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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 256-266

Educating Health Professionals in a Community Setting: What Students Value

Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, USA

Correspondence Address:
Mary Frances Oneha
Community Health Services Department, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, 86 260 Farrington Hwy, Wai'anae,HI 96792
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Context: Health care and health professions education has been shifting into community settings. Hawai'i participated in the Community Partnerships for Health Professions Education program, an initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation that aimed to develop educational collaboration between community health centers, their respective communities and health professions schools. Objective: In 1998, after completing 5 academic years in this program, former students from one community health center site were polled to begin exploring those components of their experience that were most valuable to their subsequent health care practice. Method: A survey was mailed to 65 former students, ask ing three questions: ( 1 ) what three components of your Ke Ola O Hawai'i experience (Wai'anae site ) had the most impact on your practice; ( 2 ) is there anything else you would lik e us to know; and ( 3 ) where do you see yourself in 5 years? Findings: Thirty responses were received for a 46% response rate. Students identi® ed three components as having the greatest im pact: ( 1 ) the multiprofessional approach to health care and learning, ( 2 ) the community setting/contact, and ( 3 ) understanding the culture of the community. A fourth component that was also revealed was the im pact this experience had on their personal and professional growth. Most students reported employment or plans to practice in a community-based, rural, or underserved area. Conclusion: These responses introduce ideas for sustaining a community-based multiprofessional curriculum that is relevant to current health care practice.

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