By: Ms. Kendra N. Parson and Dr. Gabriel Andrade
On September 29th, 2017, Xavier University School of Medicine hosted the first annual Global Alumni Meeting here in Aruba. Members of the New York office, the Board of Trustees, faculty, clinical chairs, alumni, 3rd and 4th year US based clinical students and current students all came together to celebrate and explore medicine. For faculty members here in Aruba, this was a great opportunity to get acquainted with our US based counterparts. Though all faculty and staff members of XUSOM work tirelessly to provide a top notch education, be it in Aruba teaching classes, the administration in New York, or clinical rotations throughout the US, it is rare that we get a chance to come together, compare notes and work toward a better future for the school. Phone calls and emails help keep us connected, yet all being together face to face allows us to use our collective knowledge.
One of the excellent benefits of the Alumni Meeting was working with clinical chairs. Discussing issues that students are facing both here and back in the US, looking for better ways to improve on the curriculum, and learning about each of the hospitals were just a few of the things that were addressed. Of particular importance in this meeting was listening to senior professors’ talk about their time with students during clinical rotations. This encouraged junior faculty members in Aruba to speak out about some issues that need to be addressed, so that students that pass the USMLE Step 1, make the necessary adaptations to a very different teaching style, once they enter the clinical phase of their education. Clinical chairs also spoke to current basic science students to reinforce the ideals and standards that we try everyday to instill in the students here in Aruba. They addressed concepts like punctuality, respect, and hard work. Sometimes hearing these ideals from someone other than your usual teacher, can make a real impact.
Seeing and interacting with successful alumni and clinical students was one of the best aspects of the Alumni Meeting. Just like the students, faculty can sometimes get discouraged and have bad weeks. Seeing our successful alumni and clinical students reminds us all why we work so hard day in and day out. It’s to help create compassionate and prosperous doctors of tomorrow. The faculty put in their time and effort in the hopes that future doctors can help solve and cure medical problems and illnesses. Their successes are why we do what we do.
After the academic activities were over, administrators, alumni, faculty and employees, all got together at a dinner party on a beautiful Aruba beach. This was a wonderful opportunity for socializing and sharing knowledge, as it is well known that the process of learning and professional development is ongoing, and takes place in all contexts. Everyone got to come together to celebrate a successful Alumni Meeting.
The Global Alumni Meeting was a great opportunity for XUSOM faculty. From meeting current 3rd and 4th year US based clinical students and alumni, to working with clinical chairs, to interacting with members of the Board of Trustees, the XUSOM faculty got a little bit of everything out of this meet. Going forward, the Global Alumni Meeting will be a great opportunity to get together with all the people who work tirelessly to make Xavier University School of Medicine the best it can be.