UVI Students Selected for BU Medical Program

Aug. 12, 2008 – University of the Virgin Islands sophomores Jaurel Harley and Elisha Jno-Baptiste of St. Thomas and junior Mutahammis Kareem of St. Croix were selected to enter the Boston University Early Medical School Selection Program. The three are all biology majors and attended BU this summer. Harley and Jno-Baptiste will return to UVI for the fall semester. Kareem will attend BU this fall. These students join nine other UVI students at various stages of the program.
UVI students are usually selected to the program at the end of their sophomore year and spend two summers plus their senior year at BU fulfilling the requirements for a bachelor of science degree from UVI, while taking first-year medical school courses. Upon the successful completion of the requirements, including maintaining a grade point average of at least 3.0, the students receive their bachelor's degrees from UVI and enter the medical school, having completed about half of the first-year medical school requirements.
UVI is one of only 14 undergraduate colleges selected to participate in the program, which admits academically-talented undergraduate science majors to the medical school early. Participating colleges are selected based on the strengths of their science programs and faculty.
UVI Biology Professor Teresa Turner, Ph.D. said UVI's academic programs prepare students for the rigors of the program. "UVI has a challenging curriculum and high grading standards," she said. "Students who do well at UVI do well in medical school."
This year, Mallori Callender, a biology major, and Shanedelle Norford, a chemistry major, received bachelor of science degrees from UVI. They will enter the Boston University Medical School in the fall.
In May 2008, three UVI graduates who participated in the early selection program received their medical degrees from the Boston University School of Medicine. They are April Hurlston, a 2002 UVI graduate, as well as Nicole Hanley and Vicki-Ann Samuel, 2004 UVI graduates. Hurlston is doing her residency at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center pediatrics unit in Washington, D.C. Hanley is doing her residency at the Yale Medical Center Hospital medicine-preliminary unit in New Haven, Conn. Samuels remained in Boston to do her residency at BUMC in the psychiatric unit.
In 2006, three Early Medical School Selection Program participants, Timothy Delsol and Wissam Mustafa of St. Thomas and Carissa Webster-Lake of Anguilla, entered the Boston Medical School.
Early Medical School Selection Program participants Jinne Richards of St. Croix, and Sharyn Niles and Denita Lima of St. Thomas are completing their third year of medical school at BU. Niles is also working on her Master of Public Health degree there. Gale Hobson has just finished her third year at the medical school.
1999 UVI graduate Sionne George, of St. Croix, a participant in the program, graduated from the medical school in 2006. She is currently a resident in family practice at Duke University Medical Center.
Other UVI graduates who have received their medical degrees through the UVI-Boston program include: Drs. Richard Browne, Tarsha Brown, Dorette Noorhasan, Marisela Noorhasan, Monique Walcott and Lisa Burroughs of St. Croix, and Drs. Lauren Nandlal Browne, Cherise Ward, Glenville Morton, Brian C. Martin, Pearl C. Christie, Kirsten Shuck, Fyama Wenner and Joanne Murren of St. Thomas.
"The program is successful because it creates a learning community of students in Boston who help each other and provide friendship and support," Turner said. "The time in Boston before medical school starts is helpful to UVI students. They have the opportunity to learn the city and feel at home before the rigors of medical school set in. The opportunity of easing into medical school reduces stress and helps students excel once they get there."
The director of the program will visit UVI in January 2009 to give a public presentation about the program. For more information about the Boston University Early Medical School Selection Program at UVI, contact Dr. Teresa Turner at 693-1382 or visit courses.uvi.edu/biology

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