Community is the main field of offering health services, as well as the most effectual training environment for healthcare professionals. Risk factors for health appear when the influential components of health undergo drastic changes, thereby leading to diseases, disability and death. Community medicine is a new field of education, addressing a wide range of health-related issues and incorporating into clinical training with unique features. As such, the Department of Community Medicine has been founded with the aim of familiarizing the students with the risk factors and social structures that affect the quality and management of life directly or indirectly in the community, thereby enabling them to fulfill their role as the executors of health care.
Courses of community medicine are presented in three main stages. In the first stage, students are orientated on the community and influential factors for health, while acquiring data collection skills and national healthcare guidelines. Simultaneous with the apprenticeship period, the second stage constantly focuses on the concept of health hazards and their impact on health through specialized courses. By the end of the second stage, students will have learned the pivotal health hazards, as well as the rooting and prioritization of these issues.
The third stage encompasses community contact, designing of interventional programs to eliminate the recognized health hazards or interaction with social organizations in order to eliminate the health hazards. Given the importance of the field of community medicine, the present book will elaborate on the educational agenda of the Community Medicine Department at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences.
Background of the Community Medicine Department
The Department of Community Medicine in Mashhad, Iran offers educational services in four levels of basic sciences, clinical sciences, assistance and infectious MPH, health services management, addictions and professional health. In 1951, the department was initiated with five faculty members at the School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences with the responsibility of presenting various courses in medicine, including the history of medicine, medical ethics, statistics and health to the students of medicine and paramedics.
In 1976, the department was rendered independent, with the title changing to the Department of Community Medicine. The main tasks of the new department were focused on two main domains: 1) presenting courses on health, preventative medicine, epidemiology, statistics and family planning to medical students and 2) creating associations between various units of the School of Medicine and community, as well as performing research projects relating to community health.
In 1976, the specialized field of family medicine was assigned to the Department of Community Medicine. In 1979, the specialized field of family medicine had three assistants, while there were two assistants in the orientation of community medicine.
In 1999, the first course of MPH was provided for the assistants of the infections field, and in 2005, in addition to the orientation of MPH infections, the orientation of Health Services Management was offered in MPH.
In 2008, two orientations of Addiction and Professional Health were added to the MPH course. Furthermore, in 2010, the first period of Community Medicine Assistance was established.
During the activity of the department, many services and accomplishments have been recorded in the mentioned fields. It is hoped that the current members of the department be able to continue their cooperation and services to proceed their former professors and play their pivotal role in the promotion of community health.
G1: Training of efficient human workforce in the field relating to community medicine in order to meet the needs of the community.
G2: Development of postgraduate and assistant educational courses
G3: Qualitative and quantitative research development
G4: Active participation in community education and beneficiary departments in terms of the determinants of health and enhancing the quality of life
G5: Development of proper educational, research and community medicine arenas
G6: Consistent promotion of the professional knowledge and skills of the faculty members and department personnel
G7: Active participation in the continuous promotion of the knowledge and skills of the graduates, faculty members, officials and university personnel with regard to the methods of research, health promotion, community medicine, preventative medicine, managerial skills and health systems modifications