Monrovia — Following nearly four years of medical studies, the Liberia College of Physicians & Surgeons (LCPS) on Friday, September 15, 2017 graduated its first batch of specialized doctors in Liberia.
The Liberia College of physicians & Surgeons is a professional institutional established by law to train medical specialists in Surgeon, Internal Medicine, pediatrics , Obstetrics & Gynecology to help boost thehealthcare delivery system in Liberia.
The specialists trained in the four main areas will be able to independently manage surgical and medical problems with great confidence and skills in Liberia.
Delivering the first keynote address on the occasion, Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn expressed gratitude and confidence in the graduates, indicating that they excelled amongst West Africa's medical school first graduates in the region.
"You have excelled. You the graduates of 2017 have scored thehighest grade points amongst the West Africa College of Physicians and Surgeons examinations in the region. The average of every first college is about 30% and Liberia score is 60%," she said.
Minister Dahn: "As graduates of the college you have spent the last three years learning and studying in last hours working late hours and [have] been tested all along the way; we have tested everything. Your medical knowledge, your commitments, your resilience your patience... "
She said the vision of the college is to produce Liberian medical specialists who will demonstrate the highest standards of medical excellence, while effectively and efficiently delivering health services across the 15 counties of Liberia.
Giving history that resulted into the establishment of the medical school in 2012, she said the current number of physician specialist is low and not close to the WHO recommended standards.
For instance, according to her, Liberia has no pathologist and oncologist. "This severe shortfall makes it virtually impossible for the country's health system to provide universal access to basic quality healthcare, not to mention the specialized care."
The history further narrated that in 2012, Liberia had 215 registered and licensed physicians in the country. Of these, 144 are Liberian doctors and less than 15 are specialized clinical physicians.
"This shortage of specialist physicians is having adverse effects of the Ministry of Health's effort to meet the global human resource for health, particularly specialist physicians."
For this reason, in 2012, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Liberia Medical and Dental Association (LMDA) embarked on establishing a post graduate medical education (GME) program with the aim of producing medical specialists to respond to Liberia's urgent need for specialist doctors.
To move the process forward, the former Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, set up a taskforce and a Technical Working Group (TWG) the TWG was mandated to see through the establishment of the postgraduate residency-training program.
The Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Minister of Health Services, Dr. Bernice Dahn now Minister proper was appointed to chair the TWG which comprised 17 members.
The President of the Liberia College of Physician & Surgeon, Dr. Roseda Marshall, said that the specialized college works directly with the A.M Dogloitti College, disclosing that they are training doctors that will contribute to the society.
Said Dr. Marshall the school is training doctors that will help to improve the system, "We are training doctors knowing that it will help to improve the quality of health care in Liberia, and also improve our economy where no cash will be taken from here to abroad."
She named the board of the college as Dr. Robert Kpoto 1st vice for surgery, Benjamin Harris 2nd Vice for physician and Dr. Angela Benson among others as those who are working to improve the welfare of the college.