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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 183-187

Can credit systems help in family medicine training in developing countries? An innovative concept

1 Department of Distance Education, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of General Practice, Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
J Beulah Raji
Department of Distance Education, II Floor, Main Building, Ida ScudderRoad, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.141596

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There is irrefutable evidence that health systems perform best when supported by a Family Physician network. Training a critical mass of highly skilled Family Physicians can help developing countries to reach their Millennium Development Goals and deliver comprehensive patient-centered health care to their population. The challenge in developing countries is the need to rapidly train these Family Physicians in large numbers, while also ensuring the quality of the learning, and assuring the quality of training. The experience of Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, India and other global examples confirm the fact that training large numbers is possible through well-designed blended learning programs. The question then arises as to how these programs can be standardized. Globally, the concept of the "credit system" has become the watch-word for many training programs seeking standardization. This article explores the possibility of introducing incremental academic certifications using credit systems as a method to standardize these blended learning programs, gives a glimpse at the innovation that CMC, Vellore is piloting in this regard partnering with the University of Edinburgh and analyses the possible benefits and pitfalls of such an approach.

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