An anthropologist-friend some years ago described the average international student elective as “an experience of inflicting the unprepared upon the unsuspecting.” Thankfully, as US global health programs have expanded in number with many becoming formally incorporated into existing training programs, a growing body of knowledge and academic thought about what should be included in a global neurology curriculum is starting to emerge.1-4
With that in mind, check out Deb et al.’s article in Neurology which presents the interesting and somewhat novel approach being taken at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine.5 In addition to linking the program to ACGME core competencies, UMSM incorporates relevant lectures and “virtual” conferences with their foreign partners into the standard existing curriculum and in this way brings into the experience residents who might not otherwise have an opportunity (or interest) in global health to learn about neurologic conditions and care delivery in settings very different from their own. There is obviously more than one way to craft a global neurology training curriculum, but efforts such as these will go a long way to improving the trainees’ experiences—and hopefully the hosts’ as well!
- Berkowitz AL, Milligan TA, Cho TA. Development of a track in global and humanitarian health for neurology residents. Neurology 2015;85:1894-1895.
- Lyons JL, Coleman ME, Engstrom JW, Mateen FJ. International electives in neurology training: a survey of US and Canadian program directors. Neurology 2014;82:119-125.
- Kaddumukasa M, Katabira E, Salata RA, et al. Global medical education partnerships to expand specialty expertise: a case report on building neurology clinical and research capacity. Hum Resour Health 2014;12:75.
- Siddiqi OK, Koralnik IJ, Atadzhanov M, Birbeck GL. Emerging subspecialties in neurology: global health. Neurology 2013;80:e78-80.
- Anindita Deb, Melissa Fischer, and Anna DePold Hohler. A framework for global health curricula for Neurology trainees. Neurology 2018;91:528-532