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Med Teach. 2017 Jul 28:1-8. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2017.1354126. [Epub ahead of print]

The impact of socially-accountable, community-engaged medical education on graduates in the Central Philippines: Implications for the global rural medical workforce.

Author information

1
a School of Health Sciences , University of the Philippines Manila , Palo , Leyte , Philippines.
2
b College of Medicine and Dentistry , James Cook University , Townsville , Australia.
3
c The Training for Health Equity Network , Brussels , Belgium.
4
d School of Medicine , Flinders University , Alice Springs , Australia.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Developing and retaining a high quality medical workforce, especially within low-resource countries has been a world-wide challenge exacerbated by a lack of medical schools, the maldistribution of doctors towards urban practice, health system inequities, and training doctors in tertiary centers rather than in rural communities.

AIM:

To describe the impact of socially-accountable health professional education on graduates; specifically: their motivation towards community-based service, preparation for addressing local priority health issues, career choices, and practice location.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional survey of graduates from two medical schools in the Philippines: the University of Manila-School of Health Sciences (SHS-Palo) and a medical school with a more conventional curriculum.

RESULTS:

SHS-Palo graduates had significantly (p < 0.05) more positive attitudes to community service. SHS-Palo graduates were also more likely to work in rural and remote areas (p < 0.001) either at district or provincial hospitals (p = 0.032) or in rural government health services (p < 0.001) as Municipal or Public Health Officers (p < 0.001). Graduates also stayed longer in both their first medical position (p = 0.028) and their current position (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

SHS-Palo medical graduates fulfilled a key aim of their socially-accountable institution to develop a health professional workforce willing and able, and have a commitment to work in underserved rural communties.

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