Global health doctors work worldwide in challenging environments, facing clinical and practical problems which require specific expertise. They have learned to deal with growing health issues that are enhanced by globalization, inequity in access to healthcare and migration.
Global health doctors have a unique set of skills resulting from their training and the circumstances they work in after graduating, limited resource settings, refugee camps and conflict zones. These medical doctors:
- are generalists with knowledge and skills of diagnosis and treatment of basic surgical and obstetrical conditions.
- have knowledge on the nature, prevention and treatment of serious contagious diseases such as malaria, HIV and Ebola, as well as numerous poverty-related diseases.
- deliver adequate solutions in minimal resource situations.
- competently train local healthcare workers, such as doctors and midwives.
- are comfortable working in other cultures.
- bring direct field knowledge back to Western healthcare: including experience in international health matters and cultural sensitivity
Postgraduate programme GHTM
Officially, a doctor who has completed the postgraduate programme is called a ‘Medical Doctor Global Health and Tropical Medicine’. Into The World refers to the title as ‘Global Health Doctor’ for brevity.
The programme derives from the Dutch ‘tropenopleiding’ and represents many decades of experience and expertise and as such is unique in the world. It has been modernized and adapted year after year to train specialized doctors to meet the current and future need for global health.
The programme consists of two clinical terms offering training in obstetrics/gynaecology and either paediatrics or surgery. This is followed by a diploma course in The Netherlands on Global Health, Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the programme is completed by a clinical term in a foreign low or middle income country. The full programme extends a period of 27 months.