Greeting to all AMHE members and Friends
June 1, 2014
Maxime Coles, MD, FICS, FRCS, FAANOS
AMHE: President of the Central Executive Committee.
It is a privilege to welcome you in our association: AMHE. I join you keenly knowing that as the president of the Central Executive Committee, I have to report also on the state of our Organization.
I became a member of the AMHE while I was still an orthopedic resident at Howard University and I never regretted it. Many of us grew up under the leadership of Dr Raoul Pierre-Louis who was instrumental in my return to the mother land after many years of tuition in Montreal, Canada. I did not hesitate to enter the medical school at the State University of Haiti. This is an experience I will cherish for the remaining of my life.
I wanted to bring this tonight to explain a little in what context the AMHE is presently surviving. There is a world of Disparity among us which create bonds allowing us to reach common goals. We want to envision a horizon where we all be able to meet our expectations.
I remember the late 60’s and the 70’s well and I would like to call that period, the “dogmatic years of Haitian Medicine” when our Elders dictated the way to act in the medical world. I remember Drs Leveque, Miot, Paultre, Bontemps, Fils-Aime, Westerband, Medard, Parisien, Bartholy, Mondestin, Boyer and many others who benefited from different training and fellowship in the states and in Europe but returned to the country to seed their knowledge. They worked reliantly in different parts of the land until they settled for the State University of Haiti Hospital. They became Pioneers in their own specialty. In this way, I saw the creation of the Orthopedic and Traumatology department.
The 80’s were the years of a “Flamboyant Medicine” when a younger generation of newly trained physicians will compete and challenge the elders. We enjoyed the return to the land of Drs Leon, Bernardin, Chandler, Guy Clermont bringing to us the most recent “bêtes” in the world of Medicine. They recently completed a residency or a Fellowship but now, they were visitors or newly appointed Attending at the HUEH into different services. This period stimulated many of us and we finally realize that the art of Medicine was able to be mastered. We wanted to be successful like them. We opted to have the Residency of our choice and to study for different examinations allowing us to further our training in the US, Canada, Europe or the Latin America.
Our living quarters were on the site of the hospital and our social life was intertwined with the medical activities on the campus at the State University Hospital. We knew each other at a personal level and participated in many sport activities together notably Ping-Pong, Soccer, basketball, Volleyball. We had also social clubs to play Chess, Checkers, Card games, Music.
The Alma Mater was the focus of our attention and I want to believe that, in the same spirit, in 1972, at Harlem hospital, the AMHE became an entity, allowing many Haitian physicians who have known each other through the practice of Medicine, to assemble around Lionel Laine MD. We can state proudly that like the NMA (National Medical Association) that the AMHE (Association of the Haitian Physicians Abroad) is considered like one of the oldest ethnic medical association in the USA.
The 80’s have seen an explosion of Medical Schools in Haiti: Notre Dame, Quisqueya, Lumiere, Aristide Foundation and others. More physicians have also graduated from other medical schools in Haiti, Cuba, Santo Domingo, South and North America, Europe, practicing around the world in different fields. At home, there is a lack of hospitals to provide the medical students, proper training during their rotations. There is also an affluence of physicians trained in Cuba.
The 90’s belongs to our kids with a generation born in the States or who grew up outside of the country. More and more American and foreign medical students enroll in American and foreign medical schools in different countries including the Caribbean.
This is our challenge at the AMHE: For all MD’s, DO’s, NP’s, PA’s, RN’s, Podiatrist, Chiropractor, Technician or any other healthcare Professionals of Haitian descent, who potentially will meet under the AMHE banner, We will need to set the standards to integrate all in a system under a democratic process where each of us feel at home in participating at our conventions, meetings or missions around the world. We may be from different generations, different medical schools and different background, but we want to always to be remembered as an Association which stands harmoniously united.
Help me in our mission to improve Healthcare at Home and Abroad, by participating in our different activities. I look for your support to drive the AMHE through the challenges we are facing. Keep our slogan: “Changing Lives Through better Healthcare”.