Born in Guyana, Charit Baijnath moved to Toronto when she was ten years old. Loving medicine at an early age (“I was curious about how I could help people”) she went as a pre-med student to the University of Toronto and graduated with honors in Biology.
When looking at medical schools she knew that having lived in a former British colony she would be comfortable and feel at home on the warm Caribbean island of Nevis. “I knew the climate, and all aspects of the culture on the island having lived in Guyana as a child.”
She shares, “I feel that the experience at MUA shaped me in so many ways. For me, MUA wasn’t just about med school. It was about building the entire physician.” For Charit, her med school experience also included meeting her husband (“we met over a cadaver”) and getting married within the first three semesters of medical school. Their daughter soon followed, and Charit spent her fourth semester back home in Toronto with her baby, returning to complete the semester and the balance of med school while her parents took care of the baby. “As I said to my husband, ‘Look, our child is going to benefit from our hard work’.”
“I felt extremely supported during my basic sciences and clinical years. Resources were great and the professors were always there to go into the labs with us on off hours to help. They totally prepared us. Applying to residency can be so scary but I felt so supported by everyone on the MUA team. My husband and I successfully couples matched into Internal Medicine residencies at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans.”
Her three years of residency were rigorous. “I was treating the sick of the sick. I really learned how to practice medicine and not be afraid of the sick. I was dabbling in hospice work as well. Toward the end of the third year I started being included in department meetings and I transitioned from my residency into a Hospitalist role at Ochsner.”
Responsible for staffing in-patient resident teams, non- resident teams and the skilled nursing facility, she also manages acutely ill patients. During the covid pandemic, she became Medical Director for “virtual” hospital medicine and now works remotely for the hospital. This change in role enabled her and her husband to move to Houston to be closer to an Islamic community, similar to what she experienced in her hometown of Toronto. “I wanted my children to have cultural competency, and the schools here are great.”