16 Mar 2009

Specialist medical students in Fiji falling short

8:13 pm on 16 March 2009

A new study found only about one third of specialist medial students in Fiji complete their full training.

The study was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

After finishing medical school, graduates can specialise in five areas, including pediatrics, anesthesia, internal medicine, gynecology and surgery.

The study's lead-researcher, Dr Kimberly Oman, says the high drop-out rate is of concern.

"There were 66 that had started training by 2004. 21 were Masters graduates and 42 were diploma graduates, who had left training permanently. The ones who had left training before getting a masters had quite low retention in the public service. There was only about 13 out of the 42 who had been retained, whereas the ones with the Masters, only three had left."

Dr Kimberly Oman says the drop outs went either into the private sector or overseas.

She says the main reasons were a lack of transparency in the selection of doctors and uncertain career progressions.