Crandon, I. W. ; Harding, H. E. ; Cawich, S. O. ; Williams, E. W. ; Williams-Johnson, J.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Emergency department physician training in Jamaica: a national public hospital survey
BMC Emerg Med
Date of Publication
BACKGROUND: Emergency Department (ED) medical officers are often the first medical responders to emergencies in Jamaica because pre-hospital emergency response services are not universally available. Over the past decade, several new ED training opportunities have been introduced locally. Their precise impact on the health care system in Jamaica has not yet been evaluated. We sought to determine the level of training, qualifications and experience of medical officers employed in public hospital EDs across the nation. METHODS: A database of all medical officers employed in public hospital EDs was created from records maintained by the Ministry of Health in Jamaica. A specially designed questionnaire was administered to all medical officers in this database. Data was analyzed using SPSS Version 10.0. RESULTS: There were 160 ED medical officers across Jamaica, of which 47.5% were males and the mean age was 32.3 years (SD +/- 7.1; Range 23-57). These physicians were employed in the EDs for a mean of 2.2 years (SD +/- 2.5; Range 0-15; Median 2.5) and were recent graduates of medical schools (Mean 5.1; SD +/- 5.9; Median 3 years).Only 5.5% of the medical officers had specialist qualifications (grade III/IV), 12.8% were grade II medical officers and 80.5% were grade I house officers or interns. The majority of medical officers had no additional training qualifications: 20.9% were exposed to post-graduate training, 27.9% had current ACLS certification and 10.3% had current ATLS certification. CONCLUSION: The majority of medical officers in public hospital EDs across Jamaica are relatively inexperienced and inadequately trained. Consultant supervision is not available in most public hospital EDs. With the injury epidemic that exists in Jamaica, it is logical that increased training opportunities and resources are required to meet the needs of the population.....