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Primary Care and Medical Education in Central Vietnam

Improving the Primary Health Care System at the Rural Commune Level through the Development of an Innovative Medical Education Program in Central Vietnam

Duration: 2006-2012

Location: Hue and Khanh Hoa Provinces, Vietnam

Donor: The Atlantic Philanthropies





  • Ministry of Health, Vietnam
  • Hue College of Medicine and Pharmacy
  • Khanh Hoa Provincial Health Authority 

Overview: The goal of this medical education program is to improve the primary health care system of Vietnam at the first encounter level: Commune Health Centers. The project includes a work/study modular training program that allows physicians to stay in practice while earning credits toward certification as 1st degree specialists in Family Medicine.

Family Medicine-trained faculty at Hue Medical College (HMC) are working with the Provincial Secondary Medical College (PSMC) in Khanh Hoa Province to engage faculty/trainers, design a specialty curriculum, and implement the retraining of the CHC generalist physicians in the core curriculum of primary care. Training modules include internal medicine, pediatrics, Ob/Gyn, surgery, community/public health and traditional medicine.

The project is creating a sustainable and reproducible provincial training network focusing on the essential components of medical care, public health and traditional medicine that will survive beyond the project time frame and will be incorporated into the health plan of the country to encourage primary health care training and continuing medical education.


  • Assess provincial health care needs
  • Develop training centers in the Hue Medical School and in the rural Khanh Hoa province
  • Train Hue Medical School faculty members to be medical educators through faculty development courses
  • Develop and implement an innovative modular training curriculum based on part-time study
  • Retrain all CHC physicians working in the Khanh Hoa province
  • Build a Family Medicine network to support the commune system in Khanh Hoa province