Georgetown University Medical Center Update (January 23, 2015)
JANUARY 23, 2015—In February, when the Free Clinic at English Harbour opens its doors to the residents of Antigua, in the Caribbean, a cheer will be raised about 1,800 miles away at the HOYA Clinic in the old D.C. General hospital building.
That’s because Antigua’s Free Clinic is based on Georgetown’s HOYA Clinic model — an unusual concept in medical education where medical students run all aspects of the clinic, with faculty oversight.
Most medical school student clinics are much less hands-on, but that is not what Deborah Robinson-Akande, DDS, FAGD, chairman of the University of Health Sciences in Antigua, envisioned. The University’s students study medicine for the first two years on Antigua and then travel to the U.S. or other countries for the final two years of medical school. Dr. Akande felt the HOYA Clinic model would better prepare the island students for their study abroad.
But more than that, island residents have been asking for a clinic there ever since the old clinic in English Harbour closed three years ago. Plans are for the Free Clinic to serve the nearly 5,000 residents of English Harbour, Falmouth, Piccadilly, Cobbs Cross, Bethesda and Liberta.
“It is our hope that the Free Clinic will be an extension of the Medical/Nursing school into the community. Because our community lost its community health center a few years ago, The Free Clinic will play a major role in the health care of the community in which we are located,” says Dr. Akande.
“It is also our hope that the Free Clinic will serve as a major provider of patient education as well as being a provider of various health care activities. This will be a major opportunity for the school to give back to the community that we have grown to love and have been a part of for over 30 years,” she says.