A total of 21 students, who were transferred to partner universities in South Africa after the pre-medical programme at the University of Botswana (UB), have returned to Botswana as Medical doctors. These students are joined by four government sponsored interns.
According to a press statement, UB established mutually beneficial training arrangements with four universities in South Africa and two in Australia, where medical students were sent after part one of their science-based studies at the University. Amongst these doctors, eight graduated from the University of Cape Town, three from the University of Free State and five from both the University of Cape Town and the University of Pretoria.
These 21 doctors are currently undergoing a thorough one year internship programme before they can qualify as Medical Doctors. Of these student doctors, some are doing their internship at the Princess Marina Hospital while others are at Nyangabwe Referral Hospital in Francistown.
“During this internship programme, the student doctors will be exposed to the practical aspects of being a medical doctor covering areas such as pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and other critical areas,” said the Head of the Medical School, Dr. Major Bradshaw. These interns will be expected to attend workshops or lectures organized by the Faculty of Health Science and physicians in the Ministry of Health in both Gaborone and Francistown.
This is the second batch of medical doctors under the auspices of the UB pre-medical programme who have returned to Botswana as medical doctors, said the release. It added that the first group of 13 doctors came back to Botswana one year ago. They were then immediately dispatched to medical facilities in Botswana for an internship programme before they could register as doctors. “All the 13 doctors are currently working as Medical Officers in referral hospitals,” says the release.
Botswana has now established its own Medical School which will supervise medical students until they qualify as Medical Doctors. Thirty-six of the students who enter the Pre-medical programme in August this year will be the first class to graduate from UB in 2014.
“From August 2008, the University of Botswana under the School of Medicine will enroll 60 Pre-medical students. Out of these students, 36 will remain at UB for their medical education while the rest will be transferred to partner schools as in the past,” said Dr Bradshaw.
Dr Bradshaw said that currently, the faculty of Health Science building is under construction and plans for the new Academic Hospital are well underway. With the introduction of the Medical School of the University of Botswana, Dr, Bradshaw announced that the Government will gradually send fewer students to pursue their medical programmes outside the country.