THE overarching message conveyed to a proud lot of medical doctors graduating from the Greenheart Medical University at the Marriott Hotel Monday evening was that they must remain humble and honourable in their profession and most of all committed to their development and growth as practitioners.
Before a gathering of heads of medical institutions, practitioners, PAHO officials, graduates and their parents, guest speaker, Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings urged the new doctors to maintain the Hippocratic Oath, which speaks to the obligations and proper conduct of those in the profession.
She said that as doctors, that title comes with great responsibility and power. “Be humble,” Minister Cummings advised, urging that the graduates give their best at all times. She said, “A very important activity that you must do as you practice in the field of medicine is continuous professional development.”
The minister pointed out that change is inevitable. She charged that it is imperative therefore that the practitioners stay in line with what is taking place in the profession. “In other words remain on the cutting edge,” Cummings insisted. The minister told the graduates that they are leaving the university at a time of great transformation in the local public health care sector, since government continues to embark on programmes and measures to strengthen the healthcare system.
One such great transformation is the ministry’s intention “… to make universal primary healthcare a reality in Guyana by 2020,” the minister noted. She emphasised that the students become medical doctors that are honest with themselves and patients. She reiterated the need for reading and keeping abreast with the advancements of medical science.
Dr. Frank Anthony, Member of Parliament, also thought it was a “fascinating” time to be entering the medical profession. He said all around the world great developments are being made in this field, including the development of precision medicine, designed to find and specifically attack an aliment and the decoding of genes to improve the development of genetic medicines.
“We will see the evolution of that coming out in the next couple of years, perhaps some of you would want to go in that direction,” Anthony suggested. He went on to say that Guyana needs to start incorporating the more advanced delivery of medical service in their practice, and that there is a lot of scope for research to be done. He said there are so many opportunities for young doctors when they can do research and even publish their work to the world. Greenheart Medical University’s Executive Director, Dr. Tom Yesudas said that the offshore institution was developed in 2005 with the intention of providing nursing, pharmacy and doctor of medicine courses. To date the school has some 200 students with as much as 90 percent being Guyanese and others hailing from countries such as India, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Unites States, Yesudas said.
He said special scholarship offers as much as 50 percent off tuition fee is available to local students since the need to provide assistance to local students, 90 percent of whom graduate and move on to become employed in various areas across the country. Greenheart graduated 15 students; 10 females, 15 males.
Hatim Ejaz Siddique Wakar was the valedictorian for the 2017 graduating class. He gave his address after the Hippocratic Oath was taken and prizes and honours bestowed.