Dr Paula Smith
I am Deputy Director of the MSc in Critical Care, a part-time, fully online programme aimed at all health care professionals who encounter critically ill adults in their daily practice, delivered by the University of Edinburgh, in partnership with the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. I was previously a Senior Lecturer on the MSc in Surgical Sciences, one of seven online Masters programmes in specialist surgical sciences led by the University of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
Online, distance-learning postgraduate education complements in-the-workplace training and provides a culture of studying and sharing knowledge with peers and mentors across the world, increasing the limited academic support network available to Malawian trainees from a few local dedicated surgeons to a more extensive international network. Through scholarship schemes from The Scottish Government, Johnson & Johnson, Physicians for Peace, and The UKGov Commonwealth Scholarships, we provide full-funding for Malawian surgical trainees, many of whom go on to teach Clinical Officers in Malawi after graduation. This innovative approach allows trainee surgeons to remain in their home country to attain professional milestones, preventing the “brain drain” often observed when trainees travel abroad, and which ultimately will improve patient care.