Improving equity in global physician training

March 28, 2019

(Boston)--Large numbers of U.S. physicians and medical trainees engage in hands-on clinical experiences abroad where they gain skills working across cultures with limited resources. However, providers from low- and middle-income countries traveling to learn from health care in the United States are rarely afforded the same critical hands-on education.

The flow of learners remains largely unidirectional, with a disproportionate number of U.S. physicians and trainees visiting partner sites abroad. Although there are some successful models for creating short-term experiences for foreign medical graduates at some U.S. medical centers, there are institutional and legal barriers that make it challenging for these learners to engage in meaningful clinical education.

In an article in the journal Academic Medicine, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) address this current imbalance in global health training opportunities, focusing on hosting foreign medical graduates for short-term clinical training experiences in the U.S. They explore regulatory barriers, discuss the applicable laws, and offer recommendations for the revision of visa categories and licensing laws to improve the educational impact and equity of international partnerships that offer U.S.-based learning opportunities for foreign physicians.

"Foreign medical graduates who want advanced, short-term clinical training from U.S. institutions so that they can provide better care in their home countries typically can only access "observership" programs while in the United States, so named because such programs allow nothing beyond observation in clinical settings," said corresponding author James Hudspeth, MD, FACP, assistant professor of medicine at BUSM and a physician in general internal medicine at Boston Medical Center.

Because disease knows no borders, strong health systems are needed everywhere. "Training physicians from both high- and low-resource areas builds local capacity for improving health and economic stability, and this potentially translates to improved worldwide health and economic security," added Hudspeth who is also director of Global Health Programs for the BU Internal Medicine Residency.

The researchers hope to improve equity in global health partnerships via increased access to meaningful and productive educational experiences, particularly for foreign medical graduates with commitment to using their new knowledge and training in their home countries. "Bidirectional learning provides mutual gains for U.S. and foreign clinicians, institutions, and patients."
-end-


Boston University School of Medicine

Related Health Care Articles from Brightsurf:

Six ways primary care "medical homes" are lowering health care spending
New analysis of 394 U.S. primary care practices identifies the aspects of care delivery that are associated with lower health care spending and lower utilization of emergency care and hospital admissions.

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

Spending on primary care vs. other US health care expenditures
National health care survey data were used to assess the amount of money spent on primary care relative to other areas of health care spending in the US from 2002 to 2016.

MU Health Care neurologist publishes guidance related to COVID-19 and stroke care
A University of Missouri Health Care neurologist has published more than 40 new recommendations for evaluating and treating stroke patients based on international research examining the link between stroke and novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Large federal program aimed at providing better health care underfunds primary care
Despite a mandate to help patients make better-informed health care decisions, a ten-year research program established under the Affordable Care Act has funded a relatively small number of studies that examine primary care, the setting where the majority of patients in the US receive treatment.

International medical graduates care for Medicare patients with greater health care needs
A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital research team indicates that internal medicine physicians who are graduates of medical schools outside the US care for Medicare patients with more complex medical needs than those cared for by graduates of American medical schools.

The Lancet Global Health: Improved access to care not sufficient to improve health, as epidemic of poor quality care revealed
Of the 8.6 million deaths from conditions treatable by health care, poor-quality care is responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths per year -- more than deaths due to insufficient access to care (3.6 million) .

Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health
By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health.

High-deductible health care plans curb both cost and usage, including preventive care
A team of researchers based at IUPUI has conducted the first systematic review of studies examining the relationship between high-deductible health care plans and the use of health care services.

Read More: Health Care News and Health Care Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.