Publication Details

Rienits, H (2011). Training our future doctors to deliver public health education. Alice Springs Convention Centre, 28 June 2011.


Delivering health education is, as we all know, done for the purpose of trying to encourage people, either individually or as a community, to change their behaviour with the intention of improving their health and well being and preventing certain lifestyle caused illnesses. We would all admit that changing behaviour is difficult and it often takes repeated health messages and much encouragement to effect behavioural change in a person or community. With the aging population and rise in preventable illnesses in our communities, health education has become the responsibility of all health professionals in all forms of contact with individuals or groups. Many studies have shown that doctors have enormous credibility in the eyes of many in the general public and this should be utilised to its maximum potential. Doctors often do not deliver health education as well as they could and it is necessary that we ask why not; and how could we better prepare our future doctors for this aspect of their work. Studies show we only deliver HE a third as often as we should.