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Elite medical journal recognizes work of two CARICOM nationals
– names them among this year’s 200 scholars
TWO young Caribbean medical students were last week accredited Scholars of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), bringing credit and honour to the Diaspora as CARICOM prepares to observe its 39th anniversary.
They are Guyanese Quacy Grant 26, a Cuban-trained Guyana scholar currently wrapping up his internship at the West Demerara Regional Hospital, and Abigail Perreira, a Trinidadian medical student of the University of the West Indies.
Grant and Perreira were the only Caribbean nationals among some 200 medical students conferred with the prestigious accolade during a symposium and Awards Ceremony held at the Harvard School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts on June 22.
The Awards were presented during a cocktail reception and ceremony at the Fine Arts Museum in Boston, following the symposium specially held for winners of the Journal’s essay contest. The event formed part of the celebrations in observance of the NEJM’s 200th Anniversary. The topic on which Grant wrote was “The impact of Social Networking on the advancement of Medicine”.
Founded in 1812, the Journal is currently celebrating its 200th year of advancing medical science practice and patient care. The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJ.org) is the world’s leading medical journal and website; and each week, publishes peer-reviewed research and clinical content for physicians, educators, and the global medical community.
Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, said the NEJM is driven by a collective mission to provide the best information
possible to physicians and other health care professionals, connecting research to advances in clinical practice and patient care. The NEJM is owned and published by the Massachusetts Medical Society.
A very modest but deeply gratified Quacy Grant, who returned home last Sunday, described the experience at the symposium as rewarding, and feels it is an experience that every medical student should have.

“The Workshop was a great experience. I learnt so much,” he said, adding, “I think it should be the experience of every budding doctor or person entering the medical profession.”  At the forum, there were not only those in the medical field, but students studying various aspects of public health; and the delegation was able to meet with lead persons in the health profession and across the world.
For him: “It was literally like a day of sitting at the feet of Socrates or Hippocrates.”
Grant said the symposium was dedicated to the medical scholars, because the editorial team believes that the future of medical research and investigation, and the future of the New England Journal of Medicine are in their (the scholars’) hands. Hence the Journal opened the essay competition to young medical students, and winners were invited to the symposium, where they could receive inspiration.

Some of the areas of focus during the symposium were: Primary health care and accessibility to health for all people; HIV/AIDS and the importance of prevention — prophylaxis; HIV/AIDS, among others. They were able to garner information and share the experiences of other people from around the world. Delegates also heard the interesting testimony of a person living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV), who told of his experiences, and of benefiting from the advances in medicine.
The delegates were taken on tours of the Harvard School of Medicine and other places of importance, such as the Fine Arts Museum in Boston, where they had informal interaction with other delegates and medical scholars.
Quacy was intrigued, he said, on learning that many of the medical scholars were not just settling for the MD, but were proceeding to do PhDs and post-graduate studies in other fields. “It is a culture which insists that you guard against complacency,” he said, “and I would like to share this with fellow medical students at home.”
Quacy is urging medical students to make research a habit, and advises that having an MD should not be the ultimate achievement in their education process. Rather, they should seek to broaden their horizons.

Quacy Grant would like to thank God for his blessings and guidance, and for opening doors for him. He also would like to thank the NEJM for inviting him and for sponsoring his travel to the symposium, and for the recognition bestowed upon him and his colleagues.
He thanks the Government of Guyana, and especially Minister Jennifer Westford and the staff of the Public Service Ministry, for making possible his medical training in Cuba; his loving, caring and nurturing parents, Eyrl and Semoine Grant, for always being there for him; tutors and administrators of the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, the West Demerara Regional Hospital, and the GPHC Obstetrics and Gynaecology Wards, where he did his internship. And not least, he would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to the Cuban Professors at the local hospitals, who gave permission for him to attend the symposium in Boston at a time when he was doing his final practical internship examinations.