Sunday, May 27, 2012

First Batch Of UDS Medical Doctors Takes Hippocratic Oath

Sir. Dr. Edward N. Gyader, Dean, UDS SMHS
The first batch of medical doctors trained by the University for Development Studies (UDS) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), has been inducted into the Medical and Dental Council, as they begin their two years housemanship program at the Tamale Teaching Hospital and some district hospitals in the Northern Region of Ghana.

The 27 medical doctors made up of 14 females and 13 males, took the Hippocratic Oath and National Pledge which were administered by the Chairman of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council and the Northern Regional Minister, Dr. Eric Asamoa and Moses Bukari Mabengba respectively.

The occasion marked the successful graduation of the medical doctors who spent nearly eight years to study various courses both in theory and practicals/clinicals in the school and at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) as well as some district hospitals under the supervision of experienced specialists/consultants. 

Indeed, this would not had been a success had it not been one of Ghana’s and Africa’s most revered and experienced surgeons, Sir Dr. Edward N. Gyader, who after retirement from the Ghana Health Service following many decades of successful medical practice in the Upper West Region, was called to duty again by the management of the UDS to head the SMHS.

According to the Catholic Knighted Personality, he was given the task to recall these graduates who were sitting at home for a long time without any clear future and find them a place to start their clinical training. This was because; the then medical students were not given the usual opportunity by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and University of Ghana Medical Schools to do their clinical training due to serious constraints facing the two institutions, Dr. Gyader added.

Dr. Gyader revealed that a team from the Medical and Dental Council (MDC), who visited Tamale as part of their routine inspection, insisted and encouraged the school to start the clinical training at the TTH with all the anticipated challenges. Adding that, the second problem he was expected to tackle was to draw up a comprehensive curriculum to ensure that the school runs according to the format laid down by the MDC. “Both assignments were duly executed and the students were called back to begin a six month bridging programme in chemical pathology, general pathology and neuroscience”, he confirmed.

The Dean of the UDS/SMHS paid glowing tribute to the KNUST and University of Ghana Medical Schools saying “We relied on them for part-time lecturers and external examiners and they never let us down. I am confidently presenting these new doctors to you knowing very well that with the external eyes provided by the senior medical schools, there was enough confirmation that we were moving on the right track.”

Sir Dr. Edward Gyader reiterated his call on all well wishers that the school urgently required a library with offices attached at the TTH to enable staff perform better than they had done so far. 

Prof. Haruna Yakubu, Vice-Chancellor, UDS
The Vice-Chancellor of the UDS Professor Haruna Yakubu disclosed that plans were far advanced to provide library facilities at the TTH and stressed on the need for the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to assist the university complete some of the projects earmarked for the TTH.

He also appealed to the MDC and the Ministry of Health to post some specialists to the TTH so that they could make their services available to the students.    

Established in 1996, the UDS School of Medicine and Health Sciences like other medical schools in Ghana had been using traditional curriculum to train her medical students. But there had been a change over to the Problem Based Learning (PBL) methodology since September 2007. 

The rationale for this change over to PBL lies in the mission statement of the University, "A School of Medicine and Health Sciences Situated in Northern Ghana with a unique mandate to prepare health professional and scientists, with the right beliefs and attitudes to work in deprived rural communities, using the Problem Based Learning and the Community-Based Extension Service approaches. A crop, who can, and are apt to adapt to, initiate change and collaborate within interdisciplinary teams to contribute significantly to humane and cost effective healthcare."

The PBL allows for some interactive teaching and moulds a holistic medical student beginning from year one. The programme involves the use of several district hospitals and their consultants/specialists and exposes students as well as takes medical care to the rural communities. 

Thus, the 27 graduates were awarded degrees in Human Biology and Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (M.B., ch. B). They are expected to get their license to practice as full medical doctors after their two year housemanship.

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