Community-based clinical education at the University of Birmingham medical school
Throughout the United Kingdom, medical schools have begun to make significant changes in the content and delivery of their undergraduate curricula in response to a number of social and educational forces. In particular, many schools have begun to focus increasingly on community-based education. This and other changes mirror developments that have taken place in other countries and in the context of other health care systems, with such forerunners as Harvard, Maastricht, and McMaster having had a fundamental influence. In this article the authors describe the forces for curricular change in the United Kingdom and the specific recommendations for change made by the General Medical Council. They then discuss in detail the new curriculum at the University of Birmingham medical school, focusing in particular on a community medicine module, where students spend ten days per academic year learning in general medical practices in and around the city of Birmingham.