Medunsa, the Medical University of Southern Africa, was founded in 1976 to address both the under-representation of blacks in the health professions and the lack of good health care in the homelands. The university trains most of the black physicians, dentists, veterinarians, and allied health professionals in South Africa, and it places a great emphasis on community service and preventive medicine. Medunsa also has programs to help socially and academically disadvantaged applicants. In some respects, the ongoing development of Medunsa mirrors that of historically black health professions schools in the United States, and Medunsa struggles with some of the same problems. Medunsa can learn from the histories of these American schools as it faces the challenges of the post-apartheid era; in turn, all U.S. schools can learn from Medunsa's history as they struggle with physician supply questions and health care reform issues.
(C) 1995 Association of American Medical Colleges