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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 55-60

Academia–industry collaboration to provide interdisciplinary experiential learning opportunities in public health professions education and improve health of female factory workers

1 Department of Community Medicine, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine and Medical Education, Believers Church Medical College and Hospital, Thiruvalla, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Thomas V Chacko
Believers Church Medical College and Hospital, St Thomas Nagar, Kuttapuzha, Thiruvalla - 689 103, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_129_20

Background: The community medicine department of our medical school, in addition to addressing its mandate to prepare undergraduate students for primary care and graduate students for careers in public health, administers several community-based interventions. An international organization involved with improving health of female factory workers globally invited us to partner in their efforts locally. We used the Precede-Proceed model to design an intervention to deliver the desired project outcomes. Activities: Recognizing that this partnership with industry would provide a learning opportunity to our Master’s degree program students, we involved them in a needs assessment survey in order to make an educational diagnosis to identify the influencing and reinforcing factors. Our faculty and students interfaced with a multidisciplinary team including mid-level factory managers, health-care staff, and peer health educators within the textile industry. Outcomes: Through this industry–academia collaboration, our health professions training institution was able to provide supplementary experiential learning opportunities to students in our Master’s degree in Community Medicine program by involving them in all the project stages from planning based on health needs assessment, to module design, implementation, and program evaluation along with interdisciplinary teams from the textile industry. Students then reflected on their learning experience using a modified Kolbe’s experiential learning cycle to improve their performance when they replicated the intervention with the next factory under the same project. Conclusion: The use of PRECEDE–PROCEED model in the industry–academia collaboration and Kolb’s framework provided supplementary experiential learning opportunities for deliberate practice, receiving feedback, and reflecting on their learning to our Master’s in Community Medicine degree students.

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