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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).

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.

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 the Head of School, Prof Daynia Ballot:

Welcome to the new academic year, especially to those of you who are joining us for the first time – the school leavers in MBBCH 1, the Graduate Entry Medical students in Year 1, newly appointed registrars and newly appointed staff. A special welcome to Dr Doyin Ojifinni , who is joining us as the researcher in Cluster B and congratulations to Dr Philip who is our new Academic Head of the Division of Clinical Haematology. You are now part of the SOCM family and I wish you welcome.


Some of our senior staff members are retiring – Prof Girish Modi (HOD Neurosciences), Prof GailScher (Head of Paediatric Neurology) and Prof Jeanine Vellema (HOD Forensic Medicine). We wish them well in the next phase of their lives and hope they will maintain strong links with the School.


2022 is the Centenary of the University of the Witwatersrand – we have a whole year of celebrations planned, including a wellness week, book launch, Wits rag, “Free People’s concert” and much more. The highlight will be a “Homecoming weekend” in the October alumni week where we welcome our diaspora back to their alma mater. Look out for the planned events and please support Wits.


I wish you a happy and productive year ahead.
Kindly refer to our February 2022 Newsletter for more interesting news