Cuban-trained doctors worry Dr. Victor Emmanuel; PM sees no problems

Dr. Emmanuel

Public Relations Officer of the Dominica Medical Association Dr. Victor Emmanuel said he is concerned about the qualifications of doctors who study in Cuba.

Dr. Emmanuel said that some of the doctors who are chosen to study in Cuba do not meet the required qualifications and that most of these individuals are selected through a political process.

Dr. Emmanuel was speaking on Kairi’s Heng program this week.

“What has been happening, especially for those persons who studied in Cuba, is that they have not been sent there based on their qualifications. They have been selected based on what constituency they came from. Let’s say we have 21 persons who went to study, there is one from each constituency for the most part. So it hasn’t been a question of based on qualifications and from my constituency, it has been mostly determined by the constituencies. You go to your parliamentary representative and you decide you want to study medicine,” he explained.

Meantime Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said he is not supporting the statements made about the Cuban-trained doctors. He said several Cuban-trained doctors are practicing in every CARICOM country and other parts of the United States.

He said some of the best doctors in Dominica were trained in Cuba.

“There are maybe people who are not even aware that there are several hundreds, if not thousands of Cuban-trained doctors who are practicing medicine at various hospitals and clinics across the United States. They all went to Cuban medical schools. There are Cuban-trained doctors in every CARICOM country today. There are several doctors in Dominica who have been trained in Dominica who have not only practiced the local examination to be registered by the medical board, but have gone to sit the American exam to get into residency,” Skerrit said.

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  1. Eye Dr
    February 17, 2012

    I study in cuba in the field of ophthalmology an why doesn’t dr ricketts tell the dominican public that equipment we have here in cuba i will never see in dominica? that in cuba we can restore patients sight with cornea implants? when last was that done in our country never. when i’m done in cuba things i learn here i will NEVER practice back home cuz we don’t have such advanced technology stop being biased and political

  2. P
    September 23, 2011

    plz reply im working at government organisation and i want to lve i can function at all the only thing i can thing about is medical school in cuba. i need help to get in. i hope its not an issue to get some help. Thanks God bless :(

  3. P
    September 23, 2011

    Hi. i have a question? can i get in medical school with only CXC subject?

  4. only
    July 8, 2011

    Just because you pass medical boards and jump through all the hoops, it does not mean that you are necessarily a “good” Dr. There are plenty of Dr.’s in medicine doing harm to people, and they are considered to be “well trained.” Dr.s are just human beings with training in a certain field and are subject to making errors. That is why medicine is an art as well as a science. You have to be able to think outside of the box to be a good Dr.

    • nick shillingford
      July 8, 2011

      You seem to have a problem understanding written language. Literature is an art. The issue raised by Dr. Emmanuel refers to cuban graduates as a whole and questions the training of individuals by the cuban system and not the artistic abilities of individual trainies. In any first world country physicians are evaluated using written, MCQ, and practical type examination methods to determine whether or not one is fit to enter post-graduate training and to eventualy become a part of the workforce. There must be a system to separate the sheep from the goat. Once in training examinations are no longer used to assess residents’ abilities. Instead there are 5 core clinical competencies that are assessed by the supervisors, attendings, directors and chairpersons. They are subjective and each contains multiple parts.
      The doctor’s day to day functional capabilities are continually looked at. His clinical judgement, decision making skills, professionalism, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, systems based practice, parctice based learning and improvement, clinical knowledge, rate of progress, scientific acumen, among many others are all looked at. Based on this data it is determined whether or not a resident or fellow should be allowed to continue practice. This data remains in one’s file for life. I have witnessed the expulsion of residents and fellows from programs due to deficiencies in these areas.
      When a resident or fellow seeks a fellowship or job position, some of his attendings, program director and his chairperson must submit recommendation letters on his behalf. No able minded person is going to put their reputaion on the line for someone they only know for a few years. The hiring parties proceed to call program directors and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the physician in question before or after they are interviewed, assuming they are being considered for the position.
      Remember that there are hundreds of medical schools in the US, some with multiple faculties and thousands more internationally. We are competing with potential candidates from all these schools and have been successful, something to be very proud of.
      Many cuban grads enjoy success here. The internal medicine program at Texas Tech has 10 cuban trained residents out of 45 residents. ( take a look.
      Hard work and dedication has certainly paid off. In retrospect I was fortunate not to have done internship in Dominica. I did internship in an environment that supported me even as a foreigner. My consultants gave me all the resources and support to help me succed. These people themselves were UWI grads. On the other hand in one’s own country (DA)a barrage of negative vibes is hurled at the cuban grads.
      Well, my family and I will just stay here, make the money, enjoy the luxuries and visit you guys when we can. Maybe even help the UWI grads with their consult cases. Im in demand here, why bother with what goes on over there. And you all dont even pay people.
      So please realise that you are thinking way outside of the box without having the slightest clue as to what is going on inside the box. wise up.

      • ObserverDom
        September 24, 2011

        @nick shillingford.
        Your sarcastic and bumptious tone illustrates sweetly the point posted by “only” who might just be talking about you.
        I do hope you are more understanding of your patients’ right to express their point of view even when in your opinion it may have no relevance to the discussion in hand.

    • hasta la victoria
      October 5, 2011

      Ou kay shesh!!

  5. hasta la victoria
    June 10, 2011

    Its amazing how ignorant the majority of you who oppose the cuban graduates are.Before i went to Cuba to study Dr. Emmanuel was my primary care physician so i am in a position to judge but will refrain from doing so out of respect. I can also comment about some of the medical inaccuracies in his “Health Talk Articles” but I must commend him for doing a good job about educating the public about health issues.
    I do disagree with him and many of you Dominicans on the CUBAN DOCTORS issue. First of all I work at a very reputable health institution in the UNITED STATES. I did the USMLE board exmas just like the american trained doctors, the doctors from the offshore medical schools like ROSS, those for UWI, India, Europe or wherever. I proceeded to apply for a residency position like everybody else, got in excess of 10 interviews, and got into a residency program. As of july 2010 i was made CHIEF RESIDENT among 24 residents from the united states medical schools and around the world. All this with a good salary and NO LOAN. I finished residency on Tuesday of this week and I am now a SPECIALIST in the UNITED STATES with 2 certificates, one for residency and one for being chief resident. I have already signed a contract with an IVY LEAGUE medical school where i will work at their hospital, lecture to their medical students and residents and do a FELLOWSHIP(sub-specialty(with a 3rd certificate from an ivy league institution.
    AND YOU KNOW WHAT? I WAS NEVER ONCE SINGLED OUT AS A CUBAN GRADUATE, MY CUBAN DEGREE WAS NEVER IN QUESTION. ALL MY DOCUMENTS SAY MD LIKE MOST OTHER DOCTORS’. For your information muslim_alw, i have worked and will work with scores of cubans, muslims and arabs and they are treated as equals in my experience.
    During my tenure as chief resident I was a member of the residency training committee and had the opportunity to review applications from over 800 hundred american and foreign doctors and i must say that i was proud to find out that my scores and those of my fellow cuban grads here were higher or at least on par with even the top candidates. Bare in mind that my institution will not interview candidates with scores of less than 90 in each exam.
    This is just my story. My wife, a cuban graduate herself has done residency and runs a private clinic in the UNITED STATES where she see on average 30 americans a day and the numbers are increasing. My brother, a cuban graduate himself, was just asked to be chief resident as his institution. Dr. Michael Lawrence, a cuban graduate is the director of an institution in the US. NONI TROTTER is now a specialist in Pediatrics and will do a fellowship Emergency Pediatrics at Baystate Hospital of the reputable Tufts University Massachusettes come July.
    On the other hand I know many UWI and ROSS UNIVERSITY GRADUATES who have tried repeatedly to get into hospitals here and have failed to do so. I am not saying that there are not those who get in. One of my juniors is ROSS trained and dominican and she is A-CLASS.
    We all hope to go back home but with all this NEGATIVE energy down there and with our businesses booming up here I may be better off working to guarantee that my kids, neices and nephews dont have to go to CUBA to study.


    • salsa
      June 10, 2011

      Let the people say..AMEN!

    • Viva Fidel!
      June 11, 2011

      Couldn’t have said it better bro. Hasta la victoria siempre!!!!!

  6. Hotpepper
    June 10, 2011

    It’s amazing how people would make so many comments without having the hard FACTS.

    1)ANY person who studied medicine in ANY school OUTSIDE of the US has to do the US medical boards REGARDLESS of where they studied. SO if you studied in ENgland, France, UWI and yes, MUST do the US boards to study and work there.

    2)That being said…someone said it is 7yrs of theory in Cuba. In fact it is no different than ANY other medical school in the world where the first two years are Anatomy, Biochemistry, Histology and the like..and the next FOUR years are spent being in the hospital in the morning up to 12 noon and then classes in the addition to on call duties. In D/ca they then do a 1yr internship for all those who said this exists elsewhere but not in d/ca)

    3)After the year 1996(the largest group of students to go up to date) only about 3-4 DOminicans go to study medicine per year, so the idea of one per constituency is ludicrous.

    4)It is VERY irresponsible of Dr.Emmanuel to make the statement that he did. Yes he is a doctor, BUT, he doesn’t work in the hospital, he doesn’t know any cuban grads personally, nor does he work with any of them, his degreee is on the same level with them(he is a GP), and thus he has no grounds for his statement. At this juncture he is commenting just like any other citizen.

    5)Not all students in Cuba pass the exam…those who cannot make it leave throughout the 6yrs as with any university. Besides when someone leaves medical school be it ROSS, UWI, HARVARD or any Cuban school…it’s not written on their forehead whether they were at the top of their class or barely made the end everyone is DOCTOR. So people should be judged on their own merrit.

    6)Yes what Skeritt said is true..ALL the caribbean islands have Cuban trained doctors, and they are higher paid too. I believe the Cuban grads need to leave Dominica where they are OVERWORKED, UNDERAPPRECIATED, UNDERPAID and now INSULTED!

  7. babes
    June 9, 2011

    one must got to miami and see the amount of Cuban trained doctors that practice there. Now isn’t Miami in the US? Please poeple get your facts straight.

  8. me
    June 9, 2011

    We should not just label the Cuban way of training as not good. However we should note that there are different schools. Cuba has a system called “open university”. By that you can be trained anywhere and at any level. Everyone who goes to Cuba comes out with somehting – what you enter with determines what you come out with.
    Remember Cuba has a special school for training our graduates.

  9. June 9, 2011

    finally the truth has come out.
    too many have died here in dominica at the hands of these cuban trained doctors.

    • babes
      June 9, 2011

      you got proof of that, remember you can be traced, so if taken to court I hope you have the evidence to back up that statement.

  10. Viva Fidel!
    June 9, 2011

    I am a proud cuban graduate and I feel disheartened by Dr. Emmanuel’s comment. This is sooo unethical. Dr. Emmanuel has been in private practice for years and does not work at the PMH, nor does he work alongside Cuban trained doctors. This is a man who sits in his office day in day out and writes prescriptions. He most probably has forgotten how to put on a cast or even set up an I.V! This whole UWI trained versus CUba trained at PMH is nothing more than a superiority complex developed by the Dominicans who went over to Jamaica to study and were ridiculed for being “small islanders”. So they return home and try to Lord it over the Cuban trained colleagues. The biggest difference between us and them is that that they have thousands of dollars in student loans to repay!The requirement for ANYONE TRAINED OUTSIDE OF THE USA IS THE SAME. YOU MUST DO USMLE!!!!!! this has nothing to do with Cuba, cause the UWI trained doctors have to do it as well. I would love to see what would happen if we decide to stay home for a week. Dr. Emmanuel would have to get off his a** and go clean some bobo on Dawbiney ward…hahahaha. The consultants have Ross students atached to them but its the junior doctors on the ward that are teaching and trainig those students cause all the consultants come in for a couple of hours, do what we call “speed rounds” and rush back to their offices. The public will agree that they can get an appointment at any office in town DURING WORKING HOURS!As far as I’m concerned the only reason we remain in Dominica is for love of country, definitely not the salary cause that is peanuts compared to what our colleagues are recieving in the other islands. Do a survey and see how many Dominican doctors have left home and are working and living in Grenada. Instead of criticizing, these so called “better” doctors should train and mentor the juniors. Frankly I’m ashamed of my consultants….ALL OF THEM! You belittle the very ones who are keeping the health system alive, who work tirelessly on the wards so that you can sit in your offices in air-conditioned comfort collecting the big bucks. Shame shame shame.

    • Anonymous
      June 9, 2011

      well said!

    • babes
      June 9, 2011

      well said collegue. You said it as it really is. I think Dominicans never appreciate their own. I say we should forget love of country… as its obvious our country does not love us, and let’s all leave. Studying under miserable conditions for 7 years was enough, we should leave this Dominica misery and move on.

    • Hotpepper
      June 10, 2011

      Amen and Amen!

  11. Hmm???
    June 9, 2011

    Dr. Emmanuel has stimulated interesting discussion and conversation. Isn’t he from Antigua himself? I have personally experienced with dismay the lack of preparation of SOME of the Cuban-trained docs. there are quite a few factors to consider however, chief of which may be the lack of adequate supervision. From my observation though, the “problem” grads are not driven to exellence and avoid difficult cases and interactions and do not communicate with their assigned supervisors in a timely manner. My suspicion (unfortunately) is that a majority of the “better grads” do not stay in Dominica but are in fact serving in the US. The question is how do we make things better????? Criticism without suggestions for improvement don’t help anyone. Let’s not criticize for the sake of criticizing!

  12. June 9, 2011

    My area of concerns is centred on the fact that Cuba does not possess any hi tech devices as is prevalent in most other countries. I know they learn to make do but I challenge anyone to show me that Cuba has all the modern equipment required for a top class medical training facility

    • Well trained cuban
      June 9, 2011

      what an idiot you know nothing about Cuba so please be quiet

    • Hotpepper
      June 10, 2011

      Heres the thing..Dominica doesn’t have any of the modern high tech equipment if doctors were only trained to work with these then they wouldn’t be able to work in D/ca. Think about that. This is part of the reason why US trained doctors don’t come back, and if they do they don’t stay long…they are easily frustrated by the lack of equipment and supplies, low salary, lack of they move on..and dapwe Dominicans in the process. Some of these doctors have scholarships from the goverment for their expensive, US or British education! Think on that my friend before you qwase the the cuban grads.

  13. Dee
    June 9, 2011

    If he is concerned about the qualifications of these people to enter medical school then ok.

    If he is, however, concerned about the quality of education received at Cuban schools then..I don’t know.

    Until now I thought Cuba had a superior medical system.

  14. Praying
    June 9, 2011

    “……You go to your parliamentary representative and you decide you want to study medicine,” he explained.Por favor, who should decide what you want to study?……put the doctor speaking alongside a cuban medical graduate at casualty to perform during one of the road traffic accidents and bring an overseas consultant to judge…….hahaha :)

  15. Anonymous
    June 9, 2011

    Right on target Dr Emmanuel. Skerritt would not allow these Cuban trained doctors take care of him.

    Imagine we are not doing any pre-selection, yet there is always a 100% on time graduation rate. What are they passing? Does anyone ever see their transcript and course descriptions?
    Have you ever wondered what kind of booklist they use?

  16. Anthony P. Ismael
    June 9, 2011

    This is a great point! Why can’t we be objective without injecting politics into it? These are serious questions and concerns, and I thank the good doctor for his willingness to tackle this issue.

  17. Observer
    June 9, 2011

    Cuba has a higher life expectancy and lower infant mortality rate than the USA and MOST First World countries. (Google that to verify).
    Where is Mr. Manning (former T & T PM) receiving heart treatment? Where did Tim Hector of Antigua receive cancer treatment? Are there not top class doctors in T & T and Antigua?
    The people criticizing the quality of training received by professionals in Cuba are doing so out of greed and selfishness. The same way the US is moving heaven and earth to prevent Cuba and Brazil from making cheaper drugs for AIDS, hepatitis, etc. available to poor Third World countries, just so their big drug companies can make huge profits; it is the same way these “western trained” doctors are trying to keep out the Cuban grads, so they can make more money.

  18. Witch hunt
    June 8, 2011

    It’s a witch-hunt. Dr. Ricketts came out and said same just last week.

  19. Jalousie
    June 8, 2011

    Why can’t Dominicans look at something objectively? Dr. Emmnuel knows what he is talking about.Dealing with someone’s life is no joke. I have always questioned some of the people sent to study medicine in Cuba. Some of them did not do well at school. Some did no science subjects or did not pass any.
    No cuban trained doctor can go to practice in the U S before being trained in the US. they have to do some program.To make it wose they cannot speak Spanish and first have to learn a foreign language. Dominica is just too backward.

    • Nathaniel Peltier
      June 11, 2011

      Get your facts straight.

  20. Old P
    June 8, 2011

    The well-to-do in Dominica have been saying that grudgingly for years. Including those who just made it passed the qualification mark and had to take loans because they couldn’t attract scholarships.

    Thank God for our Cuban trained doctors! They are very intelligent, trained and most of all don’t talk down to us. Now that’s medicin for Dominica.

  21. helas!
    June 8, 2011


  22. babes
    June 8, 2011

    Really I think that Dr Emmanuel’s comment was of poor taste. As PRO of the association, being a fraternity, I would have expected you to not generalize your statements, but as an association deal with any inefficiencies that may exist, strengthen your fraternity, advise your government with evidence based info, all in the aim of improving the country’s health system. Dont you know such a statement to the public can cause unrest, within your association and the population?
    Let the politicians be politicians and you be a pioneer in Dominica’s health.
    :?: 8-O :) By the way why have you not gone on and specialize? As I see it Dominica has too many GPs, we do not need another foreign GP, especially now that your collegue Dr m and the CUBAN TRAINED DISTRICT DOCTORS have significantly decreased your clientele.

  23. Cuban Grad
    June 8, 2011

    While Dr Emmanuel may be true in saying some students receive scholarships based on their political affiliation, the end result does not indicate the same all the time. I am hereby defending cuban trained doctors saying that they are the best trained doctors in the entire world. You see, gone are the days when only children who come from “wealthy” families were the only ones who could afford university education. People of all walks of life can now go to study and excel so therefore the “much older and senior” folks are afraid of competition.

    In Cuban universities you do not graduate unless you have finished and completed all outstanding subject/ grade whatever the case. Seven years of studying med in Cuba says that the student comes back well versed and educated, I don’t think the Cubans will be so careless with people’s lives. And the talk about qualifications…I agree to a certain extent, and disagree to another ,why? I have a perfect example. I know this guy who went to study Civil Engineering, he had never done chemistry or Physics before, he was exposed to it for the first time in Cuba and guess what? He was able to successfully complete his studies and in the process help his Dominican and cuban classmates with chem and Physics.So, therefore, while the sciences maybe required for qualification sake, there is still an avenue to be introduced to it for the first time.

    Lastly, I think we owe the people and government of Cuba much appreciation and Gratitude for their contribution towards Dominica’s development. Let us all be ware of what we say for among us here in Dominica are cuban doctors, nurses, psychologists, etc and they listen to us. They deserve more than that!

  24. Well trained cuban
    June 8, 2011

    once again ignorance seems to be the theme.
    Dr. Emmanuel, based on this article you have said nothing yet a lot. Selecting one student from each constituency is and is not a problem as you can get one from each who qualifies. the article does not state definitively what your gripe is. However in many countries Cuban doctors are loved. regardless of what you say the proof is in the pudding

  25. Ron
    June 8, 2011

    Dr. Emmanuel may have a point. However, isn’t it a requirement that any graduate of a medical school, whether in Cuba, Dominica or Jamaica, Canada or even the US have to undergo a certain amount of “clinicals” with a senior or consultng doctor before being granted a license to practice? And who grnat the license to practice? Is it politician, Priem Minister Skerrit in particular? Isn’t it a fact that recently, when a member of the DFP as serving as MInister of Health a number of Dominican medical students, coming from Cuba were sent to Trinidad to unertake their Clinicals? Is it true tha students graduating from Ross medica school has to complete their training at hospitals in the United States in similar fashion to our students who went to Trinidad? Consider what would happen to Dominica’s healt care program without the doctors who were trained in Cuba? Since Cuba holds the distinction of having one of the best medical health system in the world (says the WHO, not Skerrit), shouldn’t they be interested in maintaining that good name and so would be careful about the quality of their graduates?

    There is a small group of aristocrats in Dominica who wished that only their kind should benefit from the distinction of having a doctor in their family. This latest assault on the benevolence of a friendly country is just another strand in their efforts at making government’s program look small. They wished they were the only specilists around.

    • Anonymous
      June 9, 2011

      Are you saying that the “facts” as stated by the good doctor are incorrect? Nowhere in statement did the gentleman dicredit the cuban health system but you have gone on a tangent about friendly gov’t’s. Your lord and master did not dispute the facts mentioned, why? because it is true. One more thing, we have moved on from this nonesense about class business so don’t try to insult the gentleman with your foolishness.

    • reality
      June 9, 2011

      i totally agree with you however it must be mentioned that the labour party with rosie and mike sent students to cuba. the first government to officially recognize cuba graduates was the u.w.p and the work was continued by the present administration. so not to politizize this but i think its a class struggle not necessarily a political one. the cuban graduates seem to be denting the pockets of the few who can afford to study in the developed world(although to an extent there may be some concern in that since the cuban professors wages are so low a little gift here and there may help some students to pass)

      • babes
        June 9, 2011

        your final exams results are not determined by one professor but by a group, your practicals are graded by a tribunal, so how exactly are you gonna bribe your professor?
        Also some poeple do fail their exams, however the cuban system gives you 2 other opportunities and if you still fail then you will no be given an MD degree, but so as not to waste your time, you will be introduced to a medical technical field, and if you still fail here…..well am sorry but they would completely take you from the medical field, ask you to try another career. Thats the thing….they may be poor but not corrupt. They are humanitarians… you will be encouraged to excel in an appropriate field so as to not waste your time spent in Cuba.

  26. Anonymous
    June 8, 2011

    The doctor has gone mad. Cuban doctor are some of the best trained world wide far superior than even those trained at Ross. Now if he wants to shed light to problems with how those who are selected to study are selected by all mean scream that from a mountain top but dont down talk cuban trained doctors in the process

  27. Cuban graduate
    June 8, 2011

    I would love to know if any of you studied in or visited Cuba Medical Schools. The statements being made are all hearsays and are without validity.

  28. Anonymous
    June 8, 2011

    Many of these comments as far as I can see are from persons who actually misunderstand what Dr. Emmanuel is trying to bring to light. Dr. Emmanuel unlike some of us who sit back and criticize him for failing to take action to improve the medical practice has ctually taken the first step in this regard. The doctor is in no way discrediting the Cuban education system but rather is alerting us the public on the undermining that goes on in the medical scholarship selection process. Persons are chosen to study medicine based on certain ties as opposed to their qualifications (meeting the requisites for the scholarship). Ppl, we need to understand that in order to have doctors who are reputable, highly qualified and competent, then we need to select scholarship recipients who are truly deserving of the opportunity.

  29. lisad
    June 8, 2011

    I can see the point that the doctor is making.Why must someone enter a university to study medicine with a few cxc subjects?This is debasing the profession.Atleast A’levels.On the other hand, it is not because the doctors were trained in cuba that they have to write exams to practice in the US and canada.Tjat’s for all internationally trained doctors, nurses, accountants. However, you must qualify to write these exams and that would come from the education you have received.But truly they must raise the standard of the profession. Afterall, five cxc subjects is the qualification for a security guard (no offence here.)

  30. Anonymous
    June 8, 2011

    You must be qualified to practice as a doctor = we are dealing with human lives and sure death if errors are made

  31. Cerberus
    June 8, 2011

    In this matter I rather trust Dr. Emmanuel, who is a medical professional, rather than mr. Skerrit, who is not.

  32. Anonymous
    June 8, 2011

    Shame on you Dr Emanuel. As a Health professional you should be trying to contribute to the developement of the Health care system in the country not playing politics.
    your statement may ring true in some ways but its laced with resentement for Cuban trained doctors.

    I am apalled simply because more than 50% of the doctors at the hospital and in the districts now are cuban trained . So my question is where are the UWI grads, the Ross grads and the UK grads…Enjoying greener pastures?

    The truth is they don’t come back some of them on gov scholarships.

    So the Cuban trained ones come back and they are criticized from day one. They don’t even get a chance to prove themselves.
    My prayer is that one my fellow Cuban grads will move on to post grad training and still come back to serve the people who shunned them.

    • Medical Practitioner
      June 8, 2011

      The Cuban-trained doctors are here because they cannot get entry into American medical schools which have high standards and intense competition

      • babes
        June 9, 2011

        Is that also why Dr Emmanuel is here? We have quite a few cuban grads living,working and studying in the states for example DRS THOMAS, ESPRIT, TROTTER,SHILLINGFORD,LANCELOT,LAWRENCE among others, so please poeple get your facts straight. Do you want all the cuban grads to leave dominica? It sure looks so.

  33. Eyes Wide Open
    June 8, 2011

    Very disappointed to hear this from Dr. Emmanuel and all the other people commenting here. Do you guys know that it is the cuban educated doctors that are keeping you guys alive. The majority of the doctors presently on island are cuban graduates. They are the ones keeping up our medical system. All the US, UK and Canada graduated doctors, where are they now?? They chose to remain in these countries. People we must stop the demeaning our own people and just give contructive criticism instead. Dr. Emmanuel, while the students may not have had the qualifications to begin with, don’t believe that while in school they are made to slack off. Medical school isn Cuba is like any other, you have to be always on top of your game. I am not a medical doctor, but I did study in Cuba and I know this to be a fact. While cuban grads may not be practising with the most state-of-the-art equipment they can respond well in situations that require it and they can think on their feet. Before graduating in cuba, these people spend an entire year on rotations, unsupervised; and when they get home and start working at the hospital, they spend an entire year being supervised by a resident doctor here in dominica. And people don’t worry about the fact that they studied in spanish because most medical and scientific terms are universal anyways. So please try to make more informed comments, and let’s appreciate what we have here in Dominica.

    • June 8, 2011

      God is the one keeping us alive, not the cuban doctors

  34. Anonymous
    June 8, 2011

    Well I have waited for a post like this for a long time. I would like to say that I cannot completely agree that to study medicine a science background is necessary however any person mpursuing that field must be academically sound. Until a few years ago schools like havard admitted students to study medicine from other fields of study.

    Also for the benefit of some readers let me tell you about the medical systems around the world.

    Each region US,UK, CAnada, Australia and the caribbean have board certification exams which are administered in steps to allow persons an opportunity to be licensed in that region and eventually and that person can practice and specialize.

    Now whether you studies in CUBa or UWI or England or an offshore medical you must sit the USMLE or american board. That also goes for the other regions.

    So its not just a cuban thing.

  35. Praying
    June 8, 2011

    Not every professional in a given profession performs at the same level. The cuban-trained doctors are today’s caribbean life savers. After 6 years of medical training, the cuban graduate is just as…if not more…qualified as any medical graduate from anywhere else, be it UWI or Ross or wherever. continuing education is supposed to be not just the business of the graduate but also of his employer.
    In Dominica the cuban-trained doctors are supposed to develop their wn style of medicine or try to implement what they learned in Cuba in their place of work because the consultants and other senior doctors (who are paid to train juniors)have not yet[in all these years]developed some form of standardized care administration to our public. Our senior doctors instead, stand back and watch to see where and when the junior makes a mistake.
    People, any mistake made by the juniors should be accounted for by the seniors. Whenever one goes to work for the first time…at an office or anywhere, isn’t he supposed to be oriented and taught the way of things of the organization? This is not fully realized with our new medical graduates……well maybe if they come from Ross or UWI……Now Doctor Emmanuel, if these were really your comments: where do you work? How many hours have you spent with a cuban graduate in practice?
    Prime Minister Skerritt, thank you very much for your response…….I think you should sponsor the doctor to study some from of ethics…….God bless my people and my country… Viva los cubanitos!!!!!

  36. belbagay
    June 8, 2011

    Hon. Prime Minister, The isue is the qualification of persons chosen to study medicine in cuba, pl dont skirt around the real issue, The Dr. concern is that the political association is above qualification, i trust that he is not wrong on this one

    • belbagay
      June 8, 2011

      Hon Pm pl consult Charles Maynard he too had some concern about that in the 80’s when he was minister of education and his government then the freedom party was pressure the Labour Party that he is now part of for sending poor peoples children like Dr Dublin to do medicine in cuba, upon completition of their studies the DFP government then did not even recognize their degrees, Dr Dublin lived that experience

    • carib child
      June 9, 2011

      The good Doctor may well have a first-hand knowledge of all whats really going on at P.M.H.

      • babes
        June 9, 2011

        no he doesnt

  37. Jayson
    June 8, 2011

    Is he concerned about:

    what qualifies one to go study medicine in Cuba?


    the qualifications gained by one studying medicine in Cuba?

    The headline implies one thing and the article states something else…

  38. Patient
    June 8, 2011

    Don’t be fooled by this nonsense about Cuban Doctors practicing in the US. Skerrit is just blowing hot air up you’re a******. Medical students who study in Cuba must meet the US requirements and must ultimately pass the board exams in whatever state he or she wants to work. I know of Dominican students who studied medicine in Cuba live in the US and cannot practice medicine in the US because they just don’t meet the requirements.

    To me the selection process for aspiring medical student is not the only problem. In fact what is frightening is the fact that we don’t have a good system in place for quality assurance i.e a board certification and continuing education program after completing medical school.

    I’ve heard some real spooky stories about students paying professors for a passing grade at universities in Cuba. Now don’t get me wrong corruption is all over however twenty , forty, fifty US dollars is a fortune to the average Cuban professor.

    • Jespen
      June 8, 2011

      Much like is the case for any other young doctor who has received training at any other medical university outside of the US, Cuban trained medical doctors are understandably required to pass the American Board and wards before they are allowed to practice. Such id the case for school such as UWI, RUSM, AUC to name a few.

    • Muslim_always
      June 8, 2011

      The reason for American prejudice against Cuban trained doctors is due to the political challenges between US and Cuba. All this board exams issue is mere BS

    • Anonymous
      June 8, 2011

      i know this to be a fact. Any Cuban-trained doctor must go through the American system and meet all the requirements before they can step over the threshold of any American hospital.

    • Anonymous
      June 8, 2011

      Say that again. Dominicans who studied in Cuba cannot be Doctors in the US. Sorry to burst your bubble. Know the facts ppl.

    • Observer
      June 9, 2011

      Hi patient,

      while i do not doubt your testimony, I do have one quite the opposite of yours to share. My current room mate is a decorated US specialist, who is currently persuing a second felowship at an Ivy league school. This individual is a Cuban trained graduate and has since published numerous article in in pretigous medical journals here in the US.

      I do think that person should be called out on an individual basis if they are falling short on their level of competency. That way, there will be more accountability.This broad generalisation resolve nothing, instead it create disruption.

      • babes
        June 9, 2011

        Thank you. Wise words

  39. P
    June 8, 2011

    People must get their facts straight!!!

    To s

  40. Piper
    June 8, 2011

    I am no expert on Cuban medical schools, but I have heard that they shurn out doctors like you change underwear

  41. June 8, 2011

    The United states, Canada, and the United kingdom do not accept the qualification of internationally trained physician, internationally trained doctors in other to practice/work in these countries,

    1. They need to apply to the medical counsel/ the college of physicians and surgeons, send their medical degree for assessment

    2. Need to past all these examniantions
    First – Evaluating Examination
    Second – Qualifying Exam, Part 1
    Third – Qualifying Exam Part 2, etc before getting their license to practice medicine, so the pm is not telling the truth to the Dominican public, this is one of the reasons why in these countries most of the cab drivers, bus drivers, truck drives, pizza delivery are internationally trained physicians, some working in factories, so mr pm, you will fool so dominicans but not all, and i am not buying what you are selling

  42. Go do your homework
    June 8, 2011

    Dr Emmanuel, thanks for that observation. Would you believe that only last night I was expressing the same concern to my neighbor as I think their is a clear distinction between those trained at UWI and those trained in Cuba. I went on to tell her that in certain Caricom countries, Cuban trained doctors have to undergo at least 6 months additional training before they could start practising. I think that the Dominican health system continues to suffer as a result of those Cuban trained doctors.

    • Jespen
      June 8, 2011

      At that stage, one is referred to as being an Intern, thus the period of internship.

      • babes
        June 8, 2011

        ungrateful …..

    • babes
      June 8, 2011

      darling the cuban trained doctors will all disappear from your health system and hence it will start florishing again…..and mind you that means gone are all the district doctors, the director of primary health care, the psychiatrist, the cmo, the radiologist (all), the icu specialist, the bone doctor,the pathologist, the internist, the surgeon, the intensive care specialists, and all the junior doctors at pmh and hence you will now be busy telling your neighbour how great the health system is in dominica with only the 9 uwi trained specialist caring for the entire nation
      :lol: :-D :lol: :-D

  43. owener
    June 8, 2011

    I agree with the Dr. We have never heard of any of them failing their exam. They all pass. I mean come on!!! These guys are not only forced to learn medicine but have to do so in Spanish, if you please.
    Its hard to think these are the best, brightest doctors. They study the drugs in Spanish how do they know same in English…
    I do think they should be treated like Ross University trained students who wanna practice medicine in the States…

    • babes
      June 9, 2011

      poeple do fail

  44. No Hogwash
    June 8, 2011

    For your information Skerrit, only 25 percent of Cuban-trained physicians pass the medical exams required to practice in the U.S.
    STOP MISLEADING THE PEOPLE!! STOP IT! WE know that beggars are no choosers, but be honest with the people!

    Read this:

    • That's Hog wash
      June 8, 2011

      That’s Hog wash! The U.S as it relates to Cuban doctors has nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with POLITICS! Don’t get suckered into it.

  45. Concerned Citizen
    June 8, 2011

    Although one can agree that in order to qualify for a certain profession one has to prove themselves. I had to prove myself. But we can give the benefit of the doubt to some individuals. There are many people who did not do well at primary, secondary and college. It may have been they did not have a choice, it could have been they messed around (many people could do much better). Sometimes people do realize their mistakes and put their minds to the books. I know of an individual who only attended secondary school and ended up with a triple major. One could be brilliant in the books and still not be good at the practical in any field. I think one should be given the opportunity to prove oneself

  46. ACN
    June 8, 2011

    Hats of to you Dr. Emmanuel for having the balls to speak the truth!!! I share your views completely!

    And the PM’s statement about Cuban Doctors practicing in every Caricom country is totally UNTRUE, because the last time I enquired, a Cuban graduate had not yet passed the medical exam which allows one to practice in Barbados.

    • babes
      June 8, 2011


  47. June 8, 2011

    I donot share your opinion because I studied without any science subjects in medicine and today I graduated with honors.

    As the PRO for the Medical Associastion why do you make these accusations against Doctors. If you think that they are not qualified you should meet with the relevant persons and try to implement better strategies to develop the skills of young Doctors and also help to upgrade them.

    Hon: Skerrit i am very pleased at what you have done for some of the most underfortunate students, and i also share in your views because Cuba has the best trained Doctors and Teachers.

    Dr. are you ploitically tied that you are trying to debase the Governmnet for their good work.

    I say stop wasting our time look for ways to find other health personnel especially in the field of Radiology, Sonography, Cardiologist who are Dominican trained. The health sector needs alot of positive heads together than those who choose to be negative.

    My view on this is how determined are you to be a doctor and how much emphasis is placed on your studies.

    • Anonymous
      June 8, 2011

      Tell me, what is your area of study? Don’t tell me it has anything to do with medicine

  48. Faith
    June 8, 2011

    Smile is very correct and so is Dr. Emmanuel. I’m not pressing anyone who studied in Cuba but Cuban degrees on a whole are just not recognised to be very reputable.

  49. cool gal
    June 8, 2011

    i don’t even think the us will take those dr that study in alsaint in DA , i never here man did not do good in cxc and the don’t haveany BA in any sicence and the studing medicine in alsaints or what is it name that school is just like the cuban school

  50. Anonymous
    June 8, 2011

    Politics continue to screw over Dominica. What more will Skerrit do to our beloved island.

    • Jespen
      June 8, 2011

      Are you a jack with a hat?

  51. Anonymous
    June 8, 2011

    I believe that you may not have any science subjects but is how determine you are to be a docotor and how much interest do you put in the studies. I had no science subjects and studied medicine and today i graduated with honors in the my field with a 4.0 GPA.

    If you believe that these students are not qualified to study medicine then you as the PRO for the Medical Association should implement a better scheme for them to be more qualified when they return from thier studies.

    My question to you would be, do you think that the training they recieve makes them incompetent, because Cuba have the best Doctors and Teachers.

    How many doctors are returning inexpereince and do you relaize experience comes with practising on the job.

    Please donot throw these statements at docotrs but rather look for ways to help them be specialized.

    Hon: Skerrit i beleive that you have done a great job and please continue to give underfortunate to have a dream come true. I want more postive minded professionals than those who rather debase and point their fingers at Doctors.

    Are you politically tied, meaning that you are Workers party.

    • Piper
      June 9, 2011

      Are you sure your GPA is 4.0? If your medical training is as poor as teh way you write, I would not want a haircut from you.

      • @ Piper
        June 9, 2011

        Just like you write Piper! Foolish, ever hear of mistype?

  52. cool gal
    June 8, 2011

    mr pm thats not true they have to do more test to pratice the us. u think in the us is sue and they will just take dr that study in cuba

  53. smile
    June 8, 2011

    The US does not recognize the cuban medical degree. There are american studing medicine in cuba because they were turned down by US medical school, these students have a lot of difficulty when they return to the US to practice medicine much less for our dominican students.

    • Anonymous
      June 8, 2011

      same can be said for the ross university

    • G
      June 8, 2011

      agreed with that comment –
      I am not in any way discrediting Cuban medical degrees. However, what’s baffling is the minimal requirements to enter medical school in Cuba and, once the degree is completed they are in Dominica/Caribbean hospitals already practicing. That scares me a bit … 7-8 yrs of mainly theory is scary, additional real life practice/training with supervision would be ideal before entering hospitals in Dominica. I am not saying the knowledge gained is a waste of time; all I am saying is that more practice is needed before allowing them to operate without supervision.

      Like the US, Cuban trained doctors do run into problems in Canada when they try to practice here. In fact the degree is not officially recognized, so they cannot practice. There is a process that they have to go through which includes additional training in order to meet Canadian / North American standards before being considered for medical positions even though there is a shortage of Doctors in this country. There are certain aspects that are just not on the same level.

      Also, a few North American medical students do study in Cuba but it’s mainly because they did not meet the requirements to enter North American schools and also because it is cheaper to study in Cuba.

    • Old P
      June 8, 2011

      U.S/Canada issue with Cuban doctors has nothing to do with medicin, it’s only politics in it’s purest form.

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