At present the Department of Family Medicine at Worcester Hospital consists of Professor Hoffie Conradie, Dr Anri Wenteler and Dr Francois Coetzee.
Professor Conradie and Dr Coetzee work primarily at the Rural Clinical School of the University of Stellenbosch and have their offices on the Worcester campus. SURMEPI funding has enabled the Rural Clinical School to appoint Dr Coetzee as a clinical tutor for the final year students at Worcester Hospital, the final year students at the district hospitals and for Family Medicine registrars. Professor Conradie and Dr Coetzee are involved with the medical students and Family Medicine registrars training, student examinations and outreach to the district hospitals. Dr Wenteler is the manager for the Family Medicine ward in Worcester Hospital and she does outreach to the HIV clinics and HIV medication initiation (NIMARD) training of nursing staff.
Students rotate for a Family Medicine rural rotation for four weeks during the middle phase of their medical curriculum. This rotation takes place in either their fourth or fifth year of training. They spend this time at a district hospital and the aim is to give them exposure to the rural context and to generate an interest in the practice of medicine in a rural environment. This rotation was recently (January 2014) extended from two weeks to four weeks as suggested by students who completed the rotation previously.
Family Physicians at District Hospitals
At present there are eight Family Physicians working at district hospitals and clinics in the Cape Winelands and Overberg Districts:
- Dr Hans Hendriks at Ceres Hospital and the clinics in district
- Dr Klaus Von Pressintin at Robertson Hospital and the clinics in district
- Dr Colette Gunst at the ARV clinics and the regional office
- Dr Herma Steyn at the Worcester community day centre
- Dr Helena Lubbe at Swellendam Hospital and the clinics in district
- Dr Sumara Botma at Swellendam Hospital and the clinics in district
- Dr Anthony Hess at Caledon Hospital and the clinics in district
- Dr Stefanie Perold at Hermanus Hospital and the clinics in district
These Family Physicians responsibilities include: supervision and training junior doctors and medical students, clinical governance at various levels, management and administrative duties and clinical duties.
SURMEPI is in the process of creating knowledge hubs at each of the district hospitals that are involved with the Rural Clinical School. The knowledge hubs entail a package of access to the University of Stellenbosch Library via the SURMEPI website, building of learning centres at the district hospitals, providing fast DSL internet connections for video conferencing and providing resource books.
Family Physicians Forum
SURMEPI has made it possible for Family Physicians to receive coaching during their quarterly Family Physicians Forum.
A need for coaching was identified by the family physicians working in the rural districts and it was decided that a professional life coach who also is a doctor would provide coaching at the Family Physicians Forum. This coaching is aimed to support family physicians concerning their role as pioneers in a challenging environment. During the coaching sessions the brainstorming and facilitation of practical solutions take place and opportunities are created where best practices are shared and explained.