Fourth-Year Orientation Prepares Students for Clinical Practice in KZN Hospitals
UKZN’s fourth-year Medical students will spend the final three-years of the MBChB Programme training at a selection of teaching hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal.
School of Clinical Medicine (SCM) Dean and Head, Professor Richard Hift, welcomed the fourth-year class of 2015 to the clinical phase of their medical degrees, encouraging them to set a high standard for themselves in order to make the most of “on-the-job learning”.
Hift said at no point during the clinical years could students afford to be slack because then they would be setting themselves up to be mediocre.
‘Work very hard,’ Hift advised. ‘It’s not cool to get 52% in clinical medicine. Nobody wants to be treated by a doctor who graduated with 50% from medical school.’
Hift explained that while it was one thing to arrive 15 minutes late to a lecture, it was another to arrive 15 minutes late at the hospital ward when patients were waiting.
‘The next three years are all about developing healthy habits of becoming a professional,’ he said, stressing it was now a priority that students aim to become the most reliable and trustworthy doctors they could be for the sake of their patents.
‘South Africa needs students who have been trained to be fit-for-purpose.’
He said UKZN’s medical curriculum recently underwent radical changes which positioned the MBChB graduates as the best equipped to service the country’s healthcare needs.
As part of the extensive Orientation Programme, the students heard from Surgery Department Head, Professor Thandinkosi Madiba, who described medical doctors as professionals having the community’s special trust and respect.
Madiba said a true professional remained a student forever; keeping abreast of current practices, hard at work and always aware that the world was looking at their conduct.
Senior student Ms Asanda Xolzwa shared her experiences in clinical practice with the auditorium and encouraged the students to treat every patient as if they were a member of their own family.
Academic Mentor from 2010 to 2014, Mr Mtusi Setshego, told students about the benefits of enrolling for the Academic Mentoring Programme which is offered to help students through the demanding medical curriculum.
SCM Operations Manager, Mrs Antoinette Botha, wished the students well in the final years of their journey and introduced them to various UKZN administration and hospital staff who would help guide them through clinical training.
The event was followed by another Orientation Day for fifth-year students who look forward to their final year in the MBChB programme in 2016.