The Importance of Continuing Your Global Health Education


The Importance of Continuing Your Global Health Education

Written by Dr. Mila Rojas


One of the first things people probably said when they learned you would be going to med school or nursing school was, “you’ll be studying forever!”. And they were correct. Anyone in the medical field knows that studying never ends because innovation and research are happening at all times. To be able to offer the best attention to your patients, you need to be as updated as possible. 


This is why continuing your education is so important. This is true for all areas of medicine, including global health, a subject that has become more important than ever during the past year.


What Is Global Health

Global health is all about prioritizing health and making sure there’s equity when it comes to access to health. However, there are many issues to be considered when talking about global health, which include social and political matters. This is why getting an international perspective on the subject is instrumental to be able to make a change and impact the life of your patients.


Nowadays, a great number of medical schools have incorporated global health as part of the curriculum, but this wasn’t always the case. If you didn’t benefit from this education, you can take the matter into your hands by participating in courses and workshops designed with this purpose. If you were fortunate and had this education in med school, then you’ll want to be as updated as possible on the subject. And the landscape of global health has been changing during the past years.


Drivers of Global Health Education

Globalization and international travel are two of the long-time drivers for the growth of global health education. As the population becomes more interconnected, new tools are needed to understand and manage any health issues that might arise. While global health education was a growing trend before 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has considerably accelerated this trend. The pandemic has highlighted how important global health education is and the many positive consequences of having an international perspective. 


Due to the pandemic, international collaboration in the medical field has taken place like never before, with doctors from the US sharing information with doctors from China. Newer technologies such as online information hubs and fast-sharing systems are leading to great advances in the context of COVID-19. However, this is not going to stay here. If there’s something the pandemic has taught us is that international collaboration can lead to fast and life-changing medical developments. 


Benefits of Global Health Education

Global health education can take many shapes and forms, from a semester abroad to an international seminar. These experiences allow you to get a better understanding of health dynamics around the world, as well as building connections with doctors from other countries. This could prove very important in the future as it sets the basis for further collaborations and growth. 

Learning more about global health will help you to truly understand many of the variants that affect your patients, from a historic point of view as well as a social one. Something to consider is that once you have a better understanding of global health, you can also take a different look at local determinants of health. There is a reason why numerous startups are now investing in social determinants of health, which have proven to be greatly influential in the health of patients. You will also be able to identify these determinants better once you understand the different aspects involved in global health considerations. 

Global health education and implementation will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. For more information on how you can have an international hands-on global health education, you can be part of our Global Health Field Course, where you will learn and practice the principles of global health.

Global Health & Humanitarian Medicine Articles:

Short Term Medical Missions: Enhancing or Eroding Health

Doctors Without Borders Reading List 

WHO Safe Water, Better Health 

Ethics and Best Practice Guidelines for Training in Global Health 


To check out more travel, global health & humanitarian resources, check out our RESOURCES page



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