June 19, 2014
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) is pleased to announce Anil Jagtiani, MD, an alumnus of the class of 2011, has been named chief medical resident at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital’s Internal Medicine Residency Program in California. Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, part of the non-profit Cottage Health System, is the largest private hospital on the California coast between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area.
Dr. Jagtiani answers a few questions about his journey to medical school and experience at AUC, offers advice for physicians-in-training, and shares his long-term career goals.
AUC: At what point in your life did you decide to become a doctor, and what was your path to attending AUC?
Jagtiani: I knew I wanted to become a doctor since I was in junior high school. I would see my aunt, a cardiologist, work tirelessly to provide care for each of her patients. She was also a mentor to many, offering guidance and support. I remember wanting to be just like her— this led me on my path to medical school. AUC gave me the opportunity to begin my medical school journey and supported me along the way. The education I received helped me succeed through medical school and during residency.
AUC: Can you share what your experience was like at AUC? What aspects of it are most memorable?
Jagtiani: Moving thousands of miles away from home to attend medical school was, at first, a bit scary. However, the support I received from my peers and also from our professors made all the difference. Medical school is tough; the workload is heavy and the materials are complicated. The study groups we formed and the availability of our professors outside of the classroom allowed us to be tackle complex concepts and ultimately to be successful. When time permitted, we explored the island’s amazing beaches, restaurants, and took part in community events. We developed a tight knit community, forming a family away from home.
During my clinical years, I felt fortunate to rotate though hospitals across the country. I secured a residency in my home state of California, and can apply what I learned from my interactions with physicians working in different healthcare environments and from the diverse patient populations I encountered.
AUC: What advice do you have for current AUC students who are either in medical sciences or completing their clinical rotations?
Jagtiani: I’m grateful that AUC gave me a chance. Had I not been accepted, I may not be where I am today. For many students, it may be difficult to envision where they will be at the end of their medical school journey, but they should treat each day of that journey as another opportunity to learn - even learning from their mistakes. Making mistakes is inevitable, so learn from them. Eventually students will have a bank of knowledge and experience to draw on.
AUC: You were recently appointed chief medical resident at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital’s Internal Medicine Residency Program. How does it feel to attain this accomplishment and where will you go from there?
Jagtiani: I feel honored and fortunate to be selected as a chief medical resident. Similar to my experience at AUC, I am part of a close-knit community of smart, hardworking, and charismatic peers. I'm currently working on my application for a fellowship in infectious diseases. Once I have completed my fellowship, I would like to be part of a multi-specialty group practice associated with an academic center. I love both inpatient and outpatient medicine and envision a future where I have a little bit of both on a daily basis. I also have a passion for teaching and hope to one day return to AUC as a professor.