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What about the next generation of Global Health Clinicians?

Posted by miledmdid on 29 Aug 2008 at 15:59 GMT

We read with great interest your editorial and completely agree with you.
However we don’t think the problem is limited to public health education. It extends to the curricula in medical education and more importantly, in our opinion, to infectious disease post graduate training in western countries.
The burden of disease of tropical infections is huge and the likelihood that western doctors will encounter these infections is increasing, given the nature of our globalized society.
Currently the America Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) publishes a blue print for the infectious disease board exam which includes the content covered and the proportion given to each topic. Tropical Infections are not included in the exam as such and parasites only comprise 4 % of the content.[1]
In Europe, the European Union of Medical Specialties through the Board of Infectious Disases, provides a training curriculum that reflects that of most eorpean counties.[2] In that curriculum tropical medicine training is recommended “ for those training in infectious diseases wishing to enhance their training in tropical infectious diseases”[3] .
We believe that tropical medicine and in particular neglected tropical diseases, should be an integral part to the infectious disease training curriculum in both developed and underdeveloped countries. Especially if we are to make the most of the resources destined to fight these infections.


1. American Board of Internal Medicine web site.

2. McKendrick MW; European Union of Medical Specialties. The European Union of Medical Specialties core training curriculum in infectious diseases: overview of national systems and distribution of specialists. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2005 Apr;11 Suppl 1:28-32.

3. European board of Infectious Diseases: Chapter 6, charter on training of medical specialists in the EU. 4

Francisco Miled Pherez, MD
Infectious disease fellow
Winthrop-University Hospital
Mineola, NY.

Polly Kate David, MD
Infectious disease specialist

RE: What about the next generation of Global Health Clinicians?

PeterHotes replied to miledmdid on 31 Aug 2008 at 11:44 GMT

Dear Drs. Pherez and David; I agree with you! There are important changes that need to be made both for undergraduate and graduate medical curricula in order to properly address global health disparities. I might mention that a similar issue has been raised for pediatrics training and an international committee of the pediatric infectious diseases society has been formed to look into the matter. Best regards, Peter Hotez