UCT Department of Surgery and Division of General Surgery

University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town, founded in 1829, is one of the world’s leading universities and ranked the highest in Africa. The University seeks to be “an outstanding teaching and research institution, educating for life, and addressing the challenges facing our society”. Part of its mission is to be an Afropolitan institution, by creating centres of research and teaching excellence that will bring together academics from South Africa, the rest of Africa and the world.

The Faculty of Health Sciences

Marking its 110th anniversary in 2022, UCT FHS is the oldest medical school in sub-Saharan Africa, with a prestigious reputation for medical achievement and ground- breaking research that has impacted on health globally. It is also known for having trained some of the best health practitioners and health scientists internationally.

The Faculty comprises of 13 academic departments: Anaesthesia & Perioperative Medicine, Department of Medicine, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Health Sciences Education, Human Biology, Integrative Biomedical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Child Health, Pathology, Psychiatry and Mental Health, Public Health and Family Medicine, Radiation Medicine and Surgery.

The Faculty has a strong tradition of basic clinical health systems and public health research. Funding for research is available on a competitive basis from both the public sector- principally the South African Medical Research Council and the National Research Foundation - and international as well as other local funders. Details of research in the Faculty are given in the University's annual research report (https://www.paperturn-view.com/?pid=MTI124437&v=1.3 )

Department of Surgery

The Department prides itself on providing an outstanding, highly specialized clinical service and excellent teaching to under- and postgraduate students, with a strong emphasis on research. In addition to undergraduate teaching, the Department of Surgery provides surgical training for postgraduate students (South African and international registrars) as well as Senior Registrars undertaking sub-specialist training and also Research Fellows. There are over 200 registrars registered for a Masters in Medicine as well as numerous fellows undertaking subspeciality training in the Department. Teaching is in the form of formal tutorials, Morbidity and Mortality meetings, research meetings, clinical meetings, observation, ward rounds as well as supervised surgical procedures. Our graduates are among the most sought-after worldwide, many having taken up leadership positions in other centres around the country and internationally.

Department of Surgery: Division of General Surgery

General Surgery is the largest Division in the Department of Surgery and provides its clinical service at Groote Schuur Hospital through 8 subspecialist Units: Hepatobiliary Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Surgical Oncology/Endocrine, Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery, and Acute Care Surgery, Trauma Centre and Transplantation. Each Units/Firm in the Division provides a highly specialized clinical service, responsible for in-patient and out-patient surgical care and engaging with relevant Groote Schuur clinical and academic collaborators through a range of multidisciplinary teams and research programmes. The Division also works closely with District and Secondary hospital in the referral network striving to provide a seamless clinical service from primary through to quaternary surgical care.

The Division is responsible for teaching undergraduate medical students in the 5th and 6th years of the MBChB curriculum. The teaching is in the form of in-person and online lectures and tutorials with on- site clinical training. The Division also has a substantial postgraduate teaching and training commitment for registrars training in General Surgery and for surgeons sub-specializing in various General Surgery sub-specialities, such as surgical gastroenterology, vascular surgery, critical care and trauma. The trainees write the examinations set by the College of Surgeons of South Africa and are also required to complete the MMed degree by way of a mini-dissertation after passing the FCS examination from the College.

Surgical research is a high priority of the Division, and the Division has an exceptional record regarding publications and presentations at national and international conferences. The Division has a surgical research laboratory and access to small and large animal surgical facilities. Although the clinical service is largely based at Groote Schuur Hospital, the surgical services at the regional and district hospitals form an integral part of the Division. These hospitals include the New Somerset Hospital, Victoria Hospital and Mitchell’s Plain Hospital, as well as Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Further information on the Department of Surgery and the Division of General Surgery may be obtained at www.surgery.uct.ac.za. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact the Head of General Surgery, Professor Lydia Cairncross on tel. 021 4066229.