Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 892518, 5 pages
Research Article

Health Promoting Schools Provide Community-Based Learning Opportunities Conducive to Careers in Rural Practice

1Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 3V4
2Wallenberg Research Centre, Stellenbosch Institute for Advance Study (STIAS), Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
3College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
4Gagnon Research Associates, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 1T7

Received 15 October 2010; Revised 24 December 2010; Accepted 12 February 2011

Academic Editor: D. E. Pathman

Copyright © 2011 Andrew Macnab et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The World Health Organization conceived “health-promoting schools” as a means of providing the information and support systems necessary for the worldwide changes in behavior that are needed to improve health globally and decrease health care costs. We developed and evaluated a model of progressively implementing health-promoting schools with support from university medical school trainees in Canada and Uganda. The model uses oral health as a medium for establishing rapport and success around a topic with little stigma. The evaluation involved questionnaires of the Canadian trainees about practice intentions before and after involvement in the health-promoting schools to determine whether community-based learning in health-promoting schools resulted in more trainees planning to work in rural areas or underserved countries. We found that Canadian medical trainees cited their personal involvement and perceived ability to effect significant and identifiable positive change in both the school children and the community as reasons why they were more willing to practice in rural or under-served areas.