Message from the School Dean
Welcome to Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. Still in its infancy, the university draws its spirit and vision from leadership that stands the test of time. This is a special university in its unique commitment to the growing of health professionals and scientists to meet the challenges faced by Africans whose health is deeply woven into their social and economic status. The unmatched confluence of students from many different health professions offers us a great opportunity to be exemplary in developing a truly inter-professional education environment. This is a challenge we must take up with great gusto – our nation demands no less of us.
The School of Medicine is home to both Diagnostic Radiography and Medicine undergraduate degrees together with a host of postgraduate offerings across a wider disciplinary spectrum. It is really a community of communities whose personal mission is different but collectively share a vision of a healthier nation. There are three areas which characterise our community of practice:
Students will come to us from many different walks of life – from great wealth and from abject poverty. Each will be valued equally and each will be called to regard each other as being of equal value. They will encounter a diversity of staff who themselves all will play a unique role in constructing this community. From the first greeting of the security guard at the gate to the serious management issues over which the VC presides all of us make a contribution to what we are as school and university.
There are a great number of interactions between people within the School. The School is made up of different groups: scientists and researchers, specialist clinician teachers, undergraduate and postgraduate students, administrators and general staff. All of the interactions between these groups is governed by a set of rules. The rules are there to describe our terms of engagement. What to do, when to do it and what happens when we do something in a particular way. They come to life especially when they guide us to achieve the best of ourselves. The School endeavours to ensure that all our processes ultimately allow people to be the best that they can be. I have no doubt that amongst our students are the diamonds which, after some polishing, shine for all to see.
Our promise is to be responsive to needs of the South African community. The community which all of us are a part of and the community to which we all return. As we develop professionals, we are mindful of the call as professionals to ensure our competence for the safety of the people in our care, ensure these patients are able to exercise their right to dignity and autonomy and, perhaps, most importantly to become agents of social justice as advocates for our patients.
I am looking forward to 2019 and the challenges it brings. We must all – staff and students –ensure that we listen with compassion, we walk with humility and we act with justice in our relationships with each other.