Perspectives and solutions from clinical trainees and mentors regarding ethical challenges during global health experiences

Jennifer Kasper, Anita Mulye*, Ashti Doobay-Persaud, Brittany Seymour, Brett D. Nelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Clinical trainees face challenges throughout short-term experiences in global health (STEGH) that are not routinely addressed. Objectives: Describe common professional and ethical dilemmas faced by clinical trainees and identify gaps and solutions for pre, during, and post-STEGH training and mentoring. Methods: We conducted a mixed-methods study among trainees and mentors involved in global health. The study utilized focus groups with trainees (November–December 2015) and online surveys of trainees, in-country and stateside faculty mentors (October 2016–April 2017). Results: 85% (17/20) of students reported feeling prepared for their STEGH; however, 59% (23/39) of faculty felt students were unprepared. A majority of both students (90%) and faculty (77%) stated students would likely experience an ethical dilemma during STEGH. Major themes relating to meaningful global health work were elucidated: personal and inter-professional skills; interpersonal networks and collaboration; and awareness of power dynamics and bias. Conclusions: The most common challenges faced by trainees during STEGH related to leadership, bias, ethics and interprofessional collaboration. Redirecting trainee energies from a focus on ‘doing’ and deliv-erables to attitudes (e.g., humility, professionalism) that cultivate personal and professional growth will help create lifelong global health learners and leaders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34
JournalAnnals of global health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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