The Independent (Kampala)

20 November 2012

Uganda: Medical Students Yearn for More Professional Development

A recent study done at Makerere University's College of Health Sciences among undergraduate students pursuing medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and nursing shows that students feel professional skills should be inculcated in them during their training and not on the job.

Up to 92% of the students who participated in the study which was conducted early this year believe that even as students, principles of professionalism apply to them.

While presenting the survey findings to staff and students at the college on Nov 19, Dr. Noeline Nakasujja, who was on the survey team said some of the reasons given by students for joining their respective programmes included, a calling to serve, personal desire to become a (doctor), while others said their field of study was the only one that could guarantee them a job. Others who are already in-service noted that the need to upgrade was crucial.

However, two prominent external motivating factors for selecting particular programmes were mentioned and these included fulfilling the parents' wish and the study programme being offered on government sponsorship-- therefore making it difficult to be rejected by the student.

The Guest Speaker at the dissemination event was Dr. David Musinguzi, a medical doctor, entrepreneur and Inspire Africa Reality TV Show finalist--a show that offers young people an opportunity to earn start-up capital for their businesses.

Musinguzi advised the students to always scour the library wherever they are studying beyond the set books, hang out with the right people that will inspire them and above all search deep inside themselves for a more sustainable reason for what they are doing. He said that reason should always surpass the money aspect.

Musinguzi who owns and runs a medical business-- the Medical Concierge-- which provides a 24/7 Doctors-on-call health care service at one's convenience providing unlimited access to top notch medical professionals encouraged the students to explore the different possibilities available to them especially in working with people in computer science.

"Start forming small teams and explore possibilities in areas of interest. Position yourself to be able to learn, market yourself, (and) create networks," he said.

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