An Academic Medical Perspective: Working in Developed and Developing Countries

Friday, 14 February 2014
Columbus IJ (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Christopher W. Woods , Duke University , Durham , SC
Global Health is a rapidly growing field for research, service, and educational engagement. With an energetic, increasingly diverse student body, faculty representing multiple disciplines and performing cutting edge science, and increasingly supportive administrations, universities provide great settings for the development and implementation of global health programs.  As a result, students and trainees at all levels are seeking opportunities for both didactic and experiential training in global health. In response, there are now over 100 academic programs engaged in global health in the US alone.

At Duke University, we have developed a comprehensive portfolio of interdisciplinary global health education programs with a focus on reducing global health disparities. These educational programs seek to prepare global health leaders with the skills to solve complex problems, and the experience of working in communities abroad, in teams and across disciplines. Highlights include one of the first Masters of Science (M.Sc.) in Global Health and a recently approved undergraduate major. Through a tailored, flexible curriculum, students in both programs develop an understanding of the larger context of global health, while learning from faculty and other students approaching the topic of global health from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. All students participate in experiential learning with one of many collaborating institutions around the world.

Diverse challenges facing all academic programs engaged in global health include balancing the needs of developing countries with the needs of students and faculty, assuring the safety and sustainability of global health partnerships in times of instability, and assuring collegiality among institutions rather than competition in a time of financial austerity.