Saint James School of Medicine had the opportunity to interview a current student, Hugo Lai, originally from Canada. Lai is a member of the Student Government Association on school. He gave us his experience with Saint James, what brought him to the school, some advice for prospective students and more.

What led you to attend Saint James School of Medicine?

Even though it may not have been my first choice, I am very happy where I ended up. Canadian schools didn’t offer the program I wanted to do, so I began looking into schools outside of Canada and filled out a short preliminary application online while researching Caribbean medical schools. An academic advisor from Saint James School of Medicine called me within a few days. After getting accepted and submitted the proper documentation I packed up my bags and headed to a foreign place to study what I wanted to do all along. I haven’t looked back since.

What are the things you liked best about the school?

I was impressed by the quality of the professors. I feel they all genuinely care for students and would go above and beyond to facilitate their learning and success in their own way – by challenging you, motivating you, or by reminding you why you’re here.

Do you have any advice for new students arriving to start their study at Saint James?

To be open-minded and embrace the island culture. Island life is very different from the hustle and bustle of North America. Things are more laid back here compared to back home.  Also, since Saint James has such a diverse student group, it is important to be accepting and open-minded to other points of view. It’s an opportunity to learn from one another.

What advice would you give a student about to study to become an MD?

Be confident that this career is right for you and make sure you are not starting this journey for the wrong reasons. Once you are sure, be mindful to never lose sight of your goal to becoming an MD. You will have days when you want to give up or say you cannot possibly go on, but just remember the people in your life who want to see you succeed and push through, and ultimately, this is a journey focused on you. Also realize that sacrifices will be made. Leaving your home to study on an island is the first of many sacrifices – but at the end of the day it all pays off and each day it’s one step closer to achieving your dream.

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