Our Readers' Opinions
August 10, 2010
Clearing the road to Cabinet for “Tom”

Tue, Aug 10, 2010

Dear ‘Tom,’: From your letter in the SEARCHLIGHT of August 3, 2010, I note your concern that the National Accreditation Board (NAB), “strangely” has a Chairperson who is a Medical Doctor. That would be me – Dr. Rosalind E. Ambrose, so I shall address that perspective.{{more}} I have not considered it necessary to publish aspects of my CV in the newspaper, and I generally do not conduct miniature ‘battles’ through the newspapers, nor cowardly hide under and behind pseudonyms. I am comfortable with who I am, regardless of whether I am a ‘supporter’ or not. I am exceedingly pleased with my achievements – all obtained without hitching a ride on Cabinet. I know my capabilities. I have no identity-crises.

On this occasion however, I feel sufficiently encouraged to unravel the naivety demonstrated in your comment that ”…strangely, a medical doctor is the Chairperson” of the Accreditation Board. The statement following it is somewhat contorted as to whom you are referring “In relation to the Community College (CC) itself, the Chairperson” (which one – NAB or CC?) has never taught, not even at the Nursing School.” This is truly convoluted syntax and style.

Let me vanquish the guesswork regarding myself – as Chairperson of the National Accreditation Board, which will determine the accreditation of programs at the Community College, and any other post-secondary and tertiary level institution in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Let’s take it from the beginning.

My qualifications

I attended the esteemed Girls’ High School where I successfully completed my GCE and graduated. I matriculated at the North Seattle Community College (Seattle, USA), earning both an Associates Degree in Applied Science, AND qualified as a Certified Medical Assistant-Clinical. I successfully transferred to the prestigious University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA where I earned a Bachelors degree in Vertebrate Zoology. I then merited a Scholarship to St. George’s University School of Medicine, and graduated (without repeating any semesters) as a Medical Doctor. In 1988, I applied and was awarded – a Commonwealth Scholarship to the equally prestigious Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) – Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong to undertake my medical post-graduate training and qualify as a Diagnostic Radiologist. The Prince of Wales Hospital of CUHK is the hospital which isolated and identified the deadly SARS virus – just when the rest of the world was puzzling to find out what was this ‘deadly force’ .

At the Prince of Wales Hospital (PWH) I was initially appointed as Honorary Lecturer and subsequently appointed Visiting Lecturer. Lecturers TEACH. I returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and as my tenure began as the Head of the Radiology Department in the then Kingstown General Hospital in January 1993, I was appointed Associate Professor of Radiology to the Kingstown Medical College (KMC), St. George’s University School of Medicine (SGU), and also appointed as Director of Medical Education for SGU, which is commonly referred to as the ‘Harvard of the Caribbean’ – when it comes to Medical Schools in the Caribbean. SGU earned that accolade because the institution continues to have pass rates in the 95th and 98th percent range on international medical examinations. Those are the exams which all medical students outside of the United States of America (including those from the University of the West Indies) are required to take in order to gain postgraduate training in the USA.

Published in professional journals

Seeing that this particular phase of the examination consists of Basic Medical Sciences – much of what I TAUGHT all those students, over all those years, would have contributed to their success. From my calculation, I TAUGHT for 4years at PWH, and 15years SGU.

I designed the CLINICAL ANATOMY course that I taught at SGU in collaboration with my Cambridge Professor Colleague – Dr. Peter Abrahams. That course is still being taught by my colleague – who also has a Professorship at SGU. Further to that, I am listed (and contributed) to his many Imaging Anatomy Text books.

Apart from being published in professional journals, I am published in a Textbook on “NasoPharyngeal Carcinoma” during my tenure at PWH, Hong Kong. For the Caribbean, I teach trainee Radiologic Technologists and Sonographers in the COSTAAT (T’dad) Radiographers program, as they are often required to rotate to the hospital (here) and at the Caribbean Medical Imaging Center.

SGU representative

From 2001 – 2007, as Director of Medical Education for KMC/SGU, I was the SGU representative to the Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions (ACTI). During those years of participation in ACTI, St. Vincent had no representative at those regional meetings and workshops where Caribbean Accreditation issues are discussed and decisions on Caribbean Tertiary Education were formulated. I have on occasion shared my Reports of those ACTI meetings with the Ministry of Education- even though I was not formally part of the Ministry of Education. I have the letters acknowledging receipt of my Reports . I am well aware of what is required in the Accreditation Processes across the region, and across the evermore ‘seamless, borderless world’.

Oh, before I close, let me ask you – whom do you think TEACHES medical students and junior doctors? It would not be reasonable to assign such a task to someone teaching at primary school, secondary school, Community College, Technical College nor a Nursing School. In case you missed it, Medicine is an academic-clinical discipline – IT HAS TO BE TAUGHT BY DOCTORS. Who would design courses and programs, and decide on accreditation of medical school courses and programs for all those illustrious doctors across the world? Is this still “STRANGE” to you that a medical doctor is at the helm of this Accreditation Board?

Incidentally, I deliberately reserved the part where I did do some lectures at the Nursing school back around 1994 – 97. I don’t usually include this particular “stint” in my CV, but for your benefit, I mention it here. A word of advice: Don’t let malice cloud your vision. Unlike you, ‘Tom’, I shall be signing my full name to this article. What is your real story?

Dr. Rosalind E. Ambrose, AASc, CMA-C, BA, MD, DMRD (London).