This article can be found at NAAHP.org. The National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) is an organization of over 1400 health professions advisors at colleges and universities throughout the United States, and abroad. This social network serves as a place for up-to-date resources for the professional development of health professions advisors. It assists advisors in fostering the intellectual, personal, and humanistic development of students as they prepare for careers in health professions.
This article discusses at length the importance of ethics and safe limits that exist for undergraduate pre-health students in international settings. Despite the existence of multiple guidelines and policies, concerning, risky, well-intended but naive activties persist. Such as, misdiagnoses made by students resulting in stronger than needed prescrpitions, procedure complications, inncorrectly reading slides, charts, and/or exams, etc. The Working Group on Global Activities of Students at Pre-health levels (GASP) aims “to educate health professions admissions’ communities about guidelines and policies that exist for undergraduate pre-health students in international settings.” GASP highlights the unintended motivators that might probe pre-health students to engage in activities abroad that they should otherwise stear clear from. The main being “how vague language promoted by medical school recruitment efforts and found on admissions websites and in outreach materials may give the impression that premature hands-on patient care abroad actually aids applicants in gaining admission.” The article goes on to discuss the various stakeholders in crossing this unethical boundary- the main stakeholder being the patients themseleves who are in a vulnerable and trusting position. In conclusion, this makes for the perfect storm and GASP offers ways to combat these situations.