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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 363

An Evaluation of ROME Camp: Forgotten Innovation in Medical Education

1 Dr Sushila Nayar School of Public Health, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sewagram, Wardha, India
2 Dr Sushila Nayar School of Public Health, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sewagram, Wardha, India, India

Correspondence Address:
A R Dongre
Dr Sushila Nayar School of Public Health, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sewagram, Wardha - 442102
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20589607

Background and Objectives: Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sewagram, India's first rural medical institute, has been implementing its community-based public health teaching with the aim of building a physician workforce for the rural poor. For the past four decades, the MGIMS has organized and run the Re-orientation of Medical Education (ROME) camp for final year medical undergraduates at one of the rural centres of the department of Community Medicine. The objectives of the present study were to learn students' perceptions of the value and effectiveness of various components of the ROME camp and learn the factors they perceive facilitate and inhibit learning. Methods: A mixed-method research design of quantitative (survey) and qualitative (force field analysis) methods was used. The study participants were all 61 of the final year medical undergraduates participating in the ROME camp in 2008. The quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS software package and summative content analysis of the qualitative data was undertaken. Results: Students were generally very positive about all aspects of the camp and its component parts. The greatest consensus (88.9%, on a 0 to 100% scale) was for the contribution to student learning of the visit to the Primary health centre and Sub-centre, as offering direct exposure and interaction with the village-level service providers. There was poorer consensus for students' involvement with the field-based clinics, as this was felt by some not to contribute significantly to their understanding of socioeconomic and environmental factors related to cases (78.8%) and their ability to diagnose health problems in resource poor settings (76.5%). The major strength of the camp was felt to be its exposure visits and hands-on experiences in surveys and interaction with village-level health care providers. Students reported poor interactions with teachers in some educational sessions, including the field-based clinics and classes on theories of national health programs. Conclusions: The curriculum of the ROME camp was generally well regarded by students, but based on their views it should emphasize interactive theory sessions. The ROME scheme can be revitalized in all medical colleges as it is an effective practical approach for teaching public health principles and practice to medical students.

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