In 2011 selected medical students at University of Stellenbosch (SU) Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) will undergo final year medical training using an innovative problem-oriented, primary care based medical curriculum in our new FHS Rural Clinical School (RCS). This will improve rural student recruitment, physician retention and distribution, and enhance the ability of our graduates to deal with the high priority health problems of South and Sub-Saharan Africa. With the University of Cape Town Lung Institute's (UCTLI) nationally implemented PALSA-plus program, and Jhpiego's CCART training program, SU's MEPI initiative (SURMEPI) will adapt the certificate of competence in ART currently offered to sorting students to provide competency for physician training at RCS. This will allow nurses and doctors to work in national and PEPFAR ART services. CCART training is brief, problem focused, and interactive. It covers HIV/AIDS, ART, TB and respiratory care, and is fully aligned with national evidence based guidelines. CCART for physicians will add pharmacotherapy and infectious diseases to be taught by SUFHS departments as well as pediatric and family centered AIDS care skills from the South2South project. SUFHS will use the expanded CCART as a test case for modularized, problem focused interprofessional training on other high priority health problems, such as chronic diseases.
With JHU and Makerere College of Health Sciences, SURMEPI will increase evidence appraisal, health care management and health services research content and practice in the training of medical students, postgraduate students and faculty, so that they are better able to conduct clinical research, health services and evaluation research and support program delivery. At RCS SURMEPI will teach these skills through clinical epidemiological, critical appraisal and health services evaluation projects conducted alongside their HIV/AIDS/ART/TB learning. CCART, pharmacology, clinical epidemiology and health services research use classroom, group and clinical learning methods- written and illustrated materials, and exercises will be delivered as web mounted downloadable learning modules, which will be shared freely across South and Sub Saharan Africa using Creative Commons licensing. PUBLICH HEALTH RELEVANCE: University of Stellenbosch Faculty of Health Sciences is reorienting towards primary care of high priority health problems among marginalized South Africans. New accredited courses at our rural clinical school will be fully aligned with the national ART programme and PEPFAR projects. This is expected to improve physician distribution and retention, their competence for, and participation in PEFAR and national AIDS programs. Learning materials will be shared Africa-wide under Creative Commons licenses.
Funding in entirety by the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC).