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Global health training and postgraduate medical education in Australia: the case for greater integration

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In reply: We thank Walsh for highlighting that sustainability is a critical challenge in global health training (GHT) programs and that technology is creating new options for international engagement. He has also articulated a vision of qualified specialists taking a greater role in the delivery of clinical education in resource-poor settings. We share this aspiration.

One of the end points of GHT is a lifelong commitment to international education and collaboration. We envisage a future where significant numbers of Australian doctors participate in institutional relationships with health services and education providers in resource-poor settings. Technology might be exploited to deliver remote education and enhance supervision, with the overall effect of building local capacity. These partnerships should be mutually beneficial.

Several Australian hospitals and colleges have successfully developed longitudinal relationships with health services abroad. Senior trainees should contribute to these collaborations, in part because learning how to foster international partnerships is a key component of GHT. Although there are barriers to registrar involvement, we believe it is an important factor in ensuring sustainability.