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Making medical education relevant to health care systems

By E. H. O. Parry


Medical education must be made relevant, and this implies that it must train its students towards the local health care system. If behavioural objectives are defined which must be attained before a student graduates, and before he can function effectively in a health unit, areas which need emphasis are revealed. Communication is a skill which can be left to clinical training: but it is best learned very early in the community, where the student is the supplicant, and not in the hospital where he is dominant. Early community experience can mould a student's attitudes fundamentally and can make him realise the need for work with members of a health team within a health care unit. If education is dogma-centred, and the student is not trained to ask questions early he will not be able to function effectively in any community: modern medical education should be problem-dominated, community-directed and learner-centred. If it is centred on the learner he will become equipped with the ability for independent study and a desire to learn, to improve himself and help other members of the health team throughout his professional career.

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