Weakness of integrative medicine students

Bachelor’s degree students in holistic medicine and community health taught at Benito Juárez Garcia Universities of Social Welfare protested last week in front of the National Palace and in some cities of the country. Complaints focus on the lack of teachers, the lack of practices inside hospitals, and the poor quality of infrastructure in schools. Two days later, the head of the universities coordinator ruled out the protests and considered that the students who came out to express their disapproval of the education they receive were unemployed.

The implications of the reported circumstances are varied from a legal point of view, which is why some issues are worth remembering. Universities for Welfare work in the coordination of a decentralized public body, created on July 30, 2019 by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Among its objectives is to provide a high-quality education focused on students located primarily in the highly marginalized and extremely marginalized areas of the country, as well as on applicants demanding admission to public institutions.

Today there are more than 130 schools across the country, of which 20 teach holistic medicine and a community health program. In this regard, it is important to remember that the medical profession has a broad regulatory framework that has been developed over the years with the aim of obtaining a quality education for people who study it and protecting the health of the population. These provisions are found both in the Public Health Act, in its regulations, and, in particular, in Mexican official standard NOM-EM-033-SSA3-2022 Health Education. Standards for using medical care institutions as clinical areas for clinical courses and undergraduate medical degree internships.

The curriculum which is taught in universities for well-being suggests that students will develop activities in community clinical areas from the first cycle of study, which is not the case. One of the main claims of young people is that they have not implemented clinical course practices within hospitals despite what has been established in the programme.

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The program details that the comprehensive medical profession and community health contains 41 subjects distributed in three cognitive areas (primary health care and community health, a comprehensive study of the human being in medicine and tools for thinking and action in health), in addition to the boarding school and social service. However, if you look closely at the document, you can see some inconsistencies. On the other hand, the details of cooperation agreements with health institutions for clinical courses prior to university training are not attached or specified. On the other hand, even when the study program refers to the boarding school, confusion is observed between it and the social service, because only with respect to the latter it is said that the Academic Operational Program is attached, although it is not available to the public.

The previous situation allows us to understand that the anxiety of young people is not episodic, nor is it simple. We are in danger of violating the right to education for these young people, but at the same time there is a serious risk that in the short term this violation of rights translates into a violation of the right to health of people who will receive health care services from those who have graduated from wellness universities.

The Supreme Court has recognized that the content of the right to higher education is not only focused on the distribution of a basic commodity, such as the establishment of universities for the sake of well-being, but this type of training should provide the tools for this. People can embody their chosen life plan. In this way, those young people who chose the alternative from universities for the sake of luxury under the promise that they would get the necessary and quality training could see this right in violation.

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An additional factor is that higher education is also linked to the achievement of socially relevant goals, as in this case is the health of the country’s poorest population. However, far from achieving this goal, it appears that actual conditions are being created that will not only affect the preparation of students, the possibilities of access to a job and the realization of their life plan; But the desired social benefit will not be obtained, because the medical care services to be provided in the most vulnerable areas will not comply with such basic elements of the right to health as acceptability and quality.

Far from censoring the protests of medical students, it is imperative that the educational authorities take them seriously, because their demands lie not only in demanding access to quality education, but also in the commitment and interest in returning to their communities to provide appropriate medical services..

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