Preparing Health Professionals for the 21st Century

Students working with an artificial patient (Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, CTU in Prague). Photo by VIC CVUT

According to a global commission on the education of health professionals, medical schools and departments of public health must commit to structural changes if they are to prepare graduates for the challenges of the 21st century.

In a report published in The Lancet, the commission expresses concern about "fragmented, outdated, and static curricula;" "[the] mismatch of competencies to patient and population needs; poor teamwork; persistent gender stratification of professional status" and other "systematic" problems.

"What is clearly needed," states Julio Frenk, a lead author of the report and Dean of Harvard's School of Public Health, "is a thorough and authoritative re-examination of health professional education . . ."

The complete report, Health Professionals for a New Century: Transforming Education to Strengthen Health Systems in an Interdependent World, is available for download in DASH.