Training Mid- to Late-Career Health Professionals for Clinical Work in Low-Income Regions Abroad

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Introduction:Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Global Health Center has developed a unique training program—Professionals’ Training in Global Health (PTGH)—for mid- and late-career health professionals wanting to perform clinical services overseas in low-income countries.Methods:A multidisciplinary, multifaceted, structured curriculum underpins the clinical retraining, with classes aimed to be practical for clinical settings in resource-poor regions of the world. Preceptorships in family medicine and emergency medicine offer specialists the opportunity to observe primary care physicians one-on-one. In addition, PTGH trainees volunteer at free medical clinics where they work under the guidance and supervision of a family physician. For those individuals who live at some distance from Portland, Oregon, the course offers live videoconferencing, as well as archived streaming for later review.Results:As of November 2013, 79 health professionals have completed the course, with 45 graduates having subsequently volunteered on one or more overseas medical missions, for a total of 109 medical service visits to 36 countries. Pre- and post-course testing shows improvements in clinical skills and knowledge base.Discussion:Professionals’ Training in Global Health has a 6-year record of interprofessional training and service both overseas and at home. The course has trained physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, midwives, paramedics and other health professionals.

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