Educating general practitioners in Latin America: a challenge for universal health

Fajardo Dolci et al.


To gather opinions from medical schools regarding the existence of public policies on the health workforce  (human resources for health) and whether sufficient public financing and regulatory mechanisms are in place for undergraduate medical education; and to identify areas of opportunity to improve the availability of general practitioners in the Region of the Americas.


Cross-sectional, descriptive study conducted with 105 medical schools (51 public and 54 private) in 17  countries. A questionnaire with a Likert scale was used to explore three dimensions (political, economic, and  regulatory contexts) composed of 4, 2, and 4 variables each, respectively, and validated with the Delphi method. Frequencies of responses to the questions were estimated. A frequency analysis was performed, as well as a bivariate analysis to identify differences between public and private schools, applying the Chi-square test to compare percentages.


The political context was considered favorable by 64% of the schools; the economic context, by 37%; and the regulatory context, by 23%. The only significant differences between public and private schools were in the financial resources they administer.


It is necessary to strengthen public policies, public investment, and the regulation of medical education in order to improve the education and availability of general practitioners in the countries of the Region.

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