Reframing undergraduate medical education in global health

Global health education (GHE) continues to be a growing initiative in many medical schools across the world. This focus is no longer limited to participants from high-income countries and has expanded to institutions and students from low- and middle-income settings. With this shift has come a need to develop meaningful curricula through engagement between educators and learners who represent the sending institutions and the diverse settings in which GHE takes place. The Bellagio Global Health Education Initiative (BGHEI) was founded to create a space for such debate and discussion and to generate guidelines towards a universal curriculum for global health. In this article, we describe the development and process of our work and outline six overarching principles that ought to be considered when adopting an inclusive approach to GHE curriculum development.

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?