Dr. Michael Beecher, a respected Gynecologist in St. Catherine parish, Jamaica, has dedicated nearly four decades of his career to women’s health.
Initially contemplating a career in engineering, he soon realized that his true calling lay in medicine. “I found that I had a passion for learning and wanted to help others, and I decided to focus my studies on obstetrics and gynecology.” He graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1981.
Today, Dr. Beecher owns and operates Linstead Gynaecare & Ultrasound, a practice that combines his expertise in gynecology with on-site ultrasound services. “I only had rudimentary training in ultrasound sonography during my residency – no formal training,” he admits. His training covered obstetric ultrasounds, but not the wider scope of abdominal ultrasound. One of the challenges he faced early on was presented by gynecology patients requiring specialized ultrasound procedures beyond the capabilities of his clinic. Particularly in urgent scenarios involving ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages, this lag in obtaining ultrasounds led to prolonged anxiety and inconvenience for his patients.
It wasn’t until 2015 that Dr. Beecher discovered Michener’s Advanced Diploma in Ultrasound program – Caribbean.
“I stumbled upon the Michener program quite by accident,” he reveals. After encountering a fellow professional who received ultrasound training in Jamaica, he went online to research the Michener program further and enrolled in 2015. The program offered combined online didactic modules with hands-on lab experience in Jamaica.
He says the program transformed his practice by enhancing his ultrasound proficiency and providing him with a broader skillset. “The Michener program opened my eyes to abdominal ultrasound – a whole new category. Before, I would look at all the internal aspects and shapes/structures and had no idea what they meant.”
Dr. Beecher’s Michener education elevated his status as one of Jamaica’s few OB/GYNs with formal training in abdominal and pelvic ultrasounds. He emphasizes that this training has allowed him to better serve his patients. “The program curriculum and the excellent instructors like Sheena Bhimji Hewitt, really helped to expand my skills and scope. I am now able to do more for my patients because I am better equipped and knowledgeable.
“Being a gynecologist, having this ultrasound education is a value-added component of my profession,” he says. Out of the approximately 20 patients he sees daily, 15 require some form of ultrasound. To him, ultrasound is an indispensable tool that enhances diagnostics and overall patient care in his office.
Looking forward, Dr. Beecher is focused on pursuing further specialization in ultrasound sonography by undertaking the ARDMS exam. He passionately compares ultrasound’s role in his profession to the use of a stethoscope by a cardiologist, underlining its essential nature. “I find it would be very challenging in modern gynecology not to have training or equipment in ultrasound care,” he concludes.
When asked about the Michener program, Dr. Beecher’s endorsement is resounding: “The Michener Advanced Diploma in Ultrasound program recommends itself! I can’t think of another international program that has done more and lived up to its expectations than Michener has done.”
The Michener program has graduated many successful sonographers in the Caribbean, and it will expand to Pakistan and South Asia in Fall 2024.