A Needs and Resource Assessment of Continuing Medical Education in Haiti
Keywordscontinuing medical education
continuing professional development
Infectious and parasitic diseases
Public aspects of medicine
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AbstractBackground: Haiti has a chronic physician shortage, and the country has been facing an increased disease burden since the 2010 earthquake and the subsequent introduction of <a title="Learn more about Cholera" href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/cholera">cholera</a>. In such resource-challenged settings, access to postgraduate medical education often is limited due to inadequate financial, structural, and academic resources. A crucial component to improved health in Haiti is the expansion of <a title="Learn more about Continuing medical education" href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/continuing-medical-education">continuing medical education</a> (CME). To our knowledge there have been no previous studies investigating the continuing professional development needs of Haitian physicians working in this context. Objective: The objectives of this study are to describe the educational resources available to Haitian physicians and to understand their continuing professional development needs. Methods: We performed a needs and resource assessment of CME available to Haitian physicians using surveys and focus groups. We surveyed 62 physicians and led 3 focus groups. Questions gathered data on physicians’ access to educational resources. Descriptive statistics were calculated from surveys, and focus group transcripts were manually reviewed for themes. Findings: In all, 82 conference attendees were invited to participate. Of these, 62 physicians completed the needs and resource assessment survey. Of the participants, 16% had a <a title="Learn more about Medical library" href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/medical-library">medical library</a> at work and 31% had access to a computer at work. Educational conferences were available at work for 27% of participants, and 50% attended conferences outside of work. Less than half (45%) identified a clinical mentor. Focus group participants described inadequate tangible and reference resources, lack of colleague support, and lack of avenues for specialty training and employment. Conclusions: In this <a title="Learn more about Needs Assessment" href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/needs-assessment">needs assessment</a>, Haitian physicians identified lack of support for <a title="Learn more about Clinical Decision Making" href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/clinical-decision-making">clinical decision making</a>, poor access to CME activities, limited professional development, and absence of employment opportunities as key areas of need in support of their clinical and professional work.