Our blogger Dr. Marc Jhonson is back with some thoughts on the social service year that all Haitian medical graduates are required to complete before beginning their residency. Dr. Marc is currently doing his social service year. — Tara Anderson, HME Project Communications Director
The “social service year” for Haitian medical graduates needs a new definition.
In Haiti, medical education usually includes 5 years of study at school, one year of internship in which the interns rotate through 11 services (surgery, orthopedics, OB/GYN, ophthalmology and ENT, dermatology, urology, pulmonology, internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency and ambulatory care) and one month of community medicine. This plan is mostly for the State University of Haiti (UEH), which is not too different from the private universities, with a few months of externship service for Quisqueya University and Lumière University, and an additional year before internship for Notre Dame University (UNDH). After the internship year, all doctors are required to complete a year of social service before obtaining their medical license. Then, new doctors can continue working as general practitioners or choose a specialty over 3 or 4 years. At first, the social service year was only a requirement for medical professionals (doctors, pharmacists, dental surgeons, etc.) coming from the State University but, over time, the Health Ministry (La Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population or MSPP) has also required graduates of private schools and those who graduated outside Haiti to do a social service year. (more…)