Clinical supervision training in the Caribbean!

Clinical supervision training in the Caribbean
L to R – Dr Narelle Campbell, Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, Professor Sarah Strasser, Dr Helen Wozniak, Professor Madan Rambaran

Early in 2016, Drs Narelle Campbell and Helen Wozniak were invited by the School of Medicine, University of Guyana to provide clinical supervision training to their medical school faculty located in Georgetown, Guyana. Visiting Guyana, a small Caribbean nation on the northern coast of South America to deliver the training was a highlight of their trip which also included the ICEMEN conference in Canada (June).

The training consisted of two components. A one and a half day foundational level training for clinical supervisors and a half day train the trainer session to promote the development of a peer support strategy to enable the ongoing professional development of clinical supervisors.

Twenty four faculty participated in the foundational level training and 14 in the train the trainer component. Participants included doctors who taught medical students in the clinical years, those responsible for student supervision in the hospital, public health or Ministry of Health clinics as well as those teaching in the preclinical years.

Of the 22 evaluations received 100% of the participants agreed or strongly agreed that the training expanded their theoretical knowledge in work-based clinical supervision, they gained practical skills to assist them in supervising learners, and their confidence as a clinical supervisor had increased. Narelle and Helen were supported by Professor Sarah Strasser who had been working closely with the University of Guyana’s medical school to reform their curriculum. They were also able to visit Georgetown’s hospital and a number of outreach public health clinics in the surrounding hinterland. These visits provided an insightful backdrop to contextualise the two days of training they delivered.

Clinical supervision training in the Caribbean
Clinicians from the University of Guyana Medical School participating in workshop activities

As is often the case it pays to be flexible when planning and delivering training in new contexts. An impromptu visit to the workshop was made by the new Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith. As it was his first week in the position this provided a unique opportunity for all participants meet him and share insights about new directions for the medical course and university.

Narelle and Helen plan to continue supporting clinical supervisors both locally and internationally by developing further flexible training options.

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Flinders NT Medical Program (NTMP)