Physicians earn doctorates through HSA

| 14/07/2019
CNS Local Life
Dr Glaister Bell

(CNS Local Life): Three physicians with the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) have obtained their doctorate of medicine in family medicine at the HSA, which is accredited by the University of the West Indies (UWI) as a postgraduate training facility for the doctorial level degree.

By completing their degrees Drs Glaister Bell, Carmen Martinez and Lorna Jackson have all advanced from being junior physicians to consultant physicians in the practice of family medicine, stated an HSA press release.

Accredited by the UWI four years ago, the four-year programme provides postgraduate medical education to physicians through core clinical rotations across different specialties within the HSA.

“Family medicine specialty is the branch of medicine that concerns all family members from birth to end of life and entails the holistic care of individuals continuously and comprehensively,” Bell said in the release.

“We were trained by a highly skilled and experienced faculty that was always ready to provide us with expert and proficient guidance. The course modules covered every aspect of paediatric, adult and community medicine ensuring that we were capable of meeting the growing demands of our diverse patients. We believe that this programme is the way forward for all junior doctors who envision family medicine as their goal and passion.”

CNS Local Life
Dr Carmen Martinez

HSA Medical Director Dr Delroy Jefferson noted that the discipline of family medicine is gaining prominence as a way to promote effective primary health care. Jefferson, who initiated the accreditation process, said, “This degree aims to strengthen primary care by developing competent family physicians who are empowered to become leaders and advocates for the future of the profession. The programme will enhance the skills of our doctors allowing them to develop into expert family physicians whose approach will provide continuous, coordinated, comprehensive and cost-effective care to patients and the community.”

The physicians complete a large percentage of their studies on-island and the remainder at the UWI campus in Jamaica. “The course can be very demanding because you have to balance your studies along with your personal life, and while working full-time as a physician,” said Martinez. “Nonetheless, everything we have learnt has been current, valuable and has broadened our experience and knowledge, which will help us to enhance the quality of care we deliver to patients.”

CNS Local Life
Dr Lorna Jackson

Jackson added, “Through this challenging programme we were enlightened to the process of obtaining evidence-based medicine, which is very important in the implementation of best practices in modern day medical treatments.”

Many physicians after completing their doctorate of medicine seek advanced and a more concentrated training through a fellowship, the HSA said. Martinez has accepted a fellowship to pursue her master’s degree in haematology at the University of Chester in the UK for a year beginning 1 September.

All physicians entering the doctorate of medicine programme at the HSA have obtained their first level medical doctor degree. The doctorate of medicine is a specialised degree equivalent to a PhD. Upon completion of the first two years, the student receives an advanced diploma and after the final two years, they receive their doctorate of medicine degree.

There are eight physicians at the HSA registered in the doctorate of medicine, amily Medicine programme. Of these physicians, Caudeiron and Maeve Ulett were successful in obtaining the advanced diploma in family medicine, with Caudeiron receiving a distinction. Both physicians are progressing to the doctorate of medicine.

Drs Anna Matthews and Paul Williams, physicians in family medicine, serve as facilitators for the current students.

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Category: Education, Local News, Medical and Health

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is precisely why I’m sticking with private healthcare.