Outliers imagines the recruiting poster for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's new global health issues course might read a little something like this: Wanted: Medical students interested in an exchange program with counterparts in the far-flung regions of Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Travel requirements: Bus fare to get to class on time.
With partnerships and facilities in a variety of countries, the global-healthcare footprint of Johns Hopkins Medicine and its affiliates is one of the largest in the world. Yet despite that sizable presence and the growing focus on global health, the medical institution to date has had no requirement for its medical students to study healthcare outside of the U.S.
A new requirement for first-year medical students to complete a global healthcare course is aimed at changing that, and students won't have to leave the classroom to experience healthcare delivery in other countries.
The course consists of four sessions during which Johns Hopkins' first year medical students connect by video link to med students in Ethiopia, India, Pakistan and Uganda. During each of the sessions, the two groups will review case studies of two patients with identical health conditions and compare how hospitals in each of the countries handled the cases. The 90-minute case studies will be followed by 90-minute group discussions covering the ethical and cultural issues each case presented.