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Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182a705d1
Commentaries

Medical Student in Global Health—Just One Part of a Larger Commitment

Scott, Jim MD

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Abstract

Across U.S. medical schools, the interest in global health is rapidly growing. Medical schools are challenged by the sheer numbers of students requesting or independently arranging educational experiences in the developing world. The logistics, legalities, and ethical issues have led to the development of a variety of models that enable student participation in safe and educationally enriching experiences. A major challenge is providing for the educational needs of the students within the medical and cultural environment of the host country without being culturally insensitive or disruptive. While not all of these programs will be successful, some models, like those described in this issue of Academic Medicine, are instructive. The educational experience of the U.S. medical students should not be the only measured outcome however. In exchange for the educational opportunities provided to medical students, U.S. medical schools should commit to sustained involvement in these countries, ensuring a meaningful experience for students and value added to the host countries.

© 2013 by the Association of American Medical Colleges

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