Global health is increasingly present in the formal educational curricula of medical schools across North America. In 2008, students at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSOM) perceived a lack of structured global health education in the existing curriculum and began working with the administration to enhance global health learning opportunities, particularly in resource-poor settings. Key events in the development of global health education have included the introduction of a global health intersession mandatory for all first-year students; required pre-departure ethics training for students before all international electives; and the development of a clinical global health elective (Global Health Leadership Program, GHLP). The main challenges to improving global health education for medical students have included securing funding, obtaining institutional support, and developing an interprofessional program that benefits from the resources of the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing. Strategies used included objectively demonstrating the need for and barriers to more structured global health experiences; obtaining guidance and modifying existing resources from other institutions and relevant educational websites; and harnessing institution-specific strengths including the large Johns Hopkins global research footprint and existing interprofessional collaborations across the three schools. The Johns Hopkins experience demonstrates that with a supportive administration, students can play an important and effective role in improving global health educational opportunities. The strategies we used may be informative for other students and educators looking to implement global health programs at their own institutions.
- Global health
- Innovative educational interventions
- Interprofessional education
- Program planning/curriculum development
ASJC Scopus subject areas