Promoting Patient-Centered Health Care and Health Equity through Health Professionals' Education in Rural Chiapas.
Since 2011, the nongovernmental organization Compañeros En Salud, as Partners In Health is known in Mexico, has worked in collaboration with the Mexican Ministry of Health to strengthen the health care system in the Fraylesca and Sierra Mariscal regions of Chiapas, Mexico. In response to the high proportion of abandoned and understaffed clinics in the area, Compañeros En Salud has developed a program to entice medical students from some of the top medical schools in Mexico to spend their "social service year" in these facilities, where they receive financial support, on-site clinical mentoring, supplies, clinical support tools, and training in global health and social medicine using a structural competency framework. The idea is to provide high-quality health care to a historically underserved population through a lens of health as a human right. Although other structurally competent global health curricula have been implemented worldwide, primarily in the Global North, the Compañeros En Salud model is unique in that it combines (1) the facilitation of theoretical lectures based on the Social Medicine Consortium's definition of social medicine, (2) global health case discussion and context-reflective experiential simulations, and (3) exposure to patients who suffer the burden of structural injustice. In this paper, we describe the motivations behind the training model, its holistic approach, and the impact of this initiative after a decade of implementation.
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