Meeting CanMEDS objective through global health education at MUN

Jill Alison, Shree Mulay

Abstract


Background The academic and practical benefit of global health education have been recognized and endorsed by the Association of Faculties of Medicine in Canada (AFMC) and articulated by the AFMC Resource Group (2011). Clinical skill acquired in low resource contexts are augmented by a broader understanding of both the social determinants of health and the importance of health advocacy, one of the CanMEDS key roles for physicians. New accreditation standards set out by the LCME and endorsed by IFMS, include pre-departure training for international electives, debriefing post elective and emphasize patient and trainee safety.i Together, these developments provided the impetus for a Global Health Office at MUN. Objectives We demonstrate the value of a Global Health curriculum in Undergraduate Medical Education through programs based on Can MEDS core competencies and key physician roles. These include medical expert, communicator, collaborator, manager, health advocate, scholar, and professional. We hope to demonstrate that through integrating global health education trainees will identify barriers to health equity; identify social, political and economic determinants of health; and develop skills for health and human rights advocacy. These objectives also promote social accountability in medical education as part of MCCQE preparation. Methods For the past two years one of us (SM) has participated in the AFMC-GHRG crafting core competencies for international electives. This group meets regularly and has conducted a survey of all universities that offer global health electives for medical students and residents. Building on this work we are establishing best practices and core competencies in global health programming a t MUN and strengthening alignments with existing academic programs in the Faculty of Medicine as well as the Aboriginal Health Initiative and Gateway Project. Conclusions: The commitment to global health programs is an increasingly globalized world with diverse populations, and to meet the challenges of working in under-resourced health care settings.

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