Selective 02



The Selectives Programme at UKZN is designed on the community oriented primary care (COPC) approach leading medical students from a clinical context to a public health perspective, using MEPI support.  

Over three academic years from year 2 to 4, learners engage critically with interpersonal and contextual issues such as developing a longer term relationship with patients and their family, conducting an environmental assessment and identifying primary health resources, implementing a community-based research study and finally concluding within an appropriate health promotion intervention. 

The idea behind the Selective programme is to prepare medical students to work within South Africa’s new National Health Insurance plan which is moving the health system from a traditional curative approach to a preventive model where health workers engage with communities on disease prevention.


Description of the programme 

In Selectives 1 in year 2 of the MBChB programme, students are allowed to choose their own community for a four week Selectives study and are placed in groups of two or four. Students are encouraged to select communities close to their homes to encourage the concept of relationship building and understanding community specific issues.

The students engage with their selected communities in trying to understand their health profile and factors influencing these outcomes. 

As part of their research, students are expected to examine socio-economic attributes and challenges specific to the community when determining the drivers of certain poor health outcomes in their selected area. 

This encourages students to rethink their approach as health professionals, shifting from focusing only on treatment providers to agents of change in communities, through disease awareness and prevention strategies. 

Once complete, students prepare their research findings in year 4 , using research methods learnt in their curriculum. Their findings are then presented as scientific research posters for approval from examiners followed by a community based health promotion activity aimed at raising awareness and education within their selected communities, thus achieving the goals of the Selective programme and preparing students to adapt successfully to the NHI model. 

Contact Webmaster | View the Promotion of Access to Information Act | View our Privacy Policy
© University of KwaZulu-Natal: All Rights Reserved