Return of final year medical students to clinical platform

1 Jun 2020 - 09:15

In less than a week, members of the Faculty, under the leadership of the Deanery, were tasked with rapidly developing a COVID- 19 preparedness course to prepare final year medical students for return to the clinical platform. Dr Nisha Jacob, from the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, together with Professor Francois Cilliers, from the Department of Health Sciences Education, and with the support of various staff members put together a 2-week short course called Navigating COVID-19. The aim is for this course to be used for all clinical students before entry to the clinical platform.

Dr Nisha Jacob also chaired two webinars for final year students.  The first webinar aimed to give insight into being a healthcare worker in a time of pandemic. The main presenters were Dr Shrikant Peters (Groote Schuur Hospital Medical Manager), Dr Itumeleng Ntatamala (Occupational Medicine Registrar) and Dr James van Duuren (Western Cape Outbreak Response Team). The presenters are all UCT alumni who are contributing to the outbreak response in different ways. Panellists included final year medical student volunteers in case and contact tracing (Ben Philpott and Lisa Coetze), Dr Kerrin Begg, Dr Tracey Naledi, Prof. Steve Reid and Assoc. Prof. Lionel Green-Thompson.

The second webinar focussed on Public Health and Clinical considerations in a time of COVID. The presenters included Prof. Graeme Meintjes (Department of Medicine and Groote Schuur Hospital), Assoc. Prof. Mary-Ann Davies and Dr Virginia Zweigenthal (School of Public Health and Family Medicine and Western Cape Provincial Department of Health). The panellists were Dr Yamanya Tembo (Public Health Medicine registrar) and 6th year students involved in case and contact tracing (Danielle Hugo, Sibusisiwe Mancotywa and Kristien van der Walt).

UCT alumni and 2nd year intern at Victoria Hospital, Dr Kathleen Olmesdahl, shared her experience of working at the coalface in this interview. These recordings will also be used as a resource to expose students to the different experiences of healthcare professionals during the pandemic.