Selectives Programme

  • The Selectives Programme in the second, third and fourth year of the Undergraduate Medical Curriculum at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, builds on what is learnt during the Becoming a Professional module in the first year of study.
  • These three modules that comprise the programme respectively called Selectives 01, Selectives 02, and Selectives 03 in the three years of study.
  • The Selectives are based on Community Oriented Primary Care approach (COPC), which were the principles of Social Medicine developed by Sidney & Emily Kark in mid-20th century in rural South Africa. 
  • The COPC cycle is a continuous process that identifies the health needs of a defined population and addresses these needs using a planned integration of public health with primary care practice.
  • Self initiated groups of 2 to 4 students choose their Selectives Site, ideally in the community from which they live.
  • Each group of students identifies a primary healthcare practitioner who becomes their Selectives Facilitator, who would assist them in gaining access to other primary healthcare service providers within the Selectives Site.
  • The students are allocated four weeks of dedicated time when they are expected to live and experience the range of primary healthcare services in their Selectives Site.
  • The output of the Selectives 01 module in the second year of study, would be a Community Diagnosis.
  • In order to achieve the community diagnosis seven other assignments or activities (some individual and some in groups) need to be completed by the student.
  • Based on the Community Diagnosis made during Selectives 01, the students identify a Research Problem, which during Selectives 02, they would investigate further by conducting a Community-Based Research Study in their Selective Site.
  • Before they can conduct the survey they would have to produce a research study protocol and obtain expedited ethical approval to conduct the survey.
  • The results of the research study and the community diagnosis, would then enable these students to decide on a community-based health promotion intervention activity, which becomes the major component of the Selectives 03 module in the fourth year of undergraduate medical education.
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