Raising horizons

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 09 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1366
  1. Geoff Watts
  1. London

    The student group Medsin campaigns for more teaching on global health and more help for marginalised people. Geoff Watts asks its president, Claire Procter, how it survives

    Students agitate, campaign, and demand change—bigger grants, world peace, more halls of residence, that sort of thing. It goes with the territory. What the stereotype does not allow for is a group pressing, politely, for something to be added to the curriculum. The something in question is global health, and the body applying the pressure is the student organisation Medsin.

    “If you ask medical students about their public health teaching you often get the answer that it's rubbish, or they don't enjoy it or get much from it,” says Claire Procter, a medical student at Newcastle and currently president of Medsin. The evidence for her assertion being anecdotal, it is hard to know if she is right. Either way, deans dismayed by this damning comment on what their schools provide may be cheered by Ms Procter's next comment: “But students really do want to learn about international health issues.”

    A couple of schools already offer an intercalated bachelors degree in international health—the Royal Free and University College Medical School and Leeds University Medical School. Medsin would like to see more such courses—and, in the …

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