HME is working in collaboration with several partner organizations in Haiti, Dartmouth College, McGill University, Université de Montréal and a number of other academic institutions to provide weekly online video lectures at various sites in Haiti. The collaboration works across health-related organizations in Haiti including (but not limited to) the Haitian Medical Association, GHESKIO, Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante, and St. Boniface Haiti Foundation. Health care professionals including physicians, social service residents, medical students and others join weekly from sites in four different departments and seven total sites in Haiti, bringing together professionals across geographic areas and organizations. The weekly lectures take place Wednesday mornings, 8-9 a.m., and are usually given in French, covering a variety of topics. This format is similar to “grand rounds,” a weekly lecture series for continuing medical education at teaching hospitals in the United States.
The online lectures are delivered via a technology platform called Vidyo, which operates well in low-bandwidth conditions. The technology is generously donated by the Vidyo company, who also provide ongoing technological support to the project. Time is allotted in each lecture for questions and discussions across the sites, which fosters dialogue and generates future teaching needs. Faculty from Dartmouth, McGill University, Université de Montréal, and other institutions have delivered over twenty-two lectures as of October 2011. All lecturers are volunteers who meet medical education standards in the United States and Canada.
The long-term goals of this initiative are to advance and integrate medical education in Haiti. In this regard, we are working simultaneously with the four medical schools in Haiti, the Haitian Medical Association and the public sector, including the Ministry of Health. Our vision is to support the faculty and students by providing lectures, training, and exchanges. We will help to develop an accreditation process for continuing medical education. Most importantly, by responding with an immediate medical education program, we want to provide academic, leadership and moral support to young physicians with the goal of forming the next generation of Haitian leaders in healthcare and medical education, and decreasing the exodus of talented physicians from Haiti.