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.
DR VESHAL MAHARAJ Durban