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The College of Medicine in the Republic of Malawi: towards sustainable staff development.

Zijlstra EE, Broadhead RL - Hum Resour Health (2007)

Bottom Line: The College of Medicine (COM) is the only medical school and was founded in 1991.There seems to be no significant brain drain among graduates of the COM.Improved pay structure and career development perspectives will be essential to consolidate the trend that most doctors will remain in the country.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Medicine, PO Box 360, Blantyre, Republic of Malawi. eezijlstra@malawi.net

ABSTRACT

Background: Malawi has a critical human resources problem particularly in the health sector. There is a severe shortage of doctors; there are only few medical specialists. The College of Medicine (COM) is the only medical school and was founded in 1991. For senior staff it heavily depends on expatriates. In 2004 the COM started its own postgraduate training programme (Master of Medicine) in the clinical specialties.

Methods: We explore to what extent a brain drain took place among the COM graduates by investigating their professional development and geographical distribution. Using current experience with the postgraduate programme, we estimate at what point all senior academic positions in the clinical departments could be filled by Malawians. We demonstrate the need for expatriate staff for its most senior academic positions in the interim period and how this can be phased out. Lastly we reflect on measures that may influence the retention of Malawian doctors.

Results: Since the start of the COM 254 students have graduated with an average of 17 students per year. Most (60%) are working in Malawi. Of those working abroad, 60% are in various postgraduate training programmes. In 2015, adequate numbers of Malawi senior academics should be available to fill most senior positions in the clinical departments, taking into account a 65% increase in staff to cope with increasing numbers of students.

Conclusion: There seems to be no significant brain drain among graduates of the COM. The postgraduate programme is in place to train graduates to become senior academic staff. In the interim, the COM depends heavily upon expatriate input for its most senior academic positions. This will be necessary at least until 2015 when sufficient numbers of well trained and experienced Malawian specialists may be expected to be available. Improved pay structure and career development perspectives will be essential to consolidate the trend that most doctors will remain in the country.

No MeSH data available.


Staff development in the Department of Medicine until 2015. L expat Expatriate at lecturer level. L Mal Malawian at lecturer level. SL Mal Malawian at senior lecturer level or above ([associate] professor). SL expat Expatriate at senior lecturer level or above ([associate] professor).
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Figure 3: Staff development in the Department of Medicine until 2015. L expat Expatriate at lecturer level. L Mal Malawian at lecturer level. SL Mal Malawian at senior lecturer level or above ([associate] professor). SL expat Expatriate at senior lecturer level or above ([associate] professor).

Mentions: Figure 3 shows the projected staff development until 2015 taking the Department of Medicine as an example. Several assumptions were made: in order to effectively run a teaching programme in a department, a minimum of four senior staff at the level of Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, or Professor are needed at any point in time. In addition, as the numbers of students are increasing, more staff are needed. Using a simple questionnaire, all departments were asked to estimate the number of staff at various levels needed to cope with the increasing number of students. In general an increase of 65% was felt to be necessary. It is probably not realistic to expect more than three postgraduate students to enter the M.Med per year and that two of those will remain in the COM. For all four clinical departments combined it means that in the interim the number of senior expatriate staff needed is twenty from 2007–2010, while decreasing to sixteen and eight in 2011 and 2012, respectively.


The College of Medicine in the Republic of Malawi: towards sustainable staff development.

Zijlstra EE, Broadhead RL - Hum Resour Health (2007)

Staff development in the Department of Medicine until 2015. L expat Expatriate at lecturer level. L Mal Malawian at lecturer level. SL Mal Malawian at senior lecturer level or above ([associate] professor). SL expat Expatriate at senior lecturer level or above ([associate] professor).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC1863431&req=5

Figure 3: Staff development in the Department of Medicine until 2015. L expat Expatriate at lecturer level. L Mal Malawian at lecturer level. SL Mal Malawian at senior lecturer level or above ([associate] professor). SL expat Expatriate at senior lecturer level or above ([associate] professor).
Mentions: Figure 3 shows the projected staff development until 2015 taking the Department of Medicine as an example. Several assumptions were made: in order to effectively run a teaching programme in a department, a minimum of four senior staff at the level of Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, or Professor are needed at any point in time. In addition, as the numbers of students are increasing, more staff are needed. Using a simple questionnaire, all departments were asked to estimate the number of staff at various levels needed to cope with the increasing number of students. In general an increase of 65% was felt to be necessary. It is probably not realistic to expect more than three postgraduate students to enter the M.Med per year and that two of those will remain in the COM. For all four clinical departments combined it means that in the interim the number of senior expatriate staff needed is twenty from 2007–2010, while decreasing to sixteen and eight in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Bottom Line: The College of Medicine (COM) is the only medical school and was founded in 1991.There seems to be no significant brain drain among graduates of the COM.Improved pay structure and career development perspectives will be essential to consolidate the trend that most doctors will remain in the country.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Medicine, PO Box 360, Blantyre, Republic of Malawi. eezijlstra@malawi.net

ABSTRACT

Background: Malawi has a critical human resources problem particularly in the health sector. There is a severe shortage of doctors; there are only few medical specialists. The College of Medicine (COM) is the only medical school and was founded in 1991. For senior staff it heavily depends on expatriates. In 2004 the COM started its own postgraduate training programme (Master of Medicine) in the clinical specialties.

Methods: We explore to what extent a brain drain took place among the COM graduates by investigating their professional development and geographical distribution. Using current experience with the postgraduate programme, we estimate at what point all senior academic positions in the clinical departments could be filled by Malawians. We demonstrate the need for expatriate staff for its most senior academic positions in the interim period and how this can be phased out. Lastly we reflect on measures that may influence the retention of Malawian doctors.

Results: Since the start of the COM 254 students have graduated with an average of 17 students per year. Most (60%) are working in Malawi. Of those working abroad, 60% are in various postgraduate training programmes. In 2015, adequate numbers of Malawi senior academics should be available to fill most senior positions in the clinical departments, taking into account a 65% increase in staff to cope with increasing numbers of students.

Conclusion: There seems to be no significant brain drain among graduates of the COM. The postgraduate programme is in place to train graduates to become senior academic staff. In the interim, the COM depends heavily upon expatriate input for its most senior academic positions. This will be necessary at least until 2015 when sufficient numbers of well trained and experienced Malawian specialists may be expected to be available. Improved pay structure and career development perspectives will be essential to consolidate the trend that most doctors will remain in the country.

No MeSH data available.