ABSTRACT: Noncommunicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, and mental illness, are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. These diseases are chronic and often mediated predominantly by social determinants of health. Currently there exists a global-health workforce crisis and a subsequent disparity in the distribution of providers able to manage chronic noncommunicable diseases. Clinical competency in global health and primary care could provide practitioners with the knowledge and skills needed to address the global rise of noncommunicable diseases through an emphasis on these social determinants. The past decade has seen substantial growth in the number and quality of US global-health and primary-care training programs, in both undergraduate and graduate medical education. Despite their overlapping competencies, these 2 complementary fields are most often presented as distinct disciplines. Furthermore, many global-health training programs suffer from a lack of a formalized curriculum. At present, there are only a few examples of well-integrated US global-health and primary-care training programs. We call for universal acceptance of global health as a core component of medical education and greater integration of global-health and primary-care training programs in order to improve the quality of each and increase a global workforce prepared to manage noncommunicable diseases and their social mediators.
Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine A Journal of Translational and Personalized Medicine 07/2012; 79(4):464-74. · 2.00 Impact Factor