The Philosophy

The philosophy of the RCS is based on the following principles:

  • Recruit students from rural areas to encourage future retention.
  • “Teach where the patients are” to ensure relevant exposure to the burden of disease and practical experience.
  • Enable continuity with patients for better learning.
  • Enable continuity with the mentor for better guidance and supervision.
  • Enable continuity with a specific community for better service orientation and contextualization of health problems.
  • Enable longer exposure to the district health system so that service learning becomes a win win for all:
  • The university and the Department of Health and the community)
  • Catalyze research in a rural context as the research base is limited
  • Support multi-professional learning to foster teamwork
  • Make use of IT solutions to overcome geographic distances
  • Promote a community orientated approach/community engagement/sense of social responsibility for a defined population
  • Ukwanda pursues an “immersion model” where students are exposed to the realities of working/caring in a resource-limited environment. Students work within the existing healthcare system and not alongside it, hoping to provide assistance and support to health care personnel while gaining valuable “real-life” experience at the same time.  Currently 970 undergraduate students  rotate to rural towns for periods of 2-6 weeks  per year.  Students are from the following disciplines:

  • Human Nutrition
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech, hearing and language therapy
  • MB ChB
  • Students are exposed to the full spectrum of health care services provided at these sites including primary healthcare platforms such as:  community health centres, primary care clinics, mobile clinics and home visits, NGO encounters as well as private sector exposure.

    The Distributed Apprenticeship:

    The final year of the renewed curriculum will entail placement of the entire final year MBChB class on the distributed platform in 2026. This module will be called the Distributed Apprenticeship. For more information see the video below: