Journal article

Educating the public health workforce: issues and challenges

24 Apr 2009

In public health, as well as other health education contexts, there is increasing recognition of the transformation in public health practice and the necessity for educational providers to keep pace. This article explores the impact of these changes.

The article looks at the impact of the changes on the traditional sphere of Master of Public Health programs, the range of competencies required at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and the relevance of these changes to the public health workforce. It raises questions about the complexity of educational issues facing tertiary institutions and discusses the implications of these issues on undergraduate and postgraduate programs in public health.

The article concludes that planning and provisioning of education in public health must differentiate between the requirements of undergraduate and postgraduate students--while also addressing the changing needs of the health workforce. Within Australia, although significant research has been undertaken regarding the competencies required by postgraduate public health students, the approach is still somewhat piecemeal, and does not address undergraduate public health. This article argues for a consistent approach to competencies that describe and differentiate entry-level and advanced practice.

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