Student Clinicians Ceremony
UMHS fall students & staff at the Student Clinicians Ceremony on December 7, 2019. Photo: GVision Photography

By Emilio Aguinaldo

The hallmark of a successful and rewarding medical school journey is a balance between consistent hard work and strategically placed breaks. Students need to pause to give time for reflection, appreciation for the process and most importantly, to do something both rewarding and fun. The EBS5 and MED4 students were treated with such a breather in the Student Clinicians Ceremony (SCC) amidst the backdrop of the looming final exams only seven days away.

On December 7th, 2019, University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS) held the SCC at the Marriott, for the fall 2019 EBS5 and MED4 medical students, all of whom will be transitioning into their clinical years. The ceremony celebrated the collective journey and achievements of the class as a whole with a banquet filled with fun and laughter.

The ceremony was expertly hosted by the ever-charming Adrian Feliciano, who kept the crowd engaged with his dazzling personality and stage presence.

UMHS faculty members Dr. Michael Doherty, Dr. Abayomi Afolabi and Dr. Mohan Kumar all had an opportunity to share nuggets of wisdom to the students, at various points of the ceremony.

Dr. Jagadeesh Nagappa, UMHS Associate Professor of Physiology, gave the keynote speech. His pride for this class was palpable, as he addressed them with an even mixture of inspiration and humor – all while casually dropping his awesome trademark “yes or no?” questions. Dr. Nagappa urged the students to examine how far they’ve come, and to reaffirm and take pride in their commitment to become a doctor as they prepare to move on to the next phase of their medical education.

This semester’s awardees were Zach Vandeveer, who won the Dr. Robert Ross Scholarship Award for having the highest academic rank, and Kirthana (Kerthy) Sugunathevan, who was nominated by the staff and students respectively, for both the H.E.A.L award and the Peer award.

The H.E.A.L Award is given to the student who has demonstrated the virtues of Humility, Excellence, Achievement, and Leadership, while the Peer Award recognizes the most outstanding student physician of the class.

Dr. Anoop Jalan, UMHS Professor of Pathology and Ms. Lorraine Brown, executive assistant to the Dean of Student Affairs, were also honored with the Dedication Award, given to faculty and staff who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to teach and support the UMHS student body.

The celebration was a night to remember since it marked the end of the basic sciences curriculum in St. Kitts. The EBS5 and MED 4 students will be moving on to Portland, Maine in preparation for their Step 1 examinations and clinical rotations.

Student Clinicians Ceremony
Adrian Feliciano hosting the Student Clinicians Ceremony (SCC). Photo: GVision Photography
Student Clinicians Ceremony
Dr, Jagadeesh Nagappa, Associate Professor of Physiology, giving his keynote speech. Photo: GVision Photography
Student Clinicians Ceremony
Ms. Lorraine Brown (2nd to the left), Executive Secretary to Dean of Students, received the Staff Faculty Award. Photo: GVision Photography
Kirthana (Kerthy) Sugunathevan (left) with Adrian Feliciano (right). Kerthy won both the H.E.A.L Award and the Peer Award. Photo: GVision Photography
Dr. Anoop Jalan (with the flowers), UMHS Professor of Pathology, receiving the Faculty Dedication Award. Photo: GVision Photography
Dr. Don Roberts, Dean of Basic Sciences, presenting the Dr. Robert Ross Scholarship Award to Zach Vandeveer. Photo: GVision Photography
UMHS fall 2019 students & staff having fun for a group photo at the Student Clinicians Ceremony on December 7, 2019. Photo: GVision Photography

Emilio Aguinaldo is a second-year UMHS medical student who has special interests in biomedical communications, e-health systems and medical outreach.

About UMHS:

Built in the tradition of the best US universities, the University of Medicine and Health Sciences focuses on individual student attention, maintaining small class sizes and recruiting high-quality faculty. We call this unique approach, “personalized medical education,” and it’s what has led to our unprecedented 96% student retention rate, and outstanding residency placements across the US and Canada. UMHS is challenging everything you thought you knew about Caribbean medical schools.


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