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Global health is the study, research, and practice of medicine focused on improving health and achieving health equity, and should be integrated into medical school curricula. InciSioN UK Collaborative set out to evaluate the extent of global health teaching activities at United Kingdom (UK) medical schools.

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The Global Health Education in Medical Schools (GHEMS) Study published in 2020 was the first national assessment of global health education and curricula within UK medical schools. Medical schools were expected to have teaching events on all the global health learning outcomes published by the Global Health Learning Outcomes Working Group (GHLOWG). 

The GHEMS study affirmed that the majority of learning outcomes produced by the GHLOWG are being taught as part of timetabled teaching within the majority of UK undergraduate and graduate-entry medical courses. However, there were certain learning outcomes that were not being addressed. For instance, while all medical courses delivered teaching on the structure and function of the National Health Services (NHS), broader discussions surrounding healthcare systems and the dynamic involvement of the private and charitable sectors were neglected. Similarly, it was estimated that only over half of medical courses provided teachings on the WHO’s framework and role. Further, few medical courses included content on highly topical global health issues, such as global surgery and climate change. 

To facilitate local strengthening of global health educational opportunities, collaborators reported local results to institutional leadership to initiate discussions regarding avenues for satisfaction of the topical gaps in content identified. To equip medical students in the UK with the knowledge to operate, thrive and care for communities in our ever-globalised world, the GHEMS study report recommends that medical schools must vigilantly upgrade current curricula to reflect expert-driven recommendations for global health education. 

See Our full results: 

InciSioN UK Collaborative., Bandyopadhyay, S., Thomas, H.S. et al. Global health education in medical schools (GHEMS): a national, collaborative study of medical curricula. BMC Med Educ 20, 389 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-020-02315-x

 

By Soham Bandyopadhyay on behalf of InciSioN UK Collaborative

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