Global Health Education for the 21st Century: A Student's Perspective


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Presentation delivered in the panel entitled "Global Health Education: Preparing for Global Interdependencies - Do We Teach Today's Medical Students the Right Skills for the 21st Century?" at the World Health Summit 2012 in Berlin, Germany, October 23, 2012.

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Global Health Education for the 21st Century: A Student's Perspective

  1. 1. Global Health Education for the 21st Century A Student’s PerspectiveRamon Lorenzo Luis Rosa Guinto, MD Liaison Officer to the World Health Organization Founding Coordinator, Global Health Equity InitiativeInternational Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) Youth Commissioner, Lancet-University of Oslo Commission on Global Governance for Health
  2. 2. Key Questions• Who teaches global health?• Whose global health analysis are we teaching?• How do we teach global health?• What are the conditions in which we teach global health?• What kind of doctors do we want our students to become?• When to start teaching global health?
  3. 3. Alma Ata Declaration, 1978…Health, which is a state of completephysical, mental and social wellbeing, andnot merely the absence of disease orinfirmity, is a fundamental human right…The existing gross inequality in the healthstatus of the… is politically, socially andeconomically unacceptable…
  4. 4. The Contents of GHE• Epidemiologic basis• Environmental basis• Social and cultural basis• Political and economic basis• Moral and ethical basis• Plus the tools to make a difference
  5. 5. Values• Justice and equity• Human rights• Action focus• Systems thinking• Futures thinking
  6. 6. Some Reminders• Global health education is not just about overseas electives – it is also about understanding and acting on community issues backed with global knowledge and tools.• One model cannot be easily transplanted to another setting – context matters!• We don’t need additional information – we need a global health education that liberates students from conventional medicine and raises the level of critical thinking.
  7. 7. More Reminders• Global health education should contribute to the achievement of expressed global health goals – not just a floating appreciation of the theory and current situation.• All other professions – including lawyers, economists, political scientists, and engineers – should receive basic global health education.• Holistic global health education requires learning from other disciplines – interprofessional learning is key!
  8. 8. More Reminders• Global health education should never contribute to global health inequities – especially in health workforce distribution.• Access to global health education should also be equitable – there is a need to promote the vision to the global South.• The irony: medical students in countries where our students often go for “global health learning” do not get to enjoy the same experience
  9. 9. Reframing the Question• Do we want global health to be merely incorporated into the existing medical curriculum, or should we transform medical education as a whole in order to meet global health needs?
  10. 10. University ofthe PhilippinesSchool ofHealth SciencesLeyte,Philippines
  11. 11. Connecting the Streams
  12. 12. Role of Students in GHE• Students are not apathetic – they are just afraid to look pathetic!• Repackage global health – it’s not something that we want, but something that we need to understand and act on.
  13. 13. Role of Students in GHE• GHE development must be a two-way process – students must be deeply engaged in shaping the curriculum.• If existing curriculum and institutions do not allow GHE, students innovate and find new ways and alternative venues.
  14. 14. Our mission is to offer future physicians a comprehensive introduction to global health issues. Through our programming and opportunities, we develop culturally sensitive students of medicine, intent on influencing thetransnational inequalities that shape the health of our planet.
  15. 15. The Purpose of Medical Education "Medical education does not exist to provide students with a way of making a living, but to ensure the health of the community.” Dr. Rudolf Virchow Father of Social Medicine
  16. 16. HEALTH FOR ALL!Thank you for listening!