Date of Birth: 18th Aug 1953
ANAESTHESIA: the loss of physical feeling brought about by drugs called anaesthetics, which cause unconsciousness or remove pain
ANAESTHETIC INTUBATION: the use of a tube inserted into the nose or throat to deliver anaesthetic drugs into the body
ANAESTHESIOLOGY: the medical specialty which monitors a patient’s vital signs during surgery and uses special equipment and drugs to keep the patient from feeling pain
ETHICS: the formal study of how people should or should not behave or think
TELE-MEDICINE: the use of communications technology in medicine, usually for consultation
As a youth, Glen Beneby was an excellent athlete. He only applied himself to his studies after an injury removed him from competition for three years. When he returned to the field, he had mastered both the track and the classroom. This was a turning point in his life.
Caribbean Icons in STI Volume 2
Dr Glen Beneby worked tirelessly to advance the practice of anaesthesiology at the Princess Margaret Hospital and to improve medicine in The Bahamas. He is a greatly respected medical professional and public speaker.
Glen Samuel Beneby was born on 18th August, 1953 in Nassau, The Bahamas. He had a happy childhood, growing up in a home where love and discipline were given equal emphasis. He attended Sands Government Primary School and Eastern Junior School before winning a government scholarship to the Bahamas Government High School where he eventually became the Head Boy. He then studied medicine at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica, graduating in 1978. He interned at the Princess Margaret Hospital for a year before joining the Department of Medicine. In 1981, he furthered his studies at the University of Sheffield, England, emerging in 1984 as the first Bahamian Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, London.
In 1985, when a UWI-associated postgraduate programme in anaesthesia was established at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Dr Beneby was appointed Associate Lecturer in Anaesthesia. He became Head of the Department of Anaesthesia at the hospital in 1986, establishing a Respiratory Maintenance Division in 1987 and a Reference Library in 1988. The Department currently runs the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
In 1989, Dr Beneby invented an anaesthetic mouthguard to protect the upper teeth from harm arising from anaesthetic intubation during surgery. In 1990, he became a founding member of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas Academy of Medical Sciences and served the Princess Margaret Hospital as its Medical Staff Coordinator. In 1996, he helped to form Physicians Alliance Limited. This partnership brought together the knowledge of private doctors and the healthcare resources of the government, benefiting doctors and patients alike.
In 1998, Dr Beneby was appointed Chairman of the Ethics Committee for the review of the American National Institutes of Health AIDS research in The Bahamas. In 2000, he represented the Caribbean at the World Congress in Anaesthesiology in Montreal, Canada.
In 2003, he headed the team responsible for developing tele-medicine in The Bahamas and, in 2004, he led the team that reported on damage caused to the nation’s health services by Hurricane Frances. In 2006, he helped found the UWI Medical School Research Committee based in The Bahamas.
In the epilogue of his 1995 book, A Model for Developing Anaesthesia Services in Developing Countries, Dr Beneby reminds his readers of their potential, writing, “You are gifted, you are unique…, your talent is unique, only you can make your contribution to your profession. Be positive… focussed and make the difference.”