Public Health Clerkship Programme

MOH participating in a school health programme.

The public health system in Sri Lanka is based on the MOH (Medical Officer of Health) based, health unit system. During the clerkship programme, the primary focus is around the MOH work.

The four weeks programme

The Community Medicine clerkship programme is a one-month comprehensive community based learning experience for the medical undergraduates in the Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences (FMAS), Rajarata University of Sri Lanka (RUSL). Undergraduate medical students of the fouth year are involved in this programme as a part of their Community Medicine training programme for 3rd MBBS examination. 

During the clerkship programme, a group of about 20-22 students visit various public health institutes as well as meet different public health professionals to learn about the public health system in Sri Lanka. In addition, students are given the opportunity to work in groups in order to develop health promotion activities targeted at different groups in the community by applying basic concepts and theories they have learnt. 

Clerkship programme is a different experience for students, as it provides an opportunity to actually experience the public health system as well as to see the theories in community medicine being used in a practical aspect. Students will have to adopt a different approach to interact with the community. The programme provides an opportunity to understand the importance of public health system in Sri Lanka as well as to understand its contribution to the health system of the country which they will not realize during hospital based training. 

It provides students the opportunity to be engaged in health promotion by conducting educational sessions, practically involving in work at the clinics, schools, peripheral hospitals and various other public health institutes.  

This is aimed at improving students’ self-learning skills, information literacy and skills for lifelong learning. Soft skills including communication skills, creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving and teamwork are also improved. It is hoped that this programme will create a lasting change in the attitudes of the students, making them skilled, updated, sensible and responsible doctors who will have an empathic and holistic approach towards their patients. 

Intended leraning outcomes

  1. Incorporate the theoretical knowledge on epidemiology, demography and biostatistics to public health field practice for a given scenario.
  2. Critically appraise the public health programme and the work of public health workers as the major force of health of the community.
  3. Conduct a health promotion programme for a given target population.
  4. Display a professional commitment to self generated community based learning procedure.
  5. Display a willingness to communicate and work with diverse group of people.


Public Health professionals to meet:

Medical Officer of Health
Public Health Midwife
Supervisory Public Health Midwife
Public Health Inspector
Supervisory Public Health Inspector
Regional Director of Health Services 
Medical Officer-Maternal and Child Health 
Regional Epidemiologist 
Medical Registrar

Participatory learning in:

Field Polyclinic
School Health Programme (School Medical Inspection)
Well Woman Clinic
Medical Statistics Unit
Factory Visit
Regional Disparities in Disease Epidemiology
Water Treatment Plant
Evidence Based Medicine and Journal Club
Research Methods Workshop

Department of Community Medicine
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