American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine is proud to announce that Antiguan citizen Gaden Osborne has been elected Class of 2014 co-Valedictorian.

He credits his success to staying humble, fully dedicating himself to his goals, and seeking help when necessary. From a young age, Osborne knew he wanted to help others and give back to his community.  By the time he reached high school, he realized that pursuing this passion would lead him to practice medicine.  His family encouraged him to work hard, but without a college degree or the money to pay for medical school, Osborne’s options were limited.

At a college fair in Antigua, he met Dr. Jorge Moreno, Dean of American International College of Arts and Sciences – Antigua (AICASA), who advised him to apply to the pre-med program.  With Dr. Moreno’s encouragement, he realized that despite personal adversity, his dream to become a physician was still possible.  Osborne was accepted to AICASA and awarded the Antiguan Tuition Grant, which covers the cost of the program for qualified Antiguan citizens.

He acknowledges that his academic achievements at AUA were made possible because of the foundation AICASA provided and the critical-thinking skills he learned there.  “The AICASA faculty was instrumental to my success at AUA,” said Osborne. “Dr. Moreno gave me the best advice: study two hours a day per subject and you’ll master the material.”

Osborne admits that it wasn’t easy at AUA.  “You need to work hard. You need to be willing to make sacrifices. You need to give back to your community.”  He was most inspired by fellow students who became successful alumni.  “When you’re surrounded by people you admire, you’re motivated to follow in their footsteps.”  Osborne mentions one student in particular, Antiguan citizen Dr. Jasmine Rivera, the Class of 2011 Valedictorian and an Internal Medicine resident at the Mayo Clinic.

He also insists that he wouldn’t be a medical school graduate today if it weren’t for the people who encouraged him along the way, namely his mother and sister, his professors and his peers.

Osborne goes on to say that going to medical school in his home country motivated him to be his best self.  “I want to make the Antiguan people proud and use the resources provided by AUA to improve myself and ultimately, my country. When you’re in medicine, you’re not a king,” said Osborne. “You must be a servant to the people.”

He demonstrated this by giving back to his community in any way possible, but Osborne’s commitment to his country is most strongly evidenced by his choice of specialty. While attending clinical rotations in the U.S., he decided to apply to a residency program in which he could make the most difference: neurology, a medical specialty that is extremely underrepresented in Antigua.

Osborne matched at Albany Medical Center in upstate New York for a neurology residency, but knows his work doesn’t end there. When he completes his residency, he plans to return to Antigua as a licensed neurologist.