Pediatric Resident Academic Projects While on Global Health Electives: Ten Years of Experience at the University of Minnesota

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Abstract

Purpose

Many residency programs require residents to complete an academic project as part of a global health (GH) elective. However, there has been little description of the range of projects residents have pursued during GH electives or the extent to which these projects are consistent with proposed best practices.

Method

The authors conducted a document review of 67 written summaries or copies of presentations of academic projects (hereafter, summaries) completed by pediatric and medicine–pediatric residents at the University of Minnesota while on GH electives from 2005 to 2015. Two authors independently coded each summary for the type of project completed; when the project idea was generated; explicit mention of a mentor from the home institution, host institution, or both; whether a needs assessment was conducted; and whether there were plans for sustainability.

Results

Most of the 67 projects were categorized into one of three project types: quality/process improvement (28 [42%]), education (18 [27%]), or clinical research (14 [21%]). Most summaries explicitly mentioned a mentor (45 [67%]), reported conducting a needs assessment (38 [57%]), and indicated sustainability plans (45 [67%]). Of the 42 summaries that indicated the timing of idea generation, 30 (71%) indicated the idea was developed after arriving at the host site.

Conclusions

Residents undertook a wide range of academic projects during GH electives, most commonly quality/process improvement and education projects. The projects were largely aligned with best practices, with most summaries indicating the resident worked with a mentor, conducted a needs assessment, and made plans for sustainability.

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