3 Responses

  1. Kimani
    Kimani June 27, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Nice post there. Thanks for information

  2. Stella Farwell
    Stella Farwell February 24, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    It is good to inform young doctors that there are various opportunities waiting for them in other countries. They can help poor people and enhance their skills as well.

  3. C Bateman-Steel
    C Bateman-Steel February 17, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Thank you for the interesting post. I too salute the idealism and motivation of medical students, many of whom genuinely came into medicine to ‘make a difference’ and are keen to do this in a global context. Having been one of these medical students in the UK and devoted my student days to setting up opportunities (in the form of Medsin http://medsin.org/) for students to follow their global health passions I have great sympathy with your point. I do also recognise the complexities and dangers and think it is important to come up with solutions that strengthen both the training path of the students but also ensure that any initiatives fit with development best practice. I have seen wonderful student/junior doctor projects and disastrous ones. The best cases are when the enthusiasm of the medical student body can work with strong long-term projects to bring energy and committed workforce to support an ongoing project, whilst also giving the student/doctor an experience that fits into a recognised training path in their own country. The worse cases I have seen have placed the volunteer in danger, or been damaging to the community in which they were placed. The other danger is that the student/doctor can feel very lost on return as the establishment does not recognise their experience.

    I think it is vital to work with the medical education establishment to ensure that there is plenty of opportunity within the curriculum to learn about global health and development, but also to work with Colleges to ensure that these kinds of experiences are valued and even recognised as training. This may help the student/doctor not to suffer from the confusion of their global health interests not fitting with the constraints of medical career paths. Also, if partnerships can develop between the medical establishment in Australia and institutions in developing counties it provides the kind of bilateral capacity building that is ideal.

    In my junior doctor days we set up the UCL Institute for Global Health ( https://www.ucl.ac.uk/igh/undergraduate/ ) specifically to provide education in global health for undergraduate medical students. It would be great to see more undergraduate global health teaching developing, as a core part of the medical curriculum, to support the incredible motivated students that you describe.

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