Identifying Interprofessional Global Health Competencies for 21st-Century Health Professionals


At the 2008 inaugural meeting of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), participants discussed the rapid expansion of global health programs and the lack of standardized competencies and curricula to guide these programs. In 2013, CUGH appointed a Global Health Competency Subcommittee and charged this subcommittee with identifying broad global health core competencies applicable across disciplines.

The first step that this group did before diving into the creation and analysis of the competencies for these programs, was to define the term global health. They defined it as an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. Global health emphasizes transnational health issues, determinants, and solutions; involves many disciplines within and beyond the health sciences and promotes interdisciplinary collaboration; and is a synthesis of population-based prevention with individual-level clinical care.” AFter agreeing on this definition the proposed competencies were discussed and determined. The final proposed list included a total of 13 competencies across 8 domains for the Global Citizen Level and 39 competencies across 11 domains for the Basic Operational Program-Oriented Level. The purpose of this paper is to describe the Subcommittee’s work and proposed list of interprofessional global health competencies. In conclusion, they agree that there is a need for continued debate and dialog to validate the proposed set of competencies, and a need for further research to identify best strategies for incorporating these com- petencies into global health educational programs.