Wrong schools or wrong students? The potential role of medical education in regional imbalances of the health workforce in the United Republic of Tanzania
Peer reviewed article
This paper reviews the available research evidence that links medical students' characteristics with human resource imbalances and the contribution of medical schools in perpetuating an inequitable distribution of the health workforce. A cross sectional survey was also conducted with a structured questionnaire among fifth year undergraduate medical students at the medical faculties in Tanzania.
The study found a lack of primary interest in medicine among medical school entrants, biases in recruitment, absence of rural-related clinical curricula in medical schools, and a preference for specialization not available in rural areas. These were considered the main obstacles for building a motivated health workforce to help correct the inequitable distribution of doctors in Tanzania. The study suggests that there is a need to re-examine the medical school admission policies and practices.