Overview of the Course of Undergraduate Medical Education in the Sudan


Background: Sudan’s experience with Medical Education (ME) is one of the oldest regionally. It started with one school and has currently reached 66. This number is among the highest and Sudan is one of the largest physicians-exporting countries. Thus, Sudanese ME has great regional influence.

Objective: To review the history of Sudanese ME and determine factors contributing to its transformation.

Methods: Internet and desk search was conducted, relevant articles and websites were accessed, hard documents were reviewed, and eminent Sudanese figures in the field were consulted.

Results: Sudanese ME is meagerly documented.  The path of ME was described in four phases including some of the significant local and global factors.

Phase one (1924–1970) started by establishing the first medical school and characterized by steady growth and stability.  Influences were the Flexner’s era and the Sudanese independence atmosphere. During phase two (1978–1990), provincial public schools were opened in addition to the first private school. Influences were the Sudan’s commitment to Al Ma Ata recommendations and the revolutionary changes following constructivist views on learning. Phase three (1990–2005) was formed by the Revolution in Higher Education leading to mushrooming of public and private schools across the country and influenced by local sociopolitical turbulence.  In phase four (2006–2018), authorities launched formal ME regulatory efforts. It is still being transformed by contradicting local factors and strong international directions. 

Conclusion: Sudanese experience with ME is noteworthy; it offers important lessons and gives the needed wisdom for dealing with ME challenges in Sudan and beyond.