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Med Teach. 2012;34(6):e445-51. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.668636. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

Global health training starts at home: a unique US-based global health clinical elective for residents.

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Department of Medical Education, Global Health Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L Levy Place, Box 1255, New York, NY 10029, USA.



Many physicians planning to work in global health lack adequate formal training. Globalized cities create opportunities to integrate global health training into residency programs, preparing clinicians for less supported experiences abroad.


To develop a clinical elective to advance residents' knowledge and skills in global health and fieldwork abroad.


Two-week comprehensive elective was offered to PGY2 combined medicine-pediatrics residents. We incorporated clinical exposures and global health topics. Global health experts were involved as teachers and preceptors. Clinical exposure included: tropical medicine with laboratory sessions; travel medicine; tuberculosis; immigrant and continuity; and human rights clinics. Didactic components and supplemental readings included socio-political issues, global public health, and health challenges of populations from developing regions. We assessed resident satisfaction using questionnaires and focus groups.


Residents reported usefulness and relevance of sessions and topics as (4) very good (scale: (1) poor to (5) excellent), and quality of sessions and teaching as very good to excellent (4.2). Residents' baseline knowledge and understanding of global health issues improved by around 50%.


Our experience supports the feasibility and usefulness of clinical and didactic training in global health issues at home. A multidisciplinary approach, collaboration with academic and non-academic institutions, experienced faculty, and departmental commitment are vital.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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