In Practice

Training South African clinician-scientists: Lessons from the University of Cape Town’s intercalated programme

R J Burman, T J de Wet, M Amoni, K M Düsterwald, D M Favara, M Setshedi, C L Rametse, A A Katz

Abstract


In 2011, the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (SA), established the Clinician-Scientist Training Programme (UCTCSTP), consisting of intercalated BMedSci Hons/MB ChB and integrated MB ChB/MSc/PhD tracks. We report and reflect on the programme’s performance and challenges. The UCTCSTP has so far enrolled 71 students: 51 have received BMedSci Hons degrees and 4 have received Master’s degrees, while there are 14 BMedSci Hons, 4 MSc and 4 PhD candidates. Graduates have produced significant research outputs, and many remain actively engaged in research. The UCTCSTP has been successful in encouraging a cohort of future clinician-scientists, but should aim to broaden and improve its appeal to address the need to transform and grow the SA clinical academic workforce. As graduates progress with their postgraduate clinical training, they require institutional support and guidance, which may necessitate policy reform.


Authors' affiliations

R J Burman, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, UK

T J de Wet, MRC/NHLS/UCT Molecular Mycobacteriology Research Unit, Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology and Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

M Amoni, Department of Cardiology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

K M Düsterwald, Port Elizabeth Hospital Complex, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

D M Favara, Department of Medical Oncology, The Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK

M Setshedi, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, South Africa

C L Rametse, Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology and Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

A A Katz, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences and Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Clinician-scientists; Medical education; Policy

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2019;109(12):914-918. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i12.14175

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-11-27
Date published: 2019-11-27

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