As a child I was always fascinated by the physicians who took care of my family. The patience, compassion, and empathy they exhibited in their practice was something I always looked up to; the dedication and enthusiasm they worked with kindled my passion to relieve human suffering. I took the first step towards this goal when I applied and was accepted into Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India.
|Medschool days||Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India|
As a medical student, I learned that several construction workers had presented recently to various local clinics with chills that often accompany malarial parasitic activity. The resurgence of malaria in this area after having almost been eradicated was quite alarming. My curiosity about this apparent threat increased my interest in community medicine and epidemiology, but at the same time in infectious disease and microbiology. I was fascinated to learn more about not only how microbes cause disease, but also the mechanisms the body uses to counter them. As I moved on to the final year of my clinical clerkships, I couldn’t help but notice that in spite of all the advances in the treatment of infectious diseases, they still continued to cause such significant morbidity and mortality. It was almost as if the microbes were always one step ahead of us. After graduation I was accepted into a residency program in Medical Microbiology. This provided me with an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the critical role played by microbiologists in improving patient care through both laboratory diagnosis and infection control measures.
After completion of my residency, I joined A.J. Institute of Medical Sciences, Mangalore, India, as a faculty in the department of Microbiology. My teaching responsibilities included giving lectures, and designing and supervising laboratory exercises for students in the second year of their medical education. Given that this was a new medical school, I had a great opportunity to work with my colleagues towards developing the department and the curriculum in medical microbiology and immunology. Besides this I also served as core member of the Hospital Infection Committee at the 500-bed tertiary care hospital that was attached to the school. I was quite successful in empowering our team to take decisions with regard to microbial surveillance in critical areas like the ICU and operating theatres. Educating and persuading doctors and nurses to follow infection control practices was extremely satisfying as I made an effort to listen actively and enable each of them to contribute to the best of their ability.
After a five year stint, I moved to the beautiful twin island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, where I joined American University of Antigua College of Medicine. Besides teaching second year medical students, I was the academic scheduler for the second year, a task that requires achieving a consensus across five basic science departments so as to ensure optimum integration between the content covered.
My flair for technology saw me take over administration of the Blackboard Learning Management System (Blackboard LMS) which I managed for three years. During this time, I was also involved in testing, reviewing, recommending and promoting the use of technology in education among faculty and students. My role in teaching and technology use saw me apply and be accepted into the MS IDT program at Walden University, which I successfully completed in 2017. Besides teaching, I also served as the Chief Campus Proctor for the university, a role that involved team building in the examination centre, and managing test design and administration of all summative, formative, and NBME examinations.
In May 2018, having worked in Antigua and Barbuda for eight and a half years, I moved to St. Matthew’s University, School of Medicine, in the Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. After a year at St. Matthew’s, I moved back to Antigua where I now live and work.
While information technology is a critical tool in education and patient care, it goes without saying that a competent medical student and physician must be a lifelong learner with an ability to understand how learning takes place, how technology can be used to promote learning, and to apply scientific knowledge to design better learning experiences and promote patient care.