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Medical Schools and what you can expect

Medical learning institutions are more than fabricated buildings of choice for individuals making a selection to an institution of learning that would provide the necessary program to foster their new found profession. In fact, this type of school has genuine social responsibilities surrounding their relationships and mutual obligations existing between many professions, institutions and other agencies in the community. The doors of the schools are not just opened to the influx of students, but largely to the intangible social contract that is primarily based on moral and ethical grounds substantially supported by arguments from concepts of social justice and distributive equity, as acknowledged in a draft by Dr. Kerr L. White in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 1991. There is a formidable structure whereas the schools give thought to establishing guidance and concerns for issues such as:

  • Determining collective activities
  • Listing priorities
  • Implementing goals and objectives for education, patient care and research.

Financial support for private and public medical schools is largely funded from federal government and state tax revenues by way of tax deductible philanthropy. As with any involvement with accepting funding for a cause, there are attachments of obligations and responsibilities to endure. To wit, these schools must demonstrate a means of assurance to all concerned, namely students, practitioners, politicians and the public that they are responding to real and perceived health problems in the short and long term arena. In observance of their responsibilities, the school should develop and make public an institutional mission statement pertaining to their goals and objectives. The mission statement should clearly define the schools’ commitment to individuals and the populations it serves. Terms and elements of the mission statement should blanket undergraduates, graduates and post-graduates education, research and service.

What you can expect:
Normally, this type of school has a grave responsibility to their students to ensure the individuals’ participation and devoted time to attendance embraces the primary reason for being enrolled. Each graduate will have acquired a satisfactory level of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are commensurate to appropriate applications of individual patient, physician, biomedical, and community populated based perspectives as mandated via the mission statement. To assist the students in the course of their studies, the school must provide educational resources comprising a well-rounded faculty and facilities to accommodate a balanced experience on site and in the community. For example, having students team up with health professionals and agencies in their communities is an excellent opportunity for students to get some insight on the populations’ real time existing health problems. Having the opportunity to work and train with health care professionals, other than a physician will lend a hand to perspectives as seen through different avenues. Finally, as the old saying goes “no man is an island” should stand to reason that such a school should have, and encourage strong ties to clinical departments, community agencies and most certainly governmental health departments. Medical schools may be considered to be a liaison for the public, politicians, faculty, and students in providing much needed insight to the population’s health problems.

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