Jul 01 2016

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TIME TO GO GLOBAL: a consultation on global health competencies for postgraduate doctors

Sarah diagramBackground: Globalisation is having profound impacts on health and healthcare.We solicited the views of a wide

range of stakeholders in order to develop core global health competencies for postgraduate doctors.

Methods: Published literature and existing curricula informed writing of seven global health competencies for

consultation. A modified policy Delphi involved an online survey and face-to-face and telephone interviews

over three rounds.

Results: Over 250 stakeholders participated, including doctors, other health professionals, policymakers and

members of the public from all continents of the world. Participants indicated that global health competence

is essential for postgraduate doctors and other health professionals. Concernswere expressed about overburdening

curricula and identifying what is ‘essential’ for whom. Conflicting perspectives emerged about the importance

and relevance of different global health topics. Five core competencies were developed: (1) diversity, human

rights and ethics; (2) environmental, social and economic determinants of health; (3) global epidemiology;

(4) global health governance; and (5) health systems and health professionals.

Conclusions: Global health can bring important perspectives to postgraduate curricula, enhancing the ability of

doctors to provide quality care. These global health competencies require tailoring to meet different trainees’

needs and facilitate their incorporation into curricula. Healthcare and global health are ever-changing; therefore,

the competencies will need to be regularly reviewed and updated.


Walpole, S. C., Shortall, C., Van Schalkwyk, M. C., Merriel, A., Ellis, J., Obolensky, L., Casanova Dias, M., Watson, J., Brown, C. S., Hall, J., Pettigrew, L. M. & Allen, S. 2016. Time to go global: a consultation on global health competencies for postgraduate doctors. Int Health.

Permanent link to this article: http://almamata.org.uk/time-to-go-global-a-consultation-on-global-health-competencies-for-postgraduate-doctors/

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