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CoM Profile

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:-

  • medical training, be community and public health based in order to reflect the health needs of Malawi;
  • that learning should be “problem based” to foster an attitude of enquiry;
  • that research should be directed to the medical challenges and diseases specific to Malawi;
  • that as far as possible the undergraduate curriculum should be integrated both horizontally in the basic medical science disciplines as well as vertically in the clinical disciplines.
  • The college is committed to a policy of gender equality.

Vision

To be a public university committed to enhancing the health of the nation.

Mission

“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:

  • Teaching and training is a core task of the College and should be of the highest possible quality, following international developments, both in terms of content and in terms of teaching methodology. The College of Medicine wants to offer its students an enabling environment for their professional and personal development. It is in the process of reviewing and reforming its curriculum.
  • Research in the College directly and indirectly influences the health debate, policies and decisions in the country for the benefit of the people of Malawi. This research is closely linked to the teaching and service delivery activities within the College.
  • The quality of its research reflects directly on the College of Medicine’s national and international standing.
  • Service delivery is one of the College of Medicine’s tasks where it concerns delivery of clinical services in the teaching hospitals or provision of services that no other institution in Malawi can provide, i.e certain laboratory and consultancy services. In some instances, service delivery is done as part of research projects.