Directors Message

Message from the Director
Dr. Robin Roberts

HOLISTIC CARE: Integrating Mental, Social and Physical Health

Holistic Care, treating the whole person, humanizes the paradigm shift from the practice of medicine based on the traditional biomedical model to a biopsychosocial one. Joycelyn Elders, former US Surgeon General puts it plainly: “Health is more than the absence of disease. Health is about jobs and employment, education, the environment, and all of those things that go into making us healthy.”

It encompasses all the dimensions of healthcare: From the undergraduate medical school curriculum to subspecialist care and the expensive tertiary care needs to the imperative to address the complexities of the Social Determinants of health to community-based prevention initiatives. It is recognition that despite all the technological and pharmaceutical advances in healthcare, it’s the quality of life and self-actualization that makes life worth living. Holistic care remains patient centered and makes the clarion call that the life worth having is the life worth living.

The variety of presentations at this year’s Research Day reflects this holistic theme. Our Royal Bank of Canada Lecturer Dr. Henri Ford, the new Dean of the University of Miami, Miller Faculty of Medicine sets the tone: How do you restore a country after being hit by a series of natural disasters to become a population of healthy communities and for every resident to become productive and purposeful? It’s about commitment, innovation and political savvy; so too are the contributions of our list of faculty presenters – national, regional and international, reflecting all the medical disciplines.

It is fundamental that research underpins this process of restoring, maintaining and promoting good health. Monitoring the processes and measuring the outcomes lend to improving the patient experience, bettering the population health and ensures the best value for monies spent. Prof Freddie Heckling’s pioneering research to advancing mental health in the Caribbean exemplifies this. A special mention of welcome to all our psychiatric colleagues who have embraced this opportunity to showcase their research and the role of Mental Health in holistic care.

We welcome all our presenters, both regionally and internationally and look forward to two days of collaboration and integration of the mental, social and physical disciplines in the delivery of health care.


Dr Robin Roberts Director