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PAGNY Partners with GEMx Program to Host Three International Students for Six-Week Observership

Observership students (front row, left to right) Mercedes Aguilar Soto, Abdallah Riad Said El-Haj Ahmad and Abhinaya Sridhar with (back row, left to right) PAGNY COO Michael J. Chambers; PAGNY CEO Dr. Luis R. Marcos; Maureen Davids, Human Resources Director at Metropolitan Hospital; and Dr. Carleen Evans, PAGNY Quality Improvement Leader

This summer, PAGNY partnered with the international GEMx program, a service provided by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), and sponsored three foreign medical students to participate in a six-week Observership at several New York City medical practices. PAGNY is one of the first American medical organizations to participate in the GEMx exchange program.

GEMx is a global partnership that promotes educational exchange programs for medical and health professional students. The purpose of the program is to promote international exchange opportunities in medical education and the health professions and to widen the students’ cultural perspectives in order to better serve their intended home communities.

employee-of-the-month-1Dr. Hoseen Awini with observership student Abdallah Riad Said El-Haj Ahmad
imagesDr. Emmanuel Fashakin with observership students Mercedes Aguilar Soto and Abhinaya Sridhar

Dr. Bijan Safai, PAGNY President, Board of Directors said, “We in PAGNY are very pleased with our new educational partnership with ECFMG. This is a great opportunity to introduce foreign medical graduates to the type of health care services we provide for our patients and the clinical research which affects our treatment and management of various medical illnesses. We have already begun to develop a comprehensive curriculum of observerships, didactic lectures and web-based study for these students. The course ‘Introduction to U.S. Health Care System’ will further prepare the GEMx medical student for advanced training programs in the United States, should they choose to do so.”

PAGNY Chief Operating Officer Michael J. Chambers said, “Joining the GEMx Global Partnership of medical schools around the world has given PAGNY the opportunity to engage in collaborative work in the areas of research, informational workshops and assessment of elective exchanges. PAGNY is providing learning opportunities to medical students in the areas of research, community health, and clinical settings.”

The three foreign students who took part in the PAGNY GEMx Observership spent one week each at four clinical practices, then two weeks observing research projects by PAGNY physicians. The students were Mercedes Aguilar Soto from Mexico, Abhinaya Sridhar from India and Abdallah Riad Said El-Haj Ahmad from Bahrain.

GEMx observership students (left to right) Mercedes Aguilar Soto, Abdallah Riad Said El-Haj Ahmad and Abhinaya Sridhar

“The program exposes students to different types of medicine,” said Dr. Emmanuel O. Fashakin, who oversees a family medicine practice in Flushing, Queens that was part of the students’ rotation. “I’m very impressed with the knowledge of the students. They have not seen the type of medicine that is practiced in the United States. It’s very good exposure for them to continue their medical careers. It’s a very rewarding experience for them.”

The medical practices in the students’ rotation were a private dermatology practice in Manhattan, the Astoria Urgent Medical Center in Queens, an internal medicine and cardiology practice in Manhattan and the Abbydek Family Medical Practice in Queens.

“By accepting and providing clinical observerships within faculty practice sites to medical students from around the globe, we have extended PAGNY’s reach far beyond the New York City metropolitan area,” Chambers said. “The GEMx Program provides teaching opportunities for our faculty practice sites and ECFMG’s sponsorship of PAGNY’s GEMx Observership program has helped us to expand the activities of the PAGNY Health and Research Foundation as well.”

Dr. Robin Kay (right) with (from left to right) Physician Assistant Shana-Kay Henry-Grant and observership students Mercedes Aguilar Soto and Abhinaya Sridhar

PAGNY will sponsor a second group of exchange students from the GEMx program later this fall. This program will run from November 13 through December 22.