Students attend the final scholarship presentation at Doctors Hospital.
Recipients of this year's Doctors Hospital expressed a desire to return home after their studies abroad to help improve healthcare here in the Bahamas. Many also stated their intentions to obtain degrees in fields which currently have a shortage of specialists.
In keeping with its commitment to assist Bahamians pursuing higher education in the fields of medicine and allied health, Doctors Hospital presented 33 Bahamian students with scholarships this month.
During this year's presentation reception, Dr Judson Eneas, chairman of the Doctors Hospital Dr Meyer Rassin Foundation, addressed the recipients. He reiterated the purpose of the foundation and explained that it also seeks to positively affect the Bahamian community by investing in quality healthcare.
He noted that through its scholarships to future healthcare professionals, the foundation continues to achieve its mandate. Dr Eneas also used the opportunity to encourage the students to become community focused and seek out ways to impact the delivery of quality healthcare in the Bahamas.
Following the event, the students expressed their gratitude to the foundation for the scholarships, and many, like third year University of the West Indies medical student Riko Hart, discussed their desire to return to the Bahamas to work in the healthcare sector.
"The scholarship is a good help towards tuition for students studying abroad," said the second year scholarship recipient. When sharing his thoughts on Dr Eneas' comments, he noted, "I am definitely planning on coming back to the Bahamas. I know that I may need to continue my studies abroad, but I want to come back. I think it's important to give back to my community."
Thomeya McKinney, a first year recipient who will be studying at Midwestern State University, said she chose to study radiologic science because of a shortage of trained Bahamian professionals in that field.
"I have always been interested in the field of science. When researching career options, I learned that there was a shortage of local persons working in radiologic science in the Bahamas. So I chose the area because I believe that this career would allow me to come back and fulfill a need," said Thomeya.
Donnice Alexander, who will begin studies in respiratory therapy at Kettering College of Medical Arts, also expressed her gratitude to the foundation for awarding her a bonded scholarship.
"This helps a lot," Donnice remarked, adding "I am extremely grateful to the foundation for this scholarship. Now, once I have completed my studies, I can return home knowing that I will have a job waiting for me. I am looking forward to coming back to the Bahamas and working at Doctors Hospital" she said.
Also congratulating the recipients was Doctors Hospitals' Vice President of Human Resources Paul Haven.
During his closing remarks, Mr Haven said, "It is critical for us to support future health leaders in the Bahamas if we are to move forward as a country. I encourage you to pursue your studies thinking broader than just a career. Start to think about how you can use your knowledge and skills to impact our community in a great way."
With students pursuing careers in medical technology, physiotherapy, nursing, medicine, radiologic science and respiratory therapy, Mr Haven said he was pleased to see considerable diversity in the group and encouraged the students to continue to strive for excellence in their chosen field.
The Doctors Hospital Dr Meyer Rassin Foundation was established in 1999 and has provided assistance to hundreds of Bahamians. Each year, Doctors Hospital donates a portion of its profits to the foundation to fund the scholarship programme. Funding is also received from private donors. The foundation would like to encourage young Bahamians interested in pursuing studies in the field of medicine or allied health to apply for one of its annual scholarships. Applications are due on or before March 31 each year and application forms and the list of requirements can be found on www.doctorshosp.com.