Practising just medicine in an unjust world
Initiatives to improve academic medicine in developing countries must come from within argues Zulfiqar Bhutta
A recent report by the Academy of Medical Sciences highlights the importance of clinical research, and the challenge of translating recent discoveries into clinical practice and public health interventions.1 As the recommendations were made largely in the context of public health practice and academic medicine in the United Kingdom, how do they relate to the developing world, and are the challenges faced by academia in developing countries markedly different?
Although health systems and research in developing countries have been reviewed, little systematic evaluation has taken place of the problems that academic health professionals face.2 Firstly, academic professionals in developing countries work in relative isolation from primary care settings, mostly in urban centres, and fewer still interact with public health policy makers.3 Given the average size of a medical class and the workload in busy public hospitals most have to contend with an enormous load of teaching and clinical care. Barring