Human rights in health professionals’ education: making students aware of what the deprivation of the right to health means


  • Claudio Schuftan People's Health Movement


Human rights in health professionals education


This paper puts the finger on the barriers that “overstretched positivist biomedical curricula” pose to openings to a more humanistic approach to the education of health and nutrition professionals. Universities clearly favor “preparing career-ready graduates” so that curricula, in our case, staunchly avoid “critical pedagogies that promote a justice-enhancing health professional praxis”; “politicizing their curricula, their pedagogies, and the (social) engagement of their students” is far removed from their aims. Not that students mind; they remain buried in the “tell-me-what-I-need-to-know learning culture” --and this is yet another barrier to overcome since, given their mostly middle-class extraction, they are comfortable with “the status-quo that an individualistic professional practice offers them, (in practice) far removing them from critical (social and civic) thinking”. For all these reasons, “guiding those novice professionals to a career of political engagement is (better late than never) an absolute necessity for social change and social justice in health care”. This paper opens avenues in this realm --more specifically in the area of human rights learning.


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