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01 October 2005

Medical education and training: responding to community needs.

Fauziah Rabbani, Babar T Shaikh, Qamar Mahmood, Kausar S Khan, Syed Muhammad Israr, Yousuf Memon

Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(10): SR21-25 :: ID: 430334

Abstract

At its inception in 1987, the Aga Khan University introduced the idea ofcommunity-based medical education in Pakistan, at a time when this model was being introduced and adaptedinternationally. Human resource development has been a major objective in the Department of CommunityHealth Sciences (CHS). CHS has contributed to developing a medical curriculum that addresses the healthneeds of the community at large. This paper narrates the department's experience in working directlywith under-served communities, leading to the development of specialized courses and degree programs.CHS emphasizes operational research and development of managerial skills among front-line public healthprofessionals, in both the public and private sectors. Training is provided by people from diverse backgrounds,such as public health, community development, social sciences, law, epidemiology, economy, biostatistics,demography, theater, and film. The lessons we have learned show that the mode of training depends onthe overall objectives of the program, the clients and the setting. However, in the spirit of the participatoryapproach, the recipients of the training must be involved during all stages so as to ensure the sustainabilityof the training program. Training must focus on the communities at the grass roots level or communitybased organizations, where the communities identify their own capacity and needs. Wide disseminationof training materials, courses and manuals is also useful to replicate successful experience.

Keywords: Health Services Needs and Demand, Education, Medical - organization & administration, Community Health Services - organization & administration, Inservice Training - organization & administration, Pakistan

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