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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 48-54

Perceptions of faculty toward “social obligation” at an Indian medical school

1 Department of Biochemistry, Era's Medical College, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Biochemistry, Seth G.S. Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Undergraduate Education, Three Counties Medical School, University of Worcester University England, UK

Correspondence Address:
Sucheta P Dandekar
Department of Biochemistry, Era's Medical College, Lucknow - 226 003, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_208_19

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Background: The World Health Organization has defined social accountability of medical schools as “…obligation to direct their education, research, and service activities toward addressing the priority health concerns of the community.” The current study looked at the extent to which the concept was understood in an Indian medical school, exploring how faculty perceived and were involved in directing a response to the social obligation of their medical school. Methods: Seventeen semi-structured audio-recorded interviews were conducted by purposive sampling of faculty from different disciplines. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed through a collaborative thematic approach to gain insight into faculty knowledge of the “obligation triad” of responsibility, responsiveness, and accountability; enablers and barriers in implementation; and understanding stakeholder roles. Results: Faculty were unfamiliar with the terms and were unaware of the movement towards socially accountable schools. They were, however, sensitive to their responsibilities towards students and the community. Four major themes emerged: Perceptions of social obligation, awareness of social and cultural values, the role of partnerships, and moving toward a socially accountable model. Discussion: Sensitizing students towards community needs, impact of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, importance of contextual curriculum, and stakeholder roles were some of the challenges highlighted in developing a socially accountable medical school.

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