DMU has created highly selective, guided tracks for students interested in becoming professors or exploring research topics in global health. These two pathways are designed to develop graduates equipped to teach in the academic medical centers of the future and to advance knowledge on issues that affect the health of people around the world.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Physician Work Task Force predicts a significant physician shortage by 2020 and calls for a 30% increase in medical school enrollment from 2002 levels. This will naturally also increase the need for medical school faculty.
A 2007 survey by the Association of Academic Health Centers revealed that 97% of chief executive officers of health professions schools declared faculty shortages to be a problem in at least one area.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), while many countries have registered significant health progress over recent decades, health gaps between countries and among social groups within countries have widened.
The WHO also notes that expenditure on health is growing and the rate of growth is accelerating, but enormous disparities exist in per person spending. The need for more health care providers is almost universal. Advances in medicine and technology contrast with challenges in knowledge-sharing, access to care and delivery.
These are just some of the driving forces that require innovation in fostering and preparing the next generation of academic medical faculty and globally oriented health care leaders. Des Moines University’s Pathways of Distinction Program identifies and trains highly qualified students for careers in these areas by offering two specific tracks.
This pathway develops osteopathic medicine students to become medical educators in their residency and beyond. In one-to-one meetings with faculty, online modules, small group sessions and large group lectures, students learn the principles of adult learning and curriculum development and have opportunities to experience different teaching and learning styles. Students then demonstrate their skills in various DMU settings, create a medical research project for publication submission and develop an educator portfolio.
Global health research
In this pathway, students in all DMU programs gain skills they can apply in patient care as well as in research with other health care providers during residency and beyond. Students work with researchers at the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on activities such as conducting systematic reviews for creating evidence-based educational materials for worldwide distribution. Students then present their findings at a campus research symposium and are encouraged to submit them for publication.
Students are chosen based on academic standing, faculty recommendations and performance in previous scholarly activity.
Global health pathway students may receive some financial support for travel.
Upon graduation and completion of one of the two pathways, the participant is awarded a certificate.
If a career as a professor or leader in global health topics appeals to you, this may be the program for you.