Sunday Tribune

Medicine: how to be a specialist


I RESPOND to the Sunday Tribune article dated May 7 on page 5 in which I am featured.

I would like to correct any confusion that unknowingl­y might have occurred.

For one to specialise in most branches of medicine, an undergradu­ate who has completed an MBCHB, internship and community service can join any of the specialist programmes if accepted. Upon acceptance, they are known as a registrar and not a specialist in that field.

The training entails four years at an accredited institutio­n. Once one has completed the four years, one is still not yet a specialist and must write primary, intermedia­te and final exams.

To be fully registered with the Health Profession­s Council of South Africa, one has to have an MMED degree as well.

You quoted me as a general surgeon, which is not yet true. I’m a qualified, independen­t medical practition­er who has finished four years of surgical training with a view to writing my exams and becoming known as a general surgeon. I’m based in a private practice in Reservoir Hills.

It is also incorrect to refer to all 44 registrars as specialist­s because they may not all have been fully accredited and registered.

Although compiled in a good spirit of creating awareness of the state of public health, the article could confuse the public, including the patients who visit our practice.


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