President Scrimshaw Among Authors of New Lancet Commission Report on Global Health Education

[President Scrimshaw]Report published in The Lancet, a leading global medical journal, asserts current education for the health professions will not work in the 21st Century

Susan C. Scrimshaw, Ph.D, president of The Sage Colleges and a global public health expert, is one of the authors of an important global health education report published today by The Lancet, a leading global medical journal.

The report, “Health professionals for a new century: transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world,” was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and China Medical Board, and prepared by a global independent commission on Education of Health Professionals for the 21st Century, of which Scrimshaw was invited to be a member.

The Commission consists of 20 professional and academic leaders from diverse countries who convened to develop a shared vision and common strategy for postsecondary education in medicine, nursing, and public health that transcends national borders and individual professions.

The report was launched at a Harvard School of Public Health symposium on the same topic Nov. 30 - Dec. 1 involving the members of the Commission, educators, scientists and researchers.

The report asserts that “Redesign of professional health education is necessary and timely, in view of the opportunities for mutual learning and joint solutions offered by global interdependence due to acceleration of flows of knowledge, technologies and financing across borders, and the migration of both professionals and patients.”

“The result would be an enlightened new professionalism that can lead to better services and consequent improvements in the health of patients and populations.”

Scrimshaw, who attended the symposium, says, “This report strongly recommends a radical transformation in health professions education and in how health care is delivered, taking the science base originally recommended by Flexner, adding competency based education and practice as occurred 30 years ago, and then adding creativity, teamwork, prevention, and community based population health skills. This will not be easy, but is critical to the future health of populations throughout the world. If not, we will not only continue to see a reverse in health status, but we will increasingly rob all other areas of society to pay for health.”

To speak to Dr. Scrimshaw, contact communications director Shannon Ballard Gorman at 518-244-3142 (office) or 518-321-5777 (cell).