgamation of compassion, strength, understanding, empathy, and chaos to outreach to the lives of others whom we care for and who care about us. By: Shivangi Patel

PMIG Executive Board. Pictured from left to right: Diya Hospetimath, Riddhi Patel, Shivangi Patel, and Fatima ElMedkhar

FMIG “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” What is FMIG? FMIG (Family Medicine Interest Group) promotes interest in primary care, particularly family medicine. It’s for students who really want to get some hands-on experience with the real world of family medicine. This means doing things such as blood pressure, blood glucose, heart rate, and patient interactions. Our core principles are innovation, education, and excellence. Our program provides meetings, health fairs, and workshops outside and on campus to enhance your learning experience outside of the standard curriculum. Pardis S. Vatan


Meet Our Student Editor: The Medical Journey of Riddhi Patel

Xavier Times Team Faculty Editor: Ms. Kendra N. Parson Student Editor: Riddhiben Patel Student Contributors: Albertina Sebastian Artem Artemev Himani Patel Justina Babu Riddhiben Patel Shivangi Patel Faculty Contributors: Dr. Gabriel Andrade Dr. Malpe Surekha Bhat


I initially came across the importance of medicine when I lived in India, where I discovered the different aspects of poverty and the attenuating consequences it casts on families. The most devastating aspects of poverty were visible at the hospitals, where I repeatedly saw families feel helpless or were asked to leave due to their inability to afford treatment. These agonizing perceptions led to my understanding that a patient’s socioeconomic status is the most important factor in regulating their eligibility for medical treatment. This perception unmasked a critical societal issue concealed in medicine. Despite this sad reality, I discovered a counterbalance through the kindness of two medical doctors in India, who introduced me to the service aspect of medicine. Every year, they both take time off from their private clinics to visit the underdeveloped parts of India, to provide free medical care to less fortunate families. The visible satisfaction of the financially disadvantaged families receiving medical care brought to my understanding that medical knowledge in the hands of a considerate physician not only affects the patient receiving the care, but will also set an example for others to reach out and help those in need. Those two doctors’ acts of service to these unfortunate families intensified my desire to live a life of service through the practice of medicine. My passion of serving the community, which has been enhanced by the two doctors in India, has been displayed through volunteering at Etobicoke General Hospital, in the emergency department. Although many shifts taught me valuable lessons, an encounter with one particular patient intensified my decision to pursue a career in medicine. I was assigned the job of directing a woman in her early sixties, who was diagnosed with cancer, to a taxi. As we slowly approached a taxi, she mentioned that letting her husband know of this heartbreaking diagnosis will be extremely hard. Next, she told me that, though the length of life is unpredictable, while it is there, always value it and make the most out of every moment that you live. Her heartfelt words echoed within me as I watched her drive away. This encounter helped me become more aware of the difficulties each patient faces in their life. Furthermore, I went on to better understand that apart from the physiological diagnosis, a disease brings with it both psychological and social consequences as well. As a future physician, I

Ms. Riddhi Patel

hope to use this experience as an example to remind me to attend to each patient not only in body, but in mind and spirit as well, to better their emotional and physical health. When I began shadowing Dr. Gurjit Bajwa, who is a doctor in emergency medicine at Etobicoke General Hospital, I obtained a more defined understanding of the relationship a physician shares with his patients. Throughout his day at the emergency care department, he would always connect with every patient he treated on a personal level. Before stepping into the treatment room, he would thoroughly examine and attempt to understand the reason for the patient’s visit and their medical history. After gaining a better understanding of the patient he was to examine, he would step into the treatment room with a smile and introduce himself; and though he already knew of the reason behind the patient’s visit to the hospital, he would allow them to explain in their own words. His main goal in doing this was to increase his patients’ awareness of their medical condition, and to help them take charge of their own health. After the tests and treatments he prescribed, he would always tell the patient, “don’t worry at all, I will try my level best to provide you with the best treatment possible.” He also instilled that no matter how serious a patient’s medical condition is, as a physician, it is his duty to let his patients know that he will try his level best to help them improve both their physical and emotional health. This wise assurance from him leads to the patient having complete faith in him, and leaves them feeling both mentally and

Meet Our Student Editor: The Medical Journey Of Riddhi Patel (Continued) physically strong, which ultimately improves health outcomes. Despite having learned so much about the scientific aspect and approach of medicine through my post-secondary education, I learned about the craft of medicine through my time with Dr. Bajwa. Having witnessed the importance of patient-centered care, I have become devoted to working tirelessly to master my craft with the intent that it will enhance the health and life outcomes of my patients. Based on the various experiences I have obtained thus far, I have realized that medicine precisely acknowledges my desire to serve others. These experiences have also taught me that medicine is a gratifying profession; a vocation that will provide me with

both personal and professional satisfaction as I dedicate my time towards serving others. As a physician, I desire to provide medical care to the less fortunate, like the two medical doctors in India, while treating the individual holistically, like Dr. Bajwa.

Fun Facts about Riddhi: 1. I have done the CN tower edge walk and now next up is skydiving in Dubai. 2. I enjoy learning about new cultures 3. I love to playing ice hockey and basketball 4. Cooking works as a mode of relaxing therapy for me.

The Bright Red In The Pink Of Health By The Deep Blue

Rotary International is known to put service above self. To that effect, the Rotary Club in Aruba annually organizes the Polio run to eradicate Polio through its End Polio Now campaign. XUSOM supports this noble cause by motivating its students, staff and faculty to participate in this walk. November 2017 was no exception. Come 4 PM, 18 November, 2017 and excitement and enthusiasm of the registered students, staff and faculty – men and women in bright red - filled the air below the dark clouds, nigh the blue sea, by the sandy sea-shore at the Fisherman’s hut, Aruba. The wait for the

flagging of the run was as exciting as the run itself with some participants killing the time through aerobics, some through light dance steps, some by sitting in relaxed postures on the sand and some through impatient loitering around. No sooner did the organizer signal the start than the participants fleeted through to make it among the fastest few to complete the run. The 5 KM run was completed in ranges of less than 30 minutes, 30-45 minutes, 45-60 minutes and more than 60 minutes by the heterogeneous stamina of XUSOM runners. Excitement and enthusiasm continued even after the run

with the early finishers pranking on the later ones and the later huffing-puffing finishers in no energy to respond or react to the pranks. The long and short of the entire event was the achievement of the one goal – run for a cause, run to eradicate polio. It was this goal that was the melting pot of the fastest and the slowest, the excited and the sober, the fit and the sore - they all emerged contented and happy at the finish of the run and at the end of what had initially seemed as a sultry day. By: Dr. Malpe Surekha Bhat, Faculty participant at the Polio Walk


North American Admissions Office 1000 Woodbury Road, Suite 109 Woodbury, New York 11797 USA TEL: 516-333-2224 FAX: 516-921-1070 |

Aruba Campus Santa Helenastraat #23 Oranjestad, Aruba Dutch Caribbean TEL: 297-588-7766 Fax: 297-588-6222

Jordan Admissions Office Al Husseini Building Office 614 Zahran Street between 7th & 8th Circle Amman, Jordan 11183 TEL: 962 (61) 586 1313 | FAX: 962 (61) 586 1317 |

Pre Med Campuses - India

The TIPSGLOBAL Institute 361/1a, Karuvalur Road SS Kulam PO, Coimbatore +91 0422-6477377

Pre Med Campus - Jordan

Amman Madaba Street Amman, Jordan

Street No. 6, Uma Nagar Begumpet, Hyderabad Telangana 500016, India +91 040-23403200

Don Bosco Institute of Technology Kumbalagodu, Mysore Road Bangalore - 560074 +91 080-28437028

Pre Med Campus - Ghana

Troas Street Accra, Ghana

Xavier Times January 2018  
Xavier Times January 2018