Global Health Education

  • Carl Lawson


Global health is a complex area for study, research, and practice that transcends national boundaries and that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in healthcare for all people worldwide through interdisciplinary collaborative means. Global health is an amalgam of the preventative measures from public health with clinical care that considers health determinants to develop solutions. It represents a paradigm shift from older top-down international health and development models that positioned high-income Western nations as sources of expertise and low- and middle-income countries as sites of disease-based (mainly tropical and diarrheal diseases) intervention.

This shift necessitated new approaches in educational systems that reflected the Western-centered model. Multiple transnational organizations such as the World Health Organization, along with consortia of educational institutions, have advocated for global health training that is interprofessional and collaborative and acknowledges significant expertise within low- and middle-income countries. These organizations have begun the task of shaping global health education and research to increase the effectiveness and inclusiveness of global health activities to reduce the shifting global burden of morbidity and mortality. They seek to accomplish this through the creation of core global health competencies, lasting mutually beneficial partnerships across countries and institutions of varying income levels, and support for transnational global health educational collaborations.

The future of global health and global health education must be informed by the current and projected health issues and realities affecting all of the world’s peoples. Changes in the global economy, demographics, and socioeconomic status have led to noncommunicable diseases and injuries comprising the majority of the causes of mortality worldwide. This reality makes the need for the expansion of collaborative interprofessional global health education practices urgent. It is through this inclusive approach, with adequate resources, that health professionals based in all countries will be able to successfully increase health status and quality of life for all.


Global health Global health education Interprofessional Collaboration 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl Lawson
    • 1
  1. 1.Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and ScienceNorth ChicagoUSA

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