The Global Health Equity Clinical Immersion (HECI); An Innovation in Remote International Placements

Peter D Jones, Neelam Maheshwari, Tracy Nielsen, Shannon Springer, James Fink, Janie Dade Smith

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

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Background: Each year hundreds of medical students pursue electives in resource poor settings, globally.
This “rite of passage” has been criticized as “Students practising on the poor”. At Bond University in Australia we developed a new multidisciplinary clinical placement model in Kira Kira, Solomon Islands in 2013; which has now been replicated in five resource poor settings internationally. It demonstrates how students from multiple disciplines can gain a transformational personal experience and have a positive impact on the host communities.
Summary of Work: We selected five sites where students can complete a HECI – Napranam and Port Hedland-Australia; Kira Kira- Solomon Islands; Gujarat-India and Cape Town- South Africa. Partnership agreements and regular visits by academics underpin each site. Comprehensive pre-departure preparation
includes a global health module, 6 hours of tutorials providing site specific cultural, epidemiological and risk management knowledge. A new model of peer to peer supervision has been developed and successfully implemented as part of the HECI. A common case-based assessment for medical students is
used to compare the health care systems, observe health equity issues and identify sustainable development goals.
Summary of Results: In 2020, sixty medical students from a cohort of 104 will complete a HECI at above sites, and thirty from Law, Urban Planning and Allied Health will complete a work integrated placement in Solomon Islands. Student evaluations demonstrate these placements as the highest rated and
transformative personal experience their respective degree program. The program has achieved national recognition by winning the Australian University Award for Global Citizenship 2019; and resulted in 20 students attaining a publication.
Discussion and Conclusions: The overseas elective is an under-utilized curriculum opportunity for health professional students to gain a deep understanding of global health issues. The HECI model could be implementable by any health professional program at a range of sites. Take-Home Messages: The HECI program is an innovative health care clinical immersion that has delivered sustained outcomes over seven years. The program inspires young graduates to consider a future where
they might choose to help those communities most in need and thus make a sustainable difference, globally.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
EventAMEE 2020: The Virtual Conference - Online
Duration: 7 Sept 20209 Sept 2020


ConferenceAMEE 2020: The Virtual Conference
Abbreviated titleAMEE


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