Professor Howard Spencer graduated from the University of the West Indies, Mona, with a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) in 1969. He obtained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 1973. In 1984, he was elected as Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Professor Spencer also holds a Masters’ in Public Health Degree, from the University of the West Indies.
In 1980, he was appointed senior lecturer in Cardiothoracic Surgery, at the University of the West Indies. During this time, he was a consultant in Cardiothoracic surgery, both at the University Hospital of the West Indies and National Chest Hospital, Mona, Jamaica. He was received Professor Emeritus of Cardiothoracic Surgery, from the University of the West Indies, after many years of service to Jamaica and the Caribbean.
In 2001, Professor Spencer was seconded to the UWI Clinical teaching programme in the Bahamas, where he was the Director. This he continued until 2007, with the transfer of the administration of the programme from the St. Augustine Campus to the Mona Campus. He was later appointed as Dean of the School for Clinical Medicine and Research, in the Bahamas. From 2007 to 2009, he was the coordinator of the UWI programmes in the Bahamas, with the responsibility of giving oversight to the Centre for Hospitality and Tourism Management (CHTM), and acted as Head of the Open Campus, Bahamas.
As a mark of recognition for service given in the field of cardio surgery in Jamaica and the Caribbean, he was awarded the National Honour, Order of Distinction, Commander Class in 2001, and the Silver Musgrave Medal in 2007 by the Institute of Jamaica among many other awards. In 2012, he was appointed and accepted by the Council of the University of the West Indies, as Professor Emeritus of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Department of Surgery, Radiology, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, UWI.
Professor Spencer was also appointed as registrar of the Medical Council of Jamaica and the Caribbean Association of Medical Councils, in March 2011.