|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2017 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 99-100
Collaboration between a medical school and the provincial government health system in effective implementation of a problem-based curriculum: An experience from Saudi Arabia
Hatim Sid Ahmed1, Mohammed K Alabdulaali2, Hatem Othman Qutub3, Feroze Kaliyadan4, Abdulmohsen N Almulhim5, Waleed Hamad Albuali6, Fahad Al Gharib7, Fatma Huzam Al Otaibi8
1 Department of Research and Planning, Al-Ahsa Health Affairs, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Hematology, King Fahd Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Hofuf, Saudi Arabia
5 Department of Pediatrics, PSBJ Hospital, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
6 Department of Pediatrics, King Fahad University Hospital, University of Damam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
7 Planning and Development Department, Al-Ahsa Health Affairs, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
8 Department of Rheumatology, King Fahad Hofuf Hospital, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
|Date of Web Publication||13-Jul-2017|
Hatim Sid Ahmed
Department of Research and Planning, Al-Ahsa Health Affairs, Al-Ahsa
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Ahmed HS, Alabdulaali MK, Qutub HO, Kaliyadan F, Almulhim AN, Albuali WH, Al Gharib F, Al Otaibi FH. Collaboration between a medical school and the provincial government health system in effective implementation of a problem-based curriculum: An experience from Saudi Arabia. Educ Health 2017;30:99-100
|How to cite this URL:|
Ahmed HS, Alabdulaali MK, Qutub HO, Kaliyadan F, Almulhim AN, Albuali WH, Al Gharib F, Al Otaibi FH. Collaboration between a medical school and the provincial government health system in effective implementation of a problem-based curriculum: An experience from Saudi Arabia. Educ Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Jan 22];30:99-100. Available from: https://www.educationforhealth.net/text.asp?2017/30/1/99/210502
Our college recently adopted a competency-based, problem-based curriculum in 2012 based on the CanMEDs model. The First 3 years of our curriculum is characterized by both horizontal and vertical integration, early clinical exposure and focus on small group learning with significant emphasis on professional development. The structure required significant clinical support, including a dedicated university teaching hospital and clinical staff. As we did not have a dedicated university hospital, the option of collaborating with the public health system controlled by the Ministry of Health (MOH) was considered.
The public healthcare system in our province is well organized (population 1.2 million). There are approximately 1600 physicians and 3700 nurses serving the population in the public health system and about 16 beds/10,000 population. There are ten major general hospitals, one major cardiac center, one major dental center and 75 public health centers serving the local population.
The official collaboration in the implementation of a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum started in July 2012. The collaboration was built upon mutual agreement between the MOH and Ministry of Higher Education, with the purpose of collaboration in teaching, research and education. A joint committee was set-up for planning – mainly manpower requirements and faculty training.
The training sessions for the MOH consultants included a general orientation to the curriculum, didactic sessions on concepts related to PBL and small group facilitation, hands-on training in small group handling and specific training for specialized processes like coach groups (small group sessions related to professional development). The plan required strong commitment from both parties. There was strong support from the current and previous leader of Health Affairs and the current and previous dean of the college of medicine, as both believed that the students are the future healthcare providers and any investment in them will be reflected in improvement in health services and patient satisfaction in the region.
The collaboration between the MOH and the medical school is an example of a success story of nonacademic and academic healthcare personnel cooperating in moving towards the implementation of a PBL curriculum. Different studies have shown that the implementation of PBL is resource intensive with particular emphasis on human resources. The importance of aligning and integrating the quality and safety mission of hospitals with those of teaching programs is very important for the improvement of health systems. The best way to achieve this is by ensuring that a significant part of the training of the students is in the same setting where a majority of them will be working in the future. Similar success stories of collaboration between academic and service centers in medical education have been described, especially in the context of nursing education., Such collaborations help offset problems due to funding and human resource limitations, besides providing students exposure to realistic working environments. One of the most important points for success of such models includes the need for both the partners to be under the same governance. In our case, both partners were under the government sector and have always had a close interaction with each other. This probably was one of the reasons for the smooth collaboration.
Participation by the MOH is not only for providing needed human resources but also provides a suitable environment for clinical training in the hospital and primary healthcare centers. This is an example of a “win-win” approach where the consultants (physicians working in hospitals under the MOH) are exposed to new ways of teaching and the teaching sector utilizes available resources in the best manner possible. This collaboration can be a model for other institutes in the same region.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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