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Large Abroad| Jamaican kidney specialist grooms physicians in New York

Published:Friday | July 22, 2016 | 7:00 AM
Kirk Campbell

Montego Bay, in recent times, has fallen victim to an increase in criminal activities that have stereotyped the community as the 'murder capital of the island'.

However, for every dark cloud, there is a silver lining, and former resident Kirk Campbell is just such an inspiration.

Campbell, formerly of a Montego Bay address, is now an esteemed nephrologist [specialising in kidney care and treatment] at the Icahn School of Medicine, located in Mount Sinai, New York.

Campbell, a past student of Cornwall College, says his time there proved to be the most influential in his academic life.

"It was at Cornwall College that I experienced the most academic and personal growth in life," Campbell told The Gleaner.

Initial thoughts of a career in the courts were abolished once a young Campbell began his third year at Cornwall College.

During that year, his passion for science and math developed, serving as a spring board for his scholarly and academic pursuits in science.

Campbell, feeling invincible after completing his 'A' levels, emigrated to the United States to pursue medicine.

 

BIOCHEMISTRY

 

On his arrival, however, he did not immediately enter medical school but had to spend his first three years completing his pre-medicine studies, earning a bachelor's in biochemistry.

From there, he would move on to the University of Connecticut Medical School.

Finishing his residency at the prestigious Yale University, he specialised in nephrology because he believed that nephrologists were the smartest doctors in the hospital.

Campbell's medical career has included many accolades and major responsibilities.

Campbell is currently the medical director of the Nephrology Fellowship Program at the Icahn School of Medicine, a programme touted to be one of the best in the country, and is responsible for recruiting and grooming young physicians.

Aside from that, he is also a lecturer at the university, a job that is influenced, he says, by a former high school teacher who nourished his love for teaching.

Campbell said he was able to balance his duties because of the small size of the classes and the clinic.

Campbell claims to be a football and political junkie, being extremely distracted around election and World Cup time.

He implores future medical students to go into the field for the right reasons as it is still a noble job, where you can improve the well-being of others, but he warned that it is a long road, where personal gratification has to be often sacrificed and certainly delayed.

- Romaine Newell