Former MPC student Dr. Naeem Juliana graduates as psychiatrist | THE DAILY HERALD

Dr. Naeem Juliana, his mother Angela Dekker, Dr. Gilbert Thomas and MHF Interim Director Eileen Healy.


PHILIPSBURG–Former Milton Peters College (MPC) student Dr. Naeem Juliana has graduated as a psychiatrist after undergoing five years of specialist training.

  Naeem was born in Curaçao, but has lived in St. Maarten since the age of six. After graduating from MPC, he went on to study medicine at University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. After graduation as a medical doctor, he approached Mental Health Foundation (MHF) with the request to work as a medical doctor until he could continue his studies to become a psychiatrist.

  Juliana spent a period of one year under direct supervision of MHF psychiatrists Dr. Jatinder Kour and Dr. Sachin Gandotra. MHF patients and staff immediately embraced him as a professional. He was a patient and kind person and left a void when he returned to the Netherlands to specialise in becoming a psychiatrist.

  During his specialisation period, Juliana also took up writing and became a member of the Dutch Writers Guild. His short stories are published in the “”

  During his graduation ceremony, he was introduced by Dr. Gilbert Thomas, a Curaçao-born psychiatrist who visited St. Maarten on a regular basis to see patients before the establishment of MHF. Thomas was in St. Maarten during Hurricane Lenny and also explained patients’ experiences in that period, the coping of persons and support rendered.

  The title of Juliana’s graduation presentation was “A post-colonial experiment during a storm: a reflection of a psychiatry internship post-Hurricane Irma.” Juliana received permission from the University to come to St. Maarten for six months after Hurricane Irma to help out. He explained the experience of patients post-Irma after witnessing looting, which completely changed individuals who were not coping well.

  He spoke about the feeling of persons of not being helped or protected by government and the fear of persons that their homes would be looted. He also spoke about the elderly, who were traumatised by the fierceness of the hurricane and “government’s lack of support to its people and the inevitable consequences,” MHF stated in a press release. In his closing remarks, Juliana described the same patients at the end of the six months and their coping abilities.

  Juliana has decided to gain experience for one year in Curaçao and hopes to be able to return to St. Maarten and work for the country he grew up in.

Source: The Daily Herald