School of Clinical Medicine
The School of Clinical Medicine (SOCM) remains the largest school in the Faculty. It has hosts nine major departments (Family medicine, Paediatrics, Surgery, Internal medicine, Radiation sciences, Neurosciences, Anaesthesia, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Psychiatry) and three centres (Steve Biko Centre for Medical Bioethics, Wits Centre for Rural Health and Centre for Palliative care). In 2015 the Evan Stein Centre under the directorship of Prof. Raal was established. 2015 also saw the recognition of the “Empilweni Service and Research Unit” under Adjunct Prof Coovadia by URC adding it to the 8 research units in the School.
The SOCM is still the highest contributor to the publication output in the Faculty. There has been an increase in the number of publications during this period. The service workload and teaching responsibilities remain an impediment to reaching our full publication potential. Despite the workload challenges several members of the school have been promoted to Senior Lecturer, Adjunct Professor, Research Professor and Full Professor as a result of their scholarly activities. The School has had an increase of NRF rated scientists following the latest assessment. The School has seen a significant increase in the number of Masters of Medicine qualifying and is a major supplier of specialists in the country. The number of PhDs awarded from the School continues to be on an increase with younger colleagues graduating. To promote research the School held its first research day in 2015 that was supported with several scientific presentations and posters.
Members of the School continue to be source research funds from grants and contract research. The School is the major contributor to the research funds managed by the Wits Health Consortium. One of the highlights is the granting of members of the School the MRC oncology research grant. The signing of the MOA with the Gauteng Province Department of Health may help in consolidating protected time for research in the School.
Message from School:
Women’s month, which focused on prevention of violence against women, has come and gone and yet, we continue to be confronted daily with escalating levels of horrific violence across our society - against police, foreign nationals, men, women and children. A young women student at UCT was tragically murdered. People were burned to death in front of onlookers in an episode of xenophobic violence. This constant exposure to inhumane behaviour has a huge negative impact on our society. Victims of violence become patients in our already overburdened health system, Chronic mental stress causes disease. As clinicians, we have to deal with the long term consequences of the violence – the post- traumatic stress of families who lose loved ones, the long process of healing from burns and other trauma. This all adversely affects our own mental health, resilience and ability to cope with the daily challenges of practicing medicine and delivering the academic program. Our society can ill afford the cost of this ever increasing violence – there are significant losses in reputation, investment and growth opportunities for the country.-
Violence begets violence. This behaviour has to stop. As the School of Clinical Medicine, we call on all societal leaders –academic, religious, civil and governmental-to urgently seek peaceful solutions to this ongoing crisis.