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Caribbean College of Surgeons holds 21st Annual Clinical Symposium in Belize

Photo: Dr. Shamir Cawich, surgeon and president, CCOS

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 17, 2023

Belize hosted the 21st Annual Clinical Symposium of the Caribbean College of Surgeons (CCOS) from July 13 to 15, 2023.

The CCOS, a professional association of surgeons dedicated to enhancing the quality of surgical care in the Caribbean, organized the three-day event to provide a platform for surgeons and medical professionals to exchange ideas, learn from international experts, and advance surgical practice in the region.

The symposium, held at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, was complemented by various social activities and cultural experiences, allowing international delegates to immerse themselves in the rich history and vibrant culture of Belize.

The CCOS, consisting of 200 members who are surgeons with various specializations, serves as a hub for continuous medical education and collaboration.

Additionally, the association extends assistance to Caribbean countries during times of crisis, such as natural disasters, and provides support to patients requiring complex surgeries that are beyond the resources of facilities in individual nations.

Recently, the CCOS contributed its expertise to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City, where surgeons directed their attention to addressing challenging cases, demonstrating the commitment of the association to improving healthcare across the region.

During an interview, Dr. Shamir Cawich, a pancreatic surgeon and the president of the CCOS, emphasized the role of the association in providing medical education tailored to the Caribbean context.

“The college provides medical education, so all of these presentations are geared toward Caribbean practice. As an example, many therapies for surgical diseases that may be available in North America or in Europe may not be available in the Caribbean, and we have to adapt our surgical practice to still deliver good care to patients in the Caribbean, and that’s one of the things that this college does,” he shared.

Cawich encouraged all surgeons in Belize to join the CCOS, reiterating the benefits of membership, such as access to continuing medical education, professional support, and the opportunity to contribute to outreach efforts within the region.

“So, they apply, they show their credentials, and the membership committee will review them to decide whether or not they’re suitable as members,” he explained.