Interest in global health education is increasing across disciplines.
Dr Rachel Hunt and colleagues from New Haven, USA assessed exposure to and perception of global health training among gastroenterology fellows, and program directors across the USA.
The questionnaire was circulated to accredited US gastroenterology fellowship programs, with the assistance of the American Gastroenterological Association.
The questionnaire was returned by 127 respondents from 55 training programs.
The research team found that 61% of respondents had prior experience in global health.
|61% of respondents had prior experience in global health|
|Digestive Diseases & Sciences|
The researchers observed that 17% of programs offered global health curriculum with international elective, didactic, and research activity being the most common.
The team noted that Fellows had adequate experience managing hepatitis B, cholangiocarcinoma, and intrahepatic duct stones.
The research team found that 74%, 69% and 68% reported having little to no experience managing hepatitis E, tuberculosis mesenteritis, or epidemic infectious enteritis, respectively.
Most fellows would participate in an elective in an underserved area locally or a 4-week elective abroad, if available.
The team noted that 44% of fellows planned on working or volunteering abroad after fellowship.
Barriers to establishing global health curriculum included funding, scheduling, and a lack of standardized objectives.
Lack of interest, however, was not a concern.
The researchers observed that fellows, more than faculty, believed that global health education should be included in fellowship curriculum.
Dr Hunt's team concluded, "Program directors and trainees recognize the importance of global health education."
"However, only 17% of ACGME-approved fellowship programs offer the opportunity."
"Global health curriculum may enhance gastroenterology training."