Michael D. Doherty, Ph.D., M.Sc., Professor of Neuroscience at UMHS, recently won the “Outstanding Professor of the Year Award for 2017,” given on behalf of UMHS students.
The UMHS Endeavour spoke to Dr. Doherty about what it was like receiving the award, what he has planned for the rest of 2018, what he enjoys the most about working with UMHS students, and more.
The response Dr. Doherty received after winning the award was inspiring indeed.
“It was a nice moment when I received the award, but that did not come close to how I felt over the next couple of days once friends, family, current and former students all found a moment to acknowledge it, or say something complimentary,” he said. “I am truly a fortunate person to have that kind of support, and those sorts of people in my life.”
He has a lot planned for 2018, from continuing classes to working with various student groups on campus.
“I expect my two elective courses, History of Medicine and Introduction to Medical Art Therapy, will continue as always,” he said. “The electives program here has been in operation since 2013, and in addition to my classes, Dr. Jane Harrington gives students a great opportunity with her Research elective. Starting in Fall 2017, I was able to work with CCOP [Christian Community Outreach Program] to teach fiberglass casting techniques, and we are planning two clinics per semester. The casting clinics require a lot of practice and preparation time and the students who help run them are dedicated and professional.
“I also assist my wonderful colleague, Dr. Yomi Aafolabi, and the Surgery Interest Group with their suture clinics. Med4You is another wonderful and active student group, and we’re planning a secret food-tasting event for next semester but the details must remain classified for now. Lastly I should probably move to a place with a larger stove/oven so I can more effectively meet the cookie-eating requirements of our hungry students.”
UMHS students never fail to inspire Dr. Doherty in countless ways.
“The Oxford dictionary lists over 30 synonyms for the word ‘amazing’,” he said. “Put any or all of those words in front of ‘UMHS students’ and you understand why I like working with them so much. They truly are future physicians.”
He said he loves working with the many on-campus student organizations, helping them with fundraising and volunteer efforts.
“I have never said no to a request from a student group, whether it’s time or effort, art supplies or cookies,” Dr. Doherty said. “I try and support all of them, because all of them bring something different to the campus and community. Their charitable acts have led to our school having a good reputation on the island, and have made the campus a better overall environment. These organizations also give our students many and varied opportunities to build their CVs, which is so important for residency. STEPS, AMWA, CarMHI, AMSA, HAMSA, ACSA and the other groups mentioned above do so much for the student body and really deserve more acknowledgment than they get. If we had an events calendar, I think non-UMHS persons would be very impressed at how much there is available here outside of classes.
Dr. Doherty wants to acknowledge the many people who help make UMHS successful.
“There are some truly impressive faculty members here, as well as a dedicated student body, “ he said. “Do not forget the local employees, either. I have gotten to know most of the staff, maintenance, security and IT personnel over the years and they’re good people. So big shout outs to Rolston, Ayo, Everson, Christina, Condasie, Charnelle, Helen, Cassandra, Pauline, Roy, Jackie, Keisha, Landell, Cecelia, Gale, all the wonderful cafeteria ladies, and everyone who helps make this a good campus and good community.”
Built in the tradition of the best U.S. universities, the University of Medicine and Health Sciences focuses on individualized student attention, small class sizes and recruiting high-quality faculty. For these reasons, UMHS is quickly becoming the school of choice among Caribbean medical schools.