Why Teach Global Health to Medical Students?

The Bellagio Global Health Education Initiative in conjunction with The Israeli Society for Medical Education and the Medical School for International Health at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev explored the issue of why teach global health to medical students at a joint meeting in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva in November 2016.

Ottawa 2016 conference workshop report

Members of the BGHEI group ran a successful workshop at the recent 17th Ottawa Conference in Perth, Australia. The theme of the conference was Assessment of Competence and Capability across the Continuum of Health Professional Education.

The workshop, “Assessment of Transformative Learning Using Student Reflection on Global Health Electives” explored the use of written reflection as an assessment approach. Workshop participants were invited to read and critique samples of student written reflection to assess whether there was any evidence that transformative learning had taken place. What might this evidence look like? To help frame the discussion, we presented some points to ponder, and these are reproduced below:

  1. What evidence should we look for in the written reflections to assure ourselves that transformation has occurred?
  2. Does the individual need to be consciously aware of their change in order for transformational change to have occurred?
  3. Can we define learning objectives that might be best achieved through transformational learning in a global health curriculum for an AWAY site?
  4. What other activities besides written reflection papers might help lead to transformational learning?
  5. Can we provide instructions to students that would help them to compose reflection papers that would demonstrate the transformational learning that has occurred?
  6. How could a debrief or discussion between student and tutor enrich the assessment?

The debate surrounding these and other questions continues. What do you think?

Summary of the Bellagio Global Health Education Initiative Meeting, June 2015

We are pleased to share with you the summary of the Bellagio Global Health Education Initiative (BGHEI) meeting that took place at the Rockefeller Foundation Conference Centre in Bellagio, Italy, in June 2015.

We believe the BGHEI establishes the groundwork for a universal curriculum for global health and challenges educators and institutional participants to rethink traditional concepts. Global health curriculum development will also have fundamental implications for the clinical curriculum as a whole. The BGHEI intends to continue to promote the development of high-quality global health curricula through ongoing collaboration.

We welcome your comments.

Download the executive summary

Download the full meeting report

OTTAWA 2016 Symposium Abstract Submission

Assessment in Rural and Remote Locations

Over the last 15 years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of undergraduate medical students undertaking core clinical learning in rural and remote settings. Students learning in rural community settings, particularly rural longitudinal integrated clerkships gain important skills that may not be learned in shorter term clinical rotations in the tertiary teaching hospital setting at the parallel course level. The longitudinal placement opens up unique opportunities for skills acquisition and attitudinal development, heightened awareness of social accountability and inter-professional communication.

Does the changed learning paradigm warrant a revised assessment paradigm?

Globally there are many training centres where the clinical learning and assessment follow a non-traditional framework and produce competent doctors. Learning that happens in a rural or community-based real clinical context is enriched by its continuity, team approach and potentially transforming experiences.

Is a traditional assessment blueprint still valid to assess parallel student cohorts in rural/remote environments as well as those who have been city based for the same period?

Should assessment instruments be modified for greater validity or fidelity for rural students?

How would we benchmark any changes against traditional assessment?

This symposium invites contributions from schools with students learning in diverse settings and explores a common thread to their assessment practices and the maturity of their assessment culture.

Panelists (alphabetically)

  • Hoffie Conradie (Director Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health, Worcester, South Africa)
  • W Suzanne Eidson-Ton (Director, Rural Program in Medical Education (PRIME)), University of California, Davis, USA
  • Jay Erickson (Assistant Dean-WWAMI Clinical Phase/Montana, University of Washington School of Medicine, USA)
  • Carmi Margolis (Emeritus Professor, Medical School for International Health, Ben Gurion University, Israel)
  • Roger Strasser (Professor of Rural Health, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Ontario, Canada)
  • Paul Worley (Dean of Medicine, Flinders University, Australia)