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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 215-216

The time is now for a comprehensive framework and value-based participation in Academic International Medicine: A perspective from the Indian academic community

Department of Paediatric Orthopaedics, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication9-Jan-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ajai Singh
Department of Paediatric Orthopaedics, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJAM.IJAM_96_17

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How to cite this article:
Singh A. The time is now for a comprehensive framework and value-based participation in Academic International Medicine: A perspective from the Indian academic community. Int J Acad Med 2017;3:215-6

How to cite this URL:
Singh A. The time is now for a comprehensive framework and value-based participation in Academic International Medicine: A perspective from the Indian academic community. Int J Acad Med [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Jan 25];3:215-6. Available from: https://www.ijam-web.org/text.asp?2017/3/2/215/222488

As the Professor-in-Charge for Postgraduate teaching of one of the preeminent residency and research training programs in India – at the Department of Orthopaedics of the King George's Medical University – I read with great interest and excitement about the ongoing initiatives from the American College of Academic International Medicine (ACAIM).[1] The most recent developments involve the publication in the current issue of the International Journal of Academic Medicine of a proposed framework for the design, implementation, and sustainability of International Medical Programs (IMPs), as well as the accompanying set of recommendations for the incorporation of IMP-specific metrics into the existing fabric of academic promotion and tenure criteria used across US institutions.[2],[3]

The alphabet soup of organizations participating in global medical and surgical outreach continues to grow. With this growth, the complexity of managing multi-institutional, international, and bidirectional efforts is beyond the ability of any single, independently operating organization. Thus, ACAIM is uniquely positioned to become a true coordinating center and a clearinghouse of global US-based outreach and a conduit for bidirectional collaboration between participants from low- and high-resource regions. It is important to note that such resource disparities are not only seen between countries but also within countries, as India is an example of how low- and high-resource areas often co-exist in relative proximity to each other.[4]

Structured medical and surgical training are critical to the sustainability and durability of IMP-based outcomes. Therefore, the importance of well-designed and standardized curricula that incorporate faculty members from both low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and high-income countries (HICs) becomes increasingly important. With increasing IMP participation of HIC trainees and faculty, the bidirectional focus takes on an even greater role, resulting in a positive feedback mechanism. Subsequent steps in the development of IMPs should involve the development of synergistic and sustainable funding mechanisms to allow LMIC trainees and faculty to participate in reciprocal programs involving HIC-based education, training, and broadly defined academic pursuits. The LIMC trainees and faculty may be able to provide uniquely different scenarios and skill sets given their ability to effectively sustain IMPs given existing limitations at their resource-constrained centers. These inputs may open new horizons for multi-centric national and international collaborations.

Medical students, residents, and faculty from the US gain unique perspectives on how fortunate they are to live in one of the top HICs. Their experience at the ability to appreciate the reality of not being able to take things for granted is perhaps one of the defining moments of their participation in medical and surgical education at my home institution, King George's Medical University, Lucknow. Yet despite all of the challenges and daily struggles they see, the amount of ever-present hope and relentless progress toward our goal of improving health-care access in low-resource areas of India is truly contagious!

It is of utmost importance that the US-based AIM community develops institutional champions who help propel this noble cause forward under the challenges of limited logistics at a majority of medical schools in India and other countries around the globe. Such champions should work together, in a noncompetitive, cross-disciplinary fashion. Resources should be shared and efforts streamlined. Every precious resource available to advance IMPs, as defined in the two ACAIM Consensus Statements, should go toward the core mission, and not toward other distractions.[2],[3] Efforts of the AIM community should be coordinated closely to avoid maldistribution of precious resources and personnel. Most importantly, recognition should be made when sufficient progress enables further development and reallocation of precious resources to LMIC areas that need them more than areas of previous focus. It is only in this fashion that we will be able to overcome, build, and strengthen health-care availability and resources across the globe. Because it is based on mutual empowerment and partnership, this undertaking may work well in other LMICs as well.

As the US community of AIM experts coalesces into a well-organized, highly motivated, respected force for positive change, a growing number of partners around the world will be able to participate in increasingly bidirectional, better structured, and durable IMP-based opportunities. ACAIM's humble beginnings create a foundation for the future, and a flash point for the entire AIM community to build on. This is an important historical inflection point. All participants, champions, and partners should embrace this opportunity and help nurture it for the benefit of stakeholders around the world. The world of tomorrow is collaborative, focused on positive change, striving for sustainability, and limited by imagination only. Let us dream of a better future together!

  References Top

Anderson HL, Arquilla B, Firstenberg MS, Garg M, Galwankar SC, Gracias VH, et al. Mission statement for the American College of Academic International Medicine: Empowering individuals, nurturing wellness, promoting excellence, stimulating minds, striving for sustainability, and celebrating inclusion. Int J Acad Med 2016;2:121.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
Garg M, Peck GL, Arquilla B, Miller AC, Soghoian SE, Anderson III HL, et al. A comprehensive framework for international medical programs: A 2017 Consensus Statement from the American College of Academic International Medicine. Int J Acad Med 2017;3:217-30.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
Peck GL, Garg M, Arquilla B, Gracias VH, Anderson III HL, Miller AC, et al. The American College of Academic International Medicine 2017 Consensus Statement on International Medical Programs: Establishing a system of objective valuation and quantitative metrics to facilitate the recognition and incorporation of academic international medical efforts into existing promotion and tenure paradigms. Int J Acad Med 2017;3:231-42.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
Das D, Pathak M. The growing rural-urban disparity in India: Some issues. Int J Adv Res Technol 2012;1:145-51.  Back to cited text no. 4


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