Maartens president of new clinical pharmacology college

20 March 2009 | Story by Helen Theron

Gary Maartens
Heads up: Prof Gary Maartens of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology in the Department of Medicine is president of the new College of Clinical Pharmacologists.

Professor Gary Maartens of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology has been elected president of the newly formed College of Clinical Pharmacologists.

Also on the council is his colleague Associate Professor Marc Blockman.

Maartens said UCT had been instrumental in getting clinical pharmacology accepted as a specialty by both the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) and the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

The process took three years as they sought consensus from the pharmacology departments at South Africa's medical schools.

"Our goal is to promote the discipline nationally," said Maartens, "but the immediate goal is to set up the exams in order to register specialists in the field."

He believes the development is a crucial step in the development of the discipline.

"Clinical pharmacology is recognised as a discipline requiring expansion in the national modernisation of tertiary services process.

"At UCT we've been training clinical pharmacologists for over 10 years. Getting the discipline accepted as a specialty makes it easier for academic hospitals and provinces to create specialist posts."

The CMSA is the national body that sets up and runs exams for trainees specialising in medicine.

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