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New Designations for Ghanaian Doctors and Dentists

The Ghana Medical Association has introduced new designations for medical doctors and dentists in Ghana, starting from January 1, 2024

by Victor Adetimilehin

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has introduced new designations for medical doctors and dentists in the country, starting from January 1, 2024.

Why The Change?

According to a statement issued by the GMA on January 3, 2024, the decision was reached during the 6th Annual General Assembly (AGM) held in November 2023 in the Takoradi metropolis of the Western Region. The President, Dr (Med) Frank Serebour, and the General Secretary, Dr (Dent) Richard Selormey, signed the statement jointly.

The new designations are as follows: Medical Doctors will be designated as Dr (Med), while Dentists or Dental Surgeons will use Dr (Dent). According to a report by Ghana Web, the GMA explained that this will help to differentiate between the two fields of medicine and dentistry and avoid confusion among patients and the public.

Additionally, medical doctors and dentists holding additional academic titles should prefix these titles accordingly. For example, individuals with professional rank appointments or a Ph.D. qualification may use designations such as Prof Dr (Med), Prof Dr (Med), Dr (Med), Prof Dr (Dent), or Dr (Dent) as applicable.

How Will This Affect Patients?

The GMA urged all practicing medical doctors and dentists in Ghana to take note of this change and promptly update their name tags, practitioner stamps, and other relevant materials to reflect the newly introduced designations. The association also advised patients to look out for these designations when seeking medical or dental care and report any anomalies to the appropriate authorities.

The GMA said that this patient-centric decision is in line with international standards and best practices, and underscores the GMA’s commitment to ensuring clarity and transparency in professional titles within the medical and dental fields. The GMA added that this will also promote accountability and quality of service delivery, and foster trust and confidence between patients and healthcare providers.

What Are The Benefits of The New Designations?

Some of these benefits expected from the new designations for medical doctors and dentists in Ghana include:

– Improved patient safety and satisfaction: Patients will be able to identify the qualifications and expertise of their healthcare providers, and make informed decisions about their health. This will also reduce the risk of medical errors, malpractice, and quackery.

– Enhanced professional identity and recognition: Medical doctors and dentists will be able to distinguish themselves from other health professionals, and showcase their achievements and contributions to the field. This will also increase their visibility and respect in the local and global arena.

– Harmonized standards and regulations: The new designations will facilitate the alignment of the Ghanaian health system with international norms and expectations, and enable the GMA to monitor and enforce the ethical and professional conduct of its members. This will also improve the collaboration and cooperation among the various stakeholders in the health sector.

The GMA hopes that all medical doctors and dentists in Ghana will embrace the new designations and continue to uphold the highest standards of excellence and professionalism in their practice. The GMA also assured the public of its unwavering dedication to safeguarding the health and well-being of all Ghanaians.

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