Two University of Cape Coast Medical Students complete 4 weeks sponsored electives in psychiatry at St Patrick’s University Hospital

Two medical students from the School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Miss Lovia Araba Williams and Miss Naana Adejoke Salami Oseifosu, have completed four week of sponsored elective placement in psychiatry at St Patrick’s University Hospital. The elective package was sponsored by St Patrick’s University Hospital as part of the hospitals global commitment towards mental health promotion. The elective was to enable the two students who won the 4th inter-medical students public speaking competition on behalf of the Cape Coast University last year to familiarize themselves with western psychiatry and to further stimulate their interest in pursuing a career in psychiatry. At the end of their electives, the two students presented a citation to the hospital and pieces of traditional cloth to Mr. Paul Gilligan, CEO of St Patrick’s University Hospital, Ms. Sarah Surgenor, Communications Manager and Ms. Tara Nolan, Administrator at St Patrick’s University Hospital who actively facilitated the elective placements. So far, 14 Ghanaians medical students have benefited from the sponsored elective placement in Dublin, Ireland.

The fifth edition of the inter-medical school public speaking competition which aims to promote psychiatry as a fulfilling career option for Ghanaian medical students will take place at the University of Development Studies Auditorium in Tamale on Thursday the 29th of October 2015 from 12 noon. The completion in being sponsored by St Patrick’s University Hospital and Vincent Agyapong Professional Cooperation. The two winners will undertake sponsored electives in psychiatry at the prestigious world renowned St Patrick’s University Hospital in Dublin whilst the two runners up of the completion will receive a sponsorship package of a 1000 dollars to enable them undertake four weeks electives in psychiatry in Ghana. The topic for this year’s competition is “Develop a creative model for community mental health care that is mindful of traditions and beliefs”. The general public and the media are cordially invited to attend and support the competition. Below is a report submitted by Miss Lovia Araba Williams and Miss Naana Adejoke Salami Oseifosu about their elective placement in the Irish hospital.

Report of Psychiatric Electives at St Patrick’s University Hospital in Dublin

Coming to Ireland for the 4-weeks elective program at the St. Patrick’s University Hospital was an experience we were looking forward to having been privileged to come first in the 4th annual inter-medical school debate. We arrived in Dublin on the 12th of August, 2015 and were warmly welcomed by staff of the St. Patrick’s University Hospital. We lacked nothing in terms of good accommodation, good food and finances. Most importantly, our elective programme in this august hospital was amazing.

First, we were introduced to a mental health setting that was different from the one we knew back home. Our first week with the famous “Declans” (Dr. Declan Lyons and Prof. Declan Mclouglin) at the Department of Psychiatry of later life was as educative as it was interesting. Subsequent weeks with various consultants in the Departments of Child and adolescent psychiatry, Special care and Eating disorders were equally informative. We had the opportunity to sit in multidisciplinary team meetings, ward rounds and both in and outpatient programs where patients are accorded a great deal of respect and involvement in their own management.

We also attended several lectures and also benefited immensely from one on one tuition from some of our consultants despite their busy schedules.

We were really privileged to be under the tutelage of such an abled team of psychiatrists and we must say, this experience has truly changed our view on psychiatry.

Further, for the first time in our lives, we had the opportunity to witness how modern Electro Convulsive Therapy is done, and we were taken through its indications, complications as well as contraindications.

Our experience in Dublin was not all academic, we had a lot of fun visiting places and meeting new people, thanks to our “social” coordinator, Dr. Thekiso B. Thekiso. We must say, DUBLIN IS INDEED GRAND.

We cannot forget the Ghanaian society in Dublin. These individuals gave us all the support and encouragement we needed during the entire period. Our electives program officially ended on the 11th of September 2015 and we are very grateful to the St. Patrick’s University Hospital and Professor Vincent Agyapong of the University of Alberta, Canada, for this opportunity. On the whole, our experience in Dublin is one that will linger in our minds for a lifetime.

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