Open Access Open Badges Original Research

Optimizing global health experiences in emergency medicine residency programs: a consensus statement from the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors 2011 Academic Assembly global health specialty track

Janis P Tupesis1, Christine Babcock2, Doug Char3, Kumar Alagappan4, Braden Hexom5 and G Bobby Kapur6*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI, 53792, USA

2 Section of Emergency Medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center, 5841 South Maryland Avenue MC 5068 L-539, Chicago, IL, C60637, USA

3 Division of Emergency Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Box 8072, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA

4 Department of Emergency Medicine, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, 270-05 76th Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY, 11040, USA

5 Department of Emergency Medicine, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1149, New York, NY, 10029, USA

6 Section of Emergency Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Suite 134 MS:BCM311, Houston, TX, 77030, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

International Journal of Emergency Medicine 2012, 5:43  doi:10.1186/1865-1380-5-43

Published: 13 November 2012



An increasing number of emergency medicine (EM) residency training programs have residents interested in participating in clinical rotations in other countries. However, the policies that each individual training program applies to this process are different. To our knowledge, little has been done in the standardization of these experiences to help EM residency programs with the evaluation, administration and implementation of a successful global health clinical elective experience. The objective of this project was to assess the current status of EM global health electives at residency training programs and to establish recommendations from educators in EM on the best methodology to implement successful global health electives.


During the 2011 Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) Academic Assembly, participants met to address this issue in a mediated discussion session and working group. Session participants examined data previously obtained via the CORD online listserve, discussed best practices in global health applications, evaluations and partnerships, and explored possible solutions to some of the challenges. In addition a survey was sent to CORD members prior to the 2011 Academic Assembly to evaluate the resources and processes for EM residents’ global experiences.


Recommendations included creating a global health working group within the organization, optimizing a clearinghouse of elective opportunities for residents and standardizing elective application materials, site evaluations and resident assessment/feedback methods. The survey showed that 71.4% of respondents have global health partnerships and electives. However, only 36.7% of programs require pre-departure training, and only 20% have formal competency requirements for these global health electives.


A large number of EM training programs have global health experiences available, but these electives and the trainees may benefit from additional institutional support and formalized structure.

International emergency medicine; Global health; Graduate medical education; Residency training