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The PHI/GHFP-II Employers’ Study: The hidden barriers between domestic and global health careers and crucial competencies for success

2016 | Annals of Global Health

The process of preparing professionals for global health work has fallen behind emerging realities, including globalization, ever-evolving technologies and advances in health care, says an article from the Public Health Institute (PHI) and its largest project, the Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II.

"The PHI/GHFP-II Employers’ Study: The hidden barriers between domestic and global health careers and crucial competencies for success,” published in the November edition of the Annals of Global Health, captures the results of an employer survey exploring global health hiring practices, barriers between domestic and global health careers and insights into key competencies necessary for career success.

Key findings included:

  • Eighty-five percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that academia could better prepare students in non-clinical skills.

  • The most frequently valued non-clinical skills were: program management, monitoring and evaluation, communication with client, counterpart and community, strategy and project design, and collaboration and teamwork.

  • Sixty-four percent of respondents had hired domestic health professionals for global health positions. However, only four percent indicated that they had hired five or more.

  • The top skills that candidates with domestic experience only were seen to lack included: understanding public health in an international development context, characteristics like flexibility, adaptability and creativity, cultural sensitivity, cross-cultural communication skills, and knowledge of key players, systems and processes. 

 

While universities understandably continue to focus on technical expertise in health and science, said journal authors, they must also provide an increased curricular emphasis on non-clinical skills, both interpersonal and business-related, as well as the international experience that is valued in the global health workplace.

 

Authors:

Sharon Rudy, Natasha Wanchek, David Godsted, Morgan Blackburn, Elise Mann

Produced through PHI's:

USAID Global Health Fellows Program II