The Cayman Islands Hospital is launching an internship program.
The hospital authority recently was authorized to assign credits from the Caribbean Association of Medical Councils to interns who practice at the hospital.
The program, which is a year long, allows each intern to spend three months in the areas of internal medicine, general surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology.
“This has been a highly anticipated program here in Cayman,” said Dr. Delroy Jefferson, medical director of the Health Services Authority. “Medical interns are an integral part of the care team internship which allows them to use what they have learned in medical school as well as acquire clinical skills. This internship program will be a benefit to everyone.”
The internship comes after a 2010 CARICOM meeting between the assembly of ministers of health, which charged the medical councils association with the responsibility of accrediting hospitals for internship periods in CARICOM member states, in the hope of promoting regional registration of physicians so as to enhance the public’s access to quality health care services in the region.
Medical students participating in this program are from the University of the West Indies and other regional Caribbean universities.
Lizzette Yearwood, the hospital’s CEO, said the Health Services Authority could not have received this high-level accreditation without the full backing of the program by the Cayman Islands government.
Apart from hosting the cost of the Caribbean Association of Medical Councils accreditation team, Ms Yearwood said the Ministry of Health had to commit funds to secure four to six junior posts at the hospital, as well as on-site on-call accommodation for four interns, for the hospital to be considered for the accreditation.
“We are, therefore, extremely grateful to the ministry for their vision in realizing the benefits that such accreditation will bring to the hospital and its interns and their commitment to ensuring Cayman’s health services meet the required standard,” said Ms Yearwood, adding that Cayman Islands Hospital had to satisfy stringent conditions as laid down by the association’s accreditation team before it was awarded accreditation.
“The accreditation review process is rigorous and the hospital was required to prove that it provides a good all-round service, including a suitably supervised experience in all the major disciplines,” she said. “In addition, the consultant staffs were required to show that they provide direction to the students and ensure that only the highest standards of practice are maintained.
Ms Yearwood further explained that the approval was based on such factors as the level of supervision that will be provided by supervisors, the teaching program and facilities of the hospital as a good service institution as a whole.
Health Minister Osbourne Bodden said he was pleased to see the program in place, as it provides a great learning experience for medical students.
“Offering internationally recognized university credits from such a well-established body as the CAMC means we can provide valuable opportunities to support Caymanian interns. We believe that enhancing our health service offering in the Cayman Islands in this way only helps us to reach our goal of becoming a leading light in the provision of health care in the region,” Mr. Bodden said.
The Cayman Islands joins hospitals in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana and the Bahamas in providing the Caribbean Association of Medical Councils credit for interns.