Caribbean College of Surgeons

The Caribbean College of Surgeons offers congratulations to the local organising committee of St. Lucia ably lead by Secretary Dr. Charlie Greenidge. They were charged with the responsibility of organizing this year’s annual conference at very short notice and were able to overcome many hurdles paving the way for one of our most successful events.

The conference was well attended by more than one hundred surgeons from almost every Caribbean island, the United States and the United Kingdom. Over the three days of our academic discourse the conference room was packed with surgeons engaged in presentation of papers and healthy discussions. The scientific programme was well attended and saw quality presentations including those from the juniors in training.

The CME sessions were equally well attended with the presentation of topics germane to the practice of the Caribbean surgeon. Thanks to the moderators the programme mostly ran on time and the audience was kept fully engaged throughout all the sessions.

An impromptu presentation of an unusual case by a member led to an outpouring of offers of help, which are to be followed up.

The ethics and legal case presentation evoked a vigorous exchange on the rights of a patient to confidentiality with a foreign body in the ear of a suspected illegal drug. It also raised the issues that arise out of mandatory reporting laws where they exist.

President Ramesh Jonnalagadda announced that he would not seek a second term and will therefore demit office as president in 2017. Dr. Cameron Wilkinson who had served on the executive as a council member and secretary for several years was elected unopposed as Vice President- President Elect for the term 2017-2019.

The President reported on the progress in two important initiatives.

  • The preconference surgical workshop at the temporarily housed St. Judes Hospital was declared a resounding success by the local and participating doctors. This was a laparoscopic workshop led by Professor Dilip Dan and his team and it also received great praise from the Ministry of Health in St.Lucia. It was suggested that such activity should be encouraged at future conferences.
  • It was announced that more than 30 surgeons had declared themselves ready to be part of a CCOS Disaster surgical team response which would be activated to assist in medical disasters across the Caribbean. It was suggested that the volunteers be listed on the CCOS web site, and that commitments be renewed from year to year.
  • The revitalisation of the Website was proposed, under the direction of Vice-President Cameron.

The membership expressed its great appreciation for the work done by Treasurer Terry Ali who successfully managed the financial affairs of the College from its inception. The retirement of the treasurer was mandated under the articles of association and it was the regret by all to see him leave. Dr. Ravi Maharaj was elected as the new treasurer.

The annual banquet was held on the Thursday evening and was well attended. Every year at this auspicious event the college recognizes one or two persons who have made significant contributions in the field of medicine. This year’s honourees were Dr. the Hon. Rufus W Ewing, Premier and Minister of Health, Agriculture and Human Services of the Turks Caicos Islands and Dr. Herbert Marius and renowned physician of St. Lucia.

Fellowship is one of the objectives of the college and every attempt was made to fulfil this objective. The evenings after the academic sessions saw the bars packed with surgeons engaged in lively discussions made easier by the imbibing of “liquids” prescribed by the college executive.

There was also a boat ride on the Saturday afternoon that took us along the picturesque coast of St. Lucia. The comradery exhibited between surgeons of different islands, ages and various levels of training demonstrated the bond that the College is creating across the Caribbean region.

This year’s conference was a great success and we are looking forward to an even bigger and better event in 2017. That event will be held in Montego Bay Jamaica from June 14th to June 17th.

The College wishes to thank all those who attended and also our sponsors whose contributions and unwavering support are essential to our success.