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Is time running out? The urgent need for appropriate global health curricula in Germany
  1. Angela Schuster1,
  2. Nora Anton2,
  3. Pascal Grosse3,4,
  4. Christoph Heintze1
  1. 1Insitute of General Practice, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany
  2. 2Charité Global Health, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany
  3. 3Dean of education office, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany
  4. 4Department of Neurology, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Angela Schuster; angela.schuster{at}charite.de

Abstract

Recently, representatives of politics, health officials and academia in Germany have advocated a greater role for Germany in matters concerning global health. However, health professionals in Germany are rarely taught about global health topics and accordingly real expertise in this field is lacking. To advance knowledge and competencies at German universities and adequately equip health professionals to achieve Germany’s political goals, global health curricula must be developed at medical schools and other institutions. Such ambitions raise questions about the required content and dimensions of global health curricula as the field is currently highly heterogeneous and ill defined. To systematically identify strengths and shortcomings of current curricula, we scrutinised the global health curriculum at our institution, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, using an analytical framework that integrates the various approaches of global health. Our analysis identified that four (technical, social justice, security and humanitarian) of five approaches are present in our core global health curriculum. Local and global aspects of the field are equally represented. We propose that the use of such a structured analytical framework can support the development of GH curricula for all health professionals—in Germany and elsewhere. But it can also help to evaluate existing curricula like ours at Charité. This framework has the potential to support the design of comprehensive GH trainings, serving German aspirations in politics and academia to promote health worldwide.

  • public health
  • health policy
  • health education and promotion
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Footnotes

  • Handling editor Seye Abimbola

  • Twitter @a_mariaschuster

  • Contributors AS: conceptualisation, data curation, data analysis, methodology, visualisation, writing of original draft. PG: conceptualisation, methodology, writing—review and editing. NA: conceptualisation, writing—review and editing. CH: project administration, project funding, conceptualisation, resources, supervision, writing—review and editing.

  • Funding AS has developed and written the article within her professional commitment at the Institute of General Practice at Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Publication costs have been covered with support from the German Reserach Foundation (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Funds of Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

  • Competing interests The authors of this paper were stakeholders in integrating global health contents into the existing medical curriculum at Charité or supported the process intrinsically through special affiliation with the World Health Summit and Charité Global Health (N.A.). AS is a member of the Global Health Alliance Deutschland.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon request.

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