Working in Guyana:
You will be based in Georgetown, the capital city. Our main focus is the emergency medicine residency at the Georgetown Public Hospital. This is the only public tertiary care referral hospital in the country. There, you will see an incredible array of pathology from severe presentations of decompensated heart failure, abdominal pain, MVC’s, machete chops, tox, snake bites, malaria, dengue, leptospirosis among many others…
You will also be the acting residency director and develop a strong teaching, mentoring and friendly relationship with the residents. Past fellows have found this unique opportunity very satisfying. The residency is mature enough now with several graduates that projects outside the residency can be envisioned. From that standpoint, Guyana is a land of opportunity!
Living in Guyana
Georgetown is the rapidly growing capital of Guyana. It was once known as “the Garden City” thanks to its beautiful tree lined avenues. You can still find some remnants of this. It is also a bustling Caribbean town with many opportunities for dining, sports and entertainment. There are a variety of restaurants, clubs, music venues, museums, lectures, stadiums and a great go-kart track to keep you entertained while you are there. There are many opportunities for adventure travel in the interior sightseeing, fishing or camping. It is also easy to have quiet time to keep up with your MPH homework!
Background: The Georgetown Public Hospital, the only tertiary care public referral centre in Guyana, is the national leader for medical student and resident education within Guyana. The Department of Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt, in conjunction with the Georgetown Public Hospital, Guyana’s Ministry of Health, and the University of Guyana, has established the country’s first emergency medicine training program.
Guyana is a beautiful South American country, which means “land of many waters.” It is located on the northern aspect of South America and borders Venezuela to the west, Suriname to the east and Brazil to the south. The country is a former British colony and was previously known as British Guiana. The official language of Guyana is English, reflecting its colonial origins. Despite the location of Guyana on the South American continent, it is culturally and economically part of the Anglophone Caribbean community.
Demographics: Guyana is about 83,000 square miles in size, or about the size of Idaho. The capital city of Georgetown is located on the Atlantic coast near the mouth of the Demerara River and has a population of about 240,000. The country as a whole has a population of about 772,000. Much of the interior of the country is rainforest and the country has one of the lowest population densities in the world (ranking 225 of 239 listed countries). Major ethnic groups have East Indian, African and Amerindian backgrounds, in addition to smaller groups from Chinese and European extraction.
Economy: Guyana is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, though its economy has been improving in recent years. Overall, Guyana ranks 127 of 185 listed countries in per capita GDP. Major agricultural exports include rice and sugar. Mining is important for the economy and includes bauxite and gold.
Statistical indicators of health status of the population of Guyana lag behind most of the surrounding countries. Guyana ranks 155 of 211 listed countries in life expectancy. Nevertheless, the country has made major efforts in improving the economic and health status of the population in recent years.
Weather: The weather in Guyana in notable for its tropical Caribbean climate. The high is usually in the mid to high 80’s with a low in the low 70’s. The rainy season is from May to June with a second peak in December and January but it can rain hard any time of the year. Guyana does not typically get struck by hurricanes. Guyana is in the time zone that corresponds to GMT -4 (like EST in the summer) and does not observe daylight savings.
Tourism: Guyana has many features that are attractive for tourism and has had increasing numbers of eco-tourists in recent years. Georgetown is known for its Victorian architecture while the interior regions are dominated by wide rivers, pristine jungle and Amerindian villages. Guyana has several notable waterfalls including the famous Kaieteur Falls which, with an uninterrupted drop of 741 feet, is known for having possibly the greatest combination of height and volume of any waterfall in the world. Fellows participating in this program will want to make time to explore this exciting country!