Doctors in a divided society: the profession and education of medical practitioners in South Africa
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Many of the goals of South Africa's new democracy depend on the production of professionals who have not only the knowledge and skills to make our country globally competitive, but also a commitment to working and living here. Despite numerous reforms, the South African health system, ten years into democracy, remains divided: first world private care that ranks with middle income countries internationally at the one end, and at the other extreme, in the rural public sector in particular, conditions that are superior only to the poorest of African countries. Much work has been done to change medical school curricula in line with the primary health-care focus of government policy, and international trends towards problem-based learning. The student profile in medical schools is now not only more representative of the demographics of South Africa, but also reveals a significant increase in female students. Whether these students will stay in the country after graduating, and serve where they are needed most, remains to be seen.