Implementation of a virtual international cardiology curriculum to address the deficit of cardiovascular education in Haiti: a pilot study

BMJ Open. 2021 Jun 21;11(6):e048690. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-048690.


Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, conferring a disparate burden on low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Haiti represents a resource-constrained setting, limited by a paucity of resources and trained cardiovascular professionals equipped to address the increasing burden of CVD.

Objective: Here, we describe the creation of a comprehensive cardiology curriculum delivered through a virtual classroom. The curriculum was created to augment cardiovascular education in LMICs such as Haiti.

Methods: Over one academic year (May 2019-2020), International Cardiology Curriculum Accessible by Remote Distance Learning-Haiti consisted of biweekly, live-streamed, synchronous didactic lectures, seminars and case presentations broadcasted to 16 internal medicine (IM) residents at Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, one of only four IM training programmes in Haiti. The virtual classroom was created using commercially available videoconferencing and data-sharing platforms. Prelecture and postlecture surveys and an end of the year survey were administered to assess the impact of the curriculum.

Results: Participant performance analysis revealed that 80% of the curriculum demonstrated a positive trend in knowledge acquisition postintervention. Based on the end of the year evaluation, 94% of participants reported that the curriculum was educational and relevant to medical practice in Haiti and 100% reported that the curriculum was good to excellent. Additionally, the curriculum was cited as an effective means of maintaining trainee education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conclusion: This international medical education pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of augmenting cardiology education in LMICs by creating a virtual curriculum made possible by local partnerships, internet access and technology.


MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Cardiology* / education
  • Curriculum
  • Haiti
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pilot Projects
  • SARS-CoV-2