Learning Abroad: Residents' Narratives of Clinical Experiences From a Global Health Elective

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10 Scopus citations


Background: While resident participation in global health (GH) rotations has grown, little is known about trainee perceptions of the personal value of these international clinical experiences and their importance to the objectives of GH training. Objective: We sought to better understand the clinical scenarios experienced during international rotations that residents perceived as most meaningful and the frequency of these experiences across scenarios and participating residents. Methods: Using the conceptual framework of Schön's reflection on action, we asked University of Minnesota GH track pediatric and internal medicine-pediatric residents to describe 10 clinical scenarios they found interesting or impactful during their 2016-2017 GH elective. We conducted a qualitative analysis of the deidentified resident narratives and mapped themes to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies. Results: All eligible residents (n = 13) participated, yielding 129 unique clinical scenarios from 7 countries. We identified 5 thematic groups: (1) addressing challenges in making diagnoses in resource-limited settings; (2) dealing with patient outcomes different from those expected in the United States; (3) encountering and managing diseases in a different clinical context; (4) encountering and managing diseases in a different cultural context; and (5) reflecting on learning and self-growth. Of the 129 unique clinical scenarios, 30% (n = 39) had not been previously experienced by participants. Across the 5 themes, all ACGME core competencies were addressed. Conclusions: Residents identified meaningful scenarios of their GH experiences that are relevant to the educational and clinical objectives of GH training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of graduate medical education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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