PARENTS OF ASPIRANT DOCTORS HEAR OF THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD AHEAD
2010/03/09 08:21:09 AM
About 240 proud parents whose children made the grade to study medicine at UKZN’s Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine (NRMSM) attended the Parents’ Orientation Day on January 28. Parents heard what is expected of their children – first-year medical students – as they ready themselves for the rigorous six-year academic programme.
Two hundred and twenty four first year students were selected for admission to the Medical School out of approximately 3 509 applications.
Deputy Dean of the NRMSM, Professor Joyce Gwegweni, welcomed parents while the Dean, Professor Willem Sturm, presented parents with an overview of the Medical School. The Medical Students’ Representative Council President, Mr Thulani Ngwenya, informed parents of the SRC’s mentorship role to first year students and gave an assurance that council members would do their “level best” to assist students should the need arise.
Professor Sturm’s presentation took parents through the School’s history; goals of the MBChB programme; organisational and governance structures; and the evolving curriculum. Parents heard that their children had been accepted to study at a Medical School where the admissions criteria were stringent in comparison to the seven other tertiary institutions offering the MBChB programme.
During his presentation, Professor Sturm told parents that students who began studying for their medical degree this year would be subjected to a six-year academic programme instead of the five years which had been the case previously.
“The curricula of academic programmes are never static but evolve for continuous improvement. The new curriculum for 2010 is an improved, integrated, student-centred programme with an extension of basics. Studying medicine is hard work and time consuming. It is my firm belief that curriculum improvements made to the MBChB programme makes this the best Medical School,” said Professor Sturm.
Parents expressed satisfaction that their children successfully gained admissions to study Medicine at the NRMSM.
Dr J Ramdeen said it was a “blessing and honour” that her daughter, Tejna Mistry, had been admitted for the MBChB programme. “The skills of doctors are needed in South Africa and there is a great demand for admissions to Medical Schools. The NRMSM should increase its intake of students,” said Dr Ramdeen.
Mrs Phumzile Knkuna said she was happy that her daughter, Nombuso, who had wanted to be a doctor from an early age, was on the path to realising her goal. Mrs Knkuna said while her daughter had been accepted to study in other health science disciplines, Medicine was her first choice.
Ms Barbara Beard said she was relieved that her daughter, Mrs Natalie Jakobi, who has a Bachelor of Science honours degree (cum laude), had finally been accepted to study at the NRMSM after applications to other medical schools were rejected. Mrs Beard, who believes “it’s never too late to follow a career you’re passionate about” said she was “proud” that at the age of 25, Natalie was studying Medicine.