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Islands' medic hope

A private medical school in the Cayman Islands graduated its first doctors this month as part of a bid to prevent the islands' would-be doctors leaving for overseas.

St Matthew's University School of Medicine is one of only two institutions above community college level in the Caymans.

Donald L. Roberts, dean of basic sciences, said that a lack of educational facilities had resulted in a brain drain. "Only three or four of the doctors on Grand Cayman are Caymanian," he said.

St Matthew's offers four-year courses for graduate students. It is accredited by the island government's Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine, which is endorsed by the US National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation.

"At the moment 90 per cent of our students are from the US," Dr Roberts said. "We're hoping that Caymanian students will start thinking about staying on rather than going abroad for their MDs."

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