Healer’s Abroad is seminal report from the Institute of Medicine. Released in 2005, the report explored strategies to mobilize U.S. health personnel and technical expertise to help in the effort against HIV/AIDS in countries highly affected by the disease. The report was commissioned as part the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) which was launched that same year. The committee chaired by Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan included leading academic and health professionals from around the country.
In September 2010, Drs. Vanessa Kerry, Sara Auld and Paul Farmer publish a Perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine, one the leading academic medical journals. The piece proposes a U.S. program that supports health professionals to serve abroad as medical educators. It reinforces the need for knowledge transfer and capacity building but also the opportunity for diplomacy and service.
Released in late 2010, the study reflected the major undertaking of better understanding the state of medical schools in sub-Saharan Africa. Gathering information from an extensive survey, the study provides some of the most important information about the deep needs and challenges of medical education on the continent.
As part of the movement launching the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Senator Frist (TN) introduces the Global Health Corps Act of 2005. The bill proposes to establish a Global Health Corps to assist in “improving the health, welfare, and development of communities in foreign countries and regions through the provision of health care personnel, items and related services.”
In the article, twenty health professionals and academic leaders propose a bold new strategy for health education. They argue that current curricula is static and outdated, and fails to produce doctors, nurses, midwives, and public health professionals who are adequately equipped for the health challenges we see today. They argue for a new approach to education that fosters inquiry and critical thinking.
The paper published in 2011 discusses how reducing the global burden of disease will depend on creating new incentives and training opportunities for health leadership in lower middle income countries. The authors argue that investments in human resources are required to discover and deliver innovations in prevention and treatment as well as train the next generation of leaders. This will require a long-term strategy that leverages strengths and talent from all settings as well as a generation spanning financial investment by high income countries and other multinational partners.