Recent years have seen a steady return of African doctors back home. Most returning doctors set up individual practices and establish their own mini-hospitals. These scattered practices are less likely to result in institutions that last beyond one generation or result in the degree of transformation necessary to narrow the gap in healthcare expertise.
Having trained at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, I am keenly aware of how a small group practice can evolve beyond one generation into a world-renowned medical center. The Mayo Clinic developed gradually from the medical practice of a father and his two sons. From the beginning, innovation was their standard and as the demand for their services increased, they asked other doctors and researchers to join them in what became the world's first private integrated group practice.
Pooling the resources of knowledge and skills among several doctors is what resulted in the present day world-renowned clinic. As African health professionals mobilize to return home or contribute from across the pond, greater strides are bound to occur if they can emulate the example of the Mayo brothers.
Resources, skill sets and expertise should be pooled to establish viable private medical institutions that can survive their founders and expand beyond one generation.