oa South African Medical Journal - Training South African clinician-scientists : lessons from the University of Cape Town’s intercalated programme - in practice - statement

Volume 109 Number 12
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



In 2011, the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (SA), established the Clinician-Scientist Training Programme (UCTCSTP), consisting of intercalated BMedSci Hons/MB ChB and integrated MB ChB/MSc/PhD tracks. We report and reflect on the programme’s performance and challenges. The UCTCSTP has so far enrolled 71 students: 51 have received BMedSci Hons degrees and 4 have received Master’s degrees, while there are 14 BMedSci Hons, 4 MSc and 4 PhD candidates. Graduates have produced significant research outputs, and many remain actively engaged in research. The UCTCSTP has been successful in encouraging a cohort of future clinician-scientists, but should aim to broaden and improve its appeal to address the need to transform and grow the SA clinical academic workforce. As graduates progress with their postgraduate clinical training, they require institutional support and guidance, which may necessitate policy reform.

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