Nearly three hundred students joined the second in a series of Shadow a Doctor webinars today as part of Health City Cayman Islands’ focus on getting young people interested in a career in the medical and STEM fields through its Healthcare Explorers programme.
The hour and a half-long webinar took place via Zoom and involved students from a cross-section of high schools, including John Gray High School, Clifton Hunter High School, Cayman Academy, Wesleyan, ICCI and UCCI and homeschool students. A further over 330 students have registered to receive a copy of the webinar afterwards, for follow-up scrutiny.
Mr Charles D. Bush, Senior Education Coordinator, Health City Cayman Islands, said the Shadow a Doctor webinar series was a virtual/COVID-19 adaption of their popular Shadow a Doctor programme, which normally brings students to campus for two days to shadow a doctor, nurse or technician.
“Today’s topic was Laparoscopic Cholecystomy, which is gallbladder removal surgery. Through our virtual programme, students had the opportunity to watch a pre-recorded gallbladder removal surgery performed by Dr Deepak Varma, Senior Consultant Gastrointestinal & Bariatric Surgeon. They were then able to take part in a live Q&A with Dr. Deepak, following the video,” he said.
“The Shadow a Doctor webinar series provides a virtual experience of being in the operating theatre with the added value of teaching that students receive from the surgeons.”
Mr Shomari Scott, Chief Business Officer, Health City Cayman Islands, said the webinar formed part of the hospital’s overall strategy to encourage young Caymanians into the medical field.
“Our Healthcare Explorers programme has been particularly well received by schools and colleges and as a result, it has grown exponentially, especially when we rolled out expanded services such as the webinars,” he said.
“The latest number of students registered for today’s webinar and those who have requested a copy of the video are the highest we have seen so far. We believe this volume of interest is testament to our engaging content and the ability of technology to reach out directly to young people across the islands, as the programme transitions to a more virtual one during the challenges of the pandemic.”
Mr Scott said that as knowledge in the community develops about the broad range of careers Health City offered young people, the greater the interest in finding out more.
“The more we reach out to students and teachers, the greater the response,” he said. “It is really exciting to be able to connect with students in this way.”
Fourteen-year-old John Gray High School student, Mr Jelani Hanson, is one such student who has benefitted from the Healthcare Explorers programme. He began participating in Healthcare Explorers when he was 13, during the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, having participated in a virtual STEM Day Camp by way of a YouTube livestream, which included a virtual tour of Health City.
“Through these activities, I learned some more about medical procedures and equipment. I have also watched the Healthcare Explorers science education videos, taught by Health City’s doctors, in class,” he said. “Healthcare Explorers has helped me solidify my knowledge about the human body, which has come in handy as I am currently sitting Biology in school.”
Mr Godfrey Williams, Head of Science at John Gray High School, underscored the value the school placed on such programmes.
“Since Health City’s inception, they have used their professional and practical resources to enhance the learning experience of several cohorts of students from John Gray High School. Health City is a shining example of a caring stakeholder in the education of Caymanian children. The Healthcare Explorers Shadow a Doctor programme continues to evolve to reach the needs of students who aspire to medical careers. We all enjoyed an engaging encounter in the 11th March 2021 webinar,” Mr Williams said.