Student doctors yet to sit for final exams
UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe’s 2019 final year medical students, who were supposed to be deployed as junior doctors in the country’s public hospitals, are yet to write final examinations which were due last December.
As part of their degree programme, the final year medical students are supposed to carry out practical examinations in public hospitals.
The Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA) said the students were sent away when hospitals became incapacitated towards the end of last year and have not completed their studies.
The doctors indicated that although the situation is now better in public health institutions, the university has not recalled the students, who are eight weeks behind, to come and sit for their final exams.
“Final year medical Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees (MBCHB) students who — were supposed to write their examinations in December 2019 — were sent home when the teaching environment deteriorated because of the incapacitation in hospitals — have still not been recalled despite different departments indicating that conditions for teaching have improved.
“Paradoxically, the final year class of 2020, which had also not finished its fourth-year studies has now been propelled ahead and is being taught as final year students,” the SHDA said in a statement.
One of the consultant doctors from the university – who spoke on condition of anonymity – said the 2019 final year students should have been deployed in hospitals by now but the process could be done in three or four months.
“They were supposed to start work as soon as the current junior doctors move to the next level of their internship. Because of the disturbances from the incapacitation, the current junior doctors will move in May/June 2020.
“So, from now there could be a serious shortage of doctors by June,” the doctor said.
Before the university decided to send them away, the students reportedly opened a court case against it complaining over the poor learning environment.
After their case was thrown out, the university’s registrar — Noah Mutongoreni — in a notice, suspended the students’ examinations.
“The situation in hospitals currently does not allow for the completion of teaching, clinical rotations and mounting of MBChB and Master of Medicine (MMeD) examinations.
“The university has resolved that MBChB part five and MMeD students be sent away until the university, working with other relevant stakeholders, addresses the issues and problems raised by students.
University spokesperson Daniel Chihombori could not immediately comment on the issue saying he was out of Harare.