This year’s winning team at the Doctor’s Dilemma, an annual Medical Jeopardy competition sponsored by the American College of Physicians (ACP), created quite a stir. A team of international medical students, representing Harbor Hospital’s clinical students, surpassed all other student teams and the residents’ teams to win the event for Maryland.

Harbor Hospital, one of several with which AUA is affiliated, has a rich history and reputation. It sets its own bar regarding USMLE Step 1 scores as a pre-requisite for entry into its clerkship program and also enjoys its reigning championship in this competition. Seema Kumar is AUA’s first student to participate in this competition.

Seema, who transferred to AUA in 2005, is currently a third-year clinical student performing the requisite clerkships. At this point in her medical education and training, she has completed two of six core rotations and two elective clerkships. Approaching her third and final year of medical education, her attention will soon focus upon post-graduate medical education and the residency application process. Her goal is to secure an internal medicine residency.

After having determined its team based upon the outcome of “Practice Jeopardy,” Harbor Hospital provided daily, rigorous training of themed lectures and study groups. Beyond this, the team created its own study group.

The Harbor team started the competition against such teams represented by John Hopkins and University of Maryland. All teams were challenged by basic sciences and clinical sciences knowledge. At the end, the Harbor team landed in the winner circle by one point!

Winning the student competition positioned the team for the next level – the residents’ competition against nine teams. By placing second, the team earned a “wild card” – essentially, a free pass to the final round. After securing double jeopardy in the final round, the Harbor team catapulted to final jeopardy and won. The event lasted for five hours and was cheered on by adoring fans.

In recognition of Harbor Hospital’s win, there will be a celebratory event at the Mulholland-Mohler Associates Meeting, where hospitals give research poster presentations. The event culminates in an awards ceremony and a formal sit-down dinner.

“We want to win it, not only for the Harbor Hospital or our medical schools, but for ourselves. Who said there is a difference between a Caribbean medical school education and an American medical education,” exclaimed Seema. Kudos and a victory salute to all the unsung international medical students!