Registrar Programme

The Registrar programme is a training programme for medical practitioners (Doctors) to train as Specialists in various disciplines.

The period of training is 48 months during which time, for a specialty and 24 months for a sub specialty (Senior Registrars), a candidate registrar is employed by the Department of Health, provides clinical services and gains practical knowledge in the chosen discipline and undergoes academic training through the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine and on completion of the examinations, qualifies to register as a Specialist with The Health Professions Council of South Africa.

More details on the academic programme can be obtained on the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine website which has links to the different schools.

The Health Professions Council of SA accredits the Medical School to train these specialists by granting training numbers (N Numbers) or S numbers in the case of sub specialties.

Registrars are employed by the Department and at the end of the 48 months they are expected to leave the training post irrespective if they have completed their examinations or not. This is to ensure that the new group of Registrars can be appointed so that the potential pool of specialists grows. The appointment is on a contractual basis.

During the training period, registrars rotate through various hospitals in the three complexes namely:

REG2/2019 : Registrar Advert : Various disciplines. Closing date 15 March 2019

  • Anaesthetics
  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Dermatology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • ENT
  • Family Medicine
  • Forensic Medicine
  • General Surgery
  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Paediatric surgery
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Public Health Medicine
  • Radiology
  • Urology

General requirements for the registrar posts

Tertiary qualification (MBCHB) or equivalent; PLUS

  • Current registration for independent practice with the Health Professions Council of South Africa;
  • Community Service employees may also apply on condition that their appointment will be subject to the successful completion of Community Service
Discipline Minimum Requirement Added Advantage
Anaesthetics Diploma Research experience including completion of research methodology courses/modules, development of protocols
Cardiothoracic surgery Primary, ATLS, 6 months experience in General Surgery ICU
Dermatology Non-Zulu speaking applicants are required to complete the Zulu course offered at UKZN ( and bring certificate of completion to the interview
Emergency Medicine 6 months experience in an Emergency Department
ENT Primary 6 months experience in General Surgery as a Medical Officer
Forensic Medicine Dip For Med (SA) (Path) or Dip For Med (SA (Clin Path)
General Surgery Primary Possession of ATLS and BSS
Internal Medicine Primary
Orthopaedics Primary ATLS, BSS, APLS, ACLS, Intermediate Exams, H Dip Orth, working in a rural hospital
Neurology Passed Part1 examination, Minimum 6 months experience in Internal Medicine as a Medical Officer
Neurosurgery Primary Completion of FCS intermediate (Neurosurgery) of FCS intermediate (General Surgery) examination will be advantageous
Obstetric and Gynaecology Part 1 (full)/or O&G diploma with 1A or 1B, 6 months O&G experience
Ophthalmology FC Ophth Part 1A 6 months experience in Ophthalmology as a medical officer Part 1B (intermediate) or Diploma in Ophthalmology
Paediatrics & Child Health At least 6 months experience post Community Service in a regional hospital FCPaeds Part 1 or Diploma in Child Health
Paediatric surgery Primary Intermediate exams FCS (SA) part 1B will be advantageous
Plastic Surgery Intermediate FCS exams
Psychiatry Primary
Public Health Medicine Previous research experience or previous public health training such as PG Diploma or MPH

  • Please note that the formal offer of a Registrar post will be dependent upon proof of successful completion of the required examinations.
  • Valid driver’s license
  • At least 6 months’ experience in the relevant discipline.

The following would be an advantage for all disciplines:-

  • Possession of ATLS, APLS, ACLS, FCCS (or equivalents)
  • A Diploma and/or part 1 of fellowship examination in the relevant discipline if not already indicated above.
  • Preference will be given to candidates with at least one year experience in a rural area or peripheral setting.

Knowledge, Skills, Training and Competencies Required

  • Basic knowledge of Medical Practice and Ethics
  • Ability to manage patients independently.
  • Ability to learn, innovate and be prepared to work overtime
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • An interest in conducting research
  • Knowledge and respect of the Patients’ Rights Charter and Batho Pele Principles

Key Performance Areas

  • Participation in academic and teaching programmes and meetings in the respective Departments
  • Responsibility for care of patients at designated levels/sites, e.g. Outpatients, Wards, Theatres, ICUs etc
  • Management of patients under supervision.
  • Attendance at Ward rounds and/or Tutorials
  • Supervision and teaching of undergraduates
  • Provision of after-hours care for emergency services
  • Clerking and keeping of comprehensive records of patients in the Hospital File.

How does one join the programme?

There will be an intake for January of each year. Qualifying medical professionals, who meet the criteria set, as per the advertisement and in some cases discipline specific requirements may apply.

A smaller advert normally appears in the Sunday Times directing applicants to the Departments website . Copies of the advertisement also appear on the notice board of the UKZN medical school and on the discipline specific notice boards.

For further information on the registrar programme, please email

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This page last edited on 04 March, 2019

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