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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 130-132

Community-Oriented medical education: Bringing perspectives to curriculum planners in Damascus University

Director, Directorate of Evaluation and Accreditation, Ministry of Higher Education, Syria, Associate Professor, Faculty of Dentistry, Damascus University, Syria

Correspondence Address:
Mayssoon Dashash
Directorate of Evaluation and Accreditation, Ministry of Higher Education
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Source of Support: This paper is supported by Damascus University., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.120708

The varying health needs in Syria because of the trend of increasing communicable and noncommunicable diseases necessitate new curricula for all health professions schools in which community health needs, socio-cultural aspects of health and disease can be emphasized. There is a need to produce more primary level healthcare professionals who are trained to apply the principles, policies and strategies of the World Health Organization and achieve better health for all. A new perspective in the Faculty of Dentistry in Damascus University has been suggested and is presented here. Graduates generally are not well prepared to provide primary level healthcare in the community. Community-oriented medical education (COME) can produce health-oriented professionals who are equipped with broad skills and able to work for health promotion, disease prevention, and cure. Health orientation is one of the most radical features of COME, wherein the curriculum is appropriate to learners' future practice in the community. Community orientation enables students to become more people focused so that they can work towards people's self-empowerment, change people's attitudes and behaviors, and improve their self-awareness and esteem. This viewpoint addresses the importance of redesigning the dental curriculum and the need to implement COME in Damascus University. It is proposed as an example of changes needed in all health professions schools in Syria. The call to redesign the curricula to serve the health needs of the Syrian population will be difficult to achieve but is vital. Improving our understanding of the concept of COME and having all sectors of government and society commit to it will make the transition possible and will make the COME a reality.

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