Embracing Medical Education's Global Mission

Acad Med. 2016 Dec;91(12):1592-1594. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001433.


Shortages of trained health care workers plague low- and middle-income countries around the world. When resources are scarce, the ability to support medical education is severely constrained. While there are many important "building blocks" of health systems that need to be bolstered in low- and middle-income countries, the authors propose that U.S. academic medicine can make unique contributions in the realm of human resource development-specifically, increasing the supply of physicians who directly provide health care to the populations they serve and who often manage and lead these health systems. Strengthening medical education in low- and middle-income countries is critical to improving the quantity and quality of physicians to staff and lead these health systems. The authors provide specific examples of how U.S. institutions are pursuing this global endeavor, including the Academic Partnership Providing Access to Healthcare in Kenya, the Medical Education Partnership Initiative throughout Africa, partnerships between U.S. medical schools and with institutions in Qatar and Singapore, and postgraduate medical education efforts in Vietnam and Haiti. They urge that the U.S. academic medicine community embrace this challenge as part of its mission to ensure that all those who, wherever they may live, have the ability, the dedication, and the compassion to pursue a career in medicine be given the opportunity to do so.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical*
  • Global Health
  • Haiti
  • Health Personnel / education
  • Humans
  • Kenya