Barriers to implementing a health policy curriculum in medical schools
Raihan Mohammed, Jamil Shah Foridi, Innocent Ogunmwonyi
Faculty of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
As clinical medical students, we read with great interest the perspective by Malik et al.1 Although medical schools excel at educating students on the pathology and treatment of diseases, we agree on the severe deficiency in teaching health policy (HP) in the medical curriculum. However, the authors fail to include challenges facing this implementation, which is an important aspect of the analysis. Thus, here we outline 3 key barriers that must be considered when including HP teaching in the medical curricula.
First, as the authors mention, the medical curriculum is already saturated and there is insufficient space to add obligatory HP learning in timetables. The UK curriculum is so packed that lecturers resort to teaching facts, which students then rote-learn and commit to memory. This leaves little time for students to develop a deep understanding of the pathophysiology of diseases and subsequent management, and they also fail to develop core lifelong skills, including problem solving and critical thinking.2 It is well acknowledged that the medical course is extremely rigorous, and up to 90% of students have admitted to suffering from stress and up to 75% have complained of burnout.3 With mental health issues among students reaching epidemic levels, adding HP lectures to the timetable would put undue strain on both the medical school curricula and the students.
View the original article by Malik et al.
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