Prof Martin Smith

Prof Martin is Chairman and Academic Head of the Department of Surgery at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg South Africa. He also serves as the Chief Surgeon and Head of General Surgery at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto South Africa. It is here that he established the HPB unit in 2001 which has grown to be one of the major training HPB units in South Africa. His own interests include pancreatic surgery especially for Chronic Pancreatitis. He is a native Johannes burger and graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 1983. He was the inaugural President of the Hepato Pancreatico Biliary Association of South Africa established in 2005, he currently serves as the treasurer for the association. He is also President of the European-African HPBA. Martin Smith is currently the President Elect of the International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.

Dr Sarah Rayne

Dr Sarah Rayne is a Specialist Surgeon in General Surgery at the Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa and lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand.

She is currently the lead clinician coordinating the breast cancer policy for South Africa’s National Department of Health.

Her research focuses on determinants of disparities in breast cancer outcomes; global surgery and surgical quality improvement with limited resources; and workforce retention for the public sector medical professionals.

Dr Sule Burger

Sule is currently a medical officer at Tembisa Hospital in Gauteng. She is a past president of The Wits Students Surgical Society, a founder of the Southern African Students Surgical Society and a founder and current secretary general of the International Association of Student Surgical Societies. She was the recipient of the SAMA Medical Student of the year award in 2013. She serves on the executive committee of the South African Society of Surgeons in Training. Her research focuses on workforce retention amongst junior doctors, establishing and improving theatre efficiency, surgical education and training and find solutions to making surgery safe and accessible.

Ms Stephanie van Straten

Stephanie lives in Johannesburg and is completing her final year of medical school at The University of Witwatersrand. She was given the prestigious award of being SAMA Medical Student of the year 2016. She is the Former President of the Wits Students Surgical Society and a Member of the Students Bioethics Committee. Her passion is raising awareness around the importance of surgery in Africa, providing a voice for those who often have none.        

Dr Robert Jaich

Robert is 1st year medical intern at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg. He is a former President of the Wits Students’ Surgical Society. Robert is passionate about the role of surgery in improving healthcare outcomes and rallying behind the importance of research in achieving this goal.

Integral to the success of such a program is open access to resources and flattened hierarchy of collaborators. This has already been seen in the capacity and enthusiasm for research, advocacy and engagement of trainee doctors and medical students. There remains a valuable role for mentorship and supervision based on experience, for each domain and for the program as a whole. This should be by involvement of other senior specialists within and outwith the department of surgery (such as teaching experience, diplomacy and subspecialty input

  1. Intra-departmental
  2. Inter-departmental: other universities (honorary academic positions integrally in the running of the program)
  3. Cross-discipline: in addition to the integral personnel from anaesthesia and surgery particularly engaging public health and rural health as integral personnel in the program. Also, initial engagement of obstetrics and gynaecology should be pursued.
  4. Cross- border: identifying specialist personnel for mentorship and facilitation roles, including other organisations and programs