Bob Mash, Marietjie de Villiers
Medical Education, 1999
"Introduction Community-based education is an important strategy for training students appropriately for delivering primary health care services. A community-based training rotation in Family Medicine and Primary Care was introduced at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in January 1998. Objective The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions of final year medical students about the new rotation and to provide feedback on the value of this experience to the Faculty. In this article we explore the influence of differing world views held by biomedically oriented training institutions and the systems view of life adhered to by the discipline of Family Medicine on attempts to reform medical education. Method Quantitative and qualitative curriculum evaluation methods, including a questionnaire and focus groups discussions, were used. Students rated the value of the block as 7.8 out of 10. Results Eighty-eight percent of students felt that there should be an earlier exposure to Family Medicine and Primary Care in their training. The main themes identified from the qualitative results supported the literature findings and included the difference in type of practice between tertiary and primary levels of care and the value of learning a new approach to patient care. Despite the fact that the results emphasized the importance of including community-based training in Family Medicine and Primary Care at an early stage in the medical curriculum, resistance to implementation was encountered. This led to reflection on possible reasons on why the recommendations of the study were not immediately adopted into the curriculum."