187477 A Novel Training Model to Prepare Physicians to Work in International Health

Monday, October 27, 2008: 2:45 PM

Ramin G. Asgary, MD, MPH, MSc , Depts of Medicine and Social and Community Medicine, Montefiore Med Ctr.; and MPH Program in Global Health, Mount Sinai Med Ctr., Albert Einstein College of Medicine and The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Clyde L. Smith, MD, MPH, DTM&H , Depts of Medicine and Family and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Blanca Sckell, MD, MPH , Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, St. Vincent Catholic Medical Center, New York, NY

In an era of globalization, training physicians in global health demands special attention. Doctors who plan to work in international health settings, in general, lack adequate formal training in global health.


Since 2005, we developed a didactic one-month comprehensive course to advance doctors' knowledge and skills in global health to address major challenges facing populations at the global level. Lecturers from major international NGOs, pioneer public health faculty in global health, and international researchers provide more than 50 didactic sessions. Course pillars: a) global public health; refugee health, food programs and famine, complex humanitarian emergencies, child health and mortality, reproductive health, community based approaches, global pandemics, data collection and analysis, water and sanitation b) socio-political: health and human rights, sexuality and rights, health of torture survivors, international organizations, world bank health strategies, conflict resolution, immigrant health challenges, health systems challenges in developing world, etc, c) clinical: interactive case-based as well as lectures in tropical and neglected diseases to cover major causes of global mortality and morbidity and clinical laboratory sessions to perform simple tests and diagnose the clinical conditions.

1-3 milestone articles and readings provided before each session, and regular global health journal clubs provide a forum for more interactive discussion and insight into previous lectures especially controversial topics.


We evaluated doctors' feedback and satisfaction using questionnaires. The majority responded that their knowledge and understanding of the presented topics improved more than 75% from their baseline. They found the usefulness, diversity and quality of sessions to be excellent. They overall rated this course excellent.

Key lessons learned

Our experience demonstrates significant lack of knowledge and skills in global health amongst doctors, and supports the usefulness of a comprehensive didactic training tailored to prepare them for real global health challenges.

Learning Objectives:
a) To recognize the need to train doctors in global health challenges b) To discuss pillars of a didactic teaching program in global health

Keywords: Global Education, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed this model and performed evaluation
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.