Building Health Workforce Capacity Through Community-based Health Professional Education: Workshop Summary


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

More than half a century ago, Benjamin Paul set forth a new concept for improving the health of communities by understanding local cultural beliefs that can perpetuate disease and illness (Paul, 1955). His tenet was that if health professionals and others want to change behavior, they must first understand the existing ethnomedical beliefs and values of the community. By exposing students to people in their home or community settings, learners gain a greater understanding of the challenges faced by those they serve.

On May 1–2, 2014, members of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education came together to substantively delve into issues affecting the scale-up and spread of health professional education in communities. A purpose of the workshop was to challenge the participants to think about community in new ways that could provide fertile ground for educating health professional students. This document summarizes the workshop.