Initiated in 1998, the bibliography is designed to help students and faculty make the best use of the massive literature relevant to global health. But why undertake this project when free electronic bibliographic searches are easy to make? Though these searches are useful they are not selective and often miss accessible ephemera not on MedLine. They may also result in hundreds of citations of marginal or no value. By comparison, the GHEC bibliography is selective and gives priority to citations accessible online. It is designed for use at the introductory and mid-levels of study and is not meant for the advanced student.

The 3rd edition of the bibliography, completed in late 2007, now has > 800 citations grouped into 27 topic categories. Citations were selected based on some or most of these criteria: recent publication (except for “classics”); topic reviews; readily accessible; moderate cost (except for some books); not highly technical; available on the internet (an increasingly important criterion); and recommended by GHEC members. The selection process went through three steps: 1) two medical students made the initial searches using broad search terms; 2) three GHEC members reviewed this yield and pared down the list; and 3) selected categories were then sent to persons expert in the topic for a final review. Wherever useful we have included a brief annotation to help users determine whether the citation is worth accessing.

Teaching Modules

In 2006 GHEC initiated a project to develop by late 2008 at least 100 teaching modules on global health topics. The modules have the following features and characteristics:

  • PowerPoint presentation with a common ‘look-and-feel’
  • Suitable for introductory and more advanced courses
  • Suitable for all health profession students
  • Most modules specify learning objectives and offer quizzes
  • Usable in either instructor-led or self-instructional mode
  • Developed in partnership with other organizations
  • Can be linked to other resources via GHEC’s wiki
  • Peer-reviewed and field-tested by students and faculty

Project objectives are to improve the quality and efficiency of global health education by providing modules on a wide variety of topics. By assigning a selected module(s) in advance of class they can reduce time spent in lectures, thus freeing class time for discussions, problem-solving, review of case studies, etc. The modules will be especially useful in new global health programs or those with limited faculty expertise in global health. As of June 2008 a total of 38 modules are posted on the web.

Looking to the future GHEC would like to:

Develop modules in collaboration with LDC universities
Translate selected modules into Spanish
Develop ‘packaged’ courses in topics such as child health, reproductive health, communicable diseases, and on the basics of underdevelopment
Modify the IT platform to make the modules accessible in countries without fast broadband access
Develop a monitoring / evaluation component for tracking module use and assessing their utility
Offer modular courses for CME/CE credits, and for ‘certification’

Information Technology

The annual conference and the internet are the near exclusive means for making GHEC’s products available. Accordingly, GHEC undertook a major overhaul of its website and will implement changes throughout 2010. In addition to a revised website, infrastructure, and intranet, we have introduced sections for the teaching modules, a global health education wiki (word means ‘quick’ in Hawaiian), and a forum. During 2010 we expect to refine the latter two features, provide instructions, and start using the wiki in projects such the evaluation of global health education. As with the Wikipedia, the GHEC wiki will be open to all members* who can post information, call attention to good materials, develop collectively survey instruments, guidelines and educational materials. Users have the ability to ‘tag’ a module, citation, internet link, or other wiki entry so that a viewer can easily access other resources relevant to the topic under consideration.

Through an early technology adoption partnership with Microsoft, we have had the opportunity to deliver one of the first online solutions utilizing Office Web Applications on the latest suite of Microsoft 2010 software. View the teaching modules site for a sample of how we’re using this technology to deliver the teaching modules from PowerPoint to the web.

We will also explore with the Student Advisory Committee the merits of a chat room, a Students Page, and perhaps a “Faculty Mentor” program whereby volunteer faculty in rotation could be available to students in universities without as yet adequate faculty with GH expertise. The possibilities are near endless and member help is needed to make the best use possible of this wonderful resource.

*As a footnote, we’ll have to restrict access to members only and monitor the site lest we have unwelcome postings on our site. During the open phase we acquired information about Haitian geography, a promo and link to a site featuring colitis treatments, and other miscellany. Alas, the fate of nesting birds when the cuckoo is around!

Annotated Websites

In collaboration with several student organizations, GHEC has developed a list of about 250 websites (and their associated hyperlinks) useful for those interested in global health. The list was last updated in August 2007 and will be updated at annual intervals. Sites are grouped into eight categories for ease of use, sites especially relevant to field placements are marked by **, and many sites have links to yet additional IH-related organizations and activities.
Click to access the annotated websites list

Evaluating Global Health Education

In 2005 Child Family Health International, in collaboration with GHEC, started developing evaluation instruments that could be used both for the short- and longer-term assessment of the effects of different types of global health education. Specifically, how do GH experiences and instruction affect student attitudes, knowledge, competencies, and their eventual career choices. This project was suspended while the two organizations worked to refine their wiki capability, essential for making it possible for multiple contributors to together evolve the instruments. We expect to re-start work on this project in 2008 and subject to obtaining funding, initiate a multi-institution longitudinal evaluation a year or two later.

Residency Guidebook

Published in early 2008 this guidebook is designed to help medical students choose a residency with a global health track, and residency program directors wishing to improve their programs. Based on survey and interview information the guidebook provides program descriptions, discussion of the hurdles encountered and how to address them, illustrative competency standards, and resources useful to residents and program directors. We would like to have this first edition reviewed by late 2008 and a 2nd edition available by late 2009.
Click to access the residency guidebook (pdf file)

Curriculum Guidebook

A collaborative effort of AMSA, GHEC, IFMSA-USA and R4WH, and with input from Canada, this curriculum guidebook was first posted on GHEC’s website in 2005. Subsequently the guidebook received additional editing and some revision with the next edition due out in early 2008. The guidebook is designed to help students and faculty develop or improve their global health curriculum and benefit from the experience of established programs. Although the focus is on medical school curricula, it has almost equal relevance to other health profession disciplines.
Click to the curriculum guidebook (pdf file)

Trans-Institutional Alliance for Global Health (TrainGH)

Started in 2007 this project seeks to:

Characterize the work of major North American global health centers, institutes and programs now involved in trans-national institutional capacity building.*
Determine the degree to which this work could be facilitated by collective actions to the benefit of all such programs
Identify the main capacity building needs of overseas universities that could be helped by North American universities.
With the above information in hand,: (1) seek a better match between North American programs and overseas university needs; and (2) take collective action among the North American programs to enhance their effectiveness.

*Trans-national capacity building can take many forms, e.g., faculty and/or student exchange programs; partnership agreements; ‘sandwich’ training programs; pilot programs; joint research programs with specific training objectives, etc.

The project is carried out in collaboration with the Center for Global Health at the University of Virginia. We expect to present the findings obtained in Step #1 at the April 3, 2008 workshop preceding the GHEC annual conference. At that time we will determine when and how to proceed to the next three steps.
Click to access the TRAIN report (pfd file)

Innovative Medical School Evaluation Project

Since January 1st, 2007, the Atlantic Philanthropies has funded GHEC to strengthen the collaboration and social impact of medical schools that specifically train public health doctors to serve in marginalized communities around the world. The funding supports the development of a common evaluation framework and a global alliance/network of medical schools committed to training health professionals dedicated to caring for communities that are chronically underserved. The underlying assumption is that a common evaluation framework will generate the scientific foundation and evidence needed to develop high-quality medical education programs with social accountability that are responsive to the needs of underserved populations. The international network or alliance will raise the profile of these medical schools and their social mandate, creating a platform for collaboration and sharing of resources, and encouraging and supporting other institutions with similar aspirations around the globe.

International Modules Project

In latter 2007 GHEC started work on a project that will result in five teaching modules created with the collaboration of developing countries. While these experiences have special relevance to other low income countries their achievements also point to opportunities for improved and cost-effective care in more affluent regions. Five modules will be available in Spanish, along with their English-language counterparts. As part of the project some of the English language modules will be translated for use in Latin America as well. Andre-Jacques Neusy is project director.