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FREE E-learning for Medical Students Launch

Published 14 July 2016

From the beginning of March 2016, registered medical students across South Africa will be eligible to receive free management training thanks to a partnership between the Foundation for Professional Development (FPD), Medical Practice Consulting (MPC), and Mr Gabriel Nel, a medical student, from the University of Pretoria. FPD is subsidiary of the South African Medical Association (SAMA).

“This partnership is in response to an approach by a group of medical students who identified the need for leadership and management training given that this is not covered by the medical curriculum. Since our first course in 1998, FPD has been dedicated to professionalise the healthcare sector and we are committed to developing leadership in healthcare because we believe that doctors have a unique obligation to provide leadership within the health sector” said Dr Gustaaf Wolvaardt, Managing Director of FPD.

The launch was held at the FPD Head Office on the 26 February in the presence of the Chairman of SAMA, Dr Muzikisi Grootboom, Dr Gustaaf Wolvaardt, Mr Werner Swanepoel and Mr Gabriel Nel. Furthermore local medical students were invited to witness the event. According to Dr Grootboom, this day holds great significance in the calendar of the healthcare sector because of the commitment made by SAMA and FPD to walk with medical students in their journey to become ambassadors of their profession. He advised the students to embrace the leadership roles that come with their line of work; roles of being teachers, ministers of religion and even taking part in the struggles of the community.

Mr Nel believes that medical students can greatly influence the way the health system works in both public and private sector. In his opinion the students need to commit and take responsibility of making a positive impact to the future of healthcare and this programme is going to assist them to have a better understanding of the leadership role that they have to play in society. His vision is to see future healthcare professionals being more involved in leadership at a macro level.

The training offered covers 15 modules, each with specific exit-level outcomes .The 15 modules are spread over four practice areas presented through business short courses. The areas covered are: Managing an Organisation, Managing Others, Managing Self, and Managing Clients. These areas cover topics such as Introduction to operations management, Thriving and surviving change, Introduction to project management, Your role as supervisor, Diversity management, Presenting yourself, Leadership that gets results, and Introduction to markets and marketing.

Others areas covered include financial planning, human resources management, and relationship management. The short courses will be offered free of charge to all MBcHB students and the intention is to expand this initiative to students in the other health professions.

Lastly Dr Gustaaf said to the students; “Go into the working environment not only to change the status but to effect change – not to break things but to make them better.”