Studying medicine in Trinidad
Sea, sand, and serious study that's medicine in Trinidad for you, says Tangunu Fosi-Mbantenkhu
- By: Tangunu Fosi-Mbantenkhu
The word “Caribbean” probably conjures up an alluring image of sea cruises or infinite stretches of time on snow white sandy beaches, basking in the sun. You'd think the days at medical school should be a breeze, reading Gray's Anatomy under the shade of windswept coconut trees, serenading to the rhythms of nature. Well, brace yourself for a surprise. Medical school in Trinidad is no less stressful than elsewhere. Work and reclusive studying are still the medical student's lot, a world away from exotic cocktails and the surfing sea.
The patients I encountered in Trinidad were varied and uniquely colourful. Some of their practices are culturally derived from the continents in the “old world,” from which their ancestors came. For example, it is not unusual to observe people of east Indian descent presenting with jaundice (of any cause) only after a holy man has been unsuccessful in “extracting” the discolouration