Establishment of a General Medicine Residency Training Program in Rural West Africa
Wegdam, Harry H.J.
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CitationDrislane, Frank W., Albert Akpalu, and Harry H.J. Wegdam. 2014. “Establishment of a General Medicine Residency Training Program in Rural West Africa.” The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine 87 (3): 327-339.
AbstractGhana, a developing country in West Africa, has major medical burdens in taking care of a large population with limited resources. Its three medical schools produce more than 200 graduates per year, but most emigrate to developed lands after training. Ghana is working to educate and retain locally trained physicians, but it is difficult to get them to work in rural settings where the need is greatest. This article details the establishment of a General Medicine residency at a 150-bed hospital in rural Ghana. Early training comprises 6 months each in Medicine, Surgery, OB/GYN, and Pediatrics; the hospital in Techiman also has a Surgery residency. House officers choose the program for more hands-on experience than they can get in larger centers. They perform many tasks, including surgery, sooner and more independently than do residents in developed countries. The training program includes a morning report, clinical teaching rounds, and rotations on in-patient wards and in the Emergency Department and clinics. Teaching focuses on history, physical examination, good communication, and proper follow-up, with rigorous training in the OR and some clinical research projects pertinent to Ghana. Trainees work hard and learn from one another, from a dedicated faculty, and by evaluating and treating very sick patients. Ghana’s rural residencies offer rigorous and attractive training, but it is too soon to tell whether this will help stem the “brain drain” of young physicians out of West Africa.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:12987382
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