Global health competencies and approaches in medical education: a literature review

Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
BMC Medical Education (Impact Factor: 1.41). 12/2010; 10:94. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6920-10-94
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Physicians today are increasingly faced with healthcare challenges that require an understanding of global health trends and practices, yet little is known about what constitutes appropriate global health training.
A literature review was undertaken to identify competencies and educational approaches for teaching global health in medical schools.
Using a pre-defined search strategy, 32 articles were identified; 11 articles describing 15 global health competencies for undergraduate medical training were found. The most frequently mentioned competencies included an understanding of: the global burden of disease, travel medicine, healthcare disparities between countries, immigrant health, primary care within diverse cultural settings and skills to better interface with different populations, cultures and healthcare systems. However, no consensus on global health competencies for medical students was apparent. Didactics and experiential learning were the most common educational methods used, mentioned in 12 and 13 articles respectively. Of the 11 articles discussing competencies, 8 linked competencies directly to educational approaches.
This review highlights the imperative to document global health educational competencies and approaches used in medical schools and the need to facilitate greater consensus amongst medical educators on appropriate global health training for future physicians.

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Available from: Robert Battat, Jul 26, 2015
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    • "Global health experiences can be a rewarding experience for the participants and, many claim, the recipients (Rekart et al. 2003). A number of undergraduate global health programs exist, and many pre-health professions students are interested in volunteering in resource poor countries (Battat et al. 2010). They are eager to help and to try their hands in the clinical setting. "
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    ABSTRACT: The popularity and availability of global health experiences has increased, with organizations helping groups plan service trips and companies specializing in "voluntourism," health care professionals volunteering their services through different organizations, and medical students participating in global health electives. Much has been written about global health experiences in resource poor settings, but the literature focuses primarily on the work of health care professionals and medical students. This paper focuses on undergraduate student involvement in short term medical volunteer work in resource poor countries, a practice that has become popular among pre-health professions students. We argue that the participation of undergraduate students in global health experiences raises many of the ethical concerns associated with voluntourism and global health experiences for medical students. Some of these may be exacerbated by or emerge in unique ways when undergraduates volunteer. Guidelines and curricula for medical student engagement in global health experiences have been developed. Guidelines specific to undergraduate involvement in such trips and pre-departure curricula to prepare students should be developed and such training should be required of volunteers. We propose a framework for such guidelines and curricula, argue that universities should be the primary point of delivery even when universities are not organizing the trips, and recommend that curricula should be developed in light of additional data.
    HEC Forum 07/2014; 26(4). DOI:10.1007/s10730-014-9243-7
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    • "Present global health training curricula often aim to improve students' understanding of travel medicine, the global burden of disease, health care disparities, immigrant health, health systems and primary care, as well as teaching them the skills to work with socially disadvantaged populations. Nonetheless, there is no consensus among schools and disciplines on what competencies are adequate for global health (Battat et al., 2010; Evert, 2006; Drain et al., 2007; Fox et al., 2007; Evert et al., 2007; Parsi & List, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Health professionals are paying increased attention to issues of global health. However, there are no current competency assessment tools appropriate for evaluating their competency in global health. This study aims to assess the validity and reliability of a global health competency survey for different health disciplines. A total of 429 students participated in the Global Health Competency Survey, drawn from family medicine residency, nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy programs of five universities in Ontario, Canada. The surveys were evaluated for face and content validity and reliability. Factor analysis was used to identify the main factors to be included in the reliability analysis. Content validity was supported with one floor effect in the "racial/ethnic disparities" variable (36.1%), and few ceiling effects. Seven of the twenty-two variables performed the best (between 34% and 59.6%). For the overall rating score, no participants had floor or ceiling effects. Five factors were identified which accounted for 95% of the variance. Cronbach's alpha was >0.8 indicating that the survey items had good internal consistency and represent a homogeneous construct. The Global Health Competency Survey demonstrated good internal consistency and validity.
    Global journal of health science 01/2013; 5(1):13-27. DOI:10.5539/gjhs.v5n1p13
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    • "The benefits of GHE have been discussed at length in the medical education literature (Drain et al. 2007) and recent reviews of the GHE literature have demonstrated a number of highly varied educational approaches and methods of implementation for global health programs in both the United States and Canada (Izadengahdar et al. 2008; Battat et al. 2010). However, we suggest that the specific aspects of an individual program matter less than the broad educational principles upon which the program is established. "
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    ABSTRACT: Global health education (GHE) at undergraduate medical institutions has expanded significantly over the last 30 years, but many questions remain regarding the best practices for the development and implementation of global health programs. To identify key themes essential to the development of GHE programs. We discuss five themes relevant to GHE in the context of existing literature and practice. The following themes are essential to the development of GHE programs: the definition and scope of GHE, student competencies in global health, the challenges and opportunities associated with inter-institutional relationships, principles for GHE student placements, and the evaluation of GHE programs. We place these themes in the context of current literature and practice, and provide practical guidance on how these themes might be successfully implemented by institutions seeking to develop or refine GHE programs. Institutions developing or evaluating GHE programs should focus on these themes as they build their global health curricula.
    Medical Teacher 08/2012; 34(8):653-8. DOI:10.3109/0142159X.2012.687848 · 2.05 Impact Factor
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