Medical EducationCOMMENTARY

International Health Electives: Strengthening Graduate Medical Education

Sidney Coupet, DO, MPH
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: July 1, 2012

Accepted: September 13, 2012

Published: December 1, 2012

J Osteopath Med; 112(12): 800-804

An international health elective (IHE) can be an important component of the medical education and professional development of a physician. It provides essential global health skills that are crucial in a globalized society. Graduate medical education has an opportunity to deliver such skills to our health care workforce while addressing the pending workforce shortage and the uneven distribution of primary care physicians across the United States. Currently, there is a call for graduate medical education programs to create more training sites and to undergo reform that will help fill residency slots and train more primary care physicians. The author proposes that graduate medical education programs incorporate international health electives into their accredited residency programs. This addition could potentially strengthen their programs while making them more appealing to qualified candidates.

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