Medical Personnel Draw Knowledge, Skills from Psychiatry in General Practice Seminar

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A Continuing Medical Education (CME) seminar on Psychiatry in General Practice in Grenada was held on Sunday, June 10, at St. George’s University’s Alumni Hall.

The seminar targeted physicians, nurses and psychiatry care personnel, with the primary objective of equipping medical personnel with the skills necessary to manage psychiatric illnesses in patients.

At the opening ceremony, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. George Mitchell spoke of the timeliness of the seminar and the Ministry’s enthusiasm to be a part of it. He stated, “The Ministry of Health fully embraces this initiative by the University and the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, indeed this is a very crucial workshop and it comes against the backdrop of a recently held consultation geared at updating mental health policies in Grenada.”

The Chief Medical Officer stressed the importance played by health care professionals in shaping the attitudes and perceptions of the general public towards psychiatric patients. He said, “It is my firm belief that if we begin to address this issue now by first equipping ourselves with the skills to better manage these patients, coupled with the modernized approach pursued by the Ministry of Health, which seeks to integrate mental health into our primary health care revitalization program; there will be a better outcome for mentally challenged persons…I am optimistic that with the quality of facilitators, the objectives of the seminar are bound to be realized.”

A total of eight sessions were held, and at the end of the day, participants would have been more equipped to: handle psychiatric cases professionally, be able to diagnose and initially manage psychosis in medical illness, be able to diagnose depression in general practice, be able to diagnose psychosis in obstetric and gynecologic patients, recognize abnormal behavior in children, be able to diagnose anxiety disorders, have a knowledge of morbidity in Grenada, and provide counseling to patients.

The seminar was facilitated by Dr. Davendranana Sharma, Professor, Department of Behavior Science, Ross University; Dr. Deborah-Ann Stephens-John, General Practitioner and President of the Grenada Medical Association; Dr. Dolland Noel, Medical Consultant, Grenada General Hospital; Drs. Dorris KeensDouglas and Evlyn Spencer, Consultants at Mt. Gay Medical Hospital, Grenada; Dr. Frances McGill, Professor, Clinical Skills and Obstetrics – Gynecology at St. George’s University; Dr. George Mahy, Consultant Psychiatrist at the University of the West Indies, Barbados; Dr. George Mitchell, Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health, Grenada; Ms. Lorraine Steele, Psychotherapist at the Psychological Services Center, St. George’s University; Dr. Narasimhan Prabhakar, Professor, Clinical Skills Department, St. George’s University and Dr. Theresa Simon, Obstetrics/Gynecology Consultant, Grenada General Hospital.

The seminar was planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of Continuing Medical Education through joint sponsored by St. George’s University and Caribbean College of Family Physicians, in collaboration with the Grenada Medical Association.