Excellent Attendance at Master of Medicine Orientation

More than 112 potential registrars in the School of Clinical Medicine, the School of Laboratory Medicine and the School of Nursing and Public Health attended the College of Health Sciences’ (CHS) Master of Medicine (MMed) orientation function sponsored by Investec.

The event brought together key role players, including the Department of Health (DoH) and UKZN’s Student Support Services.

The 2020 UKZN registrar intake included 13 international students from the United Arab Emirates, Namibia and Mauritius.

The aims of the event were to familiarise registrars about UKZN rules and requirements for the MMed postgraduate qualification, introduce them to the postgraduate team and their colleagues from other Schools and Disciplines, and make them aware of the importance of personal wellness and self-care on the academic journey.

‘Most of you in the room have game changing abilities, choosing to follow your ambitions and dreams of becoming a specialist,’ said Dean and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine, Professor Ncoza Dlova. ‘I have no doubt that in four years’ time you will all become specialists in your chosen fields. We will remain accessible to support you and create a conducive environment in which you can flourish – any department which strays from this vision should be reported without fear of victimisation.’

‘Most of you in the room have game changing abilities, choosing to follow your ambitions and dreams of becoming a specialist, I have no doubt that in four years’ time you will all become specialists in your chosen fields. Our job as UKZN is to support you and create a conducive environment in which you can excel while also promoting your wellbeing,’ said UKZN’s Academic Leader of the College’s Registrar Training Programme and event co-ordinator Dr Suvira Ramlall.

Ramlall, highlighted the need for personal self-care for medical doctors and the importance of developing holistically – both professionally and personally – due to the demands of studying while working full time. She warned that burnout, depression, stress and suicide were common among young doctors, urging participants to develop resilience by paying attention to their own physical and emotional health, leading healthy lifestyles and drawing strength from social and family support networks. ‘The unacceptably high levels of mental distress among doctors, especially young doctors, is a matter of global concern since our healthcare service depends on doctors who themselves need to keep healthy.’

Said Acting Dean of Research in the College of Health Sciences, Professor Anil Chuturgoon: ‘Ensure you use all the resources at your disposal to your benefit. I cannot stress enough the issue of developing good relations with supervisors and fellow registrars. And seek all the help you can get – that is your responsibility.’

Proceedings at the event focused on UKZN administrative and research requirements, student support services, DoH rules about leave and employee responsibilities as well as financial “health”. Financial difficulties are often a source of distress among students and required proactive and sound financial planning. The need for addressing the unique needs of supernumerary registrars was flagged for further attention by DoH and UKZN. Given the high demand for specialist training posts, registrars were encouraged to value the privilege of being accepted into the programme and to work hard to ensure their success.

Words and photograph: Lihle Sosibo