Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
BOSI, Maria Lúcia Magalhães and PAIM, Jairnilson Silva. Undergraduate on Public Health: limits and possibilities as a professional education strategy. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2010, vol.15, n.4, pp.2029-2038. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232010000400017.
This article aims to call into question Public Health as a field for professionalization by systematizing theoretical, social and ethical-political bases for undergraduate education. We also attempt to record the trajectory in formulating undergraduate courses in that field and, more recently, the emergence of these projects in Brazilian Universities. In Brazil, the current projects are a result of institutional experience gained in Public Health teaching in different undergraduate courses in the field of health. Additionally, there is also a teaching tradition in non-degree and master's and PhD graduate courses. International experiences from similar courses, as well as orientation from international agencies represent important information for such initiatives. Furthermore, policies targeting social inclusion and the expansion in the number of student places in higher education have been propelling the movement. There is also the realization that the Brazilian Public Health System demands new actors able to provide answers which are both different and complementary to those offered by traditional undergraduate courses. While several institutions are in the stage of offering this education to society, this article presents a set of elements which are derived from reflection in the epistemological, sociological and political-sanitary spheres.
Keywords : Undergraduate courses in public health; Degree in public health; Health professionals; Human resources; Public health.