Posted: November 7, 2016

Pre-Departure Training and Beyond: Preparing our Trainees for Safe and Effective Global Health Learning Experiences


Short-term experiences in Global Health (STEGHs) and international elective rotations are increasing at undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate levels. In 2015, 31.2% of medical students reported participating in global health experiences; this number has been increasing steadily over the past 15 years. In 2013, 80% of surveyed residency programs reported residents completing GH rotations. STEGHs place trainees in high-risk situations with regard to ethics, cultural sensitivity, and personal safety. Despite this increased interest and participation in GH learning experiences, 60% of surveyed medical students report that their pre-departure training did not adequately prepare them for the ethical and safety dilemmas they faced. A well-composed pre-departure curriculum has been shown to be beneficial for students participating in global health experiences. Academic institutions need to provide proper guidance and education to prepare medical students for safe and effective GH rotations.

*Presented at Learn Serve Lead 2016


Global Health, Curriculum, Elective, Ethics, International Health, Rotation, Cultural Sensitivity, LSL 2016, Pre-Departure, Trainee, Reverse Culture Shock


Gabrielle A Jacquet, MD, MPH, Department of Emergency Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine; Child Family Health International

Jessica Evert, MD, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California San Francisco; Child Family Health International