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Fam Pract. 2017 Oct 14. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmx101. [Epub ahead of print]

International exchanges in primary care-learning from thy neighbour.

Author information

1
Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.
2
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA.
3
School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.
4
The Royal Free Hospital, London, UK.
5
Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Abstract

This systematic review describes how international exchange programmes in primary care have been received and evaluated. Electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, EBM reviews, CAB abstracts and PubMED) were searched to identify articles where the main focus of the study was exchanges undertaken in primary care/family medicine until March 2016. Articles were included if they (i) discussed participant exchanges in primary care; (ii) presented associated outcome data-this included (a) individual/group experience of exchange; (b) mechanism of exchange and (c) observations during the exchange. A narrative synthesis was performed of the heterogeneous data identified. Twenty-nine studies were included. Exchange locations varied across the world with the largest number in Europe. Participants came from a range of backgrounds including medical students, nurses, General Practitioners (GP), GP trainees (GPTs) and visiting scholars/professors. Exchange duration ranged from 3 days to 2 years. Key themes were identified from analysis of the studies with illustrative quotes from the included studies provided. Four key areas were discussed in relation to exchange experience: learning opportunities and new knowledge; comparative observation; knowledge gained and translational learning. Primary care international exchanges provide a rich source of cross-country learning. This review identified that exchange participants benefit both personally and professionally, equipping them with translatable skills to improve the care provided to their patients.

KEYWORDS:

Academic medicine; International health; access to healthcare; continuing medical education; family health; immigrant health; primary care

PMID:
29045622
DOI:
10.1093/fampra/cmx101
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