Commentary

It is time to balance communitarianism and individualism in South African medical education

L M Campbell, A J Ross, R G MacGregor

Abstract


To the Editor: Recent well-meaning global and South African (SA) reforms in medical education primarily consider an agenda of social accountability. We are concerned that this approach may be the result of an excessive focus on the purpose of education to meet community needs (communitarianism) at the expense of the purpose of education to meet individual learner’s needs (individualism). If communitarianism and individualism are viewed as being at the opposite ends of a pendulum swing, we believe the pendulum is currently swinging too far away from individualism towards communitarianism, and that there should be a balance between these two.


Authors' affiliations

L M Campbell, Department of Family Medicine, College of Health Sciences, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

A J Ross, Department of Family Medicine, College of Health Sciences, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

R G MacGregor, Umthombo Youth Development Foundation, Hillcrest, South Africa

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Keywords

Case study; Rural; South Africa; Medical education; Individualism; Communitarianism

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2015;7(2):224-225. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.564

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-11-26
Date published: 2015-11-21

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