UPenn and UB Working on a Collaborative Project to Build Capacity for the Residency Programme in the Faulty of Medicine

GlenThe University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) has reaffirmed its commitment to continue collaborating with the University of Botswana to build capacity and improve the residency programme in internal medicine in the Faculty of Medicine.

Vice Dean and Director of the Centre for Global Health, Dr Glen Gaulton said the plan was to implement the programme over the next four years such that beginning this year, the process would entail planning and then building the programme over the next three years so that at the end it was wholly encompassed within Botswana.

He said this during a meeting with Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, at the University of Botswana this week.

Currently, medical students who go into the residency programme do their two years in Botswana and then complete the rest in South Africa. Dr Gaulton said that was because Princess Marina Referral Hospital did not have enough well-trained individuals in cardiovascular field. He regretted that such an arrangement was at a great expense to Botswana more so that some did not return to practice in the country.

“So, here we go, you got a great medical school, you train medical students, 15 percent of them go into your residency programmes and then they leave the country,” he lamented as Professor Norris, concurred that such was a huge drawback to Botswana.

However, this will soon change as Dr Gaulton said together with their partner institutions in the United States of America such as Harvard University, Rutgers University, Johns Hopkins University and Baylor College of Medicine will form a consortium and collaborate with the University of Botswana in the training of health specialists for treatment of organ disease in the country.

In addition, Dr Gaulton explain that another project was to build research capacity so that residency medical students were trained in identifying interesting clinical research problems and such will be done sequential in cardiology, oncology and other related conditions.Norris

Earlier on, Professor Norris had explained that collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania had contributed immensely to the improvement of research at the University of Botswana. As such, he said the collaboration with UPenn must be maintained and sustained especially given that the University of Botswana was striving to become a High-Performance Organisation (HPO) which was people centered.

Professor Norris also underscored the importance of undertaking research with societal impact by creating new knowledge and solving societal problems. In addition, the Vice Chancellor said for UB to transition into an HPO, there was need for restructuring and organisational realignment which were currently underway.

Consequently, Professor Norris said he had impressed upon UB academics and other staff members to embrace the transformation process with vigor and agility if UB were to become relevant to society and lead the country to prosperity.

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