The Pacific Dermatology Training Centre was opened in 2019 by Fiji’s Minister for Health and Medical Services, the Honorable Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.
In 2019, the first four students enrolled – from Fiji, Kiribati and Samoa, and completed the postgraduate Diploma in Dermatology at the Pacific Dermatology Training Centre at Tamavua Twomey Hospital in Suva, Fiji.
The global pandemic disrupted delivery of education but we continued teaching via online video conferencing in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The videoconference teaching supplemented teaching in the clinics by Dr Tuicakau, with support from overseas dermatologists.
Three doctors commenced the Diploma in 2020 but the two Fijian students had to withdraw to fulfil local duties related to managing the COVID19 pandemic. One student from Papua New Guinea completed her first semester in Fiji and completed her second semester in Papua New Guinea with local dermatologist supervision. Two doctors completed the Diploma of Dermatology in 2021, one from Fiji and one from the Solomon Islands.
In 2022 four Diploma graduates undertook the second year of the Masters program, with the one year Diploma course doubling as the first year of the Masters degree. A fifth Fijian doctor completed the Diploma of Dermatology in 2022.