West African College of Physicians Liberia Chapter makes History

The Liberia Chapter of the West African College of Physicians (WACP) in collaboration with the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Liberia Medical and Dental Association proudly welcomed the new Fellows, Dr. Ian Wachekwa and Dr. Philip Z. Ireland who recently obtained their WACP fellowship in internal medicine by examination.

The West African College of Physicians is a professional society founded in 1976, for medical specialists in the West African sub-region. The association promotes postgraduate specialist training, professional curriculum development and fellowship certification in six specialties or faculties: Community Medicine, Family Health, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Laboratory Medicine. The College also serves as a health policy advisor to participating governments in West Africa. There are also sister colleges in the Sub-region including West African College of Surgeons, West African College of Nursing, and West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists.

The Post-graduate training starts after an individualhas qualified as a physician with a degree in general medicine, then goesfor additional training in one of the areas to attain a Membership degree as a first step of specialization. The individual will now go into n another 2 years training in an institution accredited by WACP to attain the Fellowship, which is the highest level of specialization.

Since the establishment of the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons, these are the first group ofcandidates to go for the highest level of specialist examinations.

Below is a short bio of each of our new Fellows:

Dr. Ian Wachekwa is currently the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC)and Secretary General of the Diabetes and Endocrine Society of Liberia (DESoL).

He was born in Zimbabwe where he got his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree (MBChB) from the University of Zimbabwe in 2004. After working as a General Practitioner in Zimbabwe, he then moved to Liberia in 2008 and served as a General Practitioner at the J. J. Dossen Hospital, inHarper, Maryland, Maryland County, before joining the JFKMC in 2010 as a House Officer. He sat and passed the primary examinations of the West African College of Physicians (WACP) in 2012 and did his residency in Internal Medicine at the JFKMC having joined the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons (LCPS) postgraduate medical program. He again sat and passed the Membership examinations of the WACP in 2017 and was awarded the Membership of the LCPS during that same year. He then went for the October 2020 WACP Fellowship examinations in Nigeria, which he passed, making him one of the first two doctors from Liberia to sit and pass this examination since the founding of the WACP.  He has a special interest in infectious diseases, especially HIV. 

Dr. Philip Z. Ireland is a 2011 graduate (Honors) of A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine. He did his Internship at JFKMC, Redemption Hospital, and Firestone Hospital in 2012. He began His Internal Medicine Residency Training in 2015 with the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons and the West African College of Physicians. He completed both residencies in 2018 becoming the first Liberian physician to pass the WACP Internal Medicine membership examination on the first attempt. 

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