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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 203-210

Developing and implementing a global emergency medicine course: Lessons learned from Rwanda

1 George Washington University, School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA
2 Emergency Department, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Kigali, University of , Kigali, Rwanda

Correspondence Address:
Giles N Cattermole
Emergency Department, Princess Royal University Hospital, Orpington BR6 6EL
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_72_17

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Background: There is a growing demand by medical trainees for meaningful, short-term global emergency medicine (EM) experiences. EM programs in high-income countries (HICs) have forged opportunities for their trainees to access this experience in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, few programs in LMICs have created and managed such courses. As more LMICs establish EM programs, these settings are ideal for developing courses beneficial for all participants. We describe our experience of creating and implementing a short-term global EM course in Rwanda. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to (1) provide EM trainees from HICs with an opportunity to observe global clinical practice and to learn from local experts, (2) provide EM trainees from an LMIC with an opportunity to share their expert knowledge and skills with HIC trainees, (3) create a sustainable model for a short-term global EM course in an LMIC context. Methods: A global EM curriculum and course were developed in Rwanda, entitled EM in the Tropics Emergency Medicine in the Tropics (EMIT). The following topics were covered: EM systems development, public health, trauma/triage, pediatrics, disaster management, and tropical EM. A one-and two-week course program was created and implemented. Results: EMIT participants rotated through pediatric and adult EDs, Intensive Care Unit, trauma surgery, internal medicine, emergency medical services, and ultrasound training. Activities included bedside teaching, case presentations, ultrasound practice, group lectures, simulation and skills workshops, and a rotation to a district hospital. A total of 11 participants attended: six for both weeks and five for 1 week. The course raised $5000 USD, which was dedicated in full to sponsoring local EM residents to attend international conferences. Discussion: The EMIT course in Rwanda achieved its objectives of teaching and learning between all participants. Benefits of this in-person experience for both visiting and local participants are clear in clinical, intercultural, and professional ways. Conclusion: Our experience of developing and implementing EMIT in Rwanda demonstrates that EM programs in LMICs can provide short-term global EM courses that are not only beneficial to all participants, but also logistically and financially sustainable.

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