The medical students of Manipal’s AUA waited with bated breath for Friday, 7th June 2019. This recent batch of AUA graduates excitedly recited the Hippocratic Oath to receive their Doctor of Medicine Degree at 2019 Commencement Ceremony held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Centre in Newark, NJ. The event witnessed inexplicable joy and a sense of achievement amongst several hundred medical students who officially became doctors. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, presidential candidate and the first Hindu member of the US Congress, delivered the keynote address. Other speakers included 2013 AUA graduate Swathi Krishna, MD, Chief Psychiatry Resident at Emory University; 2019 graduate and valedictorian Suman Rao, MD; Neal Simon, AUA President; Robert Mallin, MD, AUA University Provost; and Peter Bell, MD, Executive Dean of Clinical Sciences.
Nandini, a young, bright and aspiring doctor, is a role model to many students in India who strive hard to succeed in their dream to be a qualified physician. Dr. Nandini Chattopadhyay’s journey into the medical profession had started at the end of 2013 when she joined AUA after acquiring a master’s degree in biotechnology in St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata, India, hoping to become a medical researcher. She soon gave up the idea of working in the laboratory as a scientist to her inner calling of taking up the profession of a physician rather. Dr. Nandini spoke from New Jersey on the first day of her residency reminiscing her journey. She said, “I always dreamt to serve humanity and inspire them. The people’s person that I am, I am glad that I realized my calling of pursuing the noble profession of a doctor. As soon as I heard about Manipal’s AUA, I knew that’s where I ought to be. I am forever thankful to AUA for having given me the foundation and for helping me achieve my dream. It’s no more about me, but about every life that I could touch and change. I am looking forward to making a difference in the lives of people that I come across. I am proud to have made my, and my parents’ dream come true.”
Dr. Nandini Chattopadhyay’s parents who were also present at the graduation ceremony are overwhelmed with the way their daughter has matured under the supervision of AUA faculties. Her mother, a specialist in the area of fertility, nurtured Nandini’s dream to be a successful medical practitioner and serve the humanity. She said, “It was a long struggle and we are overwhelmed to be present in the final graduation ceremony that was a gala and inspiring event. AUA gave us the opportunity to make the dream of our daughter of becoming a world-class physician come true. Thanks to AUA fraternity for making us happy and proud.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, one doctor is required per 1,000 people of the population. India has less than one doctor for every 1,400 citizens, which is very much less than the WHO standards. Population in India has increased by roughly 3.5% every year (as per records from 1960 to 2017)
So, within 2025 it can be estimated that India may have a population of 172 crore. That means in 2025 India must have minimum 17,20,000 doctors as per WHO directive. Now in India in total there are approximately 65,000 medical seats both in private and government colleges. It’s that time of the year again in the lives of those students and parents of those students who struggle through the paraphernalia of medical entrance examinations with the sword of uncertainty hanging over them. In the rat race of only scoring marks to secure high ranks and bagging coveted seats in much sought-after medical institutions, the whole purpose of taking up a medical course gets defeated. On one hand MCI cancels seats of many colleges every year due to infrastructural or other problems, on the other hand nearly 15 – 20 % students leave the course before completion for various reasons.
Now, what should be the choice driven by: greener pastures, studying abroad, acquiring a mere medical degree or contributing towards the larger purpose of improving the global healthcare scenario? What should be the focus of medical institutions and aspiring medical students? Should it be about merely producing doctors and becoming doctors or there should be a higher purpose?
From the larger perspective, it’s about how the shortage of physicians worldwide is going to impact the global health scenario. One of the most promising realities in today’s world of medical studies is Manipal’s American University of Antigua College of Medicine (AUA) that has become an international hub for medical education. Manipal’s AUA, a leading international medical school set up in a 17 acres campus in the picturesque Antigua (one of the Caribbean Islands), with a unique holistic admissions approach that embraces diversity, is committed to addressing the projected shortage of physicians across the globe.
This year, AUA alumni attained residencies in specialties such as neurology, pathology, and anesthesiology, in addition to primary care disciplines like internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine. In 2018, 91 percent of first-time eligible graduates secured a residency position-one of the strongest residency attainment rates in AUA’s history. The Class of 2019 joins a growing alumni network of 2,500+ graduates worldwide. These young doctors are the hope towards a step forward in fulfilling the requirement of qualified physicians.
About American University of Antigua College of Medicine:- American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine, a division of Manipal Education & Medical Group, is a fully accredited international medical school dedicated to providing an academic experience of the highest quality. Through a holistic admissions approach, AUA selects students with the potential for medical school success and provides them with the resources they need to obtain highly competitive residencies and move on to successful careers in medicine.