Building Curricula for Health Professionals
Both MUHAS and UCSF are committed to providing excellent education to our students. We adapt our curricula to ensure that we educate our students to become health professionals able to meet the needs of their people. In 2008, MUHAS decided to revise its curricula, and to make them competency-based in accordance with the new requirements of the Tanzanian Commission for Universities (TCU). Since few faculty were familiar with competency-based education, MUHAS has been working with UCSF to advise them to revise their curricula.
We consulted stakeholders about the quality of MUHAS’s current curricula through focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, and a nationwide tracer survey. Through the tracer survey, we wanted to learn how recent graduates felt their training had prepared them for employment, and if employers thought they were adequately prepared for employment.
- Students asked for more clinical and practical training, active learning, and training in information technology. They felt that their course loads were overwhelming, particularly in the pre-clinical years;
- Faculty wanted to increase active learning, use more educational technology, develop and communicate expected student outcomes, teach and assess professionalism, and to work inter-professionally;
- Recent graduates requested more clinical and practical training and wished for stronger mentorship from faculty; and
- Employers and supervisors felt that graduates needed more clinical skills and greater ability to apply their strong theoretical knowledge to real world problems. Some expressed concern that graduates lack professionalism in the conduct of their duties.
We developed competencies that address all aspects of the working life of the professionals MUHAS trains. A student’s progress in each of MUHAS’s programmes will now be determined by achievement of competencies in all eight of the following domains.
Faculty welcome students into their professions in a ceremony where students and faculty don white coats and pledge their commitment to their respective professions. New features of the curricula include:
- Students learn professional ethics from their first year;
- Students interview patients during basic science classes to understand how their conditions correlate with the science they are learning;
- Medical students begin junior clinical clerkships in their third year;
- All students participate in enhanced and extended clinical and practical experiences, including practice in district settings;
- First year students learn information and communications technology;
- Students participate regularly in active learning and problem solving;
- Students learn to work in inter-professional teams in classroom, clinical and community settings; and
- All students learn teaching skills
MUHAS Curriculum Committee: Muhamad Bakari, Mhina Chambuso, Rashidi Heri, Deodatus Kakoko, Apolinary Kamuhabwa, Noel Kasanjala, Edmund Kayombo, Anna Kessy, Irene Kida, Emil Kikwilu, Thekla Kohi, Gideon Kwesigabo, Joseph Magandula, Catherine Malika, Khadija Malima, Karim Manji, Emanuel Mauga, Lilian Mselle, Naboth Mbembati, Zacharia Mbwambo, Omary Minzi, Charles Mkony, Doreen Mloka, Rehema Mtonga, Emeria Mugonzibwa, Elifuraha Mumghamba, Kennedy Mwambete, Amos Mwakigonja, Olipa Ngassapa, Anne Outwater, Sira Owibingire, Sose Senya, David Urassa