First Caymanian doctor hired at Health City

| 05/09/2014 | 5 Comments
CNS Business

Dr Irka Lashany Ebanks

(CNS Business): A former head girl at John Gray High School is the first Caymanian physician to work at Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI). The private hospital which, it is hoped, will launch medical tourism as the third leg of the Cayman economy, opened its doors in February this year and Dr Irka Lashany Ebanks from West Bay started work there 1 September, after finishing her internship in Jamaica last June.

Having been away for five years taking her medical degree at the University of the West Indies, Dr Ebanks said she missed home and wanted to come back for a while. “I’m not 100% sure what I want to specialize in and wanted to get my feet wet in Cayman and see what area called me, see what I liked the most,” she explained.

Although there were no positions with the government Health Services Authority, she said they recommended her for a position at HCCI and liaised with the private hospital’s administrators on her behalf.

“It’s a gorgeous facility,” she said of the hospital in East End, noting the forward thinking integration of information technology. “We need a facility like this. The whole world is moving forward, so why not us?” she asked rhetorically. “It’s a privilege to work here and, as the first Caymanian physician, I feel there are great expectations from me.”

However, she said that she plans to leave Cayman again after a couple of years, once she has decided on what area of medicine she wants to specialize in. In the meantime, she intends to get as much training as she can here in the Cayman Islands at the Health City, where she is working as a senior house officer with the specialist doctors there, currently working alongside cardiologist Dr Ravi Kishore.

Educated at West Bay Primary, George Hicks Middle School and then John Gray, where she was top student in a wide variety of areas, from art to accounts to science, she decided to be a doctor while still at high school following a presentation in the school library by representatives from UWI.

Dr Ebanks spent two years at University College of the Cayman Islands, where she received her associate degree in natural science. She spent the first four years of medical school at UWI at Monda Campus in Kingston, Jamaica, but moved to the university’s campus in Nassau, Bahamas, for her final year.

Back in Jamaica to do her internship, she worked at the three hospitals in the Kingston region: the Kingston Public Hospital, Victoria Jubilee Hospital for Women’s Health and Bustamente Hospital for Children.

Dr Ebanks is, at least for now, back in West Bay, where her parents and her younger brother, Andrew, are still living. Her older sister, Elkie Rose, who was recently called to the Cayman Bar, now lives in Bodden Town.

She said she came from humble beginnings in West Bay but her parents, Joseph William Ebanks and Delma Ebanks, pushed their children to study hard at school and made many sacrifices for them. Her father always wanted to be a doctor, she said, and now he is “beyond proud” at her accomplishments.

Some of the teachers made a big impact on her at school but she credited her achievements more on her parent’s support and her determination to succeed.

“I wanted to do well,” she said. “I’d like to see more young Caymanians think outside the box and study many different things and not allow Cayman to limit them; it’s not just about being a lawyer or a doctor,” she added.

Read more about Health City Cayman Islands

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Category: Local Business, Medical Tourism, Tourism

Comments (5)

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  1. CaymansList says:

    Wonderful news, what an excellent roll mode lshe will be hard working young Caymanians. Hopefully she will inspire young school leavers to pursue fields in the medical profession. The is so much opportunity there.

  2. anon says:

    With so many negative stories in the news about our young people, especially in West Bay, it’s easy to overlook those who study hard and are successful. Dr Ebanks is a bright and shining example of this and I want her to know how proud we all are of her. The few who disrupt our Island are not the majority. It does us all good to remember that.

  3. Proud Caymanian says:

    Congratulations! All the best in your career.

    • betterbelieveit says:

      Congratulations on your achievements to date may you continue to succeed in your endeavors and be blessed.
      The vast majority of West Bayer’s are hard working, honest productive citizens of this country, just like the rest of the people in the other districts. About 2-5% of our population are giving the good people of our Islands a black eye, and certain people use it to paint all of us lazy and make excuses to not hire those unemployed for selfish reasons.
      Our Cayman Islands is a Haven to many who despise us!!

      • Irka says:

        Thank you so much! All of your comments are so touching and motivating! Only just reading these on 14th Jan 2016…

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