Robert Wilson graduated from the University of Ottawa with an Honors degree in Health Sciences. “I remember a period of uncertainty following my bachelor's degree. I had a below average score on my MCAT and didn't receive any interviews after applying for medical school in Canada. I was in the midst of a 5th year at my university when I came across Saba. I ended up applying because I knew it would be an adventure and a great story to tell. It was also important that the school had accreditation in the US and Canada."
While on the island, Robert got involved in activities, serving as a Neuroscience TA and Treasurer of the Saba Athletic Association. He also participated in the Saba Meet and Great team for new students. “It was very easy to get involved in extracurricular activities because it’s a smaller community.” Working hard on his studies as well, he offers “I think the environment at Saba facilitates success. There are hardly any distractions on the island and you are surrounded by people who are all striving for the same goal.”
As he mapped out his clinical rotations, Robert worked closely with the Saba clinical coordinator, who accommodated his geographic preferences (Northeast) as well as his specific hospital requests. He was awarded the Dean of Clinical Medicine award upon completion of his clinical work, and matched into his first choice, an Internal Medicine residency at Norwalk Hospital. “I had never rotated there but the “vibe” felt just right when I interviewed. The global health elective was another reason I wanted to match at Norwalk because I had spent time abroad in India for a month prior to medical school, and that was a very rewarding experience.”
As a 2nd year resident at Norwalk Hospital, Robert was able to take advantage of their global health elective and spent 6 weeks in Ho Chi Minh City at one of the largest hospitals in the country. While there, he saw conditions he only read about in textbooks, and overall found it to be a very humbling experience. Also during his residency, he decided to pursue pulmonary/critical care medicine. "I had great mentors and enjoyed my time in the ICU learning critical care and bedside procedures."
Currently in a Pulmonary Medicine Fellowship at Norwalk Hospital, Robert shares “it’s a very challenging field and there's a lot of overlap with other specialties that requires thorough history taking and critical thinking. A large portion of the fellowship takes place in the ICU managing critically ill patients, and we spend a 3rd year at Yale New Haven Hospital where we'll complete our fellowship in critical care”.
“My decision to go to Saba is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s given me the opportunity to work in a field that I find challenging, fulfilling and exciting. In addition to that, I met amazing people on the island, including one of my best friends and my wife. It’s a great story to tell”.