Development of a global health curriculum for family medicine based on ACGME competencies

Therese Zink, Erik Solberg
Teaching and Learning in Medicine 2014, 26 (2): 174-83

BACKGROUND: With the popularity of global health among medical students and residents, family medicine (FM) residencies are developing pathways in global health. Curriculum based on Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies adds rigor to the efforts.

DESCRIPTION: We describe the adaptation of a comprehensive pediatric global health curriculum based on ACGME competencies for family medicine. The curriculum maps out goals, objectives, curricular elements, and evaluation modalities for each of the six competencies (medical knowledge, patient care, practice-based learning, professionalism, communication, and systems-based practice). A literature review, followed by an iterative process, guided the expansion of the pediatric curriculum and the prioritization of domains for FM. Input was sought from FM global health faculty at our 8 residencies, affiliated community faculty, and international health experts from across the United States who attended our workshop at a national FM global health meeting. The final product includes comprehensive competency-based curriculum, open-source resources, and evaluation modalities. The goals and objectives pertinent to all FM residents, and those specific to global health pathway residents and fellows, are outlined.

EVALUATION: The limiting and enabling factors of the curriculum implementation are presented.

CONCLUSIONS: This global family medicine curriculum has added structure and rigor to our international electives in the department at the University of Minnesota. The competency-based curriculum is in the early stages of implementation and evaluation. It has already strengthened components of the residency learning experience for all residents. A robust evaluation is needed and requires monitoring pathway graduates and their career choices into the future. The curriculum is available for adoption by other FM residencies.

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