QEH doctor wants more male interns
A leading medical official here wants to know why Barbadian men are not joining the profession, as females continue to dominate internship positions at the main hospital.
As he welcomed 29 new interns to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Internship Coordinator Dr Clyde Cave lamented that only two males were included among the group.
He said it was not unusual for the number of females who graduate from the University of the West Indies medical programme to outnumber males, however this year was extreme, and the authorities might soon have to investigate this discrepancy.
“I think the question must be asked, where are the males? What are they doing if anything, and why [are they] not choosing medicine? It is always good to have a balance and when it’s this extreme, I think an explanation must be sought because there must be a reason somewhere, whether within the system of within the society.”
Dr Cave also noted that the “feminization” of medicine presented logistical problems, particularly when it comes to planning for maternal leave.
“. . . if you are offered a chunk of time, that could logistically pose a problem. There are all the anecdotal stories that too many women in a group is not always a good thing. It does bring certain factors, but once they are professional it is not insurmountable,” he said.
After receiving an academic medical degree from a university, an approved internship is required in order for doctors to register with the Medical Council of Barbados to practice clinical medicine here. The QEH provides a one year professional apprenticeship for newly graduated medical doctors.
During this time, they spend three-month rotations in each of the major clinical departments of Medicine: Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Pediatrics and Surgery.
By the end of their internship, medical graduates are expected to have gained relevant professional experience and to have been mentored by senior doctors to prepare them for independent practice or further post graduate specialty studies.