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Medical student involvement in health policy roles

Authors Malik B, Ojha U, Khan H, Begum F, Khan H, Malik Q

Received 25 July 2017

Accepted for publication 6 September 2017

Published 6 November 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 735—743

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S147212

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder


Bassit Malik,1 Utkarsh Ojha,1 Hassan Khan,1 Farzana Begum,2 Harun Khan,1 Qasim Malik3

1School of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK; 2Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK; 3Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

Objectives: A teaching curriculum in health policy may be well established in medical school; however, an emphasis on applying taught principles via participation in health policy roles is less defined. We undertook a study to explore medical student participation in health policy roles.
Design and setting: An anonymous online survey via convenience sampling was conducted in the UK.
Participants: A total of 112 students from six medical schools participated in the study.
Outcome measures: The outcome measures were as follows: medical students’ beliefs about their current knowledge of health policy and their desire to learn more; their current, past and future involvement in a health policy role, and perceived barriers to involvement.
Results: Forty-seven percent of participants reported previous teaching on health policy, with the majority scoring themselves 2 out of 5 for knowledge about the topic (38%). Seventy-seven percent of participants expressed a desire to be taught health policy while 73% agreed with compulsory teaching. Ninety-six percent of participants reported no current or previous activity in a health policy role, with 61% willing to undertake a role in the future. The three main barriers to student involvement were: a lack of knowledge about health policy (57%), an unawareness of opportunities available (56%), and a lack of time (43%).
Conclusion: In addition to already established teaching programs within medical school, implementation of community-based experiences could improve knowledge of health policy, while providing an opportunity for students to gain experience in health policy committee roles.

Keywords: medical curriculum, policy committee, service learning

Two letters to the Editor have been received and published for this article
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