Dr. Tendai Marume recently matched into an internal medicine residency program at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. He took a year off before applying to the Match to pursue his love for teaching and worked as a Clinical Instructor of Preclinical Sciences at UMHS in St. Kitts. Dr. Marume also worked with UMHS students extensively via distance learning during the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic back in 2020.
The UMHS Endeavour spoke to Dr. Marume about his journey at UMHS, his background, why he chose UMHS over other medical schools, what interests him about internal medicine and also teaching, and more.
Dr. Tendai Marume on Match Day (March 17, 2023) with his students at the UMHS campus in St. Kitts. Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Marume.
Matching at Thomas Jefferson University
UMHS Endeavour: Dr. Marume, congratulations on matching! Can you tell us about your upcoming residency?
It's an amazing feeling to go through medical school with UMHS and be part of the UMHS family and finally coming to Match Day, to have that good news, matching into my desired internal medicine program, the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Internal Medicine Program. Being surrounded by the faculty and the UMHS student body while receiving this amazing news has been a special and memorable moment in my life that I will cherish forever.
Great. You actually graduated last year in 2022, but took a year off and decided to come back to UMHS to teach. You were the first graduate to ever come back to teach and have been teaching as a Clinical Instructor of Preclinical Sciences since July of last year, teaching both first- and second-year med students. What have you liked the most about teaching at UMHS?
It's been such a fantastic opportunity and experience to come back to UMHS, and to be the very first graduate ever to come back and teach. Teaching alongside the very same professors who taught me and now being able to call them colleagues. As a medical student, I have enjoyed teaching from a very early onset. I was a teaching assistant for several courses in basic sciences.
These experiences became very pivotal as I was able to use them to make the MedTutors website Using this website, I have been able to create online tutorial videos. This platform has enabled me to help more students, allowing students to learn and watch educational videos at their own pace. Therefore, returning to UMHS and imparting the knowledge I have obtained throughout my clinical rotations has been an honor. I have worked with the students to help them to integrate the knowledge they have acquired during lectures. This has allowed them to apply their knowledge when interacting with our standardized patients during their Physical Diagnosis and Introduction to Clinical Medicine lab sessions. I am glad the students had the opportunity to see what a UMHS grad looks like once they have completed their education.
Dr. Marume, let's talk a little bit about your upcoming residency. What made you want to choose a residency in internal medicine?
Internal medicine has the same work and life balance aspects I've been looking for. The ability to take care of patients in an inpatient setting and contribute to the medical education of medical students and residents is something I've always been yearning for and looking for in a residency program. I'm fortunate that the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Internal Medicine Program has a medical educator track for internal medicine residents that are interested in teaching.
As an Internal Medicine resident part of the medical educator track, this allows me to contribute to the medical education of medical students at various stages of their learning. Therefore, I look forward to contributing to medical education while completing my internal medicine residency. In my future plans, I would love to be a clinician educator who can care for patients and teach medical students and residents as I continue my career in Internal Medicine.
That sounds like it's a residency that's tailor made for you. Just out of curiosity, what made you decide on attending UMHS in St. Kitts over other medical schools?
I was impressed by the resources offered by UMHS. I was looking to be part of a school that cares for its students and liked the emphasis on small class sizes and low student-faculty ratios. I honestly came across UMHS through the UMHS Endeavour blog.
UMHS President Warren Ross hands a diploma to Dr. Tendai Marume at 10th Annual Commencement Ceremony at Lincoln Center on June 3, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Marume.
I came across the student blog posts written by students detailing their experiences on the UMHS campus. I followed their journey from their first semester going all the way to the fifth semester, transitioning into Portland, Maine. It gave me a sense of the day-to-day life at UMHS. I was finally able to attend one of the live webinars by President Ross.
The school has made a significant effort to create a very student-friendly campus with good student and faculty ratios to ensure students have that one-on-one time with the professors and teaching assistants. When I watched that live webinar, I was on to the next steps of completing my application.
We're so glad to hear that the UMHS Endeavour blog helped you make a decision by reading student posts. Can you tell us one or two things that you liked the most about studying at UMHS? Feel free to give a shout out to any professors—whether they're in St. Kitts or Maine or in clinical rotations or officials in the New York office. Anybody that you'd like to mention?
l will say the one thing that stood out from day one when I came to UMHS was the camaraderie among students, faculty, and the administration staff. When I completed my undergraduate studies in Canada, it felt like we were competing with each other to apply for medical school seats. At UMHS, I never had that feeling. Instead, there was a sense of unity working towards matching into our desired residency programs together.
The mentorship program at UMHS is fantastic. Students are paired up with an upper-class student who can share tips and tricks for excelling during medical school. The mentorship I received has continued to be valuable to this day. In addition, once you enroll with UMHS you make friends for life.
The professors have had a profound impact not only on my education but also on my life. They are humble, willing to teach, and go above and beyond for their students to succeed. I remember my first semester Dr. Yomi Afolabi was the anatomy professor I worked with as a teaching assistant throughout my time on basic sciences. He was a resource for me that was helping me figure out how to balance life and being a teaching assistant and giving me life lessons that I still have applied to this day.
When I returned to UMHS as teaching faculty, I asked myself "How will I fit into this teaching role?" I had acquired experience while teaching online. However, working with Dr. Mohan Kumar (Chairman of Preclinical Sciences) allowed me to have a seamless transition. The ICM Faculty were always available to offer guidance. I was given the freedom to plan my lectures and small group sessions. I made lifelong connections with the faculty and my peers. This makes our school different from all the other schools.
From Zimbabwe to Canada to St. Kitts
Dr. Marume, can you tell us about yourself and where you're originally from?
I am originally from Zimbabwe and I moved to Canada when I was 19 to pursue my undergraduate studies at the Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
That's great. So, you were a Zimbabwean studying medicine abroad. Did you always want to be a doctor?
Initially, when I went into my undergrad studies, I considered pursuing medicine, but I wasn't so sure yet. However, my experiences volunteering at the Nova Scotia Health Authority as a meal assistant allowed me to interact with a diverse group of patients with various comorbidities. I had the experience of having one-on-one patient interactions, which helped solidify my love for medicine. I also grew up with my dad's influence, an Obstetrics and Gynecologist in Zimbabwe.
So having a dad who's a doctor must have inspired you.
It did. My dad had a busy schedule; sometimes, I would go to the hospital and sit in the car, and I remember just thinking, "One day, that's going to be me going to the hospital." So those experiences played a part in my thought process and belief that I wanted to become a doctor.
Dr. Tendai Marume leading the UMHS Student Pledge at the White Coat Ceremony in St. Kitts. Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Marume.
How Academic & Student Affairs helped
I understand that Associate Dean Patrick McCormick in Academic and Student Affairs helped you a lot during the Match process. Can you tell me how he and his team assisted you?
Going through the Match process, I can say that it requires a lot of support. I was working with Dean Patrick McCormick throughout this application season. He's such a helpful resource. He always sent us information regarding the upcoming Match process a year in advance, allowing students to prepare themselves. If you have any unique situations, he was always open for students to communicate with him. For me, he was a valuable resource, giving me helpful, personalized advice for my unique situation. The UMHS alumni itself also too, also play a part in basically trying to assist and help the students. In my case, I had a UMHS alumni member, Dr. Billy Zhang, and he was very helpful with my application process. He helped me tell my story through my personal statement.
Dr. Tendai Marume (far left) with friends Dr. Chanel Willis, Dr. Pritpal Brar, Dr. Priya Simmons & Dr. Brittany Swait at 10th Annual Commencement Ceremony at Lincoln Center, NYC on June 3, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Marume.
Internal medicine vs. family medicine
Many prospective students and current students are a little puzzled by the difference between internal medicine and family medicine. Can you explain the difference?
With internal medicine, you have the opportunity to take care of patients both in an inpatient setting and an outpatient setting. With a patient that's going to be hospitalized, they're typically seen by the emergency doctor first, and if they are in a state where they need to be admitted into the hospital and stay in the hospital, typically an internal medicine physician will take care of the patient while they're admitted in the hospital. This brings a unique role because you are basically the team leader for the care of that patient. If you need to consult other specialties, for example, the internal medicine physician may consult a cardiologist if the patient has a complicated heart condition requiring additional management. This allows you to care for potentially very sick patients with many different pathologies. That's one of the things that drew me toward this specialty.
In the outpatient setting, you can also take care of patients who come in daily, potentially those who have been discharged from the hospital within your care or your team.
Dr. Tendai Marume (second, far right) with UMHS professors (from left) Dr. Anoop Jalan, Dr. Jagadeesh Nagappa, Dr. Kirthana Sugunathevan, Dr. Prakash Mungli (Interim Dean of Basic Sciences), Dr. Mohan Kumar (Chairman of Preclinical Sciences), Dr. Veerabhadra Gowda & Dr. Sudhir Ambati (Dean of Student Affairs) at the UMHS campus in St. Kitts. Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Marume.
Leisure time in St. Kitts
One of the things that we often hear from both students and new residents is the importance of the work-life balance, having time with friends and family, and downtime. What are some of the things that you like to do to relax?
I enjoyed exploring the island of St. Kitts. I liked going to the beach in my spare time. We have several clubs and organizations at the UMHS St Kitts campus, including an Island Explorers club that periodically has outdoor activity trips for students and faculty. I had the opportunity to hike Mount Liamuiga, a dormant volcano; the view from the top was amazing. I like to have a balanced life. At UMHS, we emphasize the importance of wellness from an early onset in the student's medical journey. Students should continue to do activities they enjoy. Even if you are on a busy schedule, try to do something that will give you peace of mind and help you relax.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your residency or UMHS in general that we have not covered?
I'm looking forward to the next chapter in my life. I honestly feel this is not the end of my relationship with UMHS, but I think it will continue. I see myself being involved in medical education with UMHS in the future. I can't wait to gain some additional experiences throughout my internal medicine residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and, ultimately, be able to continue to give back to the UMHS student body.
I would like to quote an African proverb that states, "It takes a village to raise a child." This proverb has resonated with me since coming to UMHS as a student in 2017. This conveys it takes many people (the village) to provide a safe environment for children, where children are given the security they need to develop and flourish to be able to realize their hopes and dreams. In our case UMHS, is our village; they have created a supportive environment for its students to acquire the necessary skills to become compassionate doctors.
UMHS has played a pivotal role in making me who I am today. I am grateful for the opportunity the school has given me. I would like to thank my family for the constant support they have given me throughout this journey. This Match wasn't for me alone; it was for everyone. It was for all the faculty who have spent countless hours preparing lectures and teaching us. It was for the staff that work immensely behind the scenes for the school to run smoothly. Finally, it was for the future doctors, for us to celebrate together because my success is your success.
UMHS YouTube interview with Dr. Tendai Marume
Contact Dr. Marume at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Top photo) Dr. Tendai Marume. Photo courtesy of Dr. Marume.
Scott is Director of Digital Content & Alumni Communications Liaison at UMHS and editor of the UMHS Endeavour blog. When he's not writing about UMHS students, faculty, events, public health, alumni and UMHS research, he writes and edits Broadway theater reviews for a website he publishes in New York City, StageZine.com.