Making Progress in Postgraduate Medical Education

Author(s): Rich Bregazzi

Dean of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of South Sudan, and of Postgraduate Medical Education

Making Progress in Postgraduate Medical Education

As the new College of Physicians and Surgeons of South Sudan (CPSSS) continues to develop, links between the UK and the College have been further strengthened.

            Following an application to the Gordon Memorial College Trust Fund, which promotes educational development in South Sudan, trustees of the fund have agreed to finance two six week visits to the UK by CPSSS staff. The visits will take place later this year, and will help staff gain insight into postgraduate medical education, while enhancing their clinical practice. Most of their time will be spent in a UK hospital, but they will also be able to attend regional courses in medical education, courtesy of Wessex Deanery. The visit will be organised in the UK by the St Mary’s Hospital-Juba Link, a charity that is well known in Juba Teaching Hospital (JTH) for its many years of support.

            On their return to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, staff will continue to develop postgraduate medical education programmes, and be able to liaise with contacts in the UK in order to develop and implement e-learning.

            The College, based at the Postgraduate Medical Education Centre in JTH, has made significant progress over the last six months. Thirty six graduate doctors from Juba University have registered with the College, and been deployed into hospitals to begin their postgraduate medical training. Undergraduates, based at JTH for their clinical training, already use the Centre facilities for teaching, and to access its reference library. Since November, we have hosted two teams of visiting clinical trainers from the UK (see Figure 1), and we are expecting more before the end of the year. Meanwhile, we have agreed to host a UNFPA funded project to train Associate Clinicians in a range of medical procedures, focused upon improving infant and maternal mortality.

Figure 1. Paediatricians from the UK training at the PGME Centre (credit Rich Bregazzi)

Figure 2. Surgeons from Juba Teaching Hospital training at the PGME Centre (credit Rich Bregazzi)

The development of postgraduate medical education, and the establishment of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, has been led by the Ministry of Health, and fully supported by colleagues in Juba Teaching Hospital, Juba University (see Figure 2), and by a network of colleagues in the UK. Our next steps are clear: to firmly establish our Basic Medical Training programme; to develop our internet capacity and implement e-learning, reaching out regionally and to our UK network for educational support; and to begin to develop specialty training programmes.

            No one at the College underestimates the challenge of achieving our aims in such uncertain times. However, the goal of postgraduate medical education is compelling. We intend to continue, step by step, until we achieve this goal, and in so doing, contribute to increasing the capacity of South Sudan to deliver healthcare to its people.

            If you would like more information, or wish to offer help and support to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of South Sudan, please contact Rich Bregazzi at [email protected].