Trinity Alumni: History of Success

Caribbean medical school students at Trinity graduation 2018

 Since the medical school was founded in 2008, Trinity School of Medicine has continued to create successful, skilled physicians whose passion for medicine has driven them to become great models for the new generation of med students. Trinity alumni have shown nothing but gratitude and love for the med school that helped them get to where they are now, so much so that they keep coming back for more! Below we will highlight some success stories from alumni that have shown that with their dedication to medicine and Trinity’s support, anything is possible.

It is important to note that Trinity School of Medicine alumni have been able to attain residencies, fellowships or are in practice at all top 5 of the hospitals ranked by the U.S. News & World Report. This further proves the fact that, although Trinity is a Caribbean medical school, becoming a Trinity med student means you can be a successful physician at any top-tier hospital, such as Johns Hopkins like Dr. Vincent Shieh, Duke University like Dr. Sujatha Cumaran, and many more! If you are part of the 60% of applicants (or 80% if in Canada) that have been rejected from a U.S. medical school, Trinity is a great alternative that can help turn your dream of becoming a physician into reality. Like Dr. Danhely Cruz-Vasquez, a Trinity alumni, once said: “I didn’t think I was ever going to have a white coat ceremony. I didn’t get accepted into a U.S. medical school…but then Trinity fell into my lap, opened the doors, and gave me the opportunity to go into medical school and be where I am now (a resident at her top choice residency program).” Watch the full video (1 minute)


Dr. Allison Laffoon – Facial & Body Cosmetic Fellow

Trinity alum, Dr. Allison LaffoonOne great example of a Trinity alumni success story is shown by Dr. Allison Laffoon’s medical journey. Dr. Laffoon completed her residency as a General Surgery Resident at the University of Texas Health Science Center and is now immersed in a Facial & Body Cosmetic Surgery Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Laffoon secured 1st place in the Intern Surgical Olympics and was awarded the Intern of the Year title. Her dedication to growth and improvement is evident in her achievement of the “Most Improved ABSITE score” among junior residents. Her outstanding abilities and commitment to her craft have been acknowledged through Aust Society Travel Scholarship Award and the Gold Humanism Award for teaching. Dr. Laffoon has served as a General Surgery Residency Council Member, a House Staff Council General Surgery Representative, and a Trauma Administrative Chief Resident. She also played a vital role in the Incoming Resident Selection Committee and the General Surgery Wellness Committee. Besides being actively involved in professional organizations, Dr. Laffoon has published several articles and is currently working on various projects in the medical field. Her publications include topics such as postpartum bowel perforation, hand surgery training pathways, and rare cases of diseases in adult patients. She continuously helps the Trinity community by participating in webinars and teaching med students how to suture, and she recently came back to share her words of wisdom at the 2023 September white coat ceremony. Watch the full video (9 minutes)

Dr. Andrea Bodale – Chief Family Medicine Resident

Trinity alum, Dr. Andrea Bodale

Dr. Andrea Bodale matched at her top choice residency and is now a Chief FM Resident at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Woohoo! She was able to attend the AAFP National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, where she told others how awesome her residency program is. Dr. Bodale is now a worship leader at her church and is currently in her last year of residency. She recently helped the Trinity community by becoming a speaker at a “From An Insider” webinar where she told other prospective Trinity students about her journey and how Trinity helped her obtain her top choice residency.

Dr. Matthew Barvo – Internal Medicine Resident

Dr. Matthew BarvoTrinity alum, Dr. Matthew Barvo received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Boise State University, his Medical Doctorate from Trinity Medical Sciences University, and is an Internal Medicine Resident Physician at Creighton University School of Medicine in Phoenix, AZ. He is an advocate for the healthcare needs of people living in underserved communities, is an ACP Young Achiever, and earned Dean’s List, Clerkship Honors, and Scholarships throughout medical school. Dr. Barvo’s medical interests include bedside medicine, point-of-care ultrasound, and management of patients suffering from gastrointestinal disease. He has over 35 publications and presentations in top medical journals, textbooks, and national conferences, and he offers mentorship to medical students interested in research. During his time at Trinity, he was a workshop instructor and created the Trinity Think Tank with Dr. Vincent Shieh, which is a student-run organization whose mission is to inspire student engagement in research and academic activities.

Dr. Heather Dill – Family Medicine Resident

Dr. Heather Dill's Research Presentation

A second-year resident at the Northside Hospital-Gwinnett, Dr. Heather Dill recently showcased her research poster at the 2023 AAFP Student & Resident National Conference. Her dedication and passion towards medicine allowed her to be one of the 50 residents chosen to display their research. Congrats on this remarkable achievement! After her successful efforts, Dr. Dill was able to improve the flu vaccine disparity within the Hispanic population in Gwinnett County Georgia. A total of 62 vaccinations were given out over four hours. Out of the 62 vaccines given, 35% had never had a prior vaccine, 39% only received a vaccine every few years, 21% every other year, and 5% received a flu vaccine yearly. Although only a small portion of the Hispanic community was impacted, the results were beneficial. She recently came back to Trinity to teach American Heart Association classes to Trinity med students to get ACLS, BLS, and PALS certifications! Thank you Dr. Dill, we appreciate you!

Trinity alumni love being part of the Trinity family. Several graduates have come back to Trinity to use what they have learned to help the new generation of Trinity med students. Whether it be by taking part in a “From An Insider” webinar, sharing their valuable words of wisdom during the white coat ceremony, becoming a speaker at one of Trinity’s interest groups, or helping students receive certifications or new skills, Trinity alumni have proven to go above and beyond expectations. They know what it is like to be a new student in the field of medicine and have graciously become mentors for their younger peers. 

Trinity alumni exemplify Trinity School of Medicine’s vision of preparing educated, compassionate physicians. Their success in the field of medicine and active involvement in professional organizations reflect their dedication to delivering the highest quality patient-centered healthcare and transforming communities in greatest need. These distinguished Trinity graduates embody the values and mission of the school, making them a true reflection of Trinity’s vision to be a world leader in medical education. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all Trinity alumni that go above and beyond by inspiring our future medical professionals with their passion, journey, and insights. This is the Trinity family.

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