Foreign-trained medical graduates attend refresher course

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Alvine Kapitako

Windhoek-Sixty-seven medical graduates and interns who were trained abroad on Saturday participated in a refresher course designed to introduce them to medical conditions common in Namibia.

The refresher course, the brainchild of the Namibia Medical Society (NMS), was aimed at assisting the medical graduates with the upcoming Health Professions Council of Namibia examination – to prepare them for internship in the country.

Last year, a number of medical graduates failed the examination, prompting NMS to prepare foreign-trained medical doctors for the examination, which is scheduled for January 26.
Namibian-trained doctors are exempted from this examination, explained NMS board member Dr Ruben Kanime.

“It became our concern that half of the doctors failed,” said Kanime. NMS was thus compelled to assist medical graduates to prepare them for work in Namibia.

The chairperson of the NMS, Dr Akutu Munyika, told the medical graduates, during the opening of the refresher course, that the objective was to highlight important and common medical conditions in the country.
“We have all trained at different institutions in different countries. Some countries might have focused on just a little bit of HIV. In Africa HIV is very big, so if you go into an exam, or you are in internship, and you can’t say anything about HIV, you will fail because that is what we deal with,” said Munyika.

Munyika stressed: “These are things that we see on a day-to-day basis, common surgical conditions than we cannot pass. For example, if you are asked anything in surgery and you can’t say anything about diabetic foot?”
The main areas of focus were obstetrics and gynaecology, general surgery, internal medicine and paediatrics – and specialists in these fields were facilitators during the one-day course. The refresher course was also aimed at networking, Munyika told the medical graduates.

“It’s very important that you know who is who. We want you to get ready for internship. This is not just for you to pass your assessment. You will be put to the test. You will be put on an even greater test during your internship – not just knowledge-wise but also resilience, and we want you to get ready for that,” he emphasised.
Munyika also asked the medical students to work hard and think widely on the various options available to them for specialisation.

NMS was established with the aim to unite all medical doctors in Namibia for a common goal, in both the public and private sectors – to be a true representative body of doctors and serve their interests.
“Anything that is affecting anyone – we have to channel it through this body, that’s how we can have an impact and make a difference out there,” Munyika told the graduates who were automatically signed up as NMS members for attending the course.

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