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War of words over ‘doctored’ medical certificate

…Sylvia Blyden versus Cutis Thomas

April 18, 2016 By Casper Hsu and AL Mansaray

The newly appointed Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs Minister has responded to claims that her medical certification presented during her interview to the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments and Public Affairs was fake.

Sylvia Blyden spoke briefly to Concord Times at Parliament building – minutes after her approval as cabinet minister.

“There is no such question about that,” she says.

But in an earlier Facebook post after a parliamentary committee interview, Blyden elaborated and defended her scholastic credentials.

“If you look at my ECFMG certificate details, you will see I took an additional very difficult third exams known as the Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) exams. Very, very, very few foreign trained doctors can pass the United States CSA exams…,” she says.

Despite the uproar on her educational credentials, Blyden stated she was not asked a question relating to them during her questioning by the Appointments Committee members.

 “Before I end, let me rhetorically ask few questions: Was I questioned by the parliamentary committee on my academic certificates? Did I submit fake papers? Is my ECFMG Certificate a fake? The answer is No! No! No! to all the above. Bo, {ar pass dat bo…} I am much bigger than that guys and I guess you all know it,” she says.

Charles Curtis Thomas – a reported US medical doctor claiming to hold a similar medical certificate – questioned the authenticity of Blyden’s medical certificates on a recent Facebook post which Blyden responded directly to.

Thomas presented both Blyden’s certificate and his in a contrasting manner, highlighting what he referred to as discrepancies contained in the former’s credentials.

He says to ascertain the validity of Blyden’s certification: “yesterday, with my authentic ECFMG certificate in hand, plus the fraudulent ECFMG certificate from Sylvia Blyden, I drove to the ECFMG in Philadelphia for comparism and authentication.”

Thomas says the dotted colours on the two compared certificates lies the main differences from an authentic ECFMG certificate to a fraudulent one.

He said the red markings indicating the position of the issuing authority’s logo differs in both certificates – as it should be centre below not centre above, as contained in Blyden’s medical certificate.

Furthermore, Thomas pointed that the yellow dots indicating a blue validation sticker that comes originally with the certificate is conspicuously absent in Blyden’s.

“All ECFMG certificate, when first issued, always comes with a blue sticker that is expirable. Once you get into post graduate medical training, like I did, a second blue sticker is sent to the individual to affix on top of the previous sticker. This second sticker reads ‘indefinite’, meaning that the ECFMG certificate is for lifetime,” he explains.

Thomas concluded that the green colourings that contain two different signatures of the issuing authority was another deception contained in Blyden’s certificate.

“It was determined by the ECFMG authorities that Sylvia Blyden downloaded her certificate from the internet and then made alteration by inserting her name on it,” he concluded.

Concord Times cannot independently confirm these assertions as ECFMG was not available for comments by press time.

Blyden, however, in her postings, did not offer or counter Thomas’ graphic contrasts to the two certificates but rather wrote: “The U.S. Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) has provided an easy portal on their website to verify ECFMG certificates: (www.ecfmg.org/cvs/). Such verification does not include driving to Philadelphia from Maryland as I hear someone is claiming.”

ECFMG evaluates International Medical Graduate (IMG) readiness to enter residency or fellowship programmes in the United States, and defines an IMG as a physician who received his/her basic medical degree or qualification outside USA and Canada.

The ECFMG Certification, however, is used as an assessment mechanism to ensure that all international medical graduates in patient care situations have met minimum standards.

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