Teaching Biopsychosocial Competence and the Principles of the Primary Health Care (PHC) at the Patient’s Bedside.
In 1994 the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, adopted a PHC-based approach to health sciences education to equip its graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes required to meet the challenges of providing health care in a country with vast socio-political inequalities. This paper describes an educational pedagogy which weaves these principles into clinical practice in an undergraduate medical clerkship. The methodology uses real patient encounters linked to an interactive seminar and a portfolio of case studies.
Students described the teaching pedagogy as interesting and informative. They recognized the importance of holistic, patient-centred care based on a biopsychosocial approach and the importance of the PHC principles. Barriers to implementing this approach were also highlighted. The pedagogy, in use for four years, is being adopted by another department indicating the sustainability and success of the course.
Lauraine MH Vivian, University of Cape Town
Sean McLaughlin, SANBI, University of the Western Cape
Charles R Swanepoel, University of Cape Town
Vanessa C Burch, University of Cape Town
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Date published: 2010-12-13
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