As a result of the increased student interest in global health, learners are increasingly exposed to challenging ethical dilemmas and potentially hazardous situations. These situations require careful preparation and considerable awareness among learners, supervising faculty, and the host and sponsoring institutions. Several resources related to best practices, safety, and ethics in global health are available, including:
Articulating ethical concerns and potential hazards:
Best practice guidelines and competency development:
Adhering to established best practices and ensuring the development of competencies in those participating in global health activities can help maximize the benefits and minimize the harms of global health programs.
Ensuring trainee safety
Trainee safety is an essential element of any global health experience; yet many trainees may not be adequately prepared for their experience. Several organizations have developed pre-trip trainings, including:
- The Global Ambassadors for Patient Safety online workshop is designed for all students who are going abroad and plan to work or volunteer in a healthcare setting. The workshop content is available to everyone, everywhere, at no cost.
- The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine has collaborated with other medical associations to created guidelines for trainees conducting global health electives.
A checklist of specific actions that can be taken to develop safety and security plans is also available in the following publication: Improving the safety and security of those engaged in global health traveling abroad (2016; Global Health: Science and Practice).