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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.

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



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.


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.


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.


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).


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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