CAYMAN ISLANDS (September 14, 2016) – Eighteen Caymanian college students recently completed the inaugural Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program at Health City Cayman Islands. The SURF Fellows were chosen through a competitive application process and completed their fellowships in June and July. “We were very pleased by the diversity of students,” said Richard Parchment, Program Organizer of SURF and Education Coordinator from Health City Development. “The students are attending universities in Canada, the United States, the UK and the Cayman Islands and all performed remarkably well.” Charles D. Bush, Program Organizer of SURF, added that the hospital was impressed with the calibre of the students. “These young Caymanians give us great hope for the future of destination healthcare in the Cayman Islands.
Each fellow was asked to develop a written plan of care on a case study, based on Health City’s tertiary care healthcare model. Each case study focused on the types of complex medical diagnoses that have been successfully treated at Health City Cayman Islands. “I was amazed by the quality of papers from our SURF program and the level of understanding and depth of thought of these young men and women,” said Gene Thompson, Project Director of Health City Cayman Islands. “This was in no small part due to the investment of time our consultants made into these students, as they mentored them in their speciality. The outcome of the SURF Program is further evidence that we are accomplishing a big part of Dr. Devi Shetty’s vision, which is for our Caymanian people to develop and take over the leading roles at Health City Cayman Islands.”
The SURF Fellows themselves gave very positive feedback. Brandon DaCosta, a UCCI graduate who intends to become a neurosurgeon, remarked on the quality of the SURF Program. “Where else in the Cayman Islands would a college student be given the opportunity to be mentored by a world-class surgeon like Dr. Susheel Wadhwa and view complex surgeries on a weekly basis? When I enter the University of Massachusetts in the spring, I will be well ahead of my peers.” According to the Project Managers, Mr. Parchment and Mr. Bush, Brandon’s paper on Left Posterior Frontal Tumours received the highest score of the entire SURF cohort.
“I was treated like a part of the team,” said Alexandra Anglin, who is studying for her pre-med MSc at Brunel University London in order to become a cardiologist. “Dr. Raghu Prassad and Dr. Pankaj Gundad included me in their rounds with patients and even allowed me to shadow during consultations. I have definitely grown professionally and I look forward to returning next summer.
Commenting on the partnership with the Ministry of Education that has existed with Health City Cayman Islands since June 2014, Minister of Education, Honourable Tara Rivers said, “The education and training partnership established with Health City Cayman Islands has grown tremendously since 2014. The SURF programme is one of several programmes established to raise the level of awareness, interest and skills of our students, exposing them to one of the fastest growing industries. I am delighted to hear of the success of our students through their participation in the
SURF programme, and will continue to support such efforts which provide our students with the opportunity to develop the technical and vocational skills required to be successful in their medical studies and careers thereafter.
“These are our future doctors and medical professionals,” said Mr. Thompson. “We are very proud of their work this summer. They are now a part of the Health City Cayman Islands family and we look forward to continuing to mentor them as they progress their studies.”
“Here at Health City, we are focussed on putting the patient at the center of everything we do in order to improve their quality of life. We are also a dedicated teaching institution and our physicians take a supportive role in the future of the Cayman Islands medical fraternity. We will continue to build on such programmes in the future,” said Dr. Chandy Abraham, CEO of Health City Cayman Islands.
The application process for the 2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship begins in March 2017. For more information about Heath City Cayman Islands’ wide range of contextual education opportunities for high and college students interested in medical careers, please email [email protected] or call 640-4195.