The College of Medicine (CoM) was established in 1991 as a constituent college within the University of Malawi (UNIMA). It is the only medical school in Malawi. The CoM has gradually grown from a program with an intake of 10-15 students per year and a handful of Malawian faculty, to a program with a medical student intake of on average 60 per year with 110 faculty members, of whom approximately 67% are Malawians. To date the college has graduated over 250 medical doctors. The CoM recently commenced undergraduate courses in Pharmacy and Medical Laboratory Technology in 2006.
The CoM introduced postgraduate degree programmes which include the Masters of Public Health (MPH) in the Division of Community Health in 2003, a 2-year MPH programme, which is taught by CoM faculty members in collaboration with staff from local, regional and international institutions. The CoM also has a Masters of Medicine (MMed) in the Division of Clinical Sciences. The 4-year MMed programme which was launched in 2005 is partly taught in Malawi and South Africa. The college will, starting from 2010 run a joint PhD program which will be held jointly by the College of Medicine and other institutions.
The CoM has had several academic achievements. The College of Medicine has been awarded several international prizes for its innovative undergraduate teaching programme. The Department of Community Health received the Association of African Universities’ Prize in 1994 for the introduction of a community-based Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) assessment for final MBBS exams. In 1998, 1999 and 2000 students have won 1st or 2nd prizes in the Tropical Health Education Trust/Reuter Prize for the best student research projects. A 1999 final year student won the first prize for the best student research project from the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, London.
The academic principles of the College of Medicine are that:-
To be a public university committed to enhancing the health of the nation.
“To be an academic centre of excellence in the training of doctors and other health professionals, in clinical service and medical research responsive to the health needs of Malawi and its neighbours in the southern African region.”
The College of Medicine recognizes three core tasks: teaching and training, research and service delivery: