For our last Student Spotlight we sat down with SJSM 4th year medical student Jennaire Lewars for a special spotlight to highlight some of the very important work he has been doing at Roseland Community Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today we will be continuing his interview to learn more about Jennaire and why he chose to become a doctor.
Jennaire is originally from Toronto, Canada and prior to attending Saint James School of Medicine, earned his Honors Bachelor’s of Health Sciences from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. As a member of one of the first classes to attend our St. Vincent campus, Jennaire found himself uniquely positioned as a leader who helped found and form many of the on-campus clubs that still exist today.
What made you want to pursue a career in medicine?
I have held a longstanding interest in medicine since childhood. Aside from the innate curiosity of medicine, its vastness and the functionality of the body itself, I saw the impact that illnesses and cardiovascular diseases had on my family, friends and my community and became determined to effect change.
I believe that knowledge is power, and being able to provide patients and people alike with the power to assure their own longevity and improve their quality of life, I believe is my purpose and serves as my motivation to pursue medicine.
How did you hear about SJSM?
I was fortunate to have learned about the school from a family friend who is now a graduate of SJSM.
What did you enjoy most while attending SJSM?
I truly enjoyed the opportunity to make the experience my own. With the autonomy to do good and to do more for the kind community that provided us with accommodation on campus, I co-founded the Alpha-Tau Phi-Chi fraternity, and served on the board of directors for the local American Medical Student Association (AMSA) which allowed me to produce workshops, organize visits to orphanages, health fairs and free health screenings in the community. This also provided numerous opportunities for myself and other students to work alongside local physicians and surgeons through-out basic sciences, all facilitating opportunities to have a direct impact early on in our careers.
Additionally, as competitive as medical school is, I enjoyed the camaraderie of the student body. Students were always willing to help each other out with studies, whether via shared study time or taking the initiative to provide teaching sessions in various topics to assist in the success of each colleague.
What is next for you and your career after you graduate?
I will be applying for a position in Internal Medicine. My career aspirations after school include ultimately pursuing Interventional Cardiology.
In addition, I plan to engage in cardiovascular research and innovation, as well as developing foundations intending to address the need and lack of medical coverage in underserved inner-city communities.
What advice would you give someone thinking about attending SJSM?
My advice is to be dedicated and determined as you course through your medical journey. It cannot be understated that medical school is challenging but with the will to persevere, you will succeed.
Do not be wary of seeking advice from faculty, senior students or classmates. Reach out to the student mentors online even before attending the campus to be informed on necessary provisions as you commence your career with SJSM.
Be innovative, find ways to establish your own footprint and have an impact in the school, the community, medicine and beyond. Lastly, trust the process, and believe in yourself!
We are very grateful to Jennaire for participating in this interview! You can read part 1 of Jennaire’s student spotlight here: https://www.sjsm.org/2020/06/student-spotlight-jennaire-lewars-part-1/