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.
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