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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 240-243

Evaluation of a distance learning academic support program for medical graduates during rural hospital service in India

1 Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2 Department of Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Medicine, Ida Scudder School, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Department of Medicine, Madras School of Social Work, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
5 Department of Medical Education, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA

Correspondence Address:
Rashmi Vyas
Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_194_15

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Background: Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, India, a tertiary care hospital, designed a year-long Fellowship in Secondary Hospital Medicine (FSHM) for CMC graduates, with the aim to support them during rural service and be motivated to consider practicing in these hospitals. The FSHM was a blend of 15 paper-based distance learning modules, 3 contact sessions, community project work, and networking. This paper reports on the evaluation of the FSHM program. Methods: The curriculum development process for the FSHM reflected the six-step approach including problem identification, needs assessment, formulating objectives, selecting educational strategies, implementation, and evaluation. Telephone interviews with students were conducted to determine if the program motivated them to consider working in smaller hospitals. Results: Qualitative data analysis showed that the program motivated the FSHM students to consider practicing in secondary hospitals by creating awareness of challenging opportunities and instilling confidence to provide good quality clinical care with limited resources. Discussion: We propose rural service for MBBS graduates, supported by a blend of on-site and distance education as a model for medical education.

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