International Handbook of Medical Education

By Abdul W. Sajid; Christine H. McGuire et al. | Go to book overview

Preface

This Handbook is intended as a comprehensive source book and reference on the status of medical education worldwide at the close of the twentieth century. Writing in July 1991, Professor Abdul Sajid, the initiator and designer of this volume, spoke of his vision for the book as follows:

Physicians have played a prominent role in shaping health care, and their influence is in part a by-product of their professional preparation. As recently as thirty years ago, a traveler journeying around the world could understand the essentials of any country's system of medical education simply by asking which clearly defined model--French, English, or German--that country had adopted. As the world moves into the next century, however, the growing internationalization of health care is reflected in a merging of those discrete models. Nations responding to changes in political, social, and economic systems in every corner of the globe face the further challenge of reorienting their health systems and their methods of training health personnel consistent with new realities.

How the nations of the world adapt their systems of medical education to respond to shifts from disease-oriented, curative medicine to public or community-oriented preventive health care models has been a subject of discussion at recent international forums sponsored by the World Health Organization and the World Federation for Medical Education. Can "high tech" also be "high touch?" Is there a way by which we can utilize the latest technology without losing the human aspects of medicine? Can we prepare future practitioners who know how to use biomedical technology without jeopardizing human dignity? Will the physician trained in today's medical schools be a global practitioner whose skills and talents can be deployed across national boundaries? With a focus on the educational issues that cross national boundaries, the Handbook brings narrative perspective to these new challenges.

This reference work examines the current status of medical education around the globe, as individual nations prepare to train physicians for the medical realities of the twenty-first century. The book focuses on the forces that influence the unique characteristics of medical education in specific countries. The changing pattern of disease, the health outcomes of environmental degradation, national and international policy shifts in response to these forces and to the economics of health care constitute the context for

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