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POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS – for FCP(SA) / Master of Medicine(MMed), PhD

  • A departmental postgraduate committee meets regularly to coordinate the academic program for medical registrars
  • Clinical supervision and training takes place on a daily basis during outpatient clinics and ward rounds
  • A weekly post graduate seminar is held on Mondays from 08h00 to 09h00
  • A weekly department Grand Round – on Wednesdays from 12h15 to 13h15
  • Twice weekly clinical teaching rounds are held at IALCH
  • A FCP Part 2 preparatory series of tutorials is held twice a year
  • Neurology Teaching on Friday afternoon.


Exit examinations are conducted through national examinations that are convened by the Department on behalf of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. The exit professional degree obtained is the Fellowship of the College of Physicians of South Africa, FCP (SA). In order to register as a Specialist Physician with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, there is a mandatory requirement to complete a Master of Medicine degree with the hosting institution, i.e. University of KwaZulu-Natal in this instance.

The clinical training through the DOH platform contributes to the training as a Specialist physician. The MMed degree, as a course work Master’s program, is made up of 75% of the clinical training and 25% of a research project.

Since the training is occurring on the clinical platform, the provision of clinical services in the public health sector and production of Specialists are inseparable.

The cutbacks of posts for training Specialists in KwaZulu-Natal has resulted in severe disruption in provision of clinical services and production of Specialists has been severely reduced. The contribution to reduction in Specialists is not only related to cut-backs in posts but, potential candidates have a choice to take up posts in other provinces where work conditions are much better than in KwaZulu-Natal.


Postgraduate training is also provided at sub-Specialist level, which is geared at training those that are registered Specialist physicians.

While Specialist and sub-Specialist degrees are professional qualifications obtained through the Colleges of Medicines of South Africa, the same candidates would train further in academic qualifications such as the MMed, MMed Sci and PhD for knowledge and revenue generation for UKZN.

Transformation in the Department of Internal Medicine is severely affected as priority candidates are attracted to other institutions that promise much more conducive environments for training.

Since the beginning of 2015, the Department of Internal Medicine has been reduced from 76 registrars to 30 registrars.


  • Clinical supervision and training in the clinical and wards daily



Since 1980, the Discipline of Internal Medicine has organized and hosted an annual update symposium. It is usually a full day meeting on a Sunday to maximize attendance from throughout KwaZulu-Natal and minimize impact on clinical services. The primary objective of this meeting is to provide an educational experience for clinicians in line with the ethos of continuing professional development. It attracts a diverse background of healthcare professionals including interns, medical officers, registrars, general practitioners, family physicians and specialist physicians from both the private and public sector. Presentations include the latest advances and approaches to commonly encountered clinical conditions and problems from the perspective of the specialist. In addition, the annual update includes the eponymous Vinod Gathiram memorial lecture and an ethics session. The meeting is always seeking to evolve by using innovative approaches to ensure that the audience is involved and engaged with the educational content delivered.

Beyond the program, the medicine update provides an invaluable opportunity for clinicians to connect, re-connect and network with colleagues and industry. Importantly, it serves as link between the specialist, non-specialist and the main academic centre of Internal Medicine of KwaZulu-Natal.

Ultimately, the value of this meeting lies in democratizing specialist medical knowledge so that patients can benefit from best clinical practice outside of tertiary health care facilities. With this in mind, the medicine update tries to incentivize clinicians working in regional and rural hospitals to attend, participate and share their experiences.

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