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Ross University introduces Grand Bahama doctors to their Clinical Education Partnership
By Robbin Whachell
Dec 24, 2008 - 1:06:50 PM

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Doctors of Grand Bahama Island and Senator Kay Forbes-Smith (right) sign in at the Ross University Campus at the Seahorse Plaza on December 16th. Seated is Mary Cooper, Ross University's Administrative Assistant to the Campus Administrator. Photo: Robbin Whachell

Grand Bahama Island – Ross University invited all doctors in Grand Bahama to a breakfast meeting on Tuesday, December 16th to introduce the Ross faculty to the Island’s medical community. Senator, Kay Forbes-Smith was also in attendance.

The meeting provided the opportunity to introduce the Ross’ Clinical Education Partnership which will not only bring a rich educational experience to Ross students, but will enhance the professional growth of Bahamian physicians, thus improving the overall health and medical care system within The Bahamas.

On hand to lead the meeting was Dr. Mary Thoesen Coleman, Dean of Ross University School of Medicine, and newly appointed Director of Clinical Education, Dr. Desiree Cox. The doctors explained the history of the university, how it will operate in Grand Bahama, and the academic level of the students who will be starting at the new campus in January.

Each doctor, upon signing in for the meeting, was asked to specify whether they’d be interested in becoming part of the Clinical Education Partnership, whereupon they’d be agreeing (if eligible) to assist in the practical clinical education of Ross students. This programme will provide third and fourth semester students the opportunity of a basic clinical experience involving one half day, three times per semester, at a local clinic or doctor’s office.

A large number of Grand Bahama physicians and health care professionals turned out on December 16th at the Ross University campus at Seahorse Plaza to learn about Ross University, and to hear about and register for the Ross Clinical Education Partnership program. Dr. Mary Thoesen Coleman, Dean of the Ross School of Medicine, and Dr. Desiree Cox, Director of Clinical Education were the meeting facilitators. Photo: Robbin Whachell

During a typical half day, the medical student would be introduced to the patient by the doctor; be allowed to interview, examine and obtain history of present illness; examine the patient (applying only those skills they have been taught); present the patient to the attending physician; write up the history and physical; and obtain feedback on the presentation and the write up from the attending physician. The doctors would then be required to provide evaluations of the students to the university.

By participating in this educational partnership the local medical community would benefit by being able to subscribe to an evidence based medicine database for clinical practice as determined by Ross University; have access to local and online faculty development activities sponsored by Ross; participate in Ross faculty development sessions; participate  in Ross clinical teleconferences; and be able to participate in simulation workshops and have access to recorded step one USMLE review courses.

After hearing about the Clinical Education Partnership, the floor was opened for questions and feedback, and members of the local medical community where asked to suggest ways in which Ross University might support and further facilitate medical education on Grand Bahama.

“We were very pleased with the number of physicians and health care professionals that attended the meeting and shared ideas about how Ross and the community can work together. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to begin a dialogue,” Dr. Thoesen Coleman commented after the meeting.

Dr. Mary Thoesen-Coleman, Dean of Ross University School of Medicine speaks to the many Grand Bahama health care professionals at a breakfast meeting held on December 16th at the Seahorse Plaza campus. Photo: Robbin Whachell

At the end of the session, Robert Moore, director of the university’s Simulation Center presented information on the patient simulators which will be used by the students for training, and will also available for use by participating doctors of the programme.

Ross University looks forward to a creating an outstanding learning experience for their medical students and know they can only do so through the support of the Bahamian physicians. The relationship will enhance the professional growth of participating physicians, as well has the potential to improve the health and medical care system of the island.

“'This is a significant moment in the history of Grand Bahama. We look forward to a long and fruitful working relationship between the university and the medical community on Grand Bahama. What we do now and how we work together in the future will impact both pre-clinical and tertiary medical education on this island, and, possibly the educational development of the next generation of health care professionals in The Bahamas,” said Dr. Cox.

Dr. Pamela Etuk (standing right) speaks during the question and answer session at a meeting held to introduce the Ross University Clinical Education Partnership program. Dr. Desiree Cox, Ross' Director of Clinical Education (standing left) was one of the facilitators of the meeting. Photo: Robbin Whachell


Ross University was founded in 1978 and is a provider of medical and veterinary education offering doctor of medicine and doctor of veterinary medicine degree programs. The School of Medicine is located in Dominica, West Indies, with a new clinical education center scheduled to open in Freeport, Grand Bahama, in January 2009. The School of Veterinary Medicine is located in St. Kitts. Ross University's administrative offices are located in North Brunswick, NJ.   Ross University has more than 9,000 alumni with M.D. and D.V.M. degrees. www.rossu.edu


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