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Public Health Medicine Specialist Training

Course convenor: Prof Leslie London

The School of Public Health and Primary Health Care offers a four-year training programme leading to specialist registration with the SA Medical and Dental Council. Candidates will be trained in Public health management, service and research skills.

The route to qualification is via the examination system of the College of Public Health Medicine of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. The full set of new regulations in operation since 2001 can be obtained from the School of Public Health and Family Medicine.

Training objectives in the Department of Public Health exceed the minimum basic syllabus requirements of the College of Medicine of South Africa. Theoretical inputs are provided during the first two and half years and include the wide range of areas. See course subject areas below. Trainees participate in modular training as part of the Master in Public Health (MPH) programme (which includes Epidemiology; Biostatistics; Health Management; and Health Economics) and the Diploma in Occupational Health, and participate fully. This includes lectures and other coursework, homework, test, all examinations and research project work. Registrars will not be able to obtain the diplomas (DOH) or masters (MPH) degree even though they will be participating fully in these courses, as University policy prohibits dual course registration and qualification. The content of these courses is part and parcel of the MMed programme for Public Health specialisation. The University recognition for successful participation of registrars in these courses is the MMed degree. Registrars will be provided with a certificate of attendance, which they may use, for Curriculum Vitae purposes as evidence of having completed the course requirements of these three courses.

Additional structured supplementary teaching; seminars; journal clubs and academic meetings are also provided.

Attachments to various Public health services and the Department are aimed at exposing candidates to the full scope of Public health practice. Experience with service and public health surveillance functions, and management and administrative structures, is provided by the allocation of tasks and projects to candidates by health service managers. There will also be attachments in research, teaching and service functions carried out by Departmental staff.

Registrars will be released from their service attachments to attend the above courses.

By the end of the course candidates will be expected to demonstrate defined competencies in the various components of Public health listed under "Course Subject Areas". A list of competencies appears at the end of the College regulations.


Candidates must have

  • MB ChB, MB BCh, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the Health Professions Council of South Africa for registration as a medical practitioner in South Africa
  • Two years of supervised medical practice which may include the internship year, and the year of compulsory community service
  • and must
  • be registered for the MMed degree in Public Health Medicine with the University
  • obtain a Fellowship in the College of Public Health Medicine by successfully completing the College examination after in the third or fourth year of the registrarship.
  • have completed four years of supervised time approved by the Head of Department in a recognised (registrar's) training post in the Department. Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the quality and quantity of the work output of candidates will be performed by Departmental staff, and it is incumbent upon the candidates to demonstrate adequate attendance and performance in terms of the expectations of this training position (details available on request).
  • candidates are required to obtain an MMed degree by completing a dissertation within two years of obtaining the Fellowship.
COURSE SUBJECT AREAS are provided in detail in the regulations

Population Sciences

  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Demography
  • Application of epidemiology to the control and prevention of communicable and non-communicable health related conditions
Behavioural and Social Sciences
  • Community Psychology
  • Sociology and Social Anthropology
  • Social Work
Management Sciences
  • Management & Administration
  • Organisational Development, Management & Leadership
  • Managing Information
  • Health Policy & Health Systems
  • Health Economics, Financing, & Financial Management
  • Human Resource Development & Management
  • Organisation/Planning/Evaluation of Health Services
Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Occupational Hygiene
  • Environmental Health
  • Infectious Disease Control
Application details and Enquiries:

Ms Faranaaz Bennett
School of Public Health and Primary Health Care
Faculty of Health Sciences
Anzio Road, Observatory ,7925
South Africa
Tel: +27 - 21 - 406 6818
Fax: +27 - 21 - 406 6459

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