Celebrating Global Health
To celebrate MSIH’s 20 years of teaching Global Health physicians, in October 2018, the school held a two-day seminar to recognize its achievements and bring together its many partners from around the world. The first day of the seminar centered around a conference on the pressing topic of the double burden of disease in global health, with speakers from MSIH faculty as well as partners and guest speakers from around the globe.
Since its inception in 1998, MSIH has been sending 4th year students to do eight-week clinical clerkships in resource-scarce settings. The clerkship is the capstone of the school’s four-year curriculum, and allows students to put into practice the theory they’ve absorbed during their medical studies.
To ensure that students have the best possible learning experience, MSIH closely coordinates the clerkship with partner institutions. Central elements of this coordination are designed to:
- make sure that students have expert medical supervision
- are exposed to the realities of their host country
- work according to an approved curriculum
- are safe in their environment
- and get to work alongside the local medical teams
In resource-scarce settings achieving the above goals can be challenging, but thanks to the outstanding work of our partners, each year students have experiences they carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Different Yet Similar
Each clerkship setting is different, yet they have many similarities. Scarcity of medical resources is, of course, the main connection. Underprivileged and forgotten populations is another. But each setting solves its problems using different techniques, according to local norms and customs. By bringing the partners together, ideas can be exchanged, lessons learnt, and professional connections made.
Visiting participants included:
- Suneth Agampodi – Rajarata University, Sri Lanka
- BS Garg – Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, India
- Louise Ivers – Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
- Avita Rose Johnson – St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India
- Gyan Kayastha – Patan Health Sciences, Nepal
- Lisa A. Mellman, MD – Columbia University
- Graciela Meza – National University, Peru
- Patrick O’Connor, WHO-European Office, Denmark (MSIH Alumnus, 2003)
- SETHIA – Royal Society of Medicine, London
- Rita Yeboah – The Komfo Anokye Hospital, Ghana
- Workagegnehu Hailu – University of Gondar, Ethiopia
It’s a central tenet of MSIH that the school works alongside its partner institutions. This means it’s a two-way street; MSIH doesn’t just send students to our partner countries, but we actively encourage students from these countries to learn at MSIH in Israel. With the help of the American Associates of Ben-Gurion University, a scholarship fund was established some years ago to bring Medical Students from partner institutions to Israel. Several Ethiopian students have visited for periods 10 weeks of clinical training.
Following the success of the Ethiopian Student program, at the October seminar, AABGU agreed to set up a similar Ghanaian Medical Students Scholarship Fund.
“MSIH will be delighted to receive Ghanaian students,” said Dr. Alan Jotkowitz, head of MSIH. “We’ve had such success with the Ethiopian students and we’re looking forward to work with the Ghanaian students too.”
The October meeting was organized by Dr. Mark Katz of MSIH. Videos of the seminar will soon be made available.
For more research and background on the unique focus on global health at MSIH, the 2018 Medicine and Global Health Report is available for complimentary download below.