By Lorraine Anyango
Consultants working at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) held a meeting with the hospital’s management to streamline the internship process and experience at the facility.
The meeting brought to speed the national guidelines from the Kenya Medical and Dentist Board Practitioners Council (KMDPC) and reviewed the internship training guidelines.
The participants deliberated on how to create a favorable internship environment for trainees and ensure that they give and get the best of the training period.
Issues of mental health for the trainees were also discussed, as it emerged that the common mental health issues are depression, anxiety including post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse insomnia, and burnout.
The issues that contribute to mental health problems include a transition from student to doctors, delay in payments, patient care pressure, heavy workload, as one may feel they are not permitted to take Sick off, relationships, work culture, environment, and even bullying and harassment.
Dr. Matilda Wendo who is a consultant physician and the medical intern coordinator at JOOTRH informed the meeting that monitoring and evaluation of interns are done from a central point using the OSP portal which has a user guide specifically for all the players including the intern, intern supervisor, intern coordinator, the internship center as well as the council.
Each of the players in the internship process has a specific role whose big picture is to provide a platform for interns to apply the skills in a practical sense under a supervisor or a specialist or a mentor who is a coach as well.
The council has designated a log book to standardize internship training with a particular emphasis on core competencies and skills to be acquired during the determined period.
“The reported feedback is a useful tool to the council which determines whether or not an intern qualifies for registration and practice.”Dr. Wendo said.
The council has also set in place a new office that looks into fitness to practice for interns, which involves lodging a complaint, which includes submitting a complaint and writing to the CEO or KMPDC.
The fitness to practice committee attaches minutes of a meeting held to declare an intern not qualified for practice/registration, they give evidence and outcome of corrective measures that have been instituted and write documents which are signed by the intern indicating that rotation is unsuccessful.
The committee also receives the response from the intern to the KMPDC, they conduct fitness to Practice assessments of the interns including medical assessment and knowledge gap assessment, and examination board from the council and eventually give their recommendations.
The meeting also deliberated on the importance of mentorships and psycho social support to interns Some of the Solutions that aid mitigation in the matter being settling individual issues through Support programs and employee-assisted programs that look into the Physical, Mental Emotional well-being of the employee, drug, and substance abuse.
The importance of fostering peer support was also highlighted and suggestions for support to be archived through education through CME’s webinars and conferences that include mental health conferences, coaching, and mentorship and peer support mentorship and advocacy are welcomed.