Changes in burden of diseases and implications for medical education reform in Vietnam

Nguyen Thi Huyen Trang
National Cancer Center-Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy - Korea


Background: Substantially changing patterns of diseases and health-related risk factors means that the content and delivery of medical curricula have to change correspondingly. It is critical to prepare sufficient capacities for future health professionals to meet the growing expectations of society. This study aimed to review the changes of disease burden in Vietnam, gaps between this transition and the current medical curriculum, and discuss the implications for medical education reform in Vietnam.

Methods: Data of Vietnam in Global Burden of Diseases studies from 1990 to 2016 were extracted using Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) to measure the burden of disease. The current six-year training curriculum for medical doctors at Hanoi Medical University was also reviewed to identify the gaps.

Results: From 1990 to 2016, the burden of noncommunicable diseases was growing rapidly in contrast to the decrease of communicable diseases and malnutrition.  In addition, the raise of modifiable lifestyle-related risk factors such as smoking, alcohol use and unhealthy diet was observed. Meanwhile, in the curriculum, the amount of time for health promotion and humanities, as well as the application of evidence-based approach in prevention, treatment and management were deficit.

Conclusion: This study highlights the needs of new curricula development to adapt the change of disease burden.

Keyword: burden diseases, medical, education

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