Martin Donohoe, MD
Note: Dr. Donohoe's academic work can be found at www.publichealthandsocialjustice.org.
Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Donohoe M. The Social Mission of Medical Education. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153:484-485. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-153-7-201010050-00021
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(7):484-485.
TO THE EDITOR:
I read the article by Mullan and colleagues (1) with great interest. Motivating medical students to enter primary care and work in health professional shortage areas requires healing the historical schism between schools of medicine and those of public health and focusing medical education more on the socioeconomic, cultural, psychological, occupational, and environmental contributors to illness. Health policy, social justice, human rights, environmental health, and reproductive rights are given short shrift (2, 3). Despite calls for increased emphasis on global bioethics (4), aside from informed consent and end-of-life care, contemporary ethics discourse and training overemphasize fascinating dilemmas involving expensive technologies (gene therapy, cloning, prenatal genetic diagnosis and treatment, and face transplants), while inadequately addressing public health (2, 3). Barriers to social sciences instruction include lack of perceived relevance to clinical practice, limited curricular time, lack of qualified instructors and commitment from deans and department chairs, inadequate funding, and a paucity of role models.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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