In what has beena progressive process,the Residency Thematic Area Committee of the ESOG-ACOG Collaborative Project handed over documents of harmonized curriculum and minimum requirements to 12 institutions, which are currently running the OB-GYN residency programs.
An agreement was reached to set minimum requirements and core competencies and educational objectives for residency programs on a consultative meeting conducted on November 28, 2016. The Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG) took the initiative to harmonize curriculums and adopts standards under its project with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG).
The objective of the documents is to harmonize the curriculum being used by various residency programs in various institutions and setting minimum standards for institutions to fulfil before they are allowed to launch the program.
Our communications team has witnessed the handover event in two of the 12 institutions: Wolayita Sodo University Referral Hospital and Hawassa Referral Hospital. The handover in these institutions was led by Dr. Balkachew Nigatu, ESOG’s vice president. Dr. Balkachew handed over the documents to Dr. Birhanetsehay T. Tsadik, chief executive director of Wolayita University Referral Hospital and Dr. Zerai Kassaye, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Hawassa University Referral Hospital.
The handover involved a presentation on the documents and discussions with the residents and the administrations. Both institutions warmly welcomed the arrival of the documents and shared their views and concerns during the discussions.
The administration at Wolayita Sodo Referral Hospital was highly concerned of the number of staff it currently has. The program at Wolayita is supported by only three gynecologists and only one of whom is a senior staff. The concern seems understandable as the program at Wolayita might face a serious scrutiny based on the new requirements set in the document: the availability of at least four gynecologists to be able to run the program.
The discussion at Hawassa was rather filled with a tone of confidence as the curriculum there is already in line in most of the areas with the new documents. Participants challenged the absence of intensive annual exams in the new documents. They asserted those exams have helped maintain their focus on their studies as residents. They were referring to third year exit exams for residents, which is no longer required to be administered according to the newly harmonized curriculum.
The document entitled- National Harmonized Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialty Training Curriculum is a 96 pages document outlining what a residency program should look like content wise. The document outlines requirements regarding Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Practice Based Learning and Improvement, Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Professionalism and Ethics, Systems Based Practice, Admission Requirements, Graduation Requirements, Nomenclature of the Specialty Certificates, Teaching and Learning Methods, Assessment Methods and Grading Criteria, Grading, Promotion and Course Scheduling.
It further elaborates the year by year course and practice contents that must be undertaken by a candidate resident before graduation.
The other document handed over, on the other hand, is entitled Minimum Requirements for Accreditation of Residency Educational Programs. This document presents a roadmap for institutions and requirements that need to be fulfilled before the opening of a residency program.The requirements involve Human Resource, Number and Variety of Patients, Physical and Technical Resources, Clinical Services, Supporting Services, Equipment and Financial Support.
A national board is to be established to review how competent programs are in the various institutions. Once national review starts programs will be labeled Green for good to go, Yellow for required improvements in the program or Red for a possible shut down of the program.