College of Medicine
From the Dean of Postgraduate Studies and Research
Greetings. I am writing to you all to present an update on several key activities at the College and also highlight the outlook for the next months in the Postgraduate Office.
Medical Internships for Medical Doctors
As you may know, the Dean’s Office coordinates, in liaison with the Ministry of Health, the
Internship Programme for medical doctors. From December 2012, the Medical Council of
Malawi decided that the 18 months internship programme for medical doctors will comprise: 5 months each or Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynaecology and four months each of Medicine and Pediatrics and Child Health. The most notable change is that the two months District Health Management Attachment will not be required for registration as a medical doctor in Malawi. It is important to note that the length of the internship has not changed and that all intern doctors who were interns before the decision was made by Council will complete the two months district attachment for them to be fully registered as doctors.
Ongoing Specialist Training Programmes for Medical Doctors
Our specialist training programmes are generally progressing well. We have the Master of
Medicine (MMED) programmes in General Surgery, Orthopaedics, Paediatrics and Child Health, Anesthesia, Internal Medicine and Ophthalmology. The MMED programmes in General Surgery, Orthopaedics and Ophthalmology are completed will the full training offered in country (may be except for Ophthalmology whose trainees still to Germany for an elective period). The programmes in Internal Medicine, Paediatrics and Child Health and Anesthesia are offered in Malawi but also including a period of between 12-18 months spent in South Africa often at the University of Witwatersrand and University of Cape Town.
Upcoming Specialist Training Programmes for Medical Doctors
The University of Malawi Senate and the Medical Council of Malawi had, several years ago, approved an MMED Curriculum of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (specialist training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology).
Although the College was preparing trainees to sit for Part 1 examinations for the relevant specialist college of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in South Africa, we did not implement our own programme. The experience of preparing trainees for South Africa, and 2 changing human resources’ environment in-country and mobilization of other resources has necessitated that the College here starts the MMED Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the University of Malawi.
I am pleased to report that Senate of the University Of Malawi has approved curricula for MMED in Accidents and Emergency as well as Renal Medicine. The structure of the programmes will be such that we will continue to have trainees rotate in South Africa for periods of between 12 and 18 months. As our health system continues to improve, the training periods abroad will be reduced accordingly. Our trainees and faculty continue to suggest that the period spent in South Africa is valuable.
The College is in the process of finalizing an MMED Curriculum in Family Medicine. Works on the curriculum has straddled the Departments of Medicine and Community Health. It is planned that approval of this curriculum will be attained before the end of the year. The support of ITECH (United States Private Org) is recognized.
You may want to know that several years ago, both the University of Malawi Senate and the Medical Council of Malawi approved a curriculum for an MMED in Public Health. Interest in this programme continues.
The Department of Community Health in the Faculty of Medicine is working to create two new masters programmes: Master of Science in Epidemiology and Master of Science in
Occupational Health and Safety. While the Epidemiology curriculum is in its early stages, a draft curriculum in Occupational Health and Safety is at advanced stage.
Milestone in Anesthesia Specialist Training
The University has approved the examinations results of Part 2 MMED in Anesthesia. This means that the College has made history this year for having the first ever MMED specialist in Anesthesia (Dr Felix Namboya) to be trained in the country. Other trainees are following his footsteps with another MMED Part 2 schedule later in the year.
Advertisement for Specialist Training Programme, MPhil/PhD and the Master of Public Health
An advert to recruit new students in the MMED programmes and Master of Public Health (MPH) programmes is coming out in the newspapers and on the College website soon. There are scholarships/sponsorships in General Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The MPH programme continues to be a well-sought after programme.
Senate of the University of Malawi has approved the regulations for MPhil Programmes (by research only) at the College of Medicine. This means that from now on, the CoM can enroll students for a diverse list of MPhil specializations. This is a vote of confidence to faculty and the College that it can expand its repertoire of graduate programmes.
Modification of the MPH Programme Regulations
Senate has approved the modification of the MPH programme regulations in that students on the MPH programme can graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health if they meet the requirements for coursework but do not proceed to do the dissertation or thesis. Such students may be admitted back to complete their MPH after one year has passed from the award of their Postgraduate Diploma.
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