Education of health professionals for the SUS: meaning and care

Karina Barros Calife Batista Otília Simões Janeiro Gonçalves About the authors

Educating professionals to work in health systems has always been a challenge. Great changes in methodologies that have been traditionally used are needed. Strategies to bring about concrete situations faced by professionals, managers and users in the real world are required to overcome problems in heath care as well as to improve the quality of the care that is provided for citizens. Changes in the academic education of both students and teachers in the field of health have also been pointed as a necessity. This article presents a brief review of recent proposals for the health education of the professionals of Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS - Brazil's National Health System) and intends to discuss the possibilities of introducing problem-based learning methodologies in this context. It is also debated how important it is to closely relate health professional education to both users and system needs. This requires difficult, slow, conflicting and complex institutional, professional and personal changes. The meaning of education and the qualification of care must be central elements of the educational processes for health professionals. The professionals we want in our Health Care System are probably much closer than we imagine, if the needs and creativity of each one are recognized, since many of them started their professional lives based upon values and meanings that, sometimes, are lost in the way. We need to recover them in our work environment, educational centers and universities. This is our challenge.

Human Resources Education; Problem-Based Learning; Education; Continuing; Health Education; Patient-Centered Care


Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: saudesoc@usp.br