THE EXPERIENCE IN HEALTH EDUCATION IN POST-GRADUATION COURSES IN BRAZIL THROUGHOUT 15 YEARS OF EVOLUTION
The post-graduation courses in Brazil became very popular in the in the 1990s. They evolved from free courses into specialization courses, pressing authorities to modify the ongoing legislation, a broad one, into a more specific, that dealt with this kind of issues. Thus, a boom of presential post-graduation courses motivated those students who were not able to follow Masters or Doctorate programs.
The post-graduation courses in the health area emerged from the public needs, such as Public Health, Health Education, and those addressed to the governamental demands. The Brazilian Institute for Post-graduation and Extension (IBPEX) started to develop courses in these fields and in early 2000s, where 5 courses could already be attended by students throughout the country. By early 2005, more than 15 courses in more than 150 classes in areas such as Obstetrics, Pharmacology, Oncology, Nephrology and others could be attended in most Brazilian States, always in presential modality. Some courses had practical disciplines in cooperated institution, which meant a challenge to the coordination, as most classes were held as far as 3000 km from the IBPEX headquarters, Curitiba, in the south of the country. Besides, by this time, 95% of the lecturers were based in the south of the country, which demanded a strong and coordinated transportation logistic all over the country. Classes were concentrated in weekends, so that, students could attend and return to their original destination. Each geographical region had its peculiarity, so that lecturers and students would reach the classes by boat, buses, planes, and sometimes they had to improvise transportation, due to the lack of development of the area.
This way, health knowledge could reach populations that would never get information by other means, as to get their undergraduate studies, students had to leave their original places. Areas such as the Amazon region, Pantanal (Swamp), remote frontiers regions gained this sort of education for the first time.
As the modalities and fields evolved, the health courses followed the trends. More technological ones were created by the end of the decade (2010). By this time, distance courses were implemented and right from the beginning the demand overcame the projected figures. Today, there are 8 distance education courses and 20 presential ones. New approaches have been added to the ongoing portfoglio. Courses, such as Quantum Health is unique, not found in any other country in this model, has been introduced in 2012 and has attracted a new kind of student, those concerned with new approaches in health, that of Health Promotion and tuned with the nature and physical forces.
For the future, there is an expectation that mixed courses will prevail, such as that of the semi-presential and self-teaching courses as new technologies and formats may press the forms of learn and consolidate education.