Ross University – St. Kitts – Nevis
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, Saint Kitts – Nevis
June 26, 2008 (CUOPM)
Kittitian-born Dr. Donald Christmas has received his medical degree from Ross University at a graduation ceremony held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Every year, Ross University provides scholarships to Kittitian and Dominican citizens who meet the required criteria. Eligible students receive the scholarship for all 10 semesters, which includes full tuition and fees.
Dr. Christmas heard about the scholarship while working in the clinical pathology laboratory at Ross University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts.
“Some of the doctors there saw my ability to go further and encouraged me to do something better with my life. I told them I was interested in human medicine and they told me about the scholarship, which was instrumental. The whole experience in Dominica was tremendous.”
For Dr. Christmas, the decision to become a physician was a natural progression because he grew up around medicine.
“My parents were in the medical field. My father was a pharmacist and my mother was a registered nurse. And I have two younger brothers who are already doctors””one is in Jamaica and the other is in the Bahamas.”
According to Dr. Christmas, receiving his diploma and being called “doctor” for the first time was “the crowning moment.”
His plans for the future include applying for residency in internal or family medicine, and perhaps even continuing his education at Ross University through the Master Educator Training Program. This one-year program is open to recent M.D. and Ph.D. graduates and is designed to give participants the opportunity to become medical educators.
Dr. Christmas shared his special day with his wife, Antoinette Athill-Christmas, who works as a student advocate in Ross University’s administrative office in Edison, NJ.
“I was so happy about the whole thing – he’s come so far. It wasn’t always an easy road, but it was overwhelming just looking at him walking across that stage. It was awesome to see him reach such a milestone,” she said.
Ross University was founded in 1978 and is a provider of medical and veterinary education offering doctor of medicine and doctor of veterinary medicine degree programs. The School of Medicine is located in Dominica, West Indies. The School of Veterinary Medicine is located in St. Kitts.
The first four semesters of pre-clinical training are taught in Dominica over a 16-month period. Students complete their fifth semester, Advanced Introduction to Clinical Medicine, in Miami, Florida, Saginaw, Michigan or Dominica. Semesters six through ten consist of core and elective clinical rotations in U.S. affiliated teaching hospitals. Ross University graduates are eligible to practice medicine in all 50 U.S. states and 10 provinces of Canada upon successful completion of the requisite licensing examinations.
Ross University’s administrative offices are located in Edison, NJ.