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J Grad Med Educ. 2014 Jun;6(2):320-5. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-13-00247.1.

Fostering reciprocity in global health partnerships through a structured, hands-on experience for visiting postgraduate medical trainees.



Global health programs that allow international experiences for US learners should also enable reciprocal learning experiences for international learners, particularly if that is a need identified by the partner institution.


A partnership between Indiana University and Moi University, Kenya, has successfully hosted 41 visiting Kenyan internal medicine and pediatrics registrars at Indiana University since 2006. The program's logistics, curriculum, and evaluation are described.


The registrars rotated through nephrology, cardiology, hematology and oncology, infectious diseases, and intensive care, as well as related ambulatory experiences, functioning on a level comparable to fourth-year medical students. They showed significant improvement in pretest and posttest scores on a standardized National Board of Medical Examiners examination (Pā€‰ā€Š=ā€Šā€‰.048). International learners experienced culture shock, yet they felt the Indiana University elective was helpful and would recommend it to future participants.


Global health programs can reciprocate the benefits derived for US students and residents by offering learning experiences to international learners if that is an expressed need from the international partner. Barriers to those experiences can be overcome, and the hands-on, elective experience has the potential to positively affect the knowledge and attitudes of participants as well as the home nation.

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