174661 Capturing the imagination of tomorrow's medical researchers: How innovative programs can help recruit and prepare the next generation of physician scientists in international settings

Monday, October 27, 2008: 2:50 PM

Chang Rim Na, MD candidate , School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Max Essex, DVM, PhD , Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Developing countries carry a disproportionate burden of disease, particularly HIV, yet clinical research that may benefit these countries is limited. As the international exchange of ideas and resources is increasingly facilitated by novel technologies, the potential to address the disparity between different countries through the expansion of research beyond industrialized nations has increased. However, there are few physician scientists who have the appropriate training to conduct cross-border scientific research to address clinically relevant questions in resource-poor settings. While there are initiatives within U.S. medical schools to increase the recruitment of physician scientists, the opportunities to gain basic science research experience abroad are limited. Fogarty Center's Overseas Fellowships in Global Health, which fund health professions students to conduct research in developing countries, provide an example of a program which can provide exposure to scientific research in developing countries to future physician scientists, with the aim of recruiting a new generation of researchers and building research capacity in developing countries. Based on a medical student's research experience in Botswana, we will present a case study highlighting the challenges and rewards of conducting basic science research in a resource poor setting. We will also discuss how such unique programs can attract talented physician scientists to work internationally. Innovative global clinical research training programs can help build research capacity in developing countries, provide locally relevant information which can shape health care policy in developing countries and improve the research capabilities of nascent physician scientists.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss an innovative research fellowship program uniquely offering opportunities to conduct basic science research in resource-poor settings internationally. 2. Assess the challenges as well as rewards of participating in basic science research projects in developing countries. 3. Identify ways in which the overseas fellowships model can successfully recruit and prepare motivated health professions students to enter international health research.

Keywords: Global Education, Developing Countries

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research presented in the abstract
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.