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Prof Martin Mpe

The Department of Cardiology (DoC)) recently presented a very stimulating refresher course for health workers, at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) International Convention Centre. The event was attended by a number of General practitioners, majority of whom were Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University graduates.

By attending the refresher course, the general practitioners are fulfilling their professional obligations as members of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as they are required to participate in continuous development programmes offered by HPCSA accredited providers. For participating in the refresher course, the general practitioners individually earned 25 CPD Points and certificates of attendance, which will serve as proof that they are complying with the HPCSA prescripts.

They had an opportunity to brush up on their clinical skills and keep abreast of latest medical trends. The topics that the many experts presented on, were very wide ranging – from managing diabetes, haematological emergencies, obstetrics emergencies, hypertension in pregnancy, managing psychiatry patients, TB/HIV management, managing poisoning, heart failure update, to mention a few.

The topic, “Does size matter” which was presented by Prof Etienne Kok, the Urologist, stole the show. He handled this controversial topic so well, with a lot of satire, and had the captive audience absolutely in stitches, his presentation lasted for an hour.

The topics covered were initially identified by the general practitioners. They put forward their topic proposals and the DoC, on its part, had the honour to identify suitable speakers and invited them to come to present at the refresher course.

‘‘The refresher course is very good for us to attend because we are actually refreshing on what we learnt as MBChB students and being kept abreast of latest developments. There is a lot of research which is being conducted from which we are able to learn about latest research which enables us to manage our patients better. It is a chance to learn more. As General practitioners, we are the first pot of call for our patients,” said Dr Sibongile Nzuza, who graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) graduate aid.

As the majority of those who attended were SMU alumni, it was also an opportunity for former classmates and friends to reconnect, to reminisce about their time at the university, the highlights and low lights.

By Maditsi Matlala