40 years of surgical education in Kenya; what does the future hold?
Surgical education structure and systems worldwide have changed gradually to incorporate not only the traditional competencies of medical knowledge, patient care and technical skills but other non-technical skills of communication, systems based practice and professionalism. Until recently, it was anticipated that these non-technical skills were learnt in the same apprenticeship manner as the other surgical skills were achieved. However, great efforts are presently being expended to incorporate these non-technical skills into curricula, with the same level of evaluation and feedback as the other more traditional skills. Even at the leadership levels of surgical communities and surgical societies, professionalism is now recognized as a priority skill for surgeons worldwide. The implementation of this new skill will likely increase trust between surgeon and patient and hopefully improve the standards of patient care and safety. In Kenya, there have been suggestions of mistrust including increased litigation and adverse media reports on doctor’s conduct. These suggest that we have an opportune moment to consider changing the system to return trust in the healing profession. This paper discusses why the Kenyan surgical society and other medical professional bodies should seize the opportunity to ensure the standards of training in Kenya incorporate professionalism in order to ensure better improved skill set for the present medical graduates.
Keywords: Medical Education, Non Technical Skills, Professionalism
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