The Honourable Lascelles Chin, OJ, CD delivering his keynote address to the first graduating class of the Caribbean School of Medical Sciences (CSMSJ) at the ceremony on Sunday, November 21, 2021

KINGSTON, JAMAICA: Executive Chairman of the LASCO Affiliated Companies, Lascelles Chin OJ CD, has charged the inaugural graduating class of the Caribbean School of Medical Sciences Jamaica (CSMSJ) to become ambassadors; to fly the flag of the institution high, and impact lives while building their own careers.

At a commencement ceremony held at Shortwood Teachers College on Sunday, November 21, 2021, the 13 graduates, which comprised four medical doctors and nine holders of Associate Degrees in Natural and Applied Sciences, were encouraged by Mr Chin to reach for the highest ideals.

“This graduation is indeed a historic milestone, in the annals of the Caribbean School for the Medical Sciences in Jamaica. It will always resound in the hearts of the first graduates here, and in the history and legacy of this institution. This is a moment to treasure, with great pride and joy. Congratulations to faculty and graduates of CSMSJ, on this outstanding achievement, which is a testimony to the awesome power of dreams,” said Mr Chin as he shared with the audience inside the Marjorie Myers Auditorium.

Dr Jamila McFarlane is greeted by Keynote Speaker, the Honourable Lascelles Chin after she received her doctoral award at the graduation ceremony on Sunday, November 21, 2021. Dr McFarlane is one of four medical doctors who matriculated.

Speaking also at the ceremony, the Honourable Fayval Williams, minister of education, youth and information echoed the uniqueness of the group. “You have been well-prepared to enter the specific areas of your career interests and I wish you well. I wish all of you the best. At the same time I want to encourage you to continue to look for opportunities for further training. We never stop learning and I trust you will embrace the idea of lifelong learning.”

“You’re graduating at a time when COVID has significantly increased the acceptance of technology in all facets of our lives. We have become used to getting many services online, including health services, and I want to encourage you to embrace technology in the offerings so that all our citizens can have access to healthcare,” she added. 

The CSMSJ though still in the stage of infancy has a big vision for its contribution to the country and humanity.
The CSMSJ is the brainchild of general consultant and laparoscopic surgeon Dr Neville Graham and his team with the aim of providing world-class training, while developing a quality workforce of professionals, ready to confront and conquer the challenges of 21st-century medicine.

“Our students are bonded to work in Jamaica for two years after graduating. Imagine that, giving back. Instead of four, we’d like to graduate 50. We want to support what UWI is doing as well, and what other institutions are doing. We want to graduate 100 nurses. We want to graduate 40 dentists but we have to talk. We need some help because when this becomes what we want it to be, we will be helping Jamaica even more. Now we’re helping our patients, we’re helping our community, we’re doing research but we want to be a bigger help for our people, and a bigger contribution to humanity,” expressed Executive Dean and Founder of the CSMSJ, Dr Neville Graham.

Speaking specifically to the medical doctors, the Executive Chairman encouraged them even further to make a difference  in the workplace, contributing to society and helping to save lives.

“I will remind you that in Jamaica there is the sad ratio of one medical doctor, to every five thousand persons in rural areas, and one per every one thousand four hundred persons, in urban areas.  These ratios, graduates, fall well below the World Health Organisation’s standard of one doctor, per two hundred and fifty persons. As you embark on your life in the medical sciences field, I would also like you to understand that it will be risky and it will have disappointments along with unspeakable joy.  But this is one of the best jobs in the world. You will have the opportunity to save lives and touch the lives of people at their most vulnerable times,” the philanthropist encouraged.  

The founders of the institution were also on the receiving end of commendations from LASCO’s Visionary. Mr Chin openly congratulated them on their vision to establish the CSMSJ, and the tenacity which has been displayed to keep it afloat during the testing times of its burgeoning years.

“This graduation ceremony is testimony of your deep and abiding commitment to the Caribbean region. Patriotism at its finest.  You saw supremely qualified students across the Caribbean, who are unable to be accommodated in the limited spaces at our traditional Universities for the Medical Sciences.”

About the Caribbean School of Medical Sciences (CSMSJ)

CSMSJ became a chartered institute of Jamaica on June 30, 2017 and is also registered by the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (JTEC) and listed on the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) and the World Directory of Medical Schools. The institution has been registered by the University Council of Jamaica since 2018 and its Associate of Science degree in Natural and Applied Sciences has been fully accredited since August 2021.

The institution was formed by leading medical professionals. Students receive an education from the best tutors and lecturers, hailing from Jamaica, Cuba, USA, and India. These practitioners are dedicated to imparting their knowledge to the next generation.