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 along the journey towards becoming a physician, signifies the institution’s faith in the student’s ability to stay the course he has committed to.
On Saturday, 10th January, 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 fulfillment of a dream he had held since a child.
Throughout his primary and secondary school years, his journey imitating “the doctor” was a constant reminder of his life goal. Subsequently, Community College gave him the appropriate requirements into the pre-med programme, which he took for two terms at Trinity School of Biomedical Sciences in May of 2019.
In reflecting on pre-med, Joel recalled, “It wasn’t a very easy journey: nothing good comes easy. A lot of times I had to reevaluate myself but I had a lot of encouragement. The lecturers here have been helpful. I spent so much time one-on-one with them doing my last project in pre-med, without feeling as if I was intruding. 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! If I ever find myself at a point where I think I’m not doing as well as I should, I will simple reevaluate myself and start hitting again because in medicine, there is never a time to give up. I know I have the potential and if I wouldn’t give up on a patient, then why should I give up on myself?”
Albeit, this resolve is constantly encouraged by a number of persons, he chose to mention with affection: his mom, Ms. Donna Job whom he recalled had been there for him from Day One; and Mrs. Susan Joachim, a member of his church.
Of his mom, he was proud to say, “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!”
Mrs. Joachim came in for praise with this comment, “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, as his journey has reached its pinnacle, Joel Bascombe is resolved to conquer it just like all the others portions. He was clear that, “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.