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Inadequate medical facilities and a shortage of qualified professionals have hindered healthcare delivery and the ability to respond to health threats in Zimbabwe. The economic and political crises severely deterred the government’s efforts to strengthen medical education. US-funded MEPI helped revive healthcare services and leadership at the UZCHS. To address the healthcare crisis, the government and universities took steps to enhance the standards of medical education, improve infrastructure and strengthen medical research and clinical training to retain qualified medical professionals in the field. The efforts helped in increasing the enrolment for UG and PG medical programs. Pursuing the MBChB program at TAU Zambia provides the necessary foundation in clinical practice and prepares you to face challenges and flourish in your medical career. In addition to clinical skills, medical professionals should possess empathy and be able to connect with patients, translate complex information to patients, care for people from all walks of life, collaborate with other healthcare professionals, etc.
- Duration of medicine programs at TAU:
- Essential skills for aspiring doctors:
- Key Takeaways:
Overview of the healthcare sector:
Inadequate medical facilities and a shortage of qualified professionals have hindered healthcare delivery and the ability to respond to health threats in Zimbabwe. The economic and political crises severely deterred the government’s efforts to strengthen medical education resulting in a 70% drop in student enrollment in medical universities. By 2010 specialist training for medical professionals severely declined due to a 61% rise in demand for qualified mentors.
The UZCHS, the only medical university in Zimbabwe until 2010, had limited facilities, high faculty attrition, and low student enrollment. In addition, it had to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and healthcare inequities. All these factors significantly brought down the strength of the healthcare workforce, which stood at 142 for 100,000 people in 2009, far below the WHOs benchmark of 230:100,000.
US-funded Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) helped revive healthcare services and leadership at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS). To address the healthcare crisis, the government and universities took steps to enhance the standards of medical education, improve infrastructure and strengthen medical research and clinical training to retain qualified medical professionals in the field.
The initiatives helped make significant improvements in retaining faculty, which increased by 36%. Student enrolment for bachelor’s degrees in medicine increased by 70% and for PG programs by 61%. Even with the end of the MEPI scheme, the country could sustain its efforts due to improvements in the socioeconomic setup.
Even with considerable improvements in the field, the increasing demand and retention of qualified medical professionals are still snagging the country.
Some of the leading universities in Zimbabwe offering quality MBChB programs are:
|S No||Medical Universities in Zimbabwe|
|1||University of Zimbabwe|
|2||National University of Science and Technology|
|4||Bindura University of Science Education|
|5||Midlands State University|
|6||Great Zimbabwe University|
Eligibility to join the bachelor of medicine bachelor of surgery program in Zimbabwe:
- Pass 12th with A grades in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics
- Bachelor’s degree in Life Science and Physical Science
It takes 5 – 6 years to qualify for the degree with a tuition fee of $8,000 and $9,000 per semester, sometimes even higher, which varies with the university.
With the rising cost of education, several students choose to pursue a bachelor of surgery at Texila American University Zambia for the following reasons:
- Proximity to Zimbabwe with a serene ambiance
- Faculty with enriched qualifications and experience in the field
- The cost of education is reasonable.
- The curriculum is at par with global standards, with a state-of-the-art learning environment and exposure to contemporary practices.
- Efficiently equipped laboratories
- Network with an energetic student crowd belonging to varied nationalities and backgrounds from across the planet
Duration of medicine programs at TAU:
- Health Professions Foundation Program (HPFP) – 1-year foundation program to help students prepare for MBChB degree
- MBChB degree – 5 years
Essential skills for aspiring doctors:
Empathy and connection:
As doctors, you need to work on bonding with your patients as this develops trust and ensures they cooperate with the treatments. In addition to gaining proficiency in core clinical skills, you should listen to your patient and do a complete physical exam. Communication and interpersonal skills are essential to making a connection.
Translate complex information to patients:
In clinical practice, you should ensure that your patient and his relatives understand the message you are trying to convey. Adhering to the following strategies helps the patients understand their condition and related treatment.
- Avoiding the use of clinical terminologies
- Encouraging patients to ask questions
- Be clear and specific about the lifestyle modifications to be adopted.
- Translate broad concepts into specific tasks, for example, advising the patient to take a 30-minute walk daily, creating a detailed diet plan for meals, etc.
- Writing down the points in a prescription.
- Checking on the status during routine follow-up visits
Caring for people from all walks of life:
In clinical practice, you should care for patients with different beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, etc. Health inequity is a critical issue in healthcare since the living standards and access to quality healthcare are not the same for everyone. Did you know that beliefs, literacy, and socioeconomic conditions can influence patients:
- Perception of symptoms and health conditions
- How and when they seek medical care
- Expectations of medical care
- Preferences in treatment and procedures
- Cooperation with treatment recommendations
- Who participates in making healthcare decisions
Cultural competency ensures health equity for all and enables you to:
- Understand and appreciate the differences influencing the patient’s healthcare experience and outcome.
- Meet the healthcare needs of people from various socioeconomic backgrounds, communities, and people with disabilities.
Practicing medicine is a team effort:
Doctor professionals are just one aspect of the healthcare system. You will collaborate with physician assistants, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers, etc. Linking the roles of all healthcare service providers is essential in improving healthcare delivery and outcome.
Being responsible in using technologies:
Responsible use of technologies and staying away from them when you are greeting, counseling, or discussing health conditions help build rapport and interact with your patient better. Integrating digital technologies into healthcare has helped consolidate patient data and refer to patient history as required. But when you type and talk during a consultation, it might appear that you are distracted and fail to connect with your patients.
Help patients take charge of their health and wellness:
In addition to providing post-illness treatment, the clinical practice also involves creating awareness and educating patients on preventive measures to ensure well-being. By adhering to sleep routines, exercise, healthy eating habits, and stress reduction, you can help patients improve their quality of life. Recommendations for wearable sensors to monitor heart rhythm and blood sugar and apps for post-surgical recovery help manage health conditions and enhance well-being.
The healthcare field is rapidly evolving, and professionals must constantly update themselves on the latest tools, treatments, and procedures for various health conditions. Self-directed learning will help you stay updated on the latest technological advancements in the field and apply your learnings effectively.
Utilizing virtual platforms and digital technologies by healthcare professionals to interact and communicate with their patients increased with the covid-19 pandemic. You need specialized clinical skills related to communication in examining, interviewing, history-taking, and connecting with your patients.
Precision or personalized medicine, still in the initial phases of development, is expected to revolutionize healthcare delivery. In precision medicine, medical care is provided based on the following:
- Understanding a patient’s health condition
- Taking into account their genetics, family history
- Data on specific treatment outcomes with similar patients
Precision medicine involves interpreting scientific data, understanding patient preferences, and incorporating a personalized plan. Educating and counseling the patient on the process and approach is essential and requires exceptional communication skills.
Pursuing a career in medicine with a bachelor of surgery can be challenging; you should always ensure emotional and physical fitness.
Keep yourself fit by:
- Exercising regularly
- Take time to be with family and friends
- Adhere to healthy eating habits
- Recognize signs of burnout
In Zambia, TAU is one of the top medical universities, offering holistic education in medicine, public health, and allied fields. Its bachelor of medicine bachelor of surgery enables you to understand the importance of the doctor-patient relationship, effectively utilize available resources and provide the best therapy for your patients to improve patient outcomes. The standard of education and curriculum is continuously evolving to equip students to meet industry benchmarks.
The medical field is experiencing rapid changes with technological breakthroughs. Pursuing the MBChB program:
- provides the necessary foundation for clinical practice
- enables you to connect with your patients
- study and understand the complete patient history
- conduct a physical exam
- prepares you to face challenges and flourish in your career in medicine