This brief article summarises some of the key themes of my two plenaries at the PHASA 2014 conference: the first for the PHASA delegates and the second for the Junior PHASA conference attendees. Both presentations were based on my current book, Transforming Medical Education for the 21st Century: Megatrends, Priorities and Change, which complements and builds on the seminal Lancet Commission report on ‘health professionals for a new century’ and my forthcoming book, Global Population Health and Well-Being in the 21st Century: Towards New Paradigms, Policy and Practice.
The theme of the PHASA conference ‘dignity, rights and quality: towards a healthcare revolution’ is well positioned in the global agenda. In June 2014, the University of Stellenbosch experienced the untimely death of the Rector of our university, Russell H. Botman. The theme of this paper is the legacy of Prof Botman. At the time of his appointment in 2007, he challenged the university community to answer the following two questions: How do we link academic/research expertise and excellence to the international development goals?; How can we provide scientific solutions to tough societal challenges? In this light, the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences started the Ukwanda initiative, specifically the Ukwanda Rural Clinical School.
The book raises awareness about the growing importance of public and global health, primary health care and the need for greater collaboration among the developed and the developing worlds.
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