Joel Bascombe – A Medical Journey Continues
A white short coat placed on the shoulders of a medical student by members of the faculty who would be responsible for his training signifies the institution’s faith in the student’s ability to stay the course he has committed to.
On Saturday, January 10, Vincentian Joel Bascombe, officially joined the Class of 2023 of Trinity School of Medicine at its White Coat Ceremony.
This induction into medical school however, did not signal the beginning of Joel’s journey towards the fulfilment of a dream he had held since a child. Attendance at the SVG Community College allowed him to acquire the prerequisites to enter the pre-med programme, which he took for two terms at Trinity School of Biomedical Sciences in May of 2019.
Reflecting on pre-med, Joel said, “It wasn’t a very easy journey: nothing good comes easy. A lot of times I had to re-evaluate myself, but I had a lot of encouragement. The lecturers here have been helpful…. I had a squad for whom I’m very thankful: Azaria, Akeema, and Mamud. We studied together for a lot of our courses and we pulled each other through. We were all for one.”
The white coat received at the commencement of the medical programme also symbolized his qualification to study for the Doctor of Medicine (MD), which includes early clinical rotations at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.
This stage stands before him but Joel is not daunted. “The pre-med is really geared to prepare students for the MD programme,” he said, “I think I’ve already got my studying habits on par and understand what is required of me. I just have to put back in that effort, this time twice more!
His resolve is reinforced by a number of persons including his mother Donna Job who he said has been there for him from Day One; and Suzanne Joachim, a member of his church.
“My mom is not rich or anything and there have been times when we have been on our low-low but she has done everything she possibly could to keep me in school and encourage me. Even when she could not physically help me with work, her motivation never stopped. I’m the first person in my family to go to university and she uses me as a role model for my siblings. She is as proud as ever!”
Joachim also came in for praise: “I met her a few years ago while transitioning from college into the work force and she has really been by my side and, along with Archbishop Jason Gordon, has been very instrumental in getting me from where I was to where I am now. They’ve checked up on me constantly. I couldn’t get to this point without them!”
Now, at this stage of his journey, Bascombe is as resolved as ever.
“I often remember the situations which I came from and the situation I am in now, and you often find that these broken situations that we’re sometimes born into act as the catalyst that pushes us into great things. I just have to keep on pushing!”
Of course, his never-say-never approach will help to carry him along as he holds true to his philosophy of “Try, fail, get up, try again!”, whenever things seem not to go his way.