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Med Educ. 2017 Aug 3. doi: 10.1111/medu.13395. [Epub ahead of print]

Current efforts in medical education to incorporate national health priorities.

Author information

1
Nuffield Department of Population Health, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
2
Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Abstract

As a reflection on the Edinburgh Declaration, this conceptual synthesis presents six important challenges in relation to the role of medical education in meeting current national health priorities.

CONTEXT:

This paper presents a conceptual synthesis of current efforts in medical education to incorporate national health priorities as a reflection on how the field has evolved since the Edinburgh Declaration. Considering that health needs vary from country to country, our paper focuses on three broad and cross-cutting themes: health equity, health systems strengthening, and changing patterns of disease.

METHODS:

Considering the complexity of this topic, we conducted a targeted search to broadly sample and critically review the literature in two phases. Phase 1: within each theme, we assessed the current challenges in the field of medical education to meet the health priority. Phase 2: a search for various strategies in undergraduate and postgraduate education that have been tested in an effort to address the identified challenges. We conducted a qualitative synthesis of the literature followed by mapping of the identified challenges within each of the three themes with targeted efforts.

FINDINGS:

We identified six important challenges: (i) mismatch between the need for generalist models of health care and medical education curricula's specialist focus; (ii) attitudes of health care providers contributing to disparities in health care; (iii) the lack of a universal approach in preparing medical students for 21st century health systems; (iv) the inability of medical education to keep up with the abundance of new health care technologies; (v) a mismatch between educational requirements for integrated care and poorly integrated, specialised health care systems; and (vi) development of a globally interdependent education system to meet global health challenges. Examples of efforts being made to address these challenges are offered.

DISCUSSION:

Although strategies for combatting these challenges exist, the effectiveness of educational models depends on them being locally adaptable and applicable. Curricular reform must go hand-in-hand with research and evaluation to develop comprehensive futuristic models of teaching and learning that will adequately prepare health professionals to address the challenges.

PMID:
28771800
DOI:
10.1111/medu.13395
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