Development and implementation of an emergency medicine graduate training program at Addis Ababa University School of Medicine: challenges and successes

Ethiop Med J. 2014 Jul:Suppl 2:13-9.


Background: Ethiopians experience high rates of acute illness and injury that have been sub-optimally addressed by the existing health care system. High rates of patient morbidity and mortality prompted the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and the Addis Ababa University School of Medicine (AAU-SM) to prioritize the establishment of emergency medicine (EM) as a medical specialty in Ethiopia to meet this acute health system need.

Objectives: To review the EM residency training program developed and implemented at AAU-SM in partnership with the University of Wisconsin (UW), the University of Toronto (UT) and University of Cape Town (UCT) and to evaluate the progress and challenges to date.

Methods: An EM Task Force (EMTF) at AAU-SM developed a context-specific three-year graduate EM curriculum with UW input. This curriculum has been co-implemented by faculty teachers from AAU-SM, UT and UW. The curriculum together with all documents (written, audio, video) are reviewed and used as a resource for this article.

Results: Seventeen residents are currently in full-time training. Five residents research projects are finalized and 100% of residents passed their year-end exams.

Conclusion: A novel graduate EM training program has been successfully developed and implemented at AAU-SM. Interim results suggest that this curriculum and tri-institutional collaboration has been successful in addressing the emergency health needs of Ethiopians and bolstering the expertise of Ethiopian physicians. This program, at the forefront of EM education in Africa, may serve as an effective model for future EM training development throughout Africa.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Medicine / education*
  • Ethiopia
  • Hospitals, University / organization & administration*
  • Hospitals, Urban / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Program Development