Undergraduate emergency medicine in an African medical school - Experiences from Botswana

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Introduction In August 2011, the first cohort of students at the University of Botswana School of Medicine (UBSOM) began their third year of undergraduate medical training. As part of their 2011-2012 curriculum they each completed a 10 week rotation in Emergency Medicine (EM), involving problem based learning (PBL) sessions, maintenance of log books, case presentations, and clinical time at the Emergency Centre (EC) of the main tertiary referral hospital in Gaborone, Princess Marina Hospital. Methods Since EM rotations are often undertaken in the final year of medical training, students were given an anonymous voluntary survey to study the effect of an EM experience in their first clinical year of training. A 5-point Likert scale was used to evaluate learning opportunities and the overall EM experience. Students described which procedures they had observed or performed in their rotation. The survey concluded with open-ended questions seeking additional feedback. Results These were very encouraging for both early exposure to EM and the PBL approach. More than 90% of students agreed or strongly agreed that they felt more confident in clinical settings, improved their clinical decision making process, and found the PBL model to be effective over the rotation. 22 different procedures were observed in the EC with 100% observing venesection and plaster applications. 14 different procedures were performed with 83% students performing venesection and over 65% performing chest compressions and venous cannulation. Discussion It is hoped that this study will provide valuable practical information about undergraduate EM learning in a PBL based Medical School within Sub Saharan Africa that can be replicated across other medical education institutions throughout the region. © 2013 Production and hosting by Elsevier on behalf of African Federation for Emergency Medicine.




Cox, M., & Chandra, A. (2013). Undergraduate emergency medicine in an African medical school - Experiences from Botswana. African Journal of Emergency Medicine, 3(4), 157–163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.afjem.2013.04.003

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