A team of fourth year medical students (Med4) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), working under the tutorship of Dr. Faysal El Kak in the “Social and Preventive Medicine” (SPM) rotation coordinated by professor, Dr. Salim Adib from the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), have recently pushed their rotation’s report to full publication. The SPM rotation provides Med4 students with an opportunity to be exposed to topics in medicine that transcend the dyadic patient-doctor interaction, and require a larger understanding of the socio-cultural, economic and political context in which this encounter takes place. The rotation include two components: a qualitative research project and discussion sessions. The research project requires students to investigate the social and preventive aspects of a selected medical problem. This is done though reviews of the literature and interviews with relevant stakeholders. The rotating Med4 team then produces an oral public presentation on the topic and a full written report.
In 2018, an ambitious Med4 team submitted their report titled: “Disclosure of diagnosis and prognosis to cancer patients in traditional societies: A qualitative assessment from Lebanon” for publication. The paper explores the fact that, despite formal academic emphasis on a larger autonomy for Lebanese cancer patients in deciding the course of their disease, no major impact has been felt yet on either clinical practices or public expectations. This paper was reviewed and eventually published in early 2019, in the Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health (Vol4, issue2 (2019), pages 209-216).