A New Generation of Physicians in Sub-Saharan Africa?; Comment on “Non-physician Clinicians in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Evolving Role of Physicians”

Document Type: Commentary

Authors

1 Global Health and Tropical Medicine, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

2 Office for the Promotion of Global Healthcare Equity, Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Abstract

This commentary follows up on an editorial by Eyal and colleagues in which these authors discuss the implications of the emergence of non-physician clinicians (NPCs) on the health labour market for the education of medical doctors. We generally agree with those authors and we want to stress the importance of clarifying the terminology to describe these practitioners and of defining more formally their scope of practice as prerequisites to identifying the new competencies which physicians need to acquire. We add one new competencies domain, the utilization of new communication technologies, to those listed in the editorial. Finally, we identify policy issues which decision-makers will need to address to make medical education reform work.

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