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J Public Health Policy. 2012;33 Suppl 1:S13-22. doi: 10.1057/jphp.2012.40.

Partnering on education for health: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences and the University of California San Francisco.

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  • 1School of Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania.


In 2005, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Tanzania and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) in the United States joined to form a partnership across all the schools in our institutions. Although our goal is to address the health workforce crisis in Tanzania, we have gained much as institutions. We review the work undertaken and point out how this education partnership differs from many research collaborations. Important characteristics include: (i) activities grew out of MUHAS's institutional needs, but also benefit UCSF; (ii) working across professions changed the discourse from 'medical education' to 'health professions education'; (iii) challenged by gaps in our respective health-care systems, both institutions chose a new focus, interprofessional team work; (iv) despite being so differently resourced, MUHAS and UCSF seek strategies to address growing class sizes; and (v) we involved a wider range of people - faculty, administrators, students, and residents - at both institutions than is usually the case with research. This partnership has convinced us to exhort other academic leaders in the health arena to seek opportunities together to enlighten and enliven our educational enterprises.

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