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Mil Med. 2017 Sep;182(9):e1796-e1801. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-16-00408.

Outcomes From U.S. Military-Supported Overseas Training Rotations in Tropical Medicine and Global Health, 2006-2015.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814.
Defense Health Agency, 7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101, Falls Church, VA 22042-5101.
Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch, 503 Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910.



Since 2006, the Division of Tropical Public Health at the Uniformed Services University (USU) has sponsored the Tropical Medicine Training Program (TMTP). Despite practice guidelines stating that global health education should include the collection and evaluation of data on the impact of the training experiences, no quantitative evaluation of program outcomes had previously occurred. The objective of this report was to evaluate TMTP outcomes to guide program improvement.


We developed an anonymous, web-based survey to assess program outcomes as part of routine program evaluation. The survey addressed four main areas of potential TMTP impact: (1) career engagement, (2) military service contributions, (3) scholarly activity, and (4) acquisition of knowledge and skills. In February 2016, we sent the survey electronically to 222 program participants between Fiscal Years 2006 and 2015 who had e-mails available in DoD administrative systems.


Ninety-eight (44%) of these responded to the survey. TMTP demonstrated impact in several areas. Increased knowledge and skills were reported by 81% of trainees, and 70% reported increased interest in serving at military overseas medical research laboratories. Subsequent career engagement by trainees included seven assignments to overseas research laboratories, 71 military deployments, and 193 short-term military missions. The ability to achieve many of the desired outcomes was associated with time elapsed since completion of formal medical education, including 24% who were still enrolled in graduate medical education.


The TMTP has improved the U.S. military's ability to perform surveillance for emerging tropical and infectious diseases and has contributed to force health protection and readiness. Although many of the outcomes, such as service in the overseas research laboratories and military deployments, are dependent on military service requirements, these results remain perhaps the most relevant ways that the TMTP meets global health requirements of the US military and the nation. Additional outcomes from this training are expected to accrue as these participants complete their medical postgraduate training programs.

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