The Stellenbosch University Rural Medical Education Partnership Initiative (SURMEPI) focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of innovative medical education models that aim to support rural and underserved communities in South Africa. SURMEPI has a special remit to generate workable and effective medical education models within an African context and a resource-constrained medical education environment. The project mainly uses the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS)’s UKWANDA rural training platform including the newly established Rural Clinical School (RCS) to implement and test these innovations, although peripheral areas in other parts of South Africa and Africa are also included. It is therefore important to understand the whole context, background and remit of SURMEPI as innovative medical education focused on rural and underserved communities. All activities in SURMEPI strive to work towards this vision.
The overall aims are to:
- Increase the number and quality of rural healthcare workers.
- Retain health workers where they are most needed.
- Improve regionally relevant research.
The SURMEPI project consist two major focus areas in which our medical education innovations are conceptualized and organized. These areas are Medical Curriculum Renewal for rural practice and Health Systems Strengthening and Development – specifically within the context of rural and underserved communities. Each area is lead by a senior academic in the SURMEPI project.