Adolescent Medicine Curriculum at Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

Adolescent Medicine Curriculum at Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

Alam Sher Malik (Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia) and Rukhsana Hussain Malik (Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/ijudh.2012010106
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This article, using the example of the development of an Adolescent Medicine curriculum, highlights the challenges that academicians face and the roles that stakeholders play in the development of medical curricula. To develop the curriculum, apart from using a number of resources, the authors conducted a symposium that was attended by some of the stakeholders. Learning outcomes were identified and the criteria for selection of the content of the curriculum were developed. The teaching/learning methods were recognised and the assessment strategies were formulated. The students felt that this course helped them in: (a) communicating with adolescents, (b) performing examination of adolescent patients, and (c) understanding adolescents’ views on different psychosocial issues. In this paper, the authors summarise the reasons that convinced the faculty to include Adolescent Medicine in its undergraduate teaching programme. The authors also describe the role that different stakeholders played and what further can be achieved by their involvement in such exercises.
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Faculty of Medicine (FoM), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia, was established in December 2002 and enrolled its first batch of students in May 2003. The Faculty decided to adopt a hybrid Problem-based Learning curriculum since its inception. By using innovative approaches in addressing the modern day issues in medicine the Faculty developed its very own curriculum which apart from areas such as Urban Health and Molecular Medicine also addressed Adolescent Medicine.

The 5-year MBBS course is planned into pre-clinical years (years 1 & 2) and clinical years (years 3, 4 & 5). Each of the clinical years is divided into discipline-based postings such as Paediatric Medicine and Orthopaedic postings.

In this article, following the six steps of curriculum development proposed by Kern, Thomas, and Hughes (1998), we describe the process of development of Adolescent Medicine curriculum at FoM, UiTM and highlight the challenges we faced during this exercise.

Problem Identification and General Need Assessment

World Health Organization (WHO) defines adolescents as individuals between the ages of 10 to 19 years. Adolescents have their unique health needs. The knowledge of the physical, emotional, cognitive and social changes that adolescents undergo, as well as the disease processes that occur during adolescence, is vital when caring for patients in this age group.

Lifestyle and behavioural decisions made during the adolescent years may profoundly and permanently affect adult health and well-being. Most mortality in adulthood has its roots in adolescent period. WHO (2001) estimates that about 70% of premature deaths among adults are largely due to behaviours initiated during adolescence. However these choices and behaviours can be influenced by education and counselling. For this purpose the adolescents should have access to health and counselling services. The realisation of this fact has given birth to a number of adolescent health organisations in almost all the countries around the globe including Malaysia.

Out of 1.2 billion adolescents worldwide, about 85% live in developing countries (WHO, 2001, 2008). In Malaysia adolescents constitute 20% of the population (Merican, 2007).

Viner, Coffey, Mathers, Bloem, Costello, Santelli, and Patton (2011) reported that adolescents and young adults have benefited from the epidemiological transition less than children have, with a reversal of traditional mortality patterns over the past 50 years. They pleaded that future global health targets should include a focus on the health problems of people aged 10-24 years.

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