UG Medical School re-accreditationStudents of the School of Medicine of the University of Guyana (UGSM) who completed their programmes during the period the school had lost its accreditation have nothing to fear, as their certificates are valid.UG Registrar,Dr Nigel GravesandeUG Registrar Dr Nigel Gravesande told Guyana Times on Monday that students — including those graduating with the Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine over the last couple of years — were being tested to see if they satisfy the requirements to graduate.“Students who graduated from the School of Medicine would have satisfied the academic requirement to be awarded the Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine, and that has not changed,” he told Guyana Times in an invited comment.When the school had lost its accreditation in 2015, both local and international students had become concerned that their certificates would not be recognised outside the country.The University reported last week that it was recently accorded Accreditation for four years, from 2017-2021, by the Jamaica-based Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP).The decision to grant re-accreditation was made during the July 2017 meeting of CAAM-HP.According to the University of Guyana, re-accreditation of the Medical School, located in the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Turkeyen campus, followed a site visit to UG in November 2016 by a team of evaluators from CAAM-HP, who conducted a comprehensive re-evaluation of the teaching/learning facilities available at the School. The team also met with the various administrative sections of the University, and with medical students.UG Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, has congratulated the faculty, students and staff of the School of Medicine. He said the School’s re-accreditation was a “signally important decision”, and expressed appreciation to personnel and students of the School.“This investment of time and resources by the University in the re-accreditation of the School of Medicine is a tribute to the entire University, and it strengthens our brand overall as we pursue ‘Project Renaissance’,” he said.He added that a substantial amount of time and money would be required to complete the needed enhancement of the flagship programme.Similar sentiments were echoed by Director of the School, Dr Ronald Aaron, who emphasised that the accreditation was a result of “community effort” and said, “Now the real work begins.”President of the University of Guyana Medical Students’ Association, Shafali Milton, expressed pride at the role played by the students in the eventual outcome.“The road to regain our status as a regionally accredited medical school was filled with countless challenges. However, we in the student body were undaunted, and did everything in our power to assist. We are elated at the result of hard work from both the administration and the student body…”Milton said the UGSM has regained its position as a prestigious institution in the Caribbean, one with which the current students as well as its alumni can be proud to be associated.“We look forward to new endeavours, as the journey continues,” she said.The Medical School was established as a Medical Practitioners programme in 1985 in the Faculty of Health Sciences. It entailed four years of medical training and two years of internship.This was upgraded in 1990 to a five-year programme followed by a one-year internship.