Senior cardiology registrar Dr Charle Viljoen, a clinical research fellow in the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Department of Medicine, has been awarded the 2018 International Resident Leadership Award by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Awarded annually to an international medical resident who demonstrates leadership in specialty education while encouraging the development of future leaders in medicine, the honour was conferred on Viljoen at the recent International Congress of Residency Education (ICRE) in Halifax in Canada.
Viljoen was nominated by Professor Peter Raubenheimer, programme director of the Fellowship in Internal Medicine at UCT, who described his nominee as a “unique individual” who had contributed more “than any single individual in recent memory” to many parts of resident and undergraduate training.
“He is a popular teacher, renowned for his enthusiasm, excellent communication skills and expertise,” Raubenheimer wrote in his nomination. Viljoen’s recognition of a deficiency in training of undergraduates in electrocardiograms (ECG) saw him develop a very successful lecture series for fourth- and final-year medical students, and he recently took his teaching innovations online. He has developed an online ECG course and an ECG reference teaching app, which are now the focus of an educational PhD.
“In his later years as a resident, he was instrumental in instituting two major changes to residency training in the programme: The formal protected time programme of seminars was updated and modernised to keep track with curriculum and examination changes, and the rotational roster for clinical training was changed to better accommodate a broader exposure to the various experts in our department,” Raubenheimer added.
These changes are now standardised within the UCT training programme.
“[Viljoen’s] impact is now moving internationally, with the ECG app already having been downloaded 8 500 times since inception.”
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