Airlines serving Guyana include Caribbean Airlines, FlyJamaica and Suriname Airways. Flights usually range from $500- $1000 CAD. It is your responsibility to cover this cost, but you are encouraged to apply for additional funding through the DFM Travel Bursary.
You will arrive at the Cheddi Jagan Airport, which is located approximately 1 hour from Georgetown. Please contact the program assistant to confirm that a taxi has been arranged for you to travel from the airport to your accommodation.
Please leave Georgetown 3 hours before your return flight home to allow adequate time for travel.
You will need $4000 Guyanese dollars or $25 CAD in cash at the airport to for the Airport Departure Tax. Please note there are no ATMs at the airport, and they do not accept credit cards, so you will need cash.
Project Dawn Address: Embankment Rd, Liliendaal, ECD
Project Dawn is a medical residence for visiting residents and faculty. The cost for residents is $20.00 USD/ night. You will be provided with your own bedroom, bathroom, study desk, towels and linens. There is a free laundry facility, including an iron, available for you to use. You will need to bring your own hair dryer if required. The electrical outlets are the same as in Canada, so an adapter is not required. The accommodation comes with a complete kitchen, including all appliances (drip coffee maker) and dishwasher, communal living room with a television, and free Wi-Fi. Project Dawn provides clean bottled drinking water (please do not drink from the tap). You will be loaned a basic cell phone from the program while in Guyana.
Health and Safety
Usual safety precautions should be taken when travelling in Guyana.
After dark, please take a taxi to arrive safely at your destination. Try not to travel with large amounts of cash, or expose expensive electronics, such as laptops or iPhones in public places. Please avoid walking along the seawall after dark.
The tap water in Guyana is non-potable. Please drink bottled water.
Remember to avoid mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent and long shirt and pants at dusk and dawn.
Exercise – the easiest exercise to get in Georgetown is to go running along the seawall, which is a 5 minute walk from Project Dawn. This should be done in daylight. There is also a gym nearby that you can pay a sessional fee to use in the evenings and on weekends.
If you require medical care and need to see a physician, please see the local program director who will direct you to appropriate care. If have an emergency or have been in an accident, the best place to go is the A & E (Accident and Emergency Department) at Georgetown Public Hospital, where the physicians have received formal training in emergency medicine.
Please take into consideration that Guyana is hot and humid. The average maximum daily temperature is 32°C. While working in the medical clinics and hospital, it is appropriate to wear scrubs (please bring these from Canada) and comfortable close-toed shoes or medical business attire equivalent to that you would wear in a professional setting in Canada. Men usually wear pants and a collared shirt +/- tie, for work and a tie and jacket if invited to a more formal event, such as a lecture or dinner. Woman should wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees when in the hospital, clinic or a government building. Guyana is considered part of the Caribbean, and it is acceptable to wear shorts, tank-tops, sandals and dresses that expose the shoulders and knees in non-medical, non-governmental settings.
Guyana uses Guyanese dollars. Please check the exchange rate before you leave. You should have enough cash to pay Immigration and possibly the taxi fare, you can then withdraw cash using your bank card once in Georgetown. There are Scotia banks in Guyana that are compatible with Canadian bank cards. You can request that your taxi driver stops at a Scotiabank on your way into Georgetown so you can withdraw money. You will need $4000 Guyanese dollars or $25 CAD in cash at the airport for the Airport Departure Tax. Please note there are no ATMs at the airport, and they do not accept credit cards, so you will need cash.
If you are on a budget, the cheapest places to buy groceries are in the local markets; you have complete cooking facilities at Project Dawn. There are also several grocery stores with prices equivalent to or greater than in Canada, depending on the item. Restaurants range, but are generally less than or equivalent to Canadian prices. It is good to take small snacks to work, or pack a lunch, as there may not be time during the day to take a formal lunch break, travel to a restaurant, place an order and eat.
With the uOttawa –uGuyana Family Medicine Partnership, it is hoped you will have had the opportunity during residency to:
Work with the Guyanese family medicine residents, both virtually in teaching sessions and in person when they do their Canadian rotations;
Care for and think about caring for patients in low income, less resourced health settings both in the Canadian and Guyanese context; and,
Experience another health system first hand.
We hope that there will be some familiar faces with whom you have worked with before; Guyanese and Canadian faculty to assist you in an environment that is welcoming and familiar during your elective rotations. The uOttawa –uGuyana Family Medicine Partnership look forward to having your contributions and help building the training program and the primary care clinics in Guyana.
What to expect during your elective
During your four week elective, you will spend the majority of your time at Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation Community Clinics where you will see a relatively high volume of patients, seeing cases from newborn infants, to pediatric and adult including elderly populations. Common clinic visits may consist of a variety of acute conditions (acute coronary syndrome to URI’s and UTI’s) to chronic issues ( hypertension, diabetes, HIV and arthritis) as well as infectious disease (TB, malaria and chikungunya) to poverty related diseases , including pediatric under-nutrition and abuse. You will be involved in some community outreach, which may include home visits, school visits, or public health prevention and promotion projects.
You will participate in the residents’ teaching sessions and academic day, and be responsible for the delivery of a weekly lecture or teaching session while in Guyana. You can discuss the learning needs with Guyanese program director Dr. Ruth Derkenne (email@example.com) and Ottawa-Guyana Co-Lead Dr. Jay Mercer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and prepare your materials in advance if you like.
There are opportunities to do scholarly work in Guyana, and/or base your scholarly project on work that you do while in Guyana. We encourage you to do this. It is possible to start your work in PGY1, and complete your elective in PGY2, so planning ahead is encouraged . Please discuss this in advance with the program directors Dr. Mercer and Dr. Derkenne. Smaller projects are also feasible while in Guyana.
In addition to gaining experience in core family medicine competencies, you will also gain exposure to areas in tropical medicine, managing patients in a low resource setting, community health promotion and advocacy.
Completing a pre-departure session with the uOttawa Global Health Office
The Office of Global Health provides a training session three times a year in order to prepare students and residents going abroad and engaging in international electives/placements. The training is a one-shot deal (only need to attend once during your undergrad or postgrad training).
The sessions will all be held from 9am-4pm in RGN 2113. There is a great line up of presenters. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Please mark your calendars for this course and register through the office of global health by clicking on the link of the date you chose.
While in Guyana, you will be evaluated by local Guyanese faculty and visiting Canadian faculty using the uOttawa field note system. Your final evaluation (ITER) will be completed by the Guyanese program director, the Canadian Guyana program director, or the Global Health Director.