Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners expresses doubts over Cuban-trained doctors

Carlos Chase, President of Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners. Photo credit:

Cuban-trained doctors are just not up to scratch for Barbados’ medical requirements, says the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP).

Their assessment was contained in an emailed statement sent to BAMP membership on Monday which was signed by the association’s president, Dr Carlos A Chase.

The email stated that members who worked with a group of Cuban-trained doctors were concerned about:

-their lack of basic medical knowledge,


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  1. Hasta la victoria
    July 11, 2011

    Cuban trained doctors PLEASE do what I did. Do your USMLEs, making sure that you do well, then ride out. Many others like myself have done it. Once you get into a specialty in the US and apply yourself your options become many. Why do you subject yourselves to this abuse. If you are made to feel unwelcome, get the hell out. As I said before right now nobody asks me where i went to medical school. They usually ask where I did residency and it is usually because they are impressed with my knowledge and performance. As a matter of fact at the end residency training my chairperson asked me who my neuro teacher in med school was because she being a neuropathologist was so impressed and wanted to know if he was a member of the international society. And to think that i had no interest in neuro at all. Now i get to pick which hospitals i want to work for. Half an hour ago i gave a lecture to gastroenterolgy fellows, me being a fellow in a diffferent subspecialty myself. Right now im going back to my department to take care of my hospital post to take care of my regular work and to continue to train my residents. So please dont allow these UWI trained doctors to make you feel any less of a doctor than you are. I know a number of them as well as others from other med schools in the caribbean who have attempted the USMLEs multiple times and could not pass. I also know those who have passed and have tried repeatedly to get in but failed to do so because of low passing scores. PLEASE do your exams and move on to the next level. Once you do that the issue of your training is no longer in QUESTION. Let the UWI trained docs run the health department in DOMINICA on their own. DONT BOW TO THEM!!! RISE UP WITH YOUR HEAD UP HIGH!!!

  2. Low Blow
    July 10, 2011

    This is very low and unprofessional. Now that raises questions about the ethics of this click of doctors.

    So what do our U.S-trained doctors, and our doctors trained in other 1st-world countries think of the UWI-trained alumni doctors? Have they ever thought that they are far superior to the UWI-trained doctors?

    We finally have good quailty doctors in Dominica. One treated me in March and I feel great and very satisified.

    Gimmie Cuba-trained doctors any day! They have shown that they care about me, my well-being and not just my MONEY!

    Now the UWI-trained alumni Dr’s will constantly be double-checking their bank accounts to see if they can finish pay their never ending student loans. :-P

    It’s no wonder they mad about the Cuba-trained doctors, what Deh fraid of?

  3. politbureau
    July 8, 2011

    since Cuba trains most if not all of their doctors ,are we saying that Cubans are dying like flies?well the figures from WHO say otherwise.

  4. What u Talking Bout?
    July 8, 2011

    Don’t you people who come here understand whta is happening?? In Barbados, like Dominica, like many other Caribbean islands, the increasing turnout of Cuban medical graduates are creating problems for the established doctors who were accustomed of overcharging and making a minting on poor people. It is therefore only logical that they will come out with these stinging attacks!!

    Cuba has gotten international recognition for its medical schools and services from every organization that counts, including the UN. Many world leaders and internation figures prefer to go to CUBA, NOT Barbados or Jamaica for treatment they are seriously ill. In any case, what has UWI really done IN ANY FIELD to advance Caribbean development?? Can anyone tell me??? What new technology invented, what new innovation?? No wonder we as a region are so being our Asian and other counterparts where their universities have actually helped to propell their development. Look at Signapore and Malaysia.

    You idiotic UWI grads making all these foolish staements shoold stop all your eloquent talk and actually start producing something. maybe then people like me will give a little respect to your university and the calbre of graduates that it has produced, otherwise you guys will remain only a bunch of no-good talkers andf jokers.

  5. Dr FUYU
    July 8, 2011

    Somebody give $300 US and in three years I’ll be back in Dominica with a medical degree. Don’t worry about the Spanish I learn enough Spanish in Portsmouth during the glory days in Portsmouth. In fact me and the married minister from North North use to end up in the same cubicle with those senioritas. My Spanish is intact. A hundred dollars a year to pay off professors for a passing grade and Dominica here I come – Doctor FUYU ( F**k You UP ) at your service

  6. Doctor BJ
    July 8, 2011

    Why treat this issue like it is political or a territorial /turf war. This is issue is about life and death. From my own assessment 8 out of 10 Cuban trained doctors are inept and that is frightening. This is obviously not just a Dominican problem; it’s all over- Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent , Antigua, Africa- the list goes on.
    Instead of treating the issue with political biases we should be trying to fix the problem.

  7. Running away
    July 8, 2011

    Call me paranoid, pessimistic or idiotic but whether the Cuban Doctors are trained in the far east or far west I myself running F***ing north when I encounter a Cuban trained doctor particularly in the Caribbean. I am speaking from personal experience so whoever want to jump on my back I have already experienced the worse by adopting a Cuban trained doctor. What was even more discouraging was the fact that Dominicans particularly up North dubbed this doctor the best/ brilliant and savvy . In retrospect I ask myself what the heck had this guy done to be called the best. Did he ever perform a life saving / miraculous surgery?- Never. Did he bring comfort and good medical care and attention to anyone? – Not at all. We have a tendency to provide the label of greatness to people based on our own parochial perceptions. The doctor in question was/is loquacious and braggadocios and by so doing I can understand why gullible people were so quick to cap him off as a great doctor. Upon my visit to a Doctor in the US it became apparent that the very simple problem that the mighty great Dominica –Cuban trained doctor could not diagnose could have been detected by a first year medical student.

  8. Stop the Division
    July 8, 2011

    As someone asked; Why is the media the very first place that these UWI doctors run to?

    If there are young doctors who are lacking, it is up to the ‘medical community’, to sit and discuss the matter, and seek solutions.

    Publicly discrediting young doctors is not the answer, whether or not the comments are true. After all, they are still in the hospitals and no one but the public will be affected.

    Anyway, if this is a ‘UWI’ way of dealing with the problem, as in a ‘fight against terror’, it must stop.

    We are Caribbean people, the Cuban programme benefited thousands of poor Caribbean families, and UWI, Cuba and British graduates are friends, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles.

    This way of doing things is VERY DIVISIVE!

    • Shamba
      July 8, 2011

      To be for warned is to be fore armed. People need to be made aware of this terrible situation. How long can the medical professional community suppress the situation. This has been happening way back in the early 90’s and late 80’s. Now that there is an increase number of Cuban graduates the problem is becoming more and more difficult to control.

      • Question
        July 8, 2011

        Don’t you think the public is aware? In the meantime, what are we doing to deal with it?

        People go to the hospital everyday, don’t they?

        So what? Warn them about the hospital or warn them not to go to the doctors???

  9. Medical-Practioner
    July 8, 2011

    I wholly support that article! I can’t imagine a person who could barely pass an English comprehension test and having 4 cxc grade 3’s none in Science suddenly musters up the knowledge of commanding spanish and excelling in medicine. This has nothing to do with financial rewards.

    There are of course brilliant people within the flock, who for economic reasons studied in Cuba and are truly excellent doctors. They are far an in between however if we want to be real. These people when they go to the US and elsewhere can’t pass an entry level exam and most times we find them working at low level jobs in hospitals or some other non-medical area. The cubans however who migrate are able to sit the qualifying exams,excel at the rotations and function as doctors. Why? FACT-Cuba as a courtesy to other countries allow these people to graduate hoping with training they’ll succeed, but once their nationals fail an exam they are swiftly moved to another program not medicine.

    UWI has so much trouble with Cuban grads who can’t wrap their minds around basic science. For the most part many of these people are just filling quotas in a systematic political scheme. It is indeed putting people’s lives at risk.

    Why does a 3 month pre-mature baby require 500 mg of ibuprofen tablets 4x a day?

    How can a doctor look at a pregnant woman in labour,whose water has already broken and ask her when was her last period?

    Who gives a Diovol prescription to a migraine patient?

    We must learn to accept that there are serious flaws in the program and also in most of the people who come back as doctors bouncing off walls, confused and flustered.

    • Triangular
      July 8, 2011

      Thanks for hig lighting those issue. There are many more cases like that not just in Dominica but also in Lucia, B’dos, Jamaica. I really wish people would see this for what it is.

    • What u Talking Bout?
      July 8, 2011

      Hey why cherry pick a few incidence to try to shamefully and ridiculously bring out a point against Cuban trained doctors? I must inform you that recently a very popular UWI trained doctor here with years of experience gave a wrong diagnostic to a young man telling him he has a brain tumor and needs an emergeny operation or would have little time to live. The family of this young man took him to Cuba only to find out that the young man didn’t have any such tumor and infact had only a treatable condition which he was given medication for.

      There are also many other such cases involving UWI-trained doctors. So can I just run and say that ALL UWI trained doctors are no good?? Give me a break!!! You guys are just ignorant and stupid and belive that the profession of medicine is just for a few people. Tell me, what great contribution has UWI made to the medical field anyway, or to Caribbean development compared to what the Asian Universities have done for the development of their countries???

      The vast majority of you UWI graduates are just full of TALK. Plain and simple. NOTHING ELSE!!!!

    • Low Blow
      July 10, 2011

      Was DR.P**l trained in Cuba? And you know what national opinion is of his track record. But we love him and appreciate his services regardless. He is still our hero when we can’t afford to go overseas like you-all for health care. So just shut(STHU).

  10. Homeboy
    July 8, 2011

    Well I must add that the medical field is an ever- evolving one and what may be standard practice one year may become obsolete in the next couple of years. It should be incumbent upon any doctor after he leaves medical school to keep abreast of the latest technological advances and developments in the medical field.
    I would not however generalize to include all doctors that are Cuban-Trained. Because I am certain that there are a lot who are just ad good as any we can find.

    Keep up to date with new treatments is all I can say!

    • Reason
      July 8, 2011

      There is evolution in all profession however the basics remain th same and some of these Cuban Trained Doctors seem not to know the basics. That is down right scary and unacceptable

  11. vip
    July 8, 2011

    it seems the cuban doctors are cutting holes into the pockets of these wicked doctors who only care about getting rich quickly and not providing a service to humanity as any other profession.So all that is a conspiracy to deny poor people children that went to cuba to be able to make a decent living like the rest.WHO SAY THAT THESE CUBAN DOCTORS ARE LESS INTELLIGENT THAN THE REST.ALLOW THEM THE TIME TO GAIN JUST AS MUCH EXPERIENCE LIKE THE REST.CAUSE MANY THESE SO CALLED EXPERTS DID ALOT OF TRIAL AND ERROR ON PEOPLE ALREADY.

    • Homeboy
      July 8, 2011

      Point taken

  12. only
    July 8, 2011

    Obviously some of these Dr.’s that consider themselves knowledgeable, are finding discrepencies in the education of some of the Dr.s trained in Cuba.
    Dr. Chase only touched on areas of physical examination and drug knowledge, in which he considered them weak.
    As long as the Dr.s have the desire and aptitude to learn and improve, why doesn’t Dr. Chase put them in a program of the medical boards design, prior to licensing that will insure that these Cuban trained Dr.s have the necessary skills to practice up to par in Barbados?

    Another problem may be the lack of facilities and drug access in Cuba. There are several tiers of medical care in Cuba and it depends on your socioeconomic status as to what kind of medical care you get.
    In Mexico, many of the medical schools train the Dr.s in all the latest medical information and then turn them out into the field to service the poor with only their two hands and the phamaceutical industries drug oriented training. That leson is done for a reason. Most of the poor cannot afford the conventional medical care, so these future Dr.s have to learn to improvise. What the find is that they are severely inhibited by their conventional training. It serves to give them a new perspective on reality in medicine….without a lot of equipment and backup supplies.

  13. Wiseup
    July 8, 2011

    And when Drs Shillingford & Emmanuel spoke the truth and gave us the real verdict, Benjamin, Severin and their clones were up in arms! Wheel and come again.

    • Peeping Tom
      July 8, 2011

      So, because another UWI graduate, from Barbados, says the same thing we should “wheel and come again?”

  14. LOL
    July 8, 2011

    I’m glad that Dr. Emmanuel is getting some backup on his statement…people were ready to jump on him for his observation…I’m really happy that other Dr.’s from around the carribbean are making that observation too and that something be done immediately because Cuban Dr’s are all over our hospital and I’m afraid for me, my family and my Dominican People.

  15. yout
    July 8, 2011

    remember Doc emmanuel said the same…remember what we thought of him…now here it is from barbados …..

    • politbureau
      July 8, 2011

      so because some stuck-up bajan said it ,that makes it gold standard?there is a movement across the caribbean to make it increasingly difficult for non-UWI grads in medicine in paricular and this incidentally was the subtle motive behind the much-talked about medical act in Dominica in recent times.

  16. gg
    July 8, 2011


  17. RAS B
    July 8, 2011

    Simply put, One does not see smoke without fire!!! This is the second such commentary from two independant medical personnel in the eastern Caribbean in the past 2-3 months! Is any one listening?

    • Conscious
      July 8, 2011

      We don’t like the truth. We prefer to live in a make-believe world.

    • Peeping Tom
      July 8, 2011

      First, these comments are in no way reflective of the majority of cases of Cuban-trained medical personnel. In fact, that article does indicate that the observations made about these doctors are specific: “These deficiencies relate to the Cuban training where apparently in the far east country hospitals of Cuba, training is geared to a different level ….”

      Second, context is everything. There is an ongoing debate, often passionate one, between UWI-trained doctors who have remained loyal to that institution and Cuban-trained doctors. These public statements about Cuban-trained doctors are part of a much larger strategic campaign to use UWI alumni to boost recruitment for that institution. UWI, has been hurt by the genesis of new training opportunities for C/bbean people. It has now seen itself relegated from the position of being the C/bbean’s premier educational institution. The institution is fighting back to regain its corporate standing.

      Third, frankly, from my experience with doctors in Dominica (personal and otherwise), ALL fall short in some key ways, but give me the Cuban-trained doctor everyday. The UWI trained ones lack a personal touch that i see in the Cuban-trained doctors.

    • politbureau
      July 8, 2011

      they may not be as independent as you think.This is the UWI club speaking once again.
      it is a club of exclusivity hiding behind fancy talk of quality and tradition .just a group of individuals goose-stepping around with ideas of grandeur.why don’t they first make the UWI more accessible to the citizens ?over the last ten yrs. how many Dominican doctors has UWI produced . finally if you listen to Dr. shillingford we would go back to the days when it was govt. policy not to employ anybody who had the audacity to go to Cuba and being a doctor in Dominica was almost synonymous with `Indian `

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