Pediatric Rotation – Red Cross Children’s War Memorial Hosp.

By Mark Siegel, Class of 2015


Most days were 8am to 4pm (Tues-Friday), Monday consisted of lectures with 5th year medical students.

I worked in the S11 Short Stay Ward. Patients would be admitted here if they were predicted to be sent home in less than 48-72 hrs. or if they were awaiting beds to become available in the hospital. Many opportunities to do procedures (lumbar punctures, drawing blood, induced sputum collection). Additionally there were many options to explore other clinics in the hospital (medical emergency, pediatric subspecialties). The faculty were unbelievable clinicians and were exceptionally dedicated to education of their students. A significant amount of time was spent on rounds educating students and discussing the most appropriate management of patients. Lunch seminars were three times a week and consisted of journal clubs and case presentations. I worked with residents and 6th year medical students (comparable to our 4th year). There were also 3 other international students, two from Atlanta and one from Switzerland.

Of note I was initially placed at the Groote Schuur Pediatric wing. This site is mainly a secondary care center and specializes in endocrinology. The lead faculty member at this site was not aware of my scheduled rotation and I was therefore placed at the Red Cross. This is the most advanced pediatric care center in South Africa and at one point was the first pediatric hospital in entire continent of Africa. Normally, a position at the Red Cross requires 2 year advance sign up but I was fortunate to have a spot available for placement. In the future, most students who request general pediatrics will be placed in the Groote Schuur pediatric floor. I would recommend they request the Red Cross as it has more to offer, but I am unsure if it is possible to be placed there.

I am happy to answer questions for other students who want to travel to Cape Town for a rotation!