TCI medical students
History is being made this month as five bright young female Turks and Caicos Islanders are set to begin their journey into the field of medicine as they enter the Faculty of Medicine at the Mona Campus of the a University of the West Indies (UWI). These Turks and Caicos Islanders include Raven Saunders, Cardynea Taylor, Jakera Jean-Joseph, Tayla Greene and Royelle Robinson.
History was first made by Turks and Caicos Islanders in the medical faculty with Dr Earl Been, a native of Grand Turk, being amongst the graduates of the first medical class of the UCWI. Exactly 40 years later, the young Rufus W. Ewing was the next Turks and Caicos Islander to enter the UWI medical faculty in 1988; he was later followed by several other bright young Turks and Caicos Islanders.
Joining Ewing in contributing to the development of health services in the Turks and Caicos Islands are a number of UWI medical graduates: Dr Dionne Lightbourne, Dr Dawn Perry-Ewing, Dr Darren Hall, Dr Kendra Gardiner Hall, Dr Vancelee Forbes and Dr Jais Polouse.
A number of Turks and Caicos Islanders are currently studying medicine at the University of the West Indies and these include Hugh Francis, Chibuchim Otuonye, Karlensia Mills and Dr Leo Poluse (paediatric residency).
The University of The West Indies has over the past decades, provided the academic foundation of several other prominent Turks and Caicos Islanders and these include persons such as Ariel Misick Q.C., Clayton Greene, Sharlene Carwright-Robinson, Delton Jones, Edgar Howell, Dr Marcia Bassett and several others. The UWI notable alumni list includes sixteen Caribbean heads of government, including the Turks and Caicos' Dr Rufus Ewing.
The University of The West Indies began at Mona, Jamaica, West Indies in 1948 as a College of the University of London with the only faculty at that time being the Faculty of Medicine. The Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture in Trinidad was converted into the UWI St Augustine Campus in 1961 and in 1962, full university status was achieved. In 1963, a third campus was established at Cave Hill in Barbados.
The University of the West Indies is a regional institution funded under the umbrella of 16 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) contributing territories and fulfils a mandate of providing access to higher education to students of the Commonwealth Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua/Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
UWI is the region’s premier educational institution with faculties offering a wide range of undergraduate, masters and doctoral programmes in humanities and education, science and technology, science and agriculture, engineering, law, medical sciences and social sciences. There is also a Centre for Hotel and Tourism Management in The Bahamas and university centres in the non-campus countries ensure that a wide cross section of the population has access to a variety of educational resources and services and there is also an innovative distance education facility such as that at the Turks and Caicos Community College.
UWI’s mission is to unlock West Indian potential for economic and cultural growth by high quality teaching and research aimed at meeting critical regional needs, by providing West Indian society with an active intellectual centre and by linking the West Indian community with distinguished centres of research and teaching in the Caribbean and overseas; hence its motto:
"Oriens ex Occidente Lux: A Light Rising from the West"