BARBADOS ADVOCATE, September 3rd, 2020 : The cream of the crop of the island’s newest doctors were honoured yesterday when the Queen Elizabeth Hospital hosted an awards ceremony for Intern of the Year and the Outstanding Interns. With many attendees observing via Zoom as COVID-19 protocols were in place at the hospital’s boardroom, the ceremony marked the 10th edition as the best doctors from the 2019-2020 cohort were celebrated. In his role as Master of Ceremonies Director of Medical Services (Ag.), Dr. Clyde Cave, noted that the event was one of his favourites as it was about celebrating quality, excellence and character. Going on to say that being a good doctor was expected of all interns, Dr. Cave said that in the same way it took a village to raise a child, it took the same sense of community to produce the best doctors. “A good doctor is a combination of many things. And some of this cannot be taught in medical school and some of it takes a long time to be learned on the wards. That’s why involvement in family and community values is so important. They bring a child through education, secondary school – all those things have been a part of your formation as a doctor,” he said. With the selection process for this year coming down to nine finalists, the Outstanding Interns were Dr. Regina Young, Dr. Devon Thorpe, Dr. Keimee Lopez and Dr. Rebecca Whitehead, with Dr. Ninon Forter Chee-A-Tow being named Intern of the Year. When asked if there were any plans to expand the scope of the annual internship, Dr. Cave called it a juggling act as the demand often outweighed the capacity of the programme.
Dr. Cave lauds efforts of QEH interns
“As we produce more medical graduates, both from the University of the West Indies and other places, there is a bigger demand. You can only expand a programme like an internship so much without diluting it to the point where it doesn’t meet the criteria, both in the standards we would want and number of supervisors, mentors and doctors and number of patients for experience. So we are limited at the cohort to 36 interns regardless of how many are graduating from whatever medical school. We are a teaching hospital of the University of the West Indies and our interns who have trained here with us as undergraduates, it’s like welcoming them home rather than displacing them to replace them with someone we haven’t trained,” he said. Going on to explain that the programme functioned exceptionally at arming the young doctors with the skills and competency to be registered by the medical council of Barbados, Dr. Cave said that the efforts of the interns, as well as all members of staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, did their part in ensuring that the COVID-19 pandemic did not reach the island’s premier healthcare facility. “It is in no small measure due to them – the healthcare workers, the whole response of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital – that in the time when our country was most vulnerable, we have so far managed to keep the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as a COVID-free zone. It has posed challenges and it continues to pose challenges, but thus far, I am really pleased that we have risen to the occasion,” he said. (MP)