On September 29th, Xavier University School of Medicine held its first Annual Alumni Global Meet at its campus in Aruba. This collaborative event brought together the XUSOM President, Chairman, Chancellor, Board of Trustees, Alumni, Clinical Chairs, Special Guests, Basic Science and Clinical Faculty, Clinical Students, and Basic Science Students.
President Ravishankar Bhooplapur initiated the event with remarks on Xavier’s past achievements, tremendous progress, and bright future. He discussed the importance of quality education and the current management and ownership of the school. President Bhooplapur shared memories of visiting Aruba with Chancellor Dr. JG Bhat ten years ago and falling in love with the beautiful island and all that it had to offer. President Bhooplapur also spoke about the vision he saw for the school and what he did to make that vision become a reality. Xavier currently holds a double accreditation from CAAM-HP and ACCM. President Bhooplapur spoke highly about Xavier’s graduates, many of whom were also at the event, and their prestigious medical positions, . He thanked them for taking time to share their journey and advice for current students to hear. President Bhooplapur announced that Xavier will be seeking state approvals/accreditations from New York and California in addition to others in the coming years. Xavier has obtained approval from the Government of Jordan and currently runs international Pre-Med programs in Jordan, Ghana, and India. President Bhooplapur welcomed everyone and thanked them for participating and aiding to the event’s success.
Chairman Edwin Casey addressed the gathering and spoke about the tremendous pride he takes in being part of the Xavier community. In his remarks, he stated that he recognizes the potential in each student and is certain that they will make an impact to the field with their advanced knowledge base of modern medicine. He told the students and guests that they are the future doctors of this world and that he is here to support them every step of the way. In his closing statements he said, “Together, we all succeed.”
Mr. Casey was pleased to announce that Xavier will be starting a 501c foundation where alumni can donate to and support potential incoming students and other academic activities. 100% of the proceeds will go to scholarships and other academic activities, including research for students with strong academic and social backgrounds.
Acting Chief Academic Officer Dr. Arun Dubey introduced the new Dean of Clinical Science, Dr. Joseph Balsamo. Dr. Balsamo, a practicing clinician, has been active in the field of medical education for over 20 years. Dr. Balsamo had been a visiting faculty member at Xavier for several years while vacationing on the island. He addressed the crowd to let them know he is available to assist all students in helping them achieve their dream of becoming a doctor. He is excited to help in the advancement of Xavier’s mission and thanked President Bhooplapur and Dr. Dubey for the opportunity.
Dr. Rachel Karmally, Alumni Chair and a 2012 Graduate of Xavier, concluded the first session by explaining how excited she was to return to the island of Aruba and to Xavier. She shared memories about traveling to Aruba and how she entered the pre-med program at 18 years old. She thanked all the professors and administrators who helped her along the way in accomplishing her dream. After completing her chief residency year in Internal Medicine, Rachel is now an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and has her own patients. As part of one of Xavier’s first classes, she also emphasized to current students that they have a wealth of resources in the alumni and they should take full advantage of that. She stated that Xavier alumni are always available to help and answer questions and be mentors for them.
Distinguished doctors spoke during the next session. They addressed the students and spoke to them about what to expect when starting their clinical rotations, the process of residency, and how to always be prepared to attain your goals. Dr. Ravi Gupta, a Medical Teacher and Director of Residency Operations, Dr. Shawn Cannon, a Specialist in Osteopathic Medicine with over 20 years of experience as a Medical Educator, and Dr. Peter Urazov, a Medical Director and the Director of Medical Education, were among those who presented. Students were eager to ask questions following their presentations. We are very thankful that these prestigious doctors and program directors were able to join our event.
A panel discussion and presentation by Xavier alumni took place during the afternoon session. In a joint presentation, they spoke about a variety of topics including how to study and learn in basic sciences, preparation for USMLE, how students should choose their rotations, and most importantly, how to decide what type of residency they want to go for. Students expressed that they were thankful to hear first-hand from alumni. The Q&A segment was the highlight of all the sessions as it gave students the opportunity to ask anything they wanted, which left students filled with eagerness and desire.
Along with notable presentations and speeches, Xavier’s Administration and faculty held strategic development sessions to plan the continued success and growth of Xavier.
President Bhooplapur and the rest of Xavier look forward to the second Annual Global Alumni Meet next year.