AAP News TODAY 2016 - Sunday, October 23, 2016 - 14
14 | AAPexperience.org
Going Overseas? Get Some Advice on How to Prepare
To say many physicians and trainees
who embark on global health experiences
are unprepared is an understatement, said
Sabrina Butteris, MD, FAAP, a member of
the AAP Section on International Child
"It's a huge problem," she said.
A few years ago, Dr. Butteris and her
colleagues collected data on global health
educational opportunities offered at U.S.
pediatric residency programs. They found
that two-thirds of the programs offered
pre-travel preparation for global health
rotations. That meant one-third were not
preparing residents for their experiences
Moscone North, Room 122
There are no data on preparation for
faculty members, but Dr. Butteris said she
suspects the numbers are even lower.
"Preparation is probably the most important burning issue for global health at
the moment," she said.
To help both novice and seasoned travelers, Dr. Butteris will co-present an Interactive Group Forum titled "Global Health:
Challenges of Working in Resource-Limited Settings (I2173)" from 4:00-5:30 pm
today in Room 122 of Moscone North.
Joining her will be Michael Pitt, MD,
FAAP, a member of the Section on International Child Health and assistant professor
of pediatrics, University of Minnesota.
During the session, Drs. Butteris and
Pitt will focus on culture and culture shock
and preparing people for the emotional
challenges they will experience.
"All of us will have culture shock whether
we believe it or not," Dr. Butteris said.
Those participating in global health
experiences also face what Dr. Butteris calls
"medical culture shock" that comes from
being in an unfamiliar hospital or clinic
with extremely limited resources. "They're
going to see more deaths and much sicker
patients than they've ever seen before."
Both Dr. Butteris and Dr. Pitt have a
wealth of global health experience. Dr.
Butteris started traveling abroad as an
undergraduate student. She spent time in
as a medical
student and in
Tanzania as a
health education in the
at the University of Wisconsin School of
Medicine and Public Health and coordinated a partnership with Addis Ababa
University in Ethiopia.
"Much of the motivation to teach people
about global health and prepare them for
global health stemmed from that period of
time where I was a trainee and coordinating
a partnership with another institution and
seeing the difficulties that residents have in
those experiences," Dr. Butteris said.
She and Dr. Pitt developed an online
educational module and a curriculum that
uses cases to help people begin to under-
stand what it
might feel like
"try to process
of miles away
normal support structure," Dr. Butteris said.
Those attending the session will be presented with a case that involves the culture
piece and working in a resource-limited
setting. They will have a chance to reflect
individually on their own culture, work in
small groups and debrief with the larger
The goal, Dr. Butteris said, is for people
not only to learn themselves but also to
walk out with tangible, fun activities they
can use to teach others to be more insightful and thoughtful about how they engage
in global health experiences.
Help Raise Money for the
AAP Friends of Children Fund
Stop by the AAP Philanthropy Booth to make a donation and receive a donor ribbon and free gift!
Visit these Cause Marketing Supporters
at their booths for an increased donation to the
Friends of Children Fund.