An evaluation of the medical internship programme at King Edward VIII hospital, South Africa in 2016
Background: In 2005, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) extended the duration of the internship programme to ensure that all young medical graduates are adequately prepared to work at a district hospital during their year of community service. King Edward VIII hospital (KEH) is an HPCSA accredited training hospital, which has been training interns for many years. The aim of this study was to assess intern perceptions of their training at the hospital.
Methods: This cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted at KEH in November 2016. A questionnaire was used to collect data, which were analysed descriptively.
Results: Only 53% of interns completed the questionnaire. Although teaching and supervision were provided in all domains, perceptions of the quality ranged from excellent to poor. The majority of interns worked the 64–80 hours per month commuted overtime as required by the HPCSA. However, less than 10% expressed positive views regarding the condition of the facilities and infrastructure.
Discussion and conclusions: The findings of this study were generally positive with regard to teaching, supervision and hours worked, mostly in accordance with the requirements of the HPCSA. However, a response rate of 53% as well as the single location of the study may limit generalisability and a larger study involving interns across the country is recommended.
Keywords hours worked, internship, South Africa, supervision, training