The challenge of maintaining interest in Primary Health Care in medical students

doctors 2019 ifmsa

(Piron Guillaume, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Guilherme Pitol, a 21 years old medical student now in the third year in Catholic University of Pelotas, Brazil. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Primary health care (PHC) is the gateway to the patient to find help in their illness – or even health. In this way, basic health issues are discussed and disseminated in this first pillar of health. However, because they are “simple”, such questions do not arouse interest in young medical students, who are fascinated by the specialties already arriving at college with preconceptions about the PHC. We should not blame them, here in Brazil, our society generally thinks in a diminutive way regarding the general practitioner, our gateway to PHC. While the doctors of large hospitals are gods, they scuttle our health posts, a reality that is also on the political side. From this, we observe the result in the medical student – who does not want and has no interest in participating in primary care.

I think that because it is a social issue, in large part, promoting PHC looking at the same subject matter could leverage, as a result, the interest of young students. That is, to improve the scenario of scrapping, to train exemplary doctors who excel in public life, who appear in medical movements and who, above all, “exalt” confidence and seriousness to medical students could reconstitute the figure of the general practitioner as a physician of respect, as well as the specialized doctor – that in the current conjuncture, only the last one is seen with respect and power.

If we talk about medical education, this reality is already being put into practice. The guidelines of the Ministry of Education in Brazil promote to the student the contact with the primary attention from the beginning of the college, until the end of it. Most of the last two years of medicine, traditionally composed of internships in all medical areas, have about 30% of all time in basic care alone, with each other having a maximum of about 8.3% of the time in those two years.

Important to lead the student, too, is the personal gain in primary care. In medical practice, he will come across issues that are not only medical but that relate to people’s health. In this, sociocultural, environmental, political, and many other issues resonate and make the study of primary care not as “basic” as previously thought.

Matters, such as multidisciplinary teamwork, are heavily worked on at PHC and the integration of the doctor with the community is phenomenal; this leads to the young person’s sense of belonging, of work done – feelings that the young doctor often does not experience.

Such points are essential for promoting basic care for young students. To have someone to mirror, to be a model for the new generation of students and curricula of the colleges that stimulate the student to experience and understand how necessary primary attention is could be what it is lacking in order to reach primary attention a level deserving of desire by the students.

About the author

Guilherme Pitol is a 21 years old medical student now in the third year. He has studied medicine course in Catholic University of Pelotas since 2017. In 2018 he has volunteered for clown therapy and has become member of Medical Education committee at IFMSA Brazil UCPel. In the same year, has performed monitoring in the areas of biochemistry, physiology, histology and embryology. Nowadays, he is seeking for publications in big medias. He wants to be a professor of medicine and has interest in primary care services and general medicine.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Low productivity jobs continue to drive employment growth

Pakistan: UN strongly condemns terrorist attack that leaves scores dead and wounded at election rally

CEOs in these countries are more likely to go with their gut

Russia and the West use the same tactics to dismember Ukraine

Everything you need to know about water

Good grub: why we might be eating insects soon

‘Complacency’ a factor in stagnating global vaccination rates, warn UN health chiefs

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commission’s Vice President Šefčovič accentuates the importance of innovation to EU’s Energy Union

Manufacturers Get Smarter for Industry 4.0

Dare to be vulnerable, and three other lessons in leadership

‘Favour dialogue’ over violence, UN chief urges all parties following clashes in Mali’s capital

The quality of health education around the globe

Global immunization is having its annual check-up. What can we learn?

Ebola in DR Congo: New transmission chain risks reversing major gains

A Trumpist squad shook Davos and the world

Yemen conflict: ‘Fragile’ hopes rise, as violence decreases and life-saving humanitarian funding surges

Somalis ‘will not be deterred’ by Friday’s terror attacks – UN chief

How powering food storage could end hunger

What will the US look like under Trump? Was his election campaign a big scam?

Technophobe or technophile? We need more conversation about digital transformation

Services are the hidden side of the US-China trade war

Health should be central to the conversation around climate change

A brief history of cryptography and why it matters

Secure 5G networks: Commission endorses EU toolbox and sets out next steps

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

“A Junior Enterprise is run only by students.. there are no professors or managers that can help you solve your problems”

Sustainable Development Goals: making the world a better place

G7 summit: Trump Vs. G6 leaders on trade and climate change

‘Address root causes’ of instability in Mali through ‘aid and support’ urges UN chief

Joint UN, OSCE engagement can address crisis in Ukraine, other ‘dark spots of conflict’ in Europe

A 550 km-long mass of rotting seaweed is heading for Mexico’s pristine beaches

This is the IMF’s latest take on the economy in 2020

How the digital finance revolution can drive sustainable development

UN agency ramps up effort to counter growing nuclear threat from cyberspace

The EU pretends not knowing what happens in the Western Balkans

What cybersecurity professionals can learn from triathletes

A Sting Exclusive: “The Digital Economy and Industry are no longer opposing terms”, Commissioner Oettinger underlines live from European Business Summit 2015

UN General Assembly President defends ‘landmark’ migration compact

Catalysing change for gender equality, co-authored by two United Nations Under-Secretary Generals

‘Collective amnesia’ over causes of global financial crash – human rights expert

We lack a global framework for saving our environment. Here’s how we change that

Eliminating hepatitis calls for ‘bold political leadership, with investments to match,’ UN health chief says

How Hawaii plans to be the first US state to run entirely on clean energy

Innovation for a smarter world: ITU Telecom World 2018

Two-thirds of global drug deaths now from opioids: UN drugs report

The sustainable fashion revolution is well underway. These 5 trends prove it

EU-UK future relations: “level playing field” crucial to ensure fair competition

3 charts that show how attitudes to climate science vary around the world

Why cyber-risk should take centre stage in financial services

Nuclear testing has ‘disastrous consequences’ for people and planet, General Assembly told

UN condemns ‘cowardly’ attack on Libya’s national oil corporation headquarters

Inflation down to 0.7%, unemployment up at 12.2%: Bad omens for Eurozone

A Sting Exclusive: “Regulators and the shipping industry collaborating for a sustainable future”, written by the Secretary General of IMO

End ‘political opportunism’ that’s letting hate speech flourish, urges top UN genocide official

The JADE Spring Conference 2017 is casting its shadows before

Drastic deterioration in security across Burkina Faso as 70,000 flee their homes in past two months, UN warns

Trade/Human Rights: Commission decides to partially withdraw Cambodia’s preferential access to the EU market

An EU first: youth Ministers debate youth participation in live broadcast

Cybersecurity: agreement reached on better protection for citizens and companies

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s