Date of Birth: 19th Mar 1936
CLERKSHIP: a course of clinical medical training in specialties such as paediatrics, internal medicine, or psychiatry
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus): a retrovirus spread between sexual partners, by infected needles, and from pregnant mothers to their unborn children. It breaks down the body’s defences and later causes AIDS. There are various strains of HIV, for example HIV-1, which is more easily transmitted than HIV-2.
MEDICAL ETHICS: the study of the rights and duties of doctors and patients, and everyone involved in or affected by this relationship
PROFESSOR EMERITUS: an honorary position given to a distinguished retired professor who continues to teach
Errol Walrond’s father, Arthur, served in World War II in the Barbados Second Contingent of the RAF alongside Errol Walton Barrow, who later became Barbados’ first Prime Minister. Sadly his dad was killed in combat. In 2008, a stamp was released to commemorate the Contingent.
Caribbean Icons in STI Volume 2
Professor Emeritus Errol Walrond began his medical career when there were few trained surgeons in Barbados. He practised general, chest and heart surgery and spent 45 years contributing to the progress of medicine in Barbados, writing over 100 publications on medical research, health policies and services, and medical ethics.
Errol Walrond, fondly known as Mickey, was born in Bridgetown, Barbados on 19th March, 1936. He attended Wesley Hall Primary School and Harrison College where he earned a Barbados Scholarship, with which he entered Guy’s Hospital Medical School in England. In his final year, the funding was cut. He had successfully completed his Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Anatomy by that time, so he supported himself by working while studying. He completed his medical degree in 1961 and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1964.
Dr Walrond returned to Barbados in 1965 as a Senior Surgical Registrar at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and became a lecturer at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica in 1968. He returned to Barbados in 1974 and became a professor in 1977. Over a period of 25 years, he served as Vice Dean and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at UWI, Cave Hill, Barbados. He expanded and improved the Faculty programmes. He extended the clerkship programme, allowing the entry of students from other UWI campuses into the programme, and providing more alternatives for students choosing elective courses. Graduates were also given more options for residency training in the hospitals and the Cave Hill Campus became the only UWI campus that trained doctors in emergency medicine for many years.
Professor Walrond was the first Chairman of the National Advisory Committee on AIDS in Barbados and served from 1987 to 1994. During this time, an HIV/AIDS information centre, a telephone hotline and an HIV/AIDS management team were established. His strategy to combat the spread of the virus used television, newspapers and radio to educate the public about the spread and impact of the disease.
In 2001, Professor Walrond retired and was given the title of Professor Emeritus. He became the Founding President of the Caribbean College of Surgeons, which seeks to set standards for surgeons in the practice of surgery and surgical education. In 2004, he served as the Chairman of the newly formed Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and the Other Health Professions. In 2005, he released a book entitled Ethical Practice in Everyday Health Care.
He advises students to, “Make the best of what you have. It is you who make the place you live what you want it to be. Never let problems overwhelm you.”