Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
The Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, established in 1956, is one of the leading health sciences faculties in South Africa. The faculty’s aim is “to develop future health professionals who through innovation and leadership will promote health, prevent disease, and provide optimal healthcare”.
The student body comprises over 5000 students enrolled in five undergraduate and 80 postgraduate programmes. Not only is there a strong focus on the quality of teaching and learning, the faculty is also recognized for its world class research on several high priority conditions in Africa, including infectious and non-communicable diseases such as HIV and TB, cancer and cardiovascular disease, amongst other research themes.
The Department of Surgical Sciences, headed by Prof Elmin Steyn, consists of nine divisions, namely, Cardiothoracic surgery, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology, Orthopaedic surgery, Paediatric surgery, Plastic reconstructive surgery, Urology and Surgery.
The vision of the Division of Surgery is to “advance optimal surgical care in South Africa and beyond” by creating and sustaining a culture of transformative learning; contributing to the discovery, sharing and translation of knowledge that will promote health, surgical knowledge and skill; and by benefiting the broader community by means of education, prevention and treatment. The Division consists of a number of units, including Vascular surgery, Trauma surgery, Breast and endocrine, Surgical intensive care, Burns, and Surgical gastroenterology.
The Division offers both undergraduate and postgraduate training programmes. Postgraduate students wishing to pursue a career in surgery may apply for surgical specialty training towards the degree MMed (CHIR). There are currently 30 registrars in the division undergoing such training. In addition to promoting collaborative and interdisciplinary research, the Division frequently hosts innovative courses, workshops, and congresses, such as the recent annual Registrar Symposium. The Stellenbosch University Surgical Society is “a student-driven society aimed at young aspiring surgeons” and acts as a platform for students to gain knowledge in what various surgical fields have to offer and focuses on teaching and refining practical surgical skills. The society offers various talks and workshops throughout the year and is actively involved in outreach programmes serving communities within the Tygerberg Hospital area.