Saturday, 29 May 2010

First Rhodesian Trained Doctors Qualify In 1968

Of the 16 students from the Godfrey Huggins School of Medicine at the University College of Rhodesia who qualified as the first Rhodesian-trained doctors, three achieved an honours standard. This was better than at their parent university of Birmingham, where last year two out of 90 students achieved a similar standard.

One student out of a total of 17 was unsuccessful and has been permitted to sit supplementary examinations.

The dean of the faculty of medicine. Prof. Lindsay Davidson, attributed the high standard of the students to the small size of the medical school and the keenness of the staff and the students. He also believed that the original intake of the students was better than average.

A Great Shortage

Sir Frederick Crawford, of the Anglo American Corporation, which awarded a £100 prize to the "top of the class" student, stressing the (real shortage of doctors in the country, pleaded for a new and adequate teaching hospital near the university.

He had been told that 135 Rhodesians had applied to study medicine in l969.

The Rhodesian medical school now provided an outlet in Southern Africa, because the South African Universities of Witwatersrand and Cape Town had ceased to take Africans. Natal University had to close its doors to Rhodesian Africans in order to concentrate its efforts on Africans from the Republic.

In Rhodesia there were 34.000 people to each doctor in the rural areas and 1.800 to each doctor in the urban centres, as compared with 1.000 people to each doctor in the more developed countries overseas.


Presenting the Anglo American Award. Lord Malvern, after whom the Godfrey Huggins School of Medicine is named, congratulated the teaching staff for the very fine effort they had put into producing the first doctors trained in Rhodesia.

The medical school enrolment in the 1968 academic session was 32 in the first year, 25 in the second, 37 in the third. 28 in the fourth, 23 in the fifth and 17 in the sixth, making a total of 162.

1st Rhodesian Doctors
Lord Malvern presents the prize to
Dr. John Knottenbelt for obtaining
the best results at the Medical School.
He passed with distinction in medicine,
paediatrics and gynaecology.

End of Article

Recompiled by Eddy Norris, for use on ORAFs, from the Rhodesian Commentary December 9, 1968 which was made available by Diarmid Smith. Thanks Diarmid


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