Strengthening rural medical education in the undergraduate training period
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2
1 Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth—Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth—Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
MD, FAIMER, PGDHHM, DHRM, FCS, ACME, Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV)—Deemed to be University, Thiruporur–Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District 603108, Tamil Nadu.
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
The equal distribution of the health workforce has been identified as one of the key determinants for the attainment of health-related goals. The purpose of the current review is to identify the existing practices of rural medical education and to recommend strategies for the strengthening of the same. An extensive search of all materials related to the topic was carried out on the PubMed search engine. Keywords used in the search include rural medical education and undergraduate medical curriculum in the title alone (viz. rural medical education [ti]; rural [ti] AND undergraduate medical curriculum [ti]). Relevant research articles focusing on rural medical education and undergraduate medical curriculum published in the period 2002–2020 were included in the review. A total of 21 studies similar to the current study objectives were identified initially, and those were screened for eligibility. However, two articles were excluded owing to the unavailability of the complete version of the articles. In the current review, the articles published in only the English language were enrolled for the review. Overall, 19 articles were selected based on the suitability with the current review objectives. In general, the people living in rural settings are a vulnerable section, as they have access to the limited resources and health-care facilities. Thus, from the perspective of the rural population, the exposure of medical students to rural settings simultaneously enhances their accessibility to health-care services, which, in turn, takes us forward toward the attainment of universal health coverage. In conclusion, the provision of medical education to the undergraduate students in rural settings is the need of the hour both for producing a competent medical graduate and for meeting the health-related needs of the vulnerable rural population. It becomes the responsibility of the medical institutions to ensure that all the medical students are posted in rural settings as a part of their training and are encouraged to serve the rural population.