What comes to mind when you hear the words “School of Medicine”? Many people consider the educational activities of graduate institutions. Yet unlike some purely academic departments, university programs responsible for training doctors also usually provide certain vital community services. They possess a practical professional mission in addition to an intellectual one.
Of course, Caribbean Medical Schools do educate medical students, interns and residents. Typically, physician training today involves both extensive classroom and laboratory experience, and also practical hands-on learning.
During the first two years of their professional education, many doctors attend formal classes in large lecture halls. They review basic information and study topics such as Anatomy, Pathology and Pharmacology in depth. Rigorous testing promotes high standards.
Most institutions which train physicians also maintain ongoing research programs. Professors at these institutions usually contribute to the growing body of knowledge relating to specialized medical fields.
For instance, professors at medical schools may perform basic research, or manage field trials for medical research firms or private companies on behalf of their educational institutions. They use their training to assist with a variety of ongoing research efforts.
Typically, medical school education from the sunny Caribbean to frosty Toronto also includes clinical experience. Physicians in training benefit by actually performing physical examinations, for instance.
During clinical rotations, students learn to take vital signs, record symptoms, read test results, prescribe medications, perform surgery and diagnose pathological conditions. They acquire practical skill sets.
Although not all medical schools can afford to maintain full-fledged teaching hospitals, many of the finest ones do so as a service to the community and to their students. Volunteering many hours of time at a teaching hospital benefits a young doctor by enabling the student to actually assist in the treatment of cases in a clinical setting.
Even veterinary training institutions dedicated to promoting animal health sometimes provide teaching hospital environments for their students. In the Caribbean, teaching hospitals perform a vital public service to local patients requiring the care of specialists. Especially in nations with a low per capita income and a wealth of tropical disease, the ability to obtain knowledgeable treatment from specialists holds great value.
In addition to conducting clinics and treating cases at teaching hospitals associated with the medical school, many academic institutions make large specialized libraries available to students and staff. The ability to consult medical journals often helps local members of the medical profession also.
Most physicians in general practice could not individually afford to subscribe to highly detailed, specific journals dedicated to various specialties. Medical libraries promote high quality practice.
Essentially, many Caribbean Medical Schools furnish a wide array of services to the public. Their important role within local communities often makes them economically valuable to nearby residents. In addition to enabling students to gain the knowledge and skills required to support themselves as doctors of medicine, these institutions typically do care about furnishing value to the public at large.