Opinion

Rural medicine and ‘home stay’: a medical student’s experience

Reabetswe Ntshabele, Rubeshan Perumal, Nesri Padayatchi
South African Family Practice | Vol 60, No 6 : November/December| a4925 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v60i6.4925 | © 2019 Reabetswe Ntshabele, Rubeshan Perumal, Nesri Padayatchi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 October 2019 | Published: 30 November 2018

About the author(s)

Reabetswe Ntshabele, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA)—MRC TB HIV Pathogenesis Unit, Durban, South Africa
Rubeshan Perumal, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA)—MRC TB HIV Pathogenesis Unit, Durban, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), South Africa
Nesri Padayatchi, Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA)—MRC TB HIV Pathogenesis Unit, Durban, South Africa

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Abstract

Medical education is evolving from a heavily hierarchical and paternalistic approach to a more developmental and student-centred paradigm. In addition, there has been a greater focus on decentralised medical education, taking medical students closer to the lowest tiers of the healthcare system and allowing for a more immersive experience within the communities of their patients. This paper presents the experience of an enlightening rural experience, in which the benefits of such a model to medical education are explored. Furthermore, it presents the highly personal and developmental journey that decentralised and, in particular, rural medical training can offer. A new concept of a ‘home-stay’ model has now been introduced as part of the rural medicine experience, where students are hosted by a family within the community in which they work. This is a transformative project in which the most fundamental principles of medical training and the art of medical practice can be honed. The convergence of clinical training, public health enlightenment, and family practice are highlighted.

Keywords

epidemiology; home stay; rural medicine

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