1.1 The Faculty of Public Health was established in 1984 within University of Medical Sciences, then under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health, to provide education and training to health personnel. The Faculty was initiated by a group of medical doctors who had been trained in schools of public health abroad and who recognized the importance of formal public health education and training for health workers. The goal of the Faculty of Public Health is to produce qualified and competent health personnel to work efficiently and effectively in the delivery of health services to the people of Thailand.
In 1969, a change in the organization of the University occurred and its name was changed to Mahidol University. As part of this reorganization the University was placed under the office of University Affairs. Despite the change in the organization of the University, the objectives and philosophy of the Faculty of Public Health remained the same. However since the reorganization the relationship between the Ministry of Public Health, the consumer, and the Faculty of Public Health, the producer, has been relatively loose due to the fact that there was no longer a direct relationship between the two. Recognizing the importance of a good relationship between the Faculty and the Ministry, officials from the Ministry are invited to be guest lecturers, to attend seminars, and to assist in curriculum development. One cooperative ongoing project between the Faculty and the Ministry is the Sung-Noen Rural Health Training and Research Center located in Nakornrajsima Province.
1.2 Development of Field Training
There have been many changes in the Faculty of Public Health during its 36 years of development. In 1948 there were only eleven students compared to a present enrollment of 65. The teaching staff now numbers over 15 with over half trained in graduate programs abroad.
Because the health services of the country need qualified manpower in several categories to make an effective health team, the Faculty trains students in several areas. These include graduate studies leading to the Master of Public Health and Master of Science in Public Health degrees as well as undergraduate studies in public health nursing, practical nursing, sanitary science, occupational health, nutrition, health education, and community health. Students in all areas of the health sciences need practical training as well as theoretical knowledge. In the past at the end of each academic year students were sent "Up-Country" to get an exposure to rural health problems and health care delivery system in remote areas of the country. The method used for MPH students was an observation tour to a province to learn the organization,administration, and local health problems at all levels of the health delivery system. The sanitary science and public health nursing students were sent into the field to practice their own skills.
In 1965, recognizing the importance of the team approach in the delivery of health services, the Faculty of Public Health changed the
strategy of field training from the categorical approach to the team approach, Students of all categories were arranged into teams and sentinto rural areas for six weeks of supervised training by employingproblem
In 1981, a revision of the field training program was undertaken, The concept of health development as an integral part of the total development needed to satisfy the basic needs of poor people has been emphasized.