Medicine in Movies at UMHS
Medicine in Movies with Dr. Mike Doherty

One interesting aspect of the UMHS student body is how multicultural we are as a whole; representing a multitude of ethnicities and religions. Yet, despite our differences there is one main unifying factor – our desire to study and practice medicine. Nevertheless, there are aspects of medicine we are not taught in the curriculmn and would not learn in a clinical setting. Dr. Michael D. Doherty, Ph.D., M.Sc. (UMHS Professor of Neuroscience) hosted the event Medicine in Movies, offering medical students more knowledge about medicine in an entertaining manner, and for a noble cause.

After the popcorn was served, Dr. Doherty (alias Dr. D) thanked the students for contributing to the fundraiser for the Joseph Nathaniel France General Hospital (JNF). JNF is considered the main hospital on Saint Kitts. Since its inception in 1968, JNF has undergone a series of both structural and internal changes. They now offer medical care in over ten difference specialties, including but not limited to Intensive Care, Psychiatry, General Surgery and Emergency Medical Services.

“The hospital is constantly looking for donations in order to supply the equipment they need for day to day functions, as well as specialized equipment to improve the care they provide. These items are not funded by the government and have to be brought in by private donation.“ – Mahfi Khan (Med 5 EBS) serving as Liason between UMHS and JNF

As medical students, we are taught about advanced medical technology and its importance in patient care. Therefore, we understand first hand how important it can be in improving a patient’s condition or in many cases, saving a life. Helping patients achieve and maintain good health is what clinical physicians aspire to. This is the reason why Dr.D’s Medicine in Movies Charity Event carries such significance.

“There are more fundraisers planned, but Dr. D helped us get the ball rolling in a big way, as we raised just over $1,700 E.C.” – Michael Randall (Med 5 EBS/SGA President)

UMHS students and representatives Michael Randall, Mahfi Khan and Alyssa Mahon, worked alongside Dr. D to plan this event. They were all equally enthusiastic and hopeful that it would lead to a big turnout and benefit the hospital in a meaningful way. SGA class representatives helped spread the word and sell tickets.

“Everyone contributed to this event and it was a collective effort overall”, said SGA Vice President, Joe Ghorayeb (Med 1 EBS).

UMHS Medical Students enjoy JNF Hospital Fundraising event.
UMHS Medical Students enjoy JNF Hospital Fundraising event.

At UMHS we are grateful to JNF for their continued support of our students. During the final semester on Saint Kitts, medical students complete their Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) course. Throughout the semester, JNF opens its doors to these students for an onsite, hands-on learning experience. As medical students in the basic sciences program, we are exposed to textbook and lecture based learning. Nevertheless, it is the problem based experiences provided by ICM in our campus virtual hospital and working alongside the physicians and medical staff at JNF that undoubtedly further prepares us for the next stage of our careers.

Alyssa Mahon (Med 4) says, “I think that giving back to the community of St. Kitts is essential, as its helping make our dreams of becoming doctors a reality – and what better way to give back as medical students than to the hospital itself!”

Clinical experience is important for medical students because it teaches us a side of being a medical doctor that the textbooks cannot – the all important bedside manner! Oddly enough, movies and TV can also teach us about what it means to be a medical doctor as seen through the eyes of the general public. Dr. Doherty took us through a variety of films and television shows dating back from the 1800’s to present-day Hollywood. Between laughs, he also managed to sneak in a few statistics, zeroing in on the changes in public opinion of medical doctors, as they are depicted in Hollywood films and TV.

After the presentation, it became clear to me that society will adjust its opinion of medical doctor’s based on what the mainstream media focuses on, as well as other aspects of medicine that individual doctor’s cannot realistically control. As much as most physicians like to “control” everything, the opinion of society is beyond anyone’s personal control. That being said, Dr. Doherty’s Medicine in Movies reminds us that laughter really is the best medicine and giving back to the community is most important.

“It is important for us (at UMHS) to be involved in the community here in Saint Kitts and that is why I wanted to do this event- hopefully we can start a new tradition.” – Dr. Doherty, Ph.D., M.Sc., Professor of Neuroscience.

Note the following “Dr. D approved and recommended movies and shows”: ER (TV Series), The Doctor (Film), And the Band Played On (Film), M*A*S*H (TV Series), Star Trek (Everything).

by Jasmine Rivas (Med 2 EBS)

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