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Med Teach. 2011;33(7):551-4. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2011.578174.

The doctor we are educating for a future global role in health care.

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Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Lund, Sweden.


Health care is deficient in many parts of the world, in money, facilities and manpower. In wealthy countries, the costs and complexity of health care are increasing unsustainably. Nevertheless, richer countries claim an ever escalating need for doctors, who migrate from poorer countries, with an ensuing global health workforce crisis. These political, social, demographic and international events necessitate a discussion on the roles and values of the doctor in the world today. The international mobility of both doctors and patients underlines the need for a global definition. Only when these roles and values are agreed in a global perspective, will medical education be capable of producing a professional equipped to fulfil that role. This doctor will then be useful both as a leader and as a member of health care teams with a flexible composition, related to resources and needs of particular regions, and at the same time be able to practise within any given health care system. An international task-force of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) is working to agree themes relevant to the role of the doctor globally, and developing a statement that can be used world-wide, and used to develop medical education policy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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