When Global Becomes Virtual: A Survey of Virtual Global Health Education Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Pediatric Educators

Suet Kam Lam*, Jameel Winter, Kristin Van Genderen, Stephanie M. Lauden, William Windsor, Lisa Umphrey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background During the COVID-19 pandemic, global health education activities were disrupted. Transitioning to virtual options has allowed educators and trainees to continue global health education and partnerships, though the acceptability and implementation of this transition is unknown. Objective To evaluate current and planned virtual global health education activities (VGHEAs) of a group of US global health educators during the COVID-19 pandemic and to assess perceived benefits and challenges of VGHEAs. Methods A cross-sectional study of pediatric faculty and trainees involved in global health education from 8 institutions in the United States were surveyed anonymously about their global health education activities in 2021. Authors used representative convenience sampling and invited at least 1 faculty member and 2 trainees from each institution in the Midwest Consortium of Global Child Health Educators. Results All 8 institutions responded to the survey, with 38 faculty and trainee participants. Institutional implementation of virtual education activities was variable. Respondents reported that VGHEAs allowed them to maintain partnerships with low-middle income countries, though they noted that unreliable internet connections presented challenges. One program reported funding cuts to its global health program during the pandemic. Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for global health education programs. Educators and trainees are interested in using potentially cost-saving VGHEAs to maintain international collaborations, continue global health education efforts, and even increase access to equitable educational activities despite pandemic disruptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-111
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of graduate medical education
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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