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The Dean of the School of Clinical Medicine,
Professor Richard Hift, addressing fourth year
students at the Nelson R Mandela School of
Medicine campus.

The Dean of UKZN’s School of Clinical Medicine, Professor Richard Hift, welcomed fourth-year students to his School based at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine.

Hift outlined the curriculum for the year and advised students to work hard to achieve their dream of becoming good doctors.

He said they would undergo extensive problem-based experiential learning at hospitals over the next three years.

‘Our programme is essentially outcomes-based and aims to produce competent, caring, professional, thinking clinicians,’ said Hift.

Students were reminded of available resources and services where they could get assistance if they were struggling to cope.

Dr Saloschini Pillay, College Manager: Student Support Services gave an overview of the support services. She said students frequently experience anxiety and stress emanating from academic, social, emotional or financial issues.

‘While most students cope adequately with these pressures and demands, some become overwhelmed, and without constructive help their sense of wellbeing and academic performance may be threatened,’ she said.

Student Support Services helps students regain the emotional balance necessary to cope with the demands of university life. ‘The University offers self-care counselling and academic mentoring.’

Head of the Department of Surgery, Professor Thandinkosi Madiba, told students: ‘Learning starts with enthusiasm.’  He advised them to always display professional integrity at all times. 

The youngest doctor to qualify at UKZN, Dr Sandile Kubheka, said: ‘Medicine is learned in the wards. It is important to spend time in the Library, but more time must be spent in the wards.’

Kubheka emphasised the importance of treating patients with dignity and to always respect nurses.