The fifth report of the Kitchener School of Medicine

The British Medical Journal, Feb 13, 1937

The fifth report of ‘the Kitchener School of Medicine, Khartum, covers the period 1933-5, and includes the reports of the assessors for these years, who were respectively Professor A. K. Henry and Dr. H. L. Tidy, Professor H. B. Day and Mr. Hugh Lett, and Sir Walter Langdon-Brown and Mr. C. H. Fagge. It is announced that the previous curriculum of four years followed by a compulsory year of postgraduate training in resident appointments has now been replaced by a course lasting five years. Comment is made that the students’ knowledge of facts is very good, but that there is weakness in their ability to argue from them and to make the deduction which is a most essential part of the training of a medical practitioner.
The proposed change in the curriculum would probably be of benefit in this connexion, especially if associated with the selection of students of the most promising type and the early weeding out of those who appear unsuitable. Entrants to the School of Medicine are selected from the fourth-year students of the scientific section of the Gordon College.

A graphic museum is being built and equipped at an approximate cost of £3,200; it will contain sections dealing with all diseases, and particularly with public health and quarantine problems of the Sudan. A pathological laboratory to accommodate ten students has been erected, and various pathological specimens have been sent to the museum from London. The number of hospital beds available for teaching purposes has increased from 270 in 1930 to 560 in 1935, and separate departments of ophthalmology, obstetrics, and gynaecology have been organized in addition to those already existing for medicine and surgery. All obstetrical work has been centralized under the Government obstetrical surgeon, comprising the midwives’ training school, midwifery conducted in the district, and the Omdurman hospital for women, labour cases being carefully apportioned between medical students and midwife pupils. It is hoped that this scheme will go a long way towards solving the difficulty, always present in a Moslem country, of obtaining enough practical experience in midwifery for medical students. The first postgraduate course will probably be held in 1939, and the organization of this will be the only new development during the next few years.

Selected Sudanese medical officers are to be promoted to the rank of Sudanese medical inspector to undertake the duties of the present British medical inspectors. The cadre of British medical practitioners is only forty-three, and it will not be advisable in the public interest to reduce the number appreciably for many years to come, but it is expected that new posts created by future developments will be filled by suitable’ Sudanese officials. Three Sudanese sanitary officers have qualified, and are successfully holding posts previously filled by British sanitary inspectors, enabling the services of these latter to be used to greater advantage elsewhere, adequate direct supervision of the sanitary service now being estab– lished even in the more distant parts of the country. Sixty six graduates of the Kitchener School will have replaced the entire cadre of Syrian medical officers by 1938, and the future output will be sufficient to replace wastage, relieve medical officers on post-graduate ‘courses, and cater for future.