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Decentralised training for medical students: Towards a South African consensus

Marietjie R. de Villiers, Julia Blitz, Ian Couper, Athol Kent, Kalavani Moodley, Zohray Talib, Susan van Schalkwyk, Taryn Young
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 9, No 1 | a1449 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v9i1.1449 | © 2017 Marietjie R. de Villiers, Julia Blitz, Ian Couper, Athol Kent, Kalavani Moodley, Zohray Talib, Susan van Schalkwyk, Taryn Young | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 March 2017 | Published: 28 September 2017

About the author(s)

Marietjie R. de Villiers, Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Julia Blitz, Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Ian Couper, Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Athol Kent, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Kalavani Moodley, Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Zohray Talib, Departments of Medicine and Health Policy and Management Medical School, George Washington University, United States
Susan van Schalkwyk, Centre for Health Professions Education, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Taryn Young, Centre for Evidence-based Health Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


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Abstract

Introduction: Health professions training institutions are challenged to produce greater numbers of graduates who are more relevantly trained to provide quality healthcare. Decentralised training offers opportunities to address these quantity, quality and relevance factors. We wanted to draw together existing expertise in decentralised training for the benefit of all health professionals to develop a model for decentralised training for health professions students.
Method: An expert panel workshop was held in October 2015 initiating a process to develop a model for decentralised training in South Africa. Presentations on the status quo in decentralised training at all nine medical schools in South Africa were made and 33 delegates engaged in discussing potential models for decentralised training.
Results: Five factors were found to be crucial for the success of decentralised training, namely the availability of information and communication technology, longitudinal continuous rotations, a focus on primary care, the alignment of medical schools’ mission with decentralised training and responsiveness to student needs.
Conclusion: The workshop concluded that training institutions should continue to work together towards formulating decentralised training models and that the involvement of all health professions should be ensured. A tripartite approach between the universities, the Department of Health and the relevant local communities is important in decentralised training. Lastly, curricula should place more emphasis on how students learn rather than how they are taught.

Keywords

decentralised training; rural; distributed; medical students

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Crossref Citations

1. Consequences, conditions and caveats: a qualitative exploration of the influence of undergraduate health professions students at distributed clinical training sites
Susan van Schalkwyk, Julia Blitz, Ian Couper, Marietjie de Villiers, Guin Lourens, Jana Muller, Ben van Heerden
BMC Medical Education  vol: 18  issue: 1  year: 2018  
doi: 10.1186/s12909-018-1412-y