African Paediatric Fellowship Programme

Paediatric Rheumatology

Short-term attachment

1 Year Diploma Masters' Programme


Associate Professor and Head:
C Scott MBChB Cape Town FCPaed SA


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The Rheumatology Department provide outpatient and inpatient care in Paediatric Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital and Red Cross Hospital.  

Basic competence to manage paediatric rheumatic conditions of children and adolescents with specific reference to the socio-economic, health and cultural context of Africa, Knowledge and competence in the spectrum of rheumatic diseases, knowledge and practise of paediatric rheumatology and special  Special Skills i,e:  Competence in the examination of the musculoskeletal system,   aspirate and inject synovial joints and analyse synovial fluids, appreciate and develop counselling and communication skills

Trainees participate as full members of the clinical team. Out of hours attendance is optional, but daytime attendance (08.30-17.00) is essential to attain adequate teaching and clinical exposure time. Only trainees registered for 1 or 2 year attachments will be eligible to be part of active patient care, shorter attachments will be eligible for observation only (see short attachment, 2 year and 1 year training period below).    

Research projects are encouraged and the supervisors will facilitate this. Trainees are encouraged to become involved in the under and postgraduate teaching program providing their own tutorials and teaching sessions for junior doctors, students and other health practitioners.    

The encouraged rotation is the 2 years Master’s program, trainees complete with an accredited exit examination and the Master’s. For specific focused training needs there is a 1 year PG Diploma.   
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Duration of training: 24 months
Convener: Associate Professor C Scott (Department of Paediatrics and Child Health)

Curriculum outline
FMC68  The curriculum outline is as follows:

   NQF credits NQF level
PED7041W  -  MPhil Paediatric Rheumatology Part 1  120  9
PED7042W  - Paediatric Rheumatology Minor Dissertation    60  9
                                                                                                                     Total NQF credits:  180  


120 NQF credits at NQF level 9
Convener: Associate Professor C Scott
Course entry requirements: None
Course outline:
This training programme forms part of the credentialling process of specialist paediatricians to become subspecialists in paediatric rheumatology. Students follow the relevant curriculum of the College of Paediatricians of South Africa and, on successful completion of the Certificate in Paediatric Rheumatology examination of the College, are granted credit towards  PED7041W. Training includes guidance in obtaining a thorough foundational knowledge in a range of basic sciences, and in the diagnosis and management of an extensive range of rheumatic diseases. Content covers the epidemiology, aetiology, pathogenesis, pathology, immunology, and clinical features and management of the rheumatic diseases. These include inflammatory joint disorders, regional pain problems, soft-tissue rheumatism and related conditions; autoimmune rheumatic diseases; vasculitides; metabolic bone disorders; regional bone disorders; and infections, arthritis and other miscellaneous disorders such as rheumatic syndromes associated with endocrine and haematological disorders and cancer-associated rheumatic diseases. Candidates are also trained in the application of appropriate laboratory tests. They gain extensive experience in the assessment and management of rheumatological emergencies, and acquire a range of special clinical skills such as the aspiration and injection of synovial joints and the analysis of synovial fluids. For the detailed curriculum, see the regulations of the relevant College of Paediatricians of South Africa at
DP requirements: At least 18 months as a subspeciality trainee in an accredited subspeciality unit; a written report from the head of the institution/programme indicating adequate clinical progress and competency; a completed logbook; presentation or acceptance for presentation of an original first-author research poster or paper at a local or international congress, or submission or acceptance for publication of an original first-author or co-authored manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal.
Assessment: Candidates write the relevant examination of the college of Paediatricians of South Africa. The examination has two components: a written component and an oral/OSCE/clinical component. Each of the two components contributes 50% to the overall mark. A subminimum pass mark of 50% is required in each of the two (written and the oral/OSCE/clinical) components of the examination.

60 NQF credits at NQF level 9
Convener: Associate Professor C Scott
Course entry requirements: None
Course outline: 
The minor dissertation, prepared under supervision, is a requirement for those senior registrars who wish to graduate with the MPhil degree. Those with a South African specialist paediatric qualification who are South African citizens, and who choose not to complete a dissertation, may register with the HPCSA as subspecialists after successful completion of the Certificate in Paediatric Rheumatology examination of the College of Paediatricians of South Africa. The dissertation may be submitted in including a ready manuscript of not more than 3 000 words and a separate introduction, or it may be submitted as a standard monograph, usually between 15 000 and 20 000 words in length and must be on a topic in paediatric rheumatology. It must be based, moreover, on a study the work for which was commenced while the candidate was registered as a postgraduate student. The findings of the dissertation should contribute to the scientific understanding of the topic. Students are trained in statistics, in research methods, in conducting literature reviews, in designing a research proposal and in writing a dissertation. The candidate may also be required to present the work at a congress and submit the research for publication.
DP requirements:  Approval of the research proposal by the chair of the relevant departmental research committee, the supervisor(s), the Health Science’s Human Research Ethics Committee, and the chair of the relevant master’s committee.
Assessment:  External examination of the minor dissertation.

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The qualification aims to teach candidates competency in the management of paediatric rheumatic conditions of children and adolescents with specific reference to the socio-economic, health and cultural context of Africa.

Convener: Associate Professor C Scott (Department of Paediatrics and Child Health)

Admission requirements
FPN1.1   Applicants must have a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree or equivalent qualification as a
               medical doctor, experience working in the field of paediatrics, and be registerable with the Health Professions Council
               of South Africa.   

FPN1.2   The candidate must demonstrate the need to develop his/her skills in the area of paediatric rheumatology.

FPN1.3   Applicants may be asked to undergo a telephonic interview.


Code               Course  NQF credits  NQF level
PED4042W -  Clinical Management in Paediatric Rheumatology   90  8
PED4032W -   Essay: Transition and Translation of Knowledge      30  8
                                                                                                             Total NQF credits:  120  

Assessment, progression and readmission
[Note: these rules must be read in conjunction with the General Rules in the front section of the Health Sciences Postgraduate Handbook.]

FPN4.1  Students who obtain 45% – 49% in an examination may be reassessed before the final mark is submitted to the Faculty
               Examinations Committee and/or may be granted a supplementary examination at the discretion of the Faculty Examinations

FPN4.2  Students may be permitted to repeat a course they have failed at the convener’s discretion. No course may be repeated more
              than once. Where a candidate fails any course twice, or fails three or more courses, a recommendation will be made to the
              Faculty Examinations Committee to refuse readmission.

FPN4.3  Where a supplementary examination is granted, the mark obtained in the supplementary examination constitutes a final mark
              for the course.

FPN5     The Diploma may be awarded with distinction if the student obtains 75% – 100% for all courses with not less than 70% for
               any individual course. All courses must be passed at first attempt.

Courses for Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Paediatric Rheumatology:  

90 NQF credits at NQF level 8
Convener:  Associate Professor C Scott
Course entry requirements:  None
Course outline:
Students receive training in a spectrum of rheumatic diseases, which include regional pain problems and soft-tissue rheumatism, inflammatory joint disorders, autoimmune rheumatic diseases, vasculitides, metabolic bone disorders, regional bone disorders, infections and arthritis, crystal arthropathies, and autoinflammatory diseases.  They are trained in the assessment of multi-system disease, the selection of appropriate laboratory tests, the place of imaging techniques in the investigation of the paediatric rheumatic diseases, the role of neurophysiology in the investigation of the paediatric rheumatic diseases, rheumatological diseases in children, and pharmacology of drugs used in the rheumatic diseases.  They will learn to understand the role of professions allied to medicine in the management of the rheumatic diseases, as well as understand the role of allied specialities (orthopaedic surgery, hand surgery, anaesthetics).  Finally, they are taught the social, legal, and ethical aspects of the rheumatic diseases.  Special skills training includes:  aspiration and injection of synovial joints and analysis of synovial fluids, soft tissue injections, counselling and communication skills, and medical management skills.
DP requirements:  Logbook and successful completion of two of the three formative assessments.
Assessment: A student who fails two formative assessments may be required to withdraw.  Coursework counts 50%. A final integrated case-based oral examination is conducted at the end of the course and constitutes 50% of the final mark.  

30 NQF credits at NQF level 8
Convener:  Professor A Argent and Professor J Wilmshurst
Course entry requirements:  None
Course outline:
This course equips students to apply the knowledge and insights gained during their training to their home settings.  Students will analyse the epidemiology of the centres at which they practise healthcare and will analyse the healthcare needs of the region, then plan ways in which to apply the knowledge they have gained in the diploma programme to such settings.
DP requirements:  Full attendance and completion of all coursework requirements by the due dates.
Assessment:  Completion of an essay (100%).  This is preceded by ongoing assessment of performance through regular clinical supervision/tutorial sessions and coursework tasks.  A pass mark of 50% is required for the long essay, failing which the student will be required to make the necessary corrections or improvements and submit the assignment for reassessment.  The terms of resubmission of the assignment will be at the discretion of the convener.  


Duration of training: varies
Convener:  Associate Professor C Scott

Short term attachments are not accepted in this Department.

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