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|Dr. Eshanna Codogan– One of Linden/Region 10 Newly Minted Doctor (2022 Graduate- Georgetown American University).|
The American University is a private healthcare-oriented university in Guyana which was established in 2013. The university trains students for the healthcare field, including nurses and doctors. The first batch of students enrolled in 2014.
Village Voice posed questions to the bright, young and ambitious Eshanna, who, through hard work and sacrifices, has earned her qualifications and experience to be a Doctor of Medicine. Read her inspiring story below.
Village Voice- Why medicine?
Dr. Codogan: As a young woman, an adolescent I was curious about my own body, then I became even more curious as to why persons die when they are sick. I asked myself what could be the cause of their sickness and what preventative measures could have been taken. I did not want superficial knowledge; I was driven to know the truth through explanation and theories. And as such I had a host of medical questions at a young age, thus at that time I made a decision to enter the medical field when I finished secondary school.
In addition, I want to contribute to the health sector of Linden, Guyana, decreasing morbidity and mortality of patients and assist persons to achieve optimal health. I want to be cognisant of life threatening diseases so I can promptly refer friends and family, or anyone I encounter to the hospital to increase their chances of survival from any such disease. Those were my reasons for choosing medicine.
Village Voice- How was the programme?
Dr. Codogan: The programme was great, interesting, extensive and required hard-work.
The doctor of medicine program is a five-year program with one year of premedical sciences, two years of preclinical sciences and two years of clinical sciences or clerkship. In Premedical sciences, students had lectures on a wide variety of subjects that included introduction to medical terminology, BLS/ACLS and basic sciences subjects such as chemistry, physics, cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, etc.
Preclinical sciences included lectures/ courses on anatomy and physiology, general histology and pathology, medical ethics, infectious diseases, foundations in medicine, various organ systems, behavioural sciences and much more.
The final two years of clinical sciences consisted of clinical rotations at Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and private clinics. As students, we navigated and rotated in various specialised core medical departments such as OBGYN, pediatrics, accident and emergency, family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, etc. We had exposure to various diseases, worked along with the doctors assisting in management and treatment of our patients .
It was a fascinating learning experience. We observed various surgery and surgical procedures to aid in our learning. Overall, as a student I had to be self-motivated to read a lot and learn on my own too; because the doctors do not teach or tell you everything. I strived to be as knowledgeable as I can…and still as doctors we do not know everything, and learning never ceases.
Village Voice- What were your challenges as a student?
Dr. Codogan: As a student, I had a few major challenges. Travelling every day from Linden to Georgetown because I had to take care of my child and I could not afford life in the big city, which was a major challenge for me. It was very exhausting. I studied on my way home to Linden, and when I got home, I took care of my baby, prepared for the next day and went to bed to get up at 4a.m. the next day to travel.
I had the support of my family who took care of my daughter in the day (in my absence) until I returned in the night and sometimes afternoon. I would really love to thank my mother Shandel Codogan and grandmother Patsy Codogan for their prayers, financial, emotional and physical support to ensure I become successful at my studies.
Another major challenge was the COVID-19 pandemic. Myself and other students were home for a whole year until it was accepted by authorities that COVID was not going anywhere. Personally, I was frustrated being at home and not at the hospital. However, during that time, we had some online classes and I chose that time to do a lot of reading, my research and community projects.
Village Voice- What’s next for you?
Dr. Codogan: My next plan is to acquire my medical licence from Guyana’s Medical Council and start an internship at GPHC. To acquire my medical licence, I will write the CAMC examination. The CAMC examination is a Caribbean licensing or registration examination to help doctors who are from offshore medical schools to acquire work in any country of the Caribbean. As doctors, there are other options; we can write the USA licensing exam USMLE and the United Kingdom licensing exam PLAB. I plan to write USLME exam in the later future, if God wills.
This is not the end but more like the beginning of great things to come, if God wills. I urge my fellow colleagues and doctors to always remain kind, humble and compassionate. We are all human beings.