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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Sunil Jonathan Holla

July 30, 2020
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At Saint James School of Medicine, we are proud of our faculty, who are accomplished medical professionals dedicated to scientific instruction and academic excellence. All SJSM faculty members hold an MD, a PhD or both. Saint James School of Medicine faculty offer one-on-one guidance, tutoring, mentoring, and research support.

This month we would like to introduce you to Dr. Sunil Jonathan Holla, a professor of Anatomy and Embryology with over 30 years experience in teaching!

Dr. Holla joined SJSM in June 2019, and was drawn to Saint James specifically because his philosophy “To encourage students who are motivated to study medicine, who may not have been given an opportunity elsewhere, and to enable students who would be able to have medical education at an affordable cost” matched with Saint James School of Medicine’s mission statement.

After graduating with his MBBS from Christian Medical College in Vellore, India in 1983, Dr. Holla went on to get his Masters in Anatomy there in 1990. He has enhanced his knowledge with continuing education through the years with a FAIMER Fellowship in Medical Education Research in 2013, an Advanced Course in Medical Education (ACME) at St. John’s Medical College, and a post graduate diploma in Family Medicine (PGDFM) in 2018.

Dr. Holla was drawn to teaching by “the need to motivate students to practice a noble profession. I wanted to have adequate time to grow in my faith and help people physically and spiritually.” In his over 30 years of experience, Dr. Holla has taught at universities in India, Nepal, Ethiopia, and Antigua. Along with Anatomy and Embryology, he has taught subjects like Histology, Neuroanatomy, and Genetics.

Dr. Holla has also won several professional honors and awards, such as the Favorite Basic Science Teacher Award in 2004 at Kathmandu University Medical School in Nepal and was selected for the committee to design the basic sciences curriculum for the Medical Council of India in 2011.

With years of experience teaching medicine, we asked Dr. Holla what advice he has for students looking to be successful at SJSM. His response was to “keep focused on your purpose, and do your best. The medical profession needs people who have an appetite for hard work and endurance. Attributes such as general mental ability, critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills, empathy, psychological robustness, and integrity.”

Finally, we asked Dr. Holla what he found the most rewarding about teaching medical school: “The opportunity to encourage students to do their best and excel. To be involved in a ripple effect where I can train many students who will later care for many more patients.”

Thank you to Dr. Holla for your passion for teaching and helping students achieve their dreams! To learn more about SJSM students, alumni, faculty, and staff, check out our blog here:

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