The West African College of Physicians was established in 1976. It is an association of medical specialists in the following disciplines:
Laboratory Medicine, made up of its major specialties of Anatomical Pathology, Chemical Pathology, Haematology and Medical Microbiology
Initially, the College operated in the five English-speaking West African countries. In recent years, its membership has expanded to include the eight French-speaking countries.
The College is organised into faculties, made up of specialists in each of the major disciplines listed above. Fellows in the various countries are organised into Chapters. Currently, there are eight chapters: – The Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, The Republic of Benin, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
The objectives of the College are:
a. To promote professional training of physicians in West Africa
b. To promote the standards of professional practice, ethics and morals of physicians in West Africa
c. To promote health and healthcare in West Africa
d. To determine persons to be designated as specialist physicians after due consideration of their training, qualifications and experience
e. To advise and assist the governments of the sub region, the West African Health Organisation and other relevant organisations on matters relating to training , health promotion, health care and research in West Africa
f. To cooperate with appropriate bodies that encourage and provide facilities for the achievement of the objectives of the College
g. To publish books, journals and other scientific materials as may be considered useful in support of these activities.
The College is responsible for postgraduate specialist training of doctors in the five Anglophone West African countries. Its training programmes cover the six specialties listed above. Its sister College, the West African College of Surgeons, is responsible for training in the remaining, surgical-related, specialties of Medicine. The College organises educational and scientific programmes, including an Annual General and Scientific Meeting that rotates through the various member countries. Extensive collaborations have been developed with equivalent organisations throughout the world, including the Royal Colleges of the United Kingdom, the South African colleges and the American College of Physicians.