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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 249-254

The intricate relationship between a medical school and a teaching hospital: A case study in Uganda

Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Correspondence Address:
Aloysius Gonzaga Mubuuke
Radiology Department, School of Medicine, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.152183

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Background: The relationship between medical schools and teaching hospitals is full of opportunities but also challenges even though they have complementary goals that could enhance each other. Although medical schools and teaching hospitals may face some similar challenges around the world, there could be context-specific observations that differ in resource-rich versus resource-limited settings. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that are perceived to have influenced the relationship between a medical school and a teaching hospital in Uganda, a resource-limited setting. Methods: This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study in which key informant individual interviews were conducted with senior administrators and senior staff members of the Mulago Hospital and Makerere University Medical School. The interviews explored factors perceived to have favoured the working relationship between the two institutions, challenges faced and likely future opportunities. Both quantitative and qualitative data were generated. Thematic analysis was used with the qualitative data. Results: Respondents reported a strained relationship between the two institutions, with unfavourable factors far outweighing the favourable factors influencing the relationship. Key negative reported factors included having different administrative set-ups, limited opportunities to share funds and to forge research collaborations, unexploited potential of sharing human resources to address staff shortages, as well as a lack of a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions. Discussion: This study identifies barriers in the existing relationship between a teaching hospital and medical college in a resource-poor country. It proposes a collaborative model, rather than competitive model, for the two institutions that may work in both resource-limited and resource-rich settings.

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