Specialisation patterns of medical graduates, University of Malawi College of Medicine, Blantyre
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Objective: To describe specialization patterns of medical graduates of the University of Malawi College of Medicine. Design: Cross sectional study. Subjects: Medical graduates of the University of Malawi College of Medicine. Setting: University of Malawi College of Medicine. Main Outcome Measures: Specialty choices, sources of funding for training, employer at time of graduate studies and country where specialist training obtained. Results: Between 1991 and 2000,60 (35.5%) of the 169 graduates of the College of Medicine of the University of Malawi have obtained or are in specialist training, 38/60 (63.3%) with training institutions either in the United States or the United Kingdom, 10 (16.7%) had gone to South Africa, 8% Kenya, 5% to the Republic of China (Taiwan) and 3.3% to Uganda. Other countries are; Uganda, Australia and Finland. The preferred specialties were; Public Health 17 (28.8%), Internal Medicine 12 (20%) and Paediatrics 10 (16.7%). Most of the funding was provided by agencies/institutions in the USA and UK. At the time of their training fellowship, 33 (55%) of the candidates were employed by the College of Medicine, 24 (40%) by the public service and the rest, three (5%) by other institutions. Conclusions: Most Malawian medical graduates are obtaining their specialty training overseas funded mostly by institutions/agencies in the UK and USA. There is need to explore ways on how training could be provided regionally. Malawi and her neighbors must develop post graduate specialty training locally and regionally.