The Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS) began its distinguished history as the principal institution for medical education in the Commonwealth Caribbean in 1948 with the establishment of the Medical Faculty at the Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica. Initially founded as an overseas College of the University of London, the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Mona was the first established faculty in what, in 1962, was to become the University of the West Indies (UWI). Five years later in 1967, under the Eastern Caribbean Medical Scheme, the Faculty expanded to incorporate clinical training at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados and the Port of Spain General Hospital in Trinidad and Tobago.
In 1989, the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex was opened at Mount Hope in Trinidad and Tobago. This facility houses UWI’s second full medical school under a multi-disciplinary Faculty that includes Schools of Dentistry, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine.
In 2008, the Cave Hill Campus upgraded and expanded its 40 year old clinical programme in the School of Clinical Medicine and Research to full faculty status incorporating a 3-year Phase 1 programme. Over the years, postgraduate programmes in a wide range of medical specialties have also been developed at all campuses. The Cave Hill Campus has strong programmes in clinical specialties, leading to the DM in hospital based specialties as well as the Diploma, Masters and DM in Family Medicine. The Masters in Public Health was initiated in 2008, and most recently, a PhD in Public Health.
Today, the University of the West Indies as a whole has the unique status of being a truly international university, serving as the principal tertiary education institution for 14 Caribbean (CARICOM) countries, as well as hosting a growing number of international students. In 2006, its Medical Programme was accredited by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions (CAAM-HP).
The Faculty of Medical Sciences thus continues to play a vital role in the training of health care professionals for the entire region, particularly doctors, and at all levels, from undergraduate through post graduate to continuing medical education.