York Biology Grad Heads to Medical School

Ashmini Ramnauth is an immigrant, who transferred from the University of Guyana to York College and is now going to medical school.

Along with her sister Nirvani Ramnauth, Ashmini came to York College in the spring 2020. Ashmini has been accepted for medical training at Ross University School of Medicine in Barbados and Nirvani has been accepted at Antigua America School of Medicine. She is in the final weeks of completing her Bachelor’s in Biology at York. She will then move to Antigua to begin her medical studies (more on her to come later).

“I applied to three medical schools: St Georges University school of Medicine, Antigua America School of Medicine, and Ross University School of Medicine, said Ashmini Ramnauth. “I got into all three and chose Ross because I love [the idea of] pursuing my degree on an island that I admire so very much.”

She added that Ross University is amongst the best of the Caribbean medical schools that provide residencies in the United States.

“I chose the Caribbean because I’m from the same culture and from a country (Guyana) that is considered part of the Caribbean, not geographically, but culturally,” she said. “We share the same cultures and that is an important aspect to me.”

While attending York College, Ms. Ramnauth worked as a medical assistant and patient care assistant. The Biology major completed her course work in fall 2021, but qualifies to participate as a graduate in the Commencement Ceremonies in the Class of 2022.

She will do so in the company of her fellow-graduate sister.

She says she wants to be a physician because of her previous experiences, which have prepared her to succeed as a doctor.

“I want to become a physician because it is the best thing that I can do for humanity,” said Ramnauth. “I believe that my experiences in the medical field, whether direct or indirect patient care, has groomed me.”

Ramnauth and her sister were raised by their single mom, who also happens to be a current student at York College. She too started her higher education journey at the University of Guyana and transferred to York College along with her two children. She is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Political Science. She too “has always been on the dean’s honor roll” just as her daughters have also made the list.

“My family is very elated about me attending medical school and realizing my dreams of becoming a physician -- especially my mother, who plays a fundamental role in my life,” said Ramnauth.

To keep any anxiety at bay, Ramnauth practices yoga and meditation. She enjoys dancing, attending the Mandir, reading, and spending time with her family.

She responded with a resounding “yes” when asked if she would still choose York if she had it to do all over again.

“I would choose York all over again; because this school has truly made me feel at home due to its strong diverse community and extremely helpful professors, especially in the Biology department of York College,” said Ramnauth.

Specifically, she wanted to thank a number of professors whom she deeply appreciates.

“I would like to thank Dr. Margaret MacNeil, Professor Jorge Saab, Dr. Sameer Verma, Professor Deborah Altgilbers, Dr. Dragana Nesic, Dr. Ivica Arsov, and Dr. Shao-Ying Hua for their guidance and help throughout my academic journey at York College, for a smooth transition to medical school, Ramnauth said. “I would like to express my gratitude to my family and friends, who were with me throughout my time at York College.”

There are other aspects that have kept her engaged as well.

“What I think my best experience at York College is was the rich diversity that the school has, meeting people that share similar backgrounds and cultures like mine,” she explained. “I felt at home at York College.”

Ramnauth also thanks Professor Tricia Kutwaru, (Earth and Physical Sciences) who believes her mentee will soar.

“I expect Ashmina to do excellent [work] in Medical school and go on to become a great doctor, who will strive to help her patients,” said Kutwaru. “I wish her all her best in her future endeavors. 

In her life, Ramnauth has also veered from the scholarly to the “fun fact.” She is a former Miss India Guyana first princess 2017; and Miss World Guyana top model in 2016. She used the titles “to help bring awareness on social issues “in my local societies,” she said. She shares an article  published by the “Guyana Times."