Stellenbosch University Rural Medical Education Partnership Initiative
SURMEPI’s focus is on the development, implementation and evaluation of innovative medical education models for rural and underserved communities in Africa. This project is focusing on two main areas: the renewal of the medical curriculum for rural practice, and the strengthening and development of health systems. Within each area there are a number of sub-projects, as well as four cross-cutting themes namely e-learning, capacity development, south-to-south collaboration, and monitoring and evaluation.
Under the focus area of medical curriculum renewal, and to meet the SURMEPI long term goal of improving students’ TB and HIV clinical competencies, the PALSA PLUS programme was adapted for a pre-service audience. Fourth year medical students received training in the PALSA PLUS guideline using interactive small group learning methods as part of a theoretical module on Clinical Immunology and Infectious Diseases. Started in 2012, this training will continue for the third time in 2014. Additionally, an evaluation of the PACK Adult guideline delivered in an adapted inter-professional training programme is currently taking place and will continue until the end of 2014 for final year student interns completing their clinical rotation in Family Medicine, Community Health and Rehabilitation.
The Knowledge Translation Unit supports the strengthening of the PALSA PLUS training platform in clinics and hospitals that comprise part of the rural clinical platform to create a field learning environment for medical students within health teams.