Ross Med and BAEH were joined by 10 local healthcare providers to offer free health screenings that included blood sugar testing, blood pressure checks, cholesterol tests, COVID-19 vaccines, breast exams, health education, and more.
Health Extravaganza is part of Ross Med’s mission to increase community engagement and make meaningful contributions to the communities in which we live, work, and educate our students. In an interview with Mornin’ Barbados, Rhonda McIntyre, MBBS, FAAP, FRCP(C), associate dean of external affairs, said “one of the things embedded in Ross Med’s mission is to deepen our community engagement and ensure that we are contributing to the communities that we live in, work in, and learn in. Our partnership with BAEH is so meaningful to us because they are right at the center of what we are trying to teach our students – the need for advocacy, understanding, and getting up close to patients and communities to understand the social and economic determinants of health.”
RUSM and Student Participation
Student participation is required as part of Ross Med’s curriculum. “From semester one, students are beginning to be exposed to community and clinical experiences. Studies have shown these early experiences make for better doctors and develop students in a way that they are contributors to their community in a meaningful way,” Dr. McIntyre continued.
During the event, nearly 300 Ross Med medical sciences students in attendance practiced providing health education to patients under the supervision of local health providers from Urgent Care Mobile, Barbados Family Planning, Barbados Breast Feeding and Child Nutrition Foundation, Barbados Red Cross, Breast Screening Program of the Barbados Cancer Society, Diabetes and Hypertension Association of Barbados, Equal (LGBT Association), National HIV Commission, and the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ HIV Unit and COVID Vaccine unit.
“This was pivotal to be able to apply the knowledge we learned in school while being in the community firsthand,” said Kwame Bell, a first-year medical sciences student. “I love doing community outreach, so I am thankful for Ross Med to allow us this opportunity to do what I love and practice my skills.”
Health Extravaganza saw approximately 100 patients during the day, with positive responses to the services provided by our partners and students.