Evaluation of an international trainee exchange program developed by the global health initiative at Henry Ford Health System

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Ann Glob Health


Program/Project Purpose: The Global Health Initiative (GHI) at Henry Ford Health (HFHS) in Detroit, Michigan is committed to improving health outcomes and infrastructure in resource-limited countries through collaborative capacity-building models. In collaboration with our international partners, GHI developed a medical education and research exchange program whereby international trainees (medical and public health students, residents, and faculty) conduct a one-to two-month observation at HFHS including clinical rotations and lectures, laboratory experience, and engagement in structured global health research training.

Structure/Method/Design: In the published literature, there are few articles that report on the evaluation of similar international exchange programs, and even fewer that include an evaluation of both mentors and trainees, or that focus on multi-country exchange programs. GHI developed surveys to evaluate the experiences of trainees and supervising mentors. The trainee survey includes questions on demographics, prior education, experience and perceptions of the HFHS observation, research training, housing, culture, and logistics. Quantitative and qualitative questions also ask how this experience will have long-term impact on their career and community (i.e. “I feel better equipped to serve the people in my own community”; “How has this experience shaped your educational and career goals?”; “How will you use this new information when you return to your home country?”). The mentor survey includes questions on observation activities, observer strengths and weaknesses, satisfaction with GHI coordination, and how the mentor's department benefitted from the exchange program.

Outcome & Evaluation: To date, GHI has hosted 14 medical and public health students/residents and 5 faculty members from 6 countries (Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Myanmar and Nepal). Trainees conducted observations in Infectious Diseases, Pathology, Allergy, Nephrology, Dermatology, Neurosurgery, Women's Health, School-Based and Community Health, and Global Health. Evaluation results from trainee and mentor surveys will be presented. Going Forward: GHI will use these evaluation data to improve the clinical and research capacity training program, enhance mentor experiences, and strengthen collaborative relationships between HFHS and international partners. In the long-term, the exchange program will contribute to the development of global health service providers and improved health outcomes in low-resource settings.





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