The Challenges of Medical Education during the Second Pahlavi Era (1941-1978)

Document Type : Original Article


Research Institute of Humanities and Cultural Studies, Institute of Western Studies and Scientific Research, Department of History of Science, Tehran, Iran.


Following the Second World War, structural changes shadowed Iran’s higher education system in medicine. Major strategies, programs, teaching methods, etc., underwent significant changes during the second Pahlavi era. This study aimed to examine, academically and historically, the transformations in medical education during the second Pahlavi era. Regardless of its intrinsic value, it elucidates the roots of many contemporary problems and issues in medical education.
This study utilizes a descriptive-analytical method within the framework of historical studies, relying on archival documents and library resources from the second Pahlavi era (statistical yearbooks, guidelines, executive programs of organizations and ministries, and historical texts of that period) in an attempt to address research questions.
 The findings indicate that significant international developments, domestic public demands, fundamental structure weaknesses, and the absence of centralized policies have led to a discourse inclined towards change and improvement in medical education during the second Pahlavi era.
As a historical and continuous process, medical education is observable and dynamic. In the second Pahlavi era, it was presented and introduced as a necessary issue requiring change, directly impacting the quality of public health. This approach later led to integrating medical education into the service delivery system within the revolutionary discourse.


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