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Trinity assists Rotary in Mayreau Village Doctors outreach

Trinity assists Rotary in Mayreau Village Doctors outreach

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Last Sunday was described as a great day by residents of Mayreau, as they welcomed the Village Doctors – a collaboration between the Rotary Club of SVG and the Trinity School of Medicine.

Over 50 volunteers made the two-hour journey to Mayreau, laden with medical supplies, eye glasses and wheelchairs.{{more}} The exercise took place on Sunday, February 28 at the Mayreau Pentecostal Church and the Mayreau Government School.

Mayreau resident John Roache expressed his delight, disclosing that at present, the clinic is not functioning, as there is no resident doctor or nurse.

“Emergencies go to the Union Island hospital and the doctor there makes a visit here once per month,” the local CIBC FCIB Unsung Hero said.

The residents of Mayreau embraced the opportunity to receive medical attention from number of specialists, including general practitioners, an internist, a pediatrician, an ophthalmologist, an ENT specialist and a dentist. A well-stocked pharmacy was also available to provide patients with prescribed medication. Several persons travelled over five miles from Union Island to seek attention from these doctors also.

The first point of contact for each visiting patient came through the students of Trinity School of Medicine. The institution has been working with the Rotary Club for a number of years on this programme, which is described as Rotary’s flagship project. Trinity’s responsibility was, firstly, to control the triage area, where consultation began. Patients were presented, and the medical students interacted with them to ascertain symptoms of their problems. They did vital sign checks, recorded all the information and then sent them on to the appropriate specialist. A single patient was, therefore, able to have a variety of ailments looked into.

Having spent two years studying medicine, the Term Five students were elated at the opportunity to interact with patients and use the knowledge and skill that they had learnt to bring to the activity at hand. Student Rob Kidnie was elated and said: “The experience was incredibly rewarding. We’re medical students, still learning to become doctors and, to be able to play such a part in these people’s lives means everyone benefits. We formed a neat bond: they come in, and are looking to us for answers in a lot of cases. We made sure they ended up seeing the right doctor. That challenged us to be professional, to rely on the skills we’ve learned.”

Student Kathryn Bakkum expressed her experience as, “Being the first point of contact feels good, because I’ve spent the last two years getting ready to interact, and to be finally sitting there with them at the table, being the person they talk to about their issues, is amazing. This entire day has been eye-opening.”

She expressed her gratitude to her institution for such an opportunity, stating: “It feels good, and it goes to show that what they are doing at Trinity is, definitely teaching us what we need to know. We have access to really good professors, some of whom are here. They have definitely given us the tools and the knowledge that we need in order to get this done.”

She said that the opportunity was great for the students shortly returning to the United States and Canada, as experiences like those set them apart from others in those countries. “This kind of experience is so much different. No other medical students in the world could say that they have this experience. We have. It is really awesome to put things which we learnt into practice, and to be here for people who don’t have regular access to medical care, I think it is important.”

Professors of Trinity also gave of their service. Dr Andreas Reymann, senior associate dean for Academic Affairs and Evaluations, and professor of Pharmacology, listened in on the students as they triaged patients, offering additional advice and then directed patients to their respective specialists. Dr Jamil Ibrahim, assistant professor in Clinical Medicine provided services as an internal medicine specialist, while Dr Raju Panta worked as a general practitioner.

The students of the Trinity School of Medicine processed a total of 122 patients, with each person seeing a minimum of two specialists.