‘Father’ of obstetrics and gynaecology in Jamaica

Hugh Wynter

Jamaican medical doctor and professor, Hugh Wynter is one of the leading medical personnel responsible for the development of obstetrics and gynaecology (ob/gyn) and the medical fraternity of Jamaica. Born in Spanish Town, St Catherine, he attended Wolmer’s Boys’ School, studying the sciences in order to embark on his professional journey in medicine.

In 1958, Wynter received his medical degree at the University College of the West Indies (UCWI), now the University of the West Indies (UWI). Specialising in ob/gyn at UCWI, he travelled to London to advance his studies at the Hammersmith Hospital and progressed to be the senior house officer and registrar; he also held these roles at UCWI.

He returned to Jamaica to commence his professional career as a lecturer at UWI in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and, in 1974, he became a professor. He was actively involved as a founder of the West Indian Section at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and functioned as the head of the department for more than 10 years.

His research significantly developed medical education in Jamaica. His work at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UWI spanned from the 1960s to the 1970s. He started out as a lecturer and proceeded to become a consultant. He was elevated to senior consultant, then to become the head of the department and ultimately, he was professor of ob/gyn.

He spent his professional life, and continued even after retirement, in institutionalising special training programmes geared towards the development of ob/gyn. He additionally aided in developing assisted reproductive technologies in Jamaica, the second country in the region to execute this. He helped lower the rate of death in infancy. His dedication led to the establishment of the Advanced Training and Research in Fertility Management Unit at UWI, which focuses on research, training, outreach and clinical services. In his honour, the name of the clinic was changed to the Hugh Wynter Fertility Manage-ment Unit.

 
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