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Dr Kristina Schmidt

July 11, 2011
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Dr Schmidt graduated from Saint James School of Medicine in 2008 and is currently preparing to move to Minnesota to establish a Family Medical Practice with a group of 15 other doctors. Dr Schmidt says that she loves the art and science of medicine. Most of all, she enjoy the individual challenge of each patient, integrating a patient’s clinical complaints with diagnostic tests to assign a diagnosis and develop a personalized plan for their recovery. Attending Saint James Bonaire was a very cost driven, practical decision for her. The School was affordable and accessible and she felt it offered her the best value for money. In common with many students that come to the Caribbean, her first impressions of the School and the island were a bit of a surprise. She notes, “I'd never left the Mid West before and honestly I was shocked at first, how small the island was and how simple the School appeared. While I was studying the Basic Sciences there, Saint James was building and expanding its school, so things were a bit ad hoc at times. I think my class felt a bit like we were pioneers at the School; however the skills I acquired during those days have made me a better physician. And the island is beautiful. Over time I began to appreciate the culture there. It makes me happy to see how the School has grown.” She says, “I studied hard. And if I was giving advice to a new student about to start out at Saint James, I would say, be flexible, study hard, and then study harder! One of the main benefits of the quiet island life is there isn’t a great deal to do but study. And it’s a hard life studying on the beach at Divi Divi on the weekends!” “When you are studying to become an MD, what matters most is passing those darn board exams and also knowing that every piece of knowledge you acquire will make you a better physician. So work hard, stay later even if you don't want to and trust your upper residents in Residency. Listen to what people tell you and be polite and patient. And don’t forget to do something for yourself every day, even if it is drinking a cup of coffee on your patio. Lastly, don't forget your family and friends. Be sure to thank them, if not along the way, then when you are done.” One of the things I liked best about Saint James was how committed they are as an organization to growing and improving. They are also very flexible. The School’s administration, was always there for me no matter what, and came up with creative solutions to the problems I encountered. The School’s culture in general is supportive, there’s always someone there to help you, and you will quickly realize that you need that help. It’s a hard thing to study medicine.” “I’m excited about my future. I'm moving to Brainerd, Minnesota to establish a Family Medicine practice in a group with about 15 other people. Now that my study is almost over, I hope to refocus my life and create a balance between medicine and personal goals. I've bought a log cabin in 12 acres of woodland and I’ll be enjoying the peace and the native wildlife.” 
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