Notes from a former AMSA President
American Medical Student Association (AMSA)’s International Chapter at AIM-U
I am excited to be writing to showcase AIMU-U, and it’s American Medical Students Association (AMSA)’s international chapter. In a nutshell, AMSA is about developing a physician-in-training’s capacity and skill sets to be an effective advocate, both for the community and our patients. AIMU-AMSA’s activities have primarily focused on addressing issues pertinent to the unique health disparities at St. Lucia, and even beyond! In retrospect, during my early years at AIM-U, I realized that it takes more than medical school to make a physician, and AIM-U has supported me immensely towards that path.
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), with a half-century history of medical student activism, is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. The AMSA International Chapter at AIM-U, founded in 2009, was recently conferred the prestigious Paul R. Wright Award for International Chapter Excellence in recognition of its outstanding public health efforts in Saint Lucia. The award was conferred at the largest gathering of physicians-in-training in the United States: The AMSA Annual Convention, 10th-13th March 2009 at Washington D.C! Despite being a relatively newcomer to the AMSA fraternity, our international chapter has achieved some fantastic and encouraging results during its term; galvanizing medical students at AIM-U to partake in our efforts towards better public health, and also contributing to our own professional development as future physicians. The success of our chapter has few realms in common: establishing a strong foundation for our chapter, networking with local health and allied-health civil-society and governmental groups in Saint Lucia, fostering primary health care, and community campaigns.
In the process, we created resourceful connections between seasoned providers in the country, and the next generation of clinicians: YOU! AIMU- AMSA has been a proud recipient of several project grants, and has built networks, e.g. with the St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association, The AIDS Secretariat, St. Lucia Cancer Society, and the Ministry of Health.
We are driven by the mantra that as a medical student, it is imperative to develop a wholesome array of skills through involvement in leadership roles, advocacy for a cause that holds personal meaning to you, and to engage into efforts to reinvent how care is delivered. Just as importantly, these initiatives are wonderful ways to jump start the revitalization of medical student activism in our local community.
With AIMU-AMSA, you are encouraging your colleagues in other communities to harness their own capacities, unleash their own passion, and project their own voices. We believe that any health or social issue- however small and inconsequential- hold profound potential to impact the community if addressed. That said, AMSA’s strategic priorities include: Quality and affordable health care for all, diversity in medicine, professional development of medical students, and global health.
On behalf of AIMU-AMSA, I invite you, as a prospective student, to come join us in this effort to steer this ebullient chapter we’ve built .We are always in search of creative fresh minds. After all, saying it the AMSA way: It takes more than medical school to make a physician.
Nilofer Khan Habibullah
AIMU-AMSA PRESIDENT, 2009-’10, 2010-’11, 2012-’13
My journey into the field of medicine began in 2007 at the American International Medical University. I completed my premedical studies at the campus in St Lucia and then proceeded to do my Clinical rotations at various hospitals in Atlanta. I can say it has been an experience in my life and after all experiences are the best teachers! I was also fortunate to meet some amazing people during this journey and I am certain they will remain a part of my life forever. With the help of God, family, friends and the teachers of AIMU, I graduated with my medical degree. I have a long way to go but I am sure I will get there.
To the dear ones reading this, the journey is long and hard, but stay strong, it will be worth it!
Dr. Blessy James, MD
I’m Dr. Abdullah Sajid, a graduate of American International Medical University (AIMU) – Class of 2016. I joined the university in 2012. It was a big decision for me to come from the Middle East to the Caribbean, not just because the travel time would be more than 40 hours, but also because I did not know much about the place itself. My experience at AIMU has been a very fruitful one, in all regards. From the school bus, to the Administration, to the Staff, to the Cultural Events , to the Sports Days, to the Health camps organized all over St Lucia, to the Cadavers and most importantly to the lecturers who taught us and gave us a helping hand in gaining knowledge from their experience, really helped us to be , not just good students but also great future physicians.
I was one of the students from AIMU who chose to do more than 90 % of his clinical rotations in St Lucia, and I can guarantee you the fact that I would never regret this decision. I was able to achieve more hands-on experience in St Lucia’s hospitals and clinics. The doctors teaching us in clinical rotations are extremely professional, very experienced and known to the society (whether it be in US or St Lucia).
The best thing that one would cherish from in AIMU is the Administration; it is always looking forward to help the students in whatever way possible. I cannot remember one incident when I was delayed or rejected assistance. Even after I have graduated, I have needed the registrar office for so much paper work and reference letters and what not, I have never felt like I’m an Alumni, I have always been given ASAP priority because that’s the norm in AIMU.
After Graduating from AIMU, I moved on to do 6 months training in Saudi Arabia as an Intern Doctor, after which I gave the Saudi Medical License Exam and now hold a License of General Practitioner. I’m currently working in Saudi Arabia and also preparing for PLAB exam, in order to open up more opportunities for myself and make AIMU Proud.
Thank you AIMU for all the memories and knowledge.
Good luck to all the current and future students
Dr. Abdullah Sajid
Now that I have obtained a residency in Internal Medicine, in the field of my choice, I look back and realize that it would not have been possible without the help my teachers, faculty and staff at AIM-U.AIM-U not only provided the knowledge that I needed to do well in my exams, it has also prepared me to take on the tough challenges our world faces today. I am confident in the knowledge that I have gained at AIM-U and since I have been a part of the healthcare team in the United States, I know that I have been blessed with the best education possible at AIM-U.AIM-U offers a fine balance between didactics and clinical training, which its students in every aspect of the medical field.
AIM-U’s friendly, nurturing, and competent environment echoes the values that shape every student into the best student and human being possible. teachers and staff at AIM-U deserve a sincere mention for their undying dedication and commitment to the success of each and every student; their adamant allegiance to the mission of AIM-U illustrates their extraordinary character. The years of my medical school education were, they provided a positive and intellectually stimulating environment. AIM-U made my medical school experience an unforgettable and unparalleled one; one that will stay with me for a lifetime.
THANK YOU AIM-U
New Jersey Medical Centre
My question to become a physician commenced in the Caribbean when i enrolled at the American International Medical University in the fall of 2007. The university provided me the needed skills to excel academically and also contributed to my interpersonal development. During my time on campus, I was involved in various community enriching and health awareness promoting programs. As the president of the American Medical Student Association, I was further fortunate to work with a team of individuals who involved and worked with people of various social categories. I completed my study in St. Lucia and graduated in 2013. I later went on to pass the FMGE/MCI clearance exam and complete an internship to be licensed to practice in India.
Dr. Mohammed Rihas
AMSA president 2012-13
AIM-U has played a very prime role in shaping my career and helping me reach where I am today. The strict schedule, regular tests and discipline gave us the edge to be better. I would like to take this oppurtunity to applaude the administration in providing us with the finest faculty who are so dedicated and produce the best Medical Students from the College.
It is one of the finest institutes to study.
I am truly thankful to AIM-U.
Dr. Gargi Desai
“Excellence” is a drive from inside. The admin staff and faculty at AIMU are dedicated to cultivate just that in every student that enrolls. As days go by, you will learn that the path to being a “successful” physician is one that is very long and hard but definitely attainable if you keep in mind that the desire to excel is exclusive of the fact whether someone else appreciates it or not. Striving to do everything under your power to offer the best possible care to the patient in front of you even when you may/may not be required to do so – that’s what defines successful physician. Your patient satisfaction = your success.
Take full advantage of all opportunities the school provides to help you develop your personality and skillset required for doctors in training. In-depth knowledge of your Basic Sciences and Clinical Subjects, is key for your success years down the line. Therefore there is no substitute for hardwork! In the meanwhile, also count yourselves worthy for some fun time and totally exploit the island experience because St.Lucia is simply beautiful.
Dr. Blessy George
The very first thought that comes to mind of a foreign medical graduate (FMG) student when he or she hears of MCI screening test is “It’s going to be a tough exam to crack”! Well, this statement is not completely true. Yes, it is tough, but when you put in some hard work and dedication it’s just like our old school weekly tests. The important thing for you to get through the test is joining the coaching classes in Delhi. They’re genuinely helpfulwe, MD students, have studied medicine in the American pattern, whereas questions in the MCI examination are presented from a totally different perspective, we could call it “the Indian way”.
There are 300 questions with 150 and over correct responses needed to pass the exam, which is not impossible to achieve. Regular classes, hard work and thorough revision for 4 to 5 months are the key for a successful outcome.
Rahul Sharma MD
I am Arun Thomas, a graduate of AIMU School of Medicine and currently applying for residency in Internal Medicine. My over all experience in AIMU is marvelous. The faculty in AIMU is extremely knowledgeable, which have built a significant part in my medical journey. However, like in any other medical program, end of the day it’s you who have to set a certain goal and have to be very dedicated in order to achieve success.
When you go through medical school years, a very strong and basic foundation in medicine was set in place very early on during the first and second year. Which will reflect very well on your preparation towards USMLE step 1.Where all the program directors eyes goes 1st. Like all other students this was very delicate and important stage of medicine for me with a lot of care and tolerance towards great achievements. I am pretty sure that what I needed to succeed as a medical student was readily available to me in AIMU.
AIMU have given me a wonderful opportunity not only to learn medicine but also to experience and teach medicine by appointing me as Anatomy lab assistant and student tutor In the department of physiology and Neuroanatomy respectively. When I look back I feel very proud and grateful that AIMU had provided me with such a strong base that I could excel to the point of getting all those wonderful benefits and clear all the steps in USMLEs and FMGE by MCI.
I would also like to thank God, my parents, all the well-wishers, all the staff and consultants of AIMU and Victoria Hospital who themselves provided me with a strong base in my medical education.
Dr. Arun Thomas
My journey at the American international medical university has been a narrative a road less travelled. My venture into the field of medicine began as I enrolled into the premedical/MD program at AIMU. I completed my premedical studies and later followed it with basic sciences on campus in St. Lucia, I then proceeded to complete the clinical sciences in St. Lucia at Victoria Hospital facing the beautiful Atlantic. Along the journey. I was fortunate to meet few people who would leave lasting footprints for life. By God’s grace and the support and encouragement of my parents. I have completed my basic medical degree. I now hope to further my education in india. I have miles to travel and hope for the best moving into the future.
Justin Thomas Paul, MD