Medical Student Perceptions of Global Surgery at an Academic Institution: Identifying Gaps in Global Health Education

A. Metha, T. Xu, M. Murray, K. Casey

Journal Club Entry by Nicholas Knowland, TUSM-Maine Track Program, M18

It is well established that there are disparities between the healthcare available to developed countries and those in low-and middle- income countries (LMICs).  Less well appreciated but of increasing focus in the discussion of global health disparities is the lack of access to safe, affordable and timely surgical care that affects up to 5 billion people across the world.  This lack of care could cost up to 12.3 trillion dollars in Gross Domestic Product in LMICs from 2015-2030.  Does global health medical education adequately inform students of the public health benefit and long-term impact of surgical services in a global setting?  In this survey of 365 medical students at Johns Hopkins medical school Mehta et al. attempt to elucidate the accuracy of student perceptions of global surgery and its critical role in global public health.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How many medical students do you think would be aware that trauma causes more death international than obstetric complications or the combination of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria?
  2. Do you think that the importance of timely access to surgery as a fundamental part of a medical system is adequately emphasized in medical school curricula?
  3. What is the value of studying global health surgery systems or barriers in medical school training?
  4. Do you support any of the suggested additions to global health curricula found in the discussion section?

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