Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Honors BUSM for Online Global Health Course


The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Health course received the 2017 Global Emergency Medicine Education Award from the Global Emergency Medicine Academy at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Annual Meeting. This award honors a team that has worked to create sustainable education solutions, develop robust educational curriculum or other projects that encourage the growth and development of emergency medicine physicians internationally.

This team is led by Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine Gabrielle A. Jacquet, MD, MPH, and includes BU team members Drs. Suzanne Sarfaty, James Hudspeth and James Wolff; plus James Liu, Romy Ruukel, Tim Brenner, Monty Kaplan, Diana Marian and Rob Schadt.

This three-part, open-access, timeline-based course prepares people for safe, effective and culturally sensitive global health learning experiences and projects. It provides guidance for undergraduate and graduate students, medical trainees and volunteers through interactive scenarios and discussion forums. To date, more than 5,200 students with a median age of 29, representing 162 countries, have enrolled.

About the course

Part 1 The Big Picture: Participants learn how to determine whether a global health learning experience is the right choice, and if so, what, where, when and how?

Part 2 Preparation and on the Ground: Students learn how to prepare for a global health learning experience and gain vital information about being there on-the-ground. Topics covered include: how to arrange logistics; improve security and cultural awareness; and obtain guidance to limit health hazards. Students have the opportunity to create an appropriately inclusive yet “light” packing list. Also, students learn how to identify and manage common situations, including personal and property safety risks; professional, ethical and cultural issues; and the appropriate use of various modes of communication, including social media.

Part 3 Reflection: Participants learn about “reverse culture shock” upon returning from a global health experience, including identifying strategies for effectively “reintegrating” into home and work life and managing potential health issue. In addition, participants learn how to identify clinical opportunities, educational opportunities and funding structures for future global health experiences for other individuals at their respective institutions.

The course is offered through EdX, a nonprofit online initiative composed of dozens of leading global institutions. BU joined EdX in May 2013. Learn more about the course and faculty team.