After practicing obstetrics and gynecology in the Cayman Islands for more than 13 years, Dr. Barry Richter is leaving this month to pursue a teaching position at University of the Free State in South Africa.
Two new physicians, Dr. Suzanne Muise and Dr. Juana Montero, will be joining Cayman Clinic in Dr. Richter’s absence.
Dr. Richter practiced in Canada and the U.S. before moving to the Cayman Islands in 2000.
“My family and I moved here from the U.S., as we were looking for a slower pace and a friendlier environment to practice medicine in,” he said. “The people of Cayman have been very good to my family and myself.”
Dr. Richter’s first passion in the field of obstetrics and gynecology has always been minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.
“I have been in the fortunate position of knowing some of the best doctors in the world in this field, and they have taken the time and effort of teaching me their techniques by working with me here and the U.S.,” he said.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Richter will specialize in laparoscopic surgery in South Africa. “So no more delivering babies anymore, which I’ll miss, other than for the difficult hours,” he said.
Dr. Richter has been vocal in expressing his concerns about the insurance rates for local obstetricians. He said that medical liability costs were not as prohibitive when he first moved to the Cayman Islands compared to what they are now.
“My malpractice insurance cost is now over $192,000 a year. It definitely affected my decision of making changes,” he said. “To me, these exorbitant costs of liability insurance indicate an unhealthy environment to practice medicine in.”
Despite taking part in sessions with local regulators in an attempt to control the skyrocketing insurance rates, Dr. Richter said government was not motivated to implement change.
“I can only hope for the sake of my remaining and new colleagues that the present leadership will address these issues with adequate motivation,” he said.
New physicians join clinic
Dr. Montero comes to Cayman after 15 years of practicing obstetrics and gynecology in Spain, where she was trained.
In addition to prenatal diagnoses, multiple pregnancies, contraception and cervical pathology, Dr. Montero also has two degrees in minimally invasive surgery.
She spent the last two years doing medical research in the fetal therapy unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida.
“I have been in Cayman on vacation and I loved the island and the people,” she said. “I am looking forward to serving that community. I also like the way of life that allows you to enjoy your work, your family and friends.”
Dr. Muise, who has been in practice for more than six years, will also join the clinic.
Dr. Richter said he is confident in the skills of both physicians.
“I feel that they will provide a very high level of care to my patients after I leave, and wish them the best,” he said.