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Original Research

Near-Peer Emergency Medicine for Medical Students in Port-au-Prince, Haiti: An Example of Rethinking Global Health Interventions in Developing Countries

Authors:

Christian A. Pean ,

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
About Christian A.
MS
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Keithara Davis,

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
About Keithara
BS
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Robert Merrill,

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
About Robert
BS
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Brett Marinelli,

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
About Brett
BA
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Allison Lockwood,

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
About Allison
BA
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Zara Mathews,

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
About Zara
MD
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Reuben J. Strayer,

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
About Reuben J.
MD
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Geneviéve Poitevien,

Faculté des Sciences de la Santé, Université Quisqueya, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
About Geneviéve
MD
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Jennifer Galjour

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
About Jennifer
MD, MPH
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Abstract

Background

During a 3-year time frame, a partnership between medical trainees in Haiti and the United States was forged with the objective of implementing an emergency response skills curriculum at a medical school in Port-au-Prince. The effort sought to assess the validity of a near-peer, bidirectional, cross-cultural teaching format as both a global health experience for medical students and as an effective component of improving medical education and emergency response infrastructure in developing countries such as Haiti.

Method

Medical students and emergency medicine (EM) residents from a North American medical school designed and taught a module on emergency response skills in PAP and certified medical students in basic cardiac life support (BLS) over 2 consecutive years. Five-point Likert scale self-efficacy (SE) surveys and multiple-choice fund of knowledge (FOK) assessments were distributed pre- and postmodule each year and analyzed with paired ttests and longitudinal follow-up of the first cohort. Narrative evaluations from participants were collected to gather feedback for improving the module.

Findings

Challenges included bridging language barriers, maintaining continuity between cohorts, and adapting to unexpected schedule changes. Overall, 115 students were certified in BLS with significant postcurriculum improvements in SE scores (2.75 ± 0.93 in 2013 and 2.82 ± 1.06 in 2014; P < 0.001) and FOK scores (22% ± 15% in 2013 and 41% ± 16% in 2014; P < 0.001). Of 24 Haitian students surveyed at 1-year follow-up from the 2013 cohort, 7 (29.3%) reported using taught skills in real-life situations since completing the module. The US group was invited to repeat the project for a third year.

Conclusions

Near-peer, cross-cultural academic exchange is an effective method of medical student–centered emergency training in Haiti. Limitations such as successfully implementing sustainability measures, addressing cultural differences, and coordinating between groups persist. This scalable, reproducible, and mutually beneficial collaboration between North American and Haitian medical trainees is a valid conduit for building Haiti's emergency response infrastructure and promoting global health.

How to Cite: Pean, C.A., Davis, K., Merrill, R., Marinelli, B., Lockwood, A., Mathews, Z., Strayer, R.J., Poitevien, G. and Galjour, J., 2015. Near-Peer Emergency Medicine for Medical Students in Port-au-Prince, Haiti: An Example of Rethinking Global Health Interventions in Developing Countries. Annals of Global Health, 81(2), pp.276–282. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2015.03.002
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Published on 16 Jun 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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