Jan 16, 2012 News
Premised on a mission to help develop health services in Guyana while caring for its people, the Greenheart Medical University (GMU) has been making an impact in the society.
Although it opened its doors in 2004 and changed management just last year, the University, which is situated at Croal Street, Stabroek, Georgetown, was just recently able to delve into the research arena. A study focused on Hypertension was conducted at the Mahaicony Cottage Hospital by a team of GMU officials, inclusive of students and faculty members.
The process saw the team monitoring patients with high blood pressure by using home monitoring devices. This was done in order to detect how these affect patients’ blood pressure even as efforts were made to correlate this to their diet and exercise. The result of the study is still in the assessment stage. However, there are plans for the university to facilitate even more research projects in the future.
Governed by a Board of Trustees and a Board of Directors, the university has Dr. Reza Chowdhury, an Indian National, as its Acting Dean and Mr Wayne Barrow as its Registrar.
It has been accredited by the Ministry of Education’s National Accreditation Council and the Ministry of Health as well as the World Health Organisation and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). It is also listed in FAIMER International Medical Education Directory.
However, there are much more ambitious plans being streamlined by the university, according to Dr. Chowdhury, who revealed plans to build a campus in the near future and a teaching hospital to complement the campus.
In addition, he made the call for more Guyanese to join the student population since at the moment “we have mostly foreign students amounting to about 75 percent. We are trying to bring it to at least 50/50.”
Said to be on par with the University of Guyana’s Medicine Programme, GMU is able to offer similar programmes within a shorter duration. It also collaborates with foreign institutions, thus has been working closely with overseas-based professors and even graduates.
Thus far, it has been able to graduate two batches of medical doctors and one batch of nurses. The university’s medical programme has catered to a number of foreign students hailing from Nigeria, India, Canada, Nepal and the Caribbean.
A batch of students from the United States is expected shortly, Neil Jafers, a product of the university in the area of Medicine, said. He is currently an Academic Counselor and Lecturer attached to the institution even as he prepares to write his Licensure Exam in Jamaica.
He explained that there are currently two Medicine Programmes – a five-year programme for those who have CXC subjects and a four-year programme for persons with pre-qualifications.
“We enter students with CXC into our one-year Pre-Medical Programme and the four-year programme is for those who have degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Integrated Science, Environmental Science or those who have CAPE or Edexcel or one year equivalent.”
The University has also been accepting international students with Diplomas and other certificates, equivalent to its requirements, Jafers noted.
The University also offers a Nursing programme, which according to him, is being revised with a view of taking it to the United States National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) standard. This move, he said, will see the programme being raised to an even more North American standard.
The Nursing programme, like the Medical Programme is divided into two phases with the university offering a two-year Registered Nurses Programme and a four-year Bachelors Degree.
However, according to Jafers, the Registered Nurse programme is different from that offered at the local schools of nursing as “we are following the American Curriculum with a mixture of the Caribbean curriculum.”
This is necessary, he said, in order to allow students to write the NCLEX examination thereby enabling them to practice in the United States.
The Degree programme, while it is similar to that offered at UG, the duration is three years instead of four.
Similar to the Nursing Programme, an overhaul is being streamlined for the university’s Pharmacy Programme, which is set to commence in September, Jafers said.
The university’s Academic Counselor pointed out that while academics is the primary focus of the university, it also facilitates its students’ involvement in social activities, inclusive of fundraisers. The proceeds of a recent fundraiser were donated to the Joshua House just last week.
Students have also been involved in various health activities such as blood drives, diabetic and other outreach programmes, which have included donations of medications, by the university, to a number of organisations.
This move comes as part of the university’s effort to follow the WHO Health Calendar, Jafers noted.
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