Rethinking Medical Education to Address Health Inequity: the Experience of Italian Network for Global Health Teaching and Sapienza University of Rome

Alessandro Rinaldi, Giulia Civitelli, Gianfranco Tarsitani, Marialaura Russo, Maurizio Marceca

Abstract


Globalisation processes, the growing complexity of European society and the yet largely untackled issue of health inequalities are increasingly questioning the capacity of medical education institutions to prepare health professionals capable of addressing current health challenges. From many sides, a call for a greater focus on the social determinants of health and on the global scenario is revitalising the claim for a transformation of conventional health training. Due to the innovative view and aims of Global Health (GH), training health professionals in it is a crucial issue.
Teaching can be seen both as a GH activity (therefore reflecting the tight combination of practice, knowledge and ethics that informs this particular field), and as a tool aimed at contributing to the overall goal of health promotion. All institutions involved in training of health professionals, at both under and postgraduate level, should be aware of their responsibility and of the key role they are called to play. With the aim of improving knowledge, attitude and practices of health professionals Public health academics have followed, as well as NGOs, leading in 2009 to the creation
of the Italian Network for Globalisation processes.
The main objective of RIISG is to improve population health and to reduce health inequalities through improving knowledge, attitude and practices of health professionals. To accomplish this, RIISG aims to foster public and academic debate on GH issues, promote GH teaching at the academic and professional level to fill the gap of present medical curriculum, training professionals to become ethically aware of the commitment needed to improve individual and community health and encourage the dialogue among different disciplines and stakeholders.

 

Key words: Medical Education - Health Inequity - Social Determinant of Health - Global Health


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