August 03, 2010

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and West African College of Physicians (WACP) Partnership

The RCP and WACP

Supporting medical practice and educational opportunities in West Africa

The role of the RCP: strengthening partners
The RCP is supporting the needs of physicians in the region by partnering with the West African College of Physicians (WACP) in a joint effort to improve standards of training in West Africa. The two colleges signed a formal agreement in 2008 to work in partnership towards this objective, which will contribute to the broader aim of the advancement of medicine, and the improvement of patient care in the region.

Our partnership focuses on strengthening the capacity of the WACP to train the physicians of the future in two main areas: medical education and clinical sub-specialty training. This is being done through the WACP/RCP collaboration programme for educational capacity building launched in 2009, a three year project working with the countries with WACP membership: Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal.

Activities include:

Faculty Development
Using the RCP expertise in training physicians as educators, we are training a WACP Faculty to deliver educational workshops for doctors and other healthcare professionals. Through this activity the WACP fellows (with teaching responsibilities) will be trained to further develop their teaching skills, and to structure a new education faculty within their College.

Clinical training
This activity has two main components:

Future clinical leaders
A number of doctors will be trained in sub-specialty areas identified as urgent priorities by the WACP. These doctors, in the formative years of their careers, will receive focused sub-specialty training in the UK for three month periods.

Visiting UK Specialists
Two-week teaching visits by leading clinicians from the UK to West African centres to demonstrate advances in their areas, appropriate for adoption in West Africa.
Both components will open opportunities for clinical training and foster links between centres of excellence in West Africa and the UK.

Learning resources
We are reinforcing the available resources for trainees in academic centres in the region. We are providing the WACP accredited teaching institutions with Medical Masterclass Institutional Premier packages, the main RCP's distance-learning resource.

Joint scientific meeting
A joint conference to bring the officers and staff of the Colleges together, along with Fellows and Members, to share knowledge and expertise, celebrate success and plan future collaboration. The conference will take place in The Gambia in November 2011.

This program is supported by an unrestricted grant from Pfizer Inc.

Source: RCP website

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