Feuerwerker L, Sena R. Contribução ao movimiento de mudança na formação profissional em saúde: uma avaliação das experiências UNI. [Contribution to the movement to transform professional education in health: an evaluation of the UNI experiences.] Interface – Comunicação, Saúde, Educação [Interface – Communication, Health, Education] (Barucatu,Brazil) 2002 February; 6(10):37-50.

Objectives:To systematize and evaluate the actions undertaken by the UNI Program (New Initiative in the Education of Health Professionals: Joining with the Community), in which 11 Latin American countries participated. The Program was financed by the Kellogg Foundation.

Methodology:The evaluation was carried out through seminars that systematized the experiences, self-evaluations, and special studies contracted out to external evaluators.

Results:Universities, health services, and community organizations in 11 Latin American countries have participated in an innovative program known by its acronym, UNI [ ] since 1992. The purpose of the Program was to produce simultaneous changes in universities, health services, and the participating communities, as well as in the relationships among them. To accomplish this purpose, an attempt was made to change the process of professional education in health, incorporating knowledge and technology for adult education. This effort involved the introduction of methodologies that favored active, student-centered learning, through the adoption of flexible programs and the development of critical, research-oriented capacities. The effort also involved the development of integrated programs, based on exchanges among disciplines, to confront the complex reality of problems.

UNI likewise worked with direct services, attempting to make them more effective, fully integrated, sensitive to local realities, open to the community, responsive to the needs of the population, and committed to the resolution of problems. UNI also sought to strengthen the citizenry and popular participation in health, broadening citizens’ access to information, developing their autonomy, and strengthening community organizations’ capacity to intervene on behalf of local issues.

The evaluation of the project indicated that substantial progress was made on all fronts. Much still needed to be accomplished, especially in medical education and biopsychosocial components, regarding both practice and the tutorial modules. The evaluation demonstrated the need for greater progress toward integrating post-graduate and continuing education. It also made evident the need for changes in the relationship between health professionals and patients within the hospital environment, to promote the patient’s autonomy.

Conclusions:The greatest progress in the development of multi-professional healthcare work teams was observed on the level of basic care, while much remained to be done in the hospital environment.

Copyright 2007 University of New Mexico