After a totally unprecedented plan of action to safeguard the senior students, Newstead had just 3 days to cram in as much knowledge as she could, to try and pass her long case exam.

Paul and Sarina Newstead

by Paul Newstead

My wife Sarina told me about Loveland Magazine and I thought that this story about our daughter could be a little piece of happiness during these stressful times.

Our daughter Sabrina Newstead attended the Loveland school system from the time we moved to Loveland from England back in 1999. After graduating LHS in 2012, she attended Ohio Northern University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Biology Pre-Med) degree. She was then accepted into the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) for her Medical Degree program.

In the middle of March this year, the COVID-19 virus took hold in Ireland. RCSI thought that all graduation exams were going to have to be canceled since they were all due to be held this April. After a number of serious talks within RCSI, they decided upon a totally unprecedented plan of action to safeguard the senior students. In fact, they decided to bring forward all of their end of year medical school exams by 7 weeks! This had never happened before.

Sabrina Newstead attended the Loveland school system from the time we moved to Loveland from England back in 1999. She graduated from Loveland High School in 2012.

All the students were told about this. They had not even finished their classes and of course, had not even begun to revise for their end of year exams. Emotions were at fever pitch. To make matters worse, due to scheduling of the incredibly difficult “Long-Case” practical exams, Sabrina was told that her exams would start in just 3 days’ time on a Sunday.

She had just 3 days to cram in as much knowledge as she could, to try and pass her long case exam. All doctors, professors, and examiners were amazed. This news even hit the press in Ireland (Read the story in The Irish Times). Other colleges were laughing at RCSI thinking that they were overreacting. However, RCSI had the last laugh as the Irish government began to close schools and colleges.

Sabrina took her long case exam and was then told to pack up and leave Ireland as soon as possible because President Trump had declared that he was going to close international borders. She had less than 48 hours to pack up her 4-year apartment and leave the country.

‘Match Day’ (a day in which final year medical students find out if they have matched to a residency program in the states) was the day she was leaving Ireland, and if she did not match back to residency, she had to turn around and go back to Ireland to begin her intern year there. So she took a chance and came home.

She grabbed as much as she could and packed 3 suitcases.

She grabbed as much as she could and packed 3 suitcases. She managed to get the last flight out of Ireland bound for Boston and then Cincinnati. Her flight was delayed by 4 hours due to the new medical tests that were being performed in Boston. However, the flight eventually took off, and during the flight home, over the Atlantic, she received an email congratulating her for matching to the United States for her 3-year residency program.

Sabrina made it home and 4 days later.

Sabrina made it home and 4 days later found out that her new hospital for residency was The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. Such great news for us all.

Once home, she spent the next 2 weeks studying 14 hours a day, in self-quarantine, in her bedroom. RCSI had two more final exams for her to take before she could graduate. She took these two exams and then finally clicked “End Exam” to finish the last exams of her medical school journey.

Students then wait anxiously for “Reading of results day” which was today, April 22nd. On this day, all graduating students in RCSI discover their results by reading student numbers based on their grades and degree awarded.

Sabrina was awarded a First Class Honors Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine, Bachelor’s Degree in Surgery, and Bachelor’s Degree in Obstetrics.

The celebration at home for Sabrina Newstead

It was incredible. RCSI did a live stream from their offices in Dublin, Ireland. Each of the professors spoke of their absolute admiration for the class of 2020. Never before has a graduating year taken their final medical exams with no prior time for studying.

She was awarded a First Class Honors Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine, Bachelor’s Degree in Surgery, and Bachelor’s Degree in Obstetrics.

Congratulations to all the new doctors graduating this year, during the middle of a pandemic. We all support you.



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