Where do the best come from?

Global competition in education. Who trains the competent healthcare professionals of the future?

Certain demands are being made of healthcare personnel across the world. New forms of learning have established themselves that place less emphasis on knowledge and more on problem-solving skills and interprofessional teamwork. Problem-based learning (PBL) has now emerged, in its many versions, as the standard approach to training within the health professions.

Expenditure on the training of health professionals is high. Switzerland invests around a billion francs a year in training – three-quarters of which goes on training doctors.

The challenges in terms of health policy and the possible solutions are becoming increasingly similar across the industrialised countries. This in turn should see the development of international competition, in terms of training, and a certain amount of cross-border exchange. Currently, however, the only competition is for workers. And since healthcare systems are confined within national borders, each country tends to reinvent its own training courses, as health professionals are mainly trained to practise their profession within the domestic market. The potential and opportunities for cross-border cooperation remain largely unexploited.

The Careum Working Paper 2 derives skills profiles for training health professionals fit for the future. Careum is also developing four theories regarding training for healthcare up to 2032. The theories call for borders to be set aside: health professionals fit for the future will only be produced if the training and healthcare system stops treating medicine as a “special case” and training institutions set themselves up as competence centres in a system based on division of labour.

Tomorrow's training institutions should only develop part of any standardised content themselves and look to exchange more material with other partners with a view to completing their portfolio.

Working Paper 2

Panfil, E. M., & Sottas, B. (2009). Where do the best come from? Careum: Zürich. PDF