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Three Domains of Competency in Global Health Education: Recommendations for All Medical Students

Houpt, Eric R. MD; Pearson, Richard D. MD; Hall, Thomas L. MD, DrPH

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3180305c10
Global Health

In the setting of world population growth and migration, global health issues have an increasing impact on domestic conditions and our medical practitioners. The authors ask: What exactly constitutes global health, and how much do U.S. and Canadian medical students or practitioners need to know about it? To address this topic, the authors convened an American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Committee on Medical Education, sought input from the Global Health Education Consortium, and surveyed members of the American Committee on Clinical Tropical Medicine and Travelers’ Health for educational priorities within the tropical medicine field. The information gained from these sources has been distilled into three domains of global health competency that the authors propose each medical school curriculum should try to achieve for all students: global burden of disease, traveler’s medicine, and immigrant health. The authors present here the rationale for altering curricula to include these three topics as a starting point for discussion among medical educators.

Dr. Houpt is assistant professor of internal medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia, and chair, Committee on Education, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Dr. Pearson is professor of internal medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, and Pathology; and senior associate dean for medical education, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Dr. Hall is lecturer, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, and executive director, Global Health Education Consortium, New York, New York.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Houpt, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, University of Virginia, 409 Lane Rd., MR4 Building Room 2144, Charlottesville, VA 22908-1363; e-mail: (erh6k@virginia.edu).

© 2007 Association of American Medical Colleges