Christian Green, MD ‘23, Nominated by Peers as Class Speaker
In celebration of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine’s (AUC) commencement, Christian Green, MD ‘23, was nominated by his peers to represent the graduating class as this year’s student speaker. As a first-generation high school, college, and now medical school graduate, Dr. Green has long been trailblazing a path for himself to make a difference for every community he serves.
Having been raised in a medically underserved part of the United States, Dr. Green has always made it his mission to advocate for his community, colleagues, and patients. “I grew up in a rural part of Mississippi with not a lot of healthcare access and got to see how detrimental that can be to a population,” he recalled of his upbringing. “I knew early on as a kid that I wanted to be in healthcare in one aspect or another.”
Building a Family at AUC
While at AUC, Dr. Green found many opportunities to act on his passions for advocacy, leadership, and mentorship. Throughout his four years at AUC, he demonstrated a boundless devotion to healthcare, his classmates, and the entirety of the AUC and Sint Maarten communities. He served the Student Government Association (SGA) in multiple positions that culminated in a third-year role as Executive SGA co-president, a role that collaborates with all AUC students regardless of their location on the Sint Maarten campus, in the United Kingdom studying on the UK Track, or in the United States completing clinical rotations. For his contributions to the student body, Dr. Green was awarded the SGA Service Award.
“Over the last four years, I've been fortunate to get to know everybody in my class,” said Dr. Green. “I feel that I’ve built a family. I think about all the great times that we had on and off Sint Maarten, meeting people and situations that I never would have considered before. We’ve laughed as much as we’ve loved, and I’ve been so blessed meeting people from all over the world and getting to learn how to love them.”
Forging bonds with all his classmates and being a voice for all AUC students made Dr. Green a natural fit for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Class of ‘23 at their commencement ceremony.
“We didn't make it this far by mistake,” he said of the message he hopes his classmates take away from his speech. “We all earned our spots and I'm extremely proud of us for that, but I also want to take it as an opportunity to challenge people to remember that medicine is not perfect and while medicine can be good, we still have a lot of work to do as far as equality and keeping healthcare equitable.”
A Career Giving Back to Others
Alongside his medical training, Dr. Green’s experience at AUC has been filled with many volunteer projects in Sint Maarten, United States, Europe, and Africa. He served as a screening coordinator for both breast abnormalities and the Sint Maarten AIDS Foundation, for which he helped raise funds to continue to provide free HIV screening and prevention workshops throughout the Caribbean. Most recently, he has spent time teaching English to Ukrainian citizens to increase their job prospects.
“The thing that I've taken out of all those volunteer opportunities is there's always a deeper story and there's always more to things than you think,” he shared. “There were things like working with people from different countries or different areas, working with people with different financial backgrounds, that I would have never considered doing in my everyday life. Those experiences have transformed the way that I see the world and the way I practice medicine and treat patients.”
After graduating from AUC, Dr. Green will begin his anatomical and clinical pathology residency at Georgetown University’s MedStar Hospital in Washington, D.C. As a student, he was the co-founder and vice president of the Pathology Interest Group, a student organization he helped establish to enlighten the student body on the careers of pathology and applying academic knowledge to a clinical setting.
He became interested in pathology in his third semester thanks to guidance from professors Cecil Cone, MD, and Erica Rushing, MD. Through his coursework, he collaborated on many pathology department case reports and gained community service exposure through the Adtalem Global Education Foundation’s African Access Initiative, assisting in the coordination of training pathologists in Rwanda and Kenya to provide accurate and early diagnoses for breast and cervical cancer.
“I love giving back and I never thought in a million years that there was a way that a pathologist could do community service,” said Dr. Green. “That was one thing that made me fall in love with it as a specialty, that I would still have time to do community service. Not to mention as a pathologist, you get to see the vast majority of the rare cases that come in the hospital. I will constantly be learning new things.”
Though the future has much to look forward to, the days leading up to his medical school graduation and writing his speech to his peers have brought about much needed reflection on the journey to this moment. Dr. Green and his colleagues often share the same sentiments that it takes a village to reach this milestone graduating from medical school, a message Dr. Green captures eloquently in his remarks.
“Being an AUC student has been the experience of a lifetime. I remember that August night that I drove down the dirt roads of rural Mississippi to fly into Sint Maarten, betting it all on following my dream of becoming a physician. I can’t put into words how much of an honor it has been to serve by each of you and to learn from you.”