S-PACK: A Modular and Modifiable, Comprehensive Predeparture Preparation Curriculum for Global Health Experiences

Midwest Consortium of Global Child Health Educators S-PACK Workgroup

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14 Scopus citations


Problem: Approximately 25% of trainees participate in a global health elective during their undergraduate or graduate medical education. Increasingly, educators in the United States and international partners are calling for improved predeparture preparation training for global health experiences. Yet, freely available, easily modifiable curricula are rare. Approach: Educators who created the Simulation Use for Global Away Rotations (SUGAR) curriculum formed a workgroup in September 2017 to develop the SUGAR Pre-Departure Activities Curricular Kit (S-PACK). Using Kern's 6-step approach to curriculum development, they identified 10 essential domains for global health preparation, developed learning objectives, created interactive activities pertinent to those domains using different education strategies, piloted and refined the curriculum, packaged it for online facilitator training, and disseminated it in March 2018. Outcomes: The S-PACK curriculum includes 6 interactive, modifiable modules that use a variety of educational strategies to enable educators to comprehensively prepare trainees for global health electives. Modules incorporate simulations, procedural training, small-group case-based discussions, and reflection exercises on topics ranging from providing treatment when resources are limited to mitigating culture shock to considering wellness while away. Each module includes a facilitator training packet, curricular resources, and introduction videos. All are freely available at sugarprep.org. Next Steps: Since an initial in-person workshop at a national conference, the S-PACK curriculum has been available online. Further evaluation is underway, including developing assessments for educators to measure trainee readiness for global health electives. Piloting the feasibility of regional S-PACK preparation bootcamps to support training programs with limited global health resources is planned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1916-1921
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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