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PAGNY Leadership Meets with Nigerian Physician Association to Promote GEMx Foreign Student Exchange Program

Dr. Bijan Safai

PAGNY’s leadership, led by Dr. Bijan Safai, President of the Board of Directors, met this summer with the New York chapter of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas to encourage them to participate in the GEMx program, which promotes educational exchange programs for international medical and health professional students.

Dr. Chinyere Anyaogu

“We want to increase the awareness with the membership, who are also committed to expanding medical education for foreign graduates,” said
Dr. Chinyere Anyaogu, Vice-Chairperson of the Department of OB-GYN at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx and Chair of the Association’s New York membership committee.

“There was significant interest and questions generated,” she said. “There was a lot of positive feedback and questions about how colleges in Nigeria could be part of the program. It was very well received.”

PAGNY this summer became one of the first American medical organizations to partner with the GEMx program when it sponsored three foreign medical students who took part in a six-week observership in New York City. The students spent time observing clinical practices and research projects by PAGNY physicians.

Dr. Safai told the association that PAGNY, one of the largest employers of physicians of diversity in the country, was committed to diversity and wanted to continue to attract foreign medical students to the PAGNY and the NYC Health + Hospitals workforce.

“Foreign medical graduates are important to PAGNY’s future growth,” Dr. Safai said. “That is why we are partnering with the GEMx program and developing curriculum and study programs that will prepare these students to study and eventually practice in the United States.”

Encouraging members of the Nigerian physicians association to participate in the GEMx program was important, Dr. Anyaogu said, because they could help foreign medical students navigate the tests they will need to pass to practice in the United States.

“Physicians who have gone through this process are in a good position to mentor these students on how to be successful in the testing process,” she said.

Nigerian physicians who are interested in participating in the GEMx program were encouraged to contact Dr. Carleen Evans, PAGNY’s Quality Improvement Leader.

To strengthen the ties between PAGNY and the Association, North Central Bronx partnered with the association and a nonprofit,
Mentoring in Medicine, to sponsor a brunch and activity fair on Sept. 23rd for high school students interested in a career in medicine and health care. The event was called: “Back to School: Brunch and Activities Fair with Health Professionals.”