The School of Medicine at the University of Guyana (UG) was recently “accorded Accreditation for four years from 2017-2021 by the Caribbean Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP).”
According to a media bulletin from UG, the decision to grant re-accreditation with a few conditions to the UG School of Medicine (UGSM) was made at the July 2017 meeting of CAAM-HP. The School had initially gained accreditation in 2008, and functioned as a professionally accredited institution up to 2015.
The re-accreditation of the UGSM, located in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Turkeyen Campus, follows a site visit to UG in November of 2016, by a team of evaluators from CAAM-HP, to conduct a comprehensive re-evaluation of the teaching/learning facilities available at the School and meet with the various administrative sections of the University and medical students, the UG press release said. The team comprised Team Chair, Professor Christopher Stephens, Emeritus Professor of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK; Team Secretary, Professor Jonas Innies Addae, former Head of Preclinical Sciences Dept. and former Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad & Tobago; and Professor Trevor McCartney, Professor of Surgery and Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica and former Medical Chief of Staff, University Hospital of the West Indies, Jamaica. The team was accompanied by Lorna Parkins, Executive Director of CAAM-HP and Professor Emerita Marlene Hamilton, Chair of the CAAM-HP Council.
According to the UG media release, Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith congratulated the faculty, students and staff of the School of Medicine “on this signally important decision” and expressed appreciation to UG personnel and medical students, President David Granger, the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Education, PAHO/WHO, and the Georgetown Public Hospital, for their contributions to this successful outcome.
“This investment of time and resources by the university in the re-accreditation of the School of Medicine is a tribute to the entire university and it strengthens our brand overall as we pursue Project Renaissance,” the Vice-Chancellor was quoted as saying in the bulletin, whilst further adding, “however, substantial amounts of time and money will be required to complete the needed enhancements of one of our flagship programmes.”
Shafali Milton, President of the University of Guyana Medical Students’ Association, according to the UG statement, expressed pride in the role played by the students in the eventual outcome.
“The road to regain our status as a regionally accredited medical school was filled with countless challenges, however, we, the student body were undaunted and did everything in our power to assist… the UGSM has regained its position as a prestigious institution in the Caribbean, one which the current students, as well as, its alumni can be proud to be associated with,” Milton was quoted in the UG media release as saying.
Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr Emanuel Cummings, according to the UG media release, stated that the UGSM had been established in 1985 as a Medical Practitioners programme, which included four years of medical training and two years of internship. This was upgraded in 1990 to a five-year programme, followed by a one-year internship. More than 500 doctors have graduated to date from the UGSM and are working in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, Australia, Caricom Region and locally in leading positions in the Health Care Sector. Notable graduates include the Chief Medical Officer, Heads of Paediatrics, General Surgery, Orthopaedics, Cardiology, Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.