Help train Family Doctors in Malawi

The Department of Family Medicine at the University of Malawi College of Medicine is crowdfunding to raise support to help train Postgraduate trainees for its Masters of Medicine (MMed)  in Family Medicine program. The Department is seeking to diversify the resources to support scholarships to support new MMed registrars (postgraduate trainees, also known as residents in the US). These trainees will be part of the first generation of Family Medicine doctors training in Malawi.

Training Family Doctors is a way to improving health care systems in Malawi and around the world. We urge you take part in raising funds for training Family Doctors.

This research article  published in the Malawi Medical Journal describes the development and implementation of family medicine training and practice in Malawi, with special attention given to its current status and the projected role the trained family physician will be expected to play in the future

Who are we? and Where are we from?

We are doctors working as faculty teachers based at the Department Family Medicine at the University of Malawi College of Medicine in Blantyre, Malawi.
We partner with several hospitals around Malawi for training of medical students and postgraduates (resident) in Family Medicine. Partner hospitals for postgraduate teaching include Mangochi District Hospital and Nkhoma Mission Hospital.

Mr Andrew Mihawa, who works as a program manager based within the Department of Family Medicine, manages our GoFundMe campaign page including updates and communications.

More details about our group can be found at: http://sphfm.medcol.mw/family-medicine/ . We can be reached via institutional email at: hodfamilymedicine@medcol.mw or by WhatsApp at: +265 99 66 09 201. We produce a monthly newsletter  to update you on our work. Email us and we will sign you up.
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What is our relationship to the Family Doctors in training?

We are teachers to the Doctors in training. We have daily working relationships with the students in training who will be impacted by these funds. The Faculty teach and provide clinical service at our partner District hospitals in partnership with staff and students at the hospitals.

The Doctors in training are our future students for whom we are trying to raise scholarships. We want more students to be able to pursue training to become a family medicine doctor. Training includes tuition fees paid to the College of Medicine and a monthly stipend (upkeep) paid to the trainee.

We are currently limited in the amount of doctors we can train because of the limited number of scholarships currently available.


How will the funds be spent?

The Family Medicine Faculty  will coordinate utilization of the funds based on 1) amount of funds raised, 2) student need.

The target budget justification is:

1)      Scholarship for Annual tuition paid directly to the University of Malawi College Medicine for the Master of Medicine Degree ($3,300 annual tuition x 4 years (length of program) x 2 future family doctors = $26,400).

2)      Basic stipend to financially support the trainee in rural service during the period of training (housing, educational materials). ($700 monthly x 12 months x 4 years x 2 future family doctors =$67,200) Of note, this stipend is paid to all types of doctor trainees, from Obstetrics, to Pediatrics, to Surgery.

3)      $26,400 + $67,200 = 93,600 (for 2 Family Doctors across 4 years)

4)      The goal of this campaign is set at: $100,000.

5)      Balance of funds, if we only raise a partial stipend, or if we raise above $93,600, will go to support needed program costs such as: learning resources for doctors (laptops) or transport or accommodation for rural based learning as determined by the program leadership.


What is our plan to get the funds from the GoFundMe campaign to Malawi where they are needed?

Access to the money is being coordinated with the US-based non-profit organization Med Ed Exchange, based in Arkansas, USA. The mission of Med Ed Exchange is to support medical education for family medicine doctors in training and undergraduate medical students for the purposes of promoting strong community primary health care in the US and overseas. Educational support includes: Sponsorship of scholarships and multi-site medical educational exchange for learners.
Funds will be transferred through Med Ed Exchange and accessed through an account based in Malawi which the University of Malawi College of Medicine Department of Family Medicine Faculty has oversight.

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