Globalization, climate change and travelling have expanded the geographic areas of diseases that were thought to be restricted to particular regions. ID specialists need skills for evaluating patients with infections usually not seen in their countries. The utilization of immunosuppressive therapies has increased and ID specialists in developing countries are being asked to evaluate such patients. In developed countries, ID specialists are seeing more diseases from the tropics.
We summarize our successful experience over the last 6 years with a web-based, low cost, highly interactive, case-based learning activity involving 2 partner ID divisions in Peru and the US (Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and University of Alabama at Birmingham). The activity was initiated after faculty from both countries reflected on ways to expand awareness and knowledge of entities that could be seen by ID providers in their countries. The main objective was to promote bidirectional teaching and learning of ID between both institutions, focusing mostly on tropical diseases and infections in immunocompromised individuals.
The format is a 1-hour session with 2 cases, 1 from each institution, 6-8 times a year. After a brief presentation by a faculty member of the H&P, key laboratory, and imaging findings, a colleague from the partner institution discusses the differential diagnosis and management, followed by the first speaker who reveals the diagnosis and closes with a brief review of the literature. A second case is presented from the other institution with the same format. Throughout the discussion, all attendants can contribute to the differential. The sessions are in English via Polycom® or Skype®. This activity has offered exposure to many disorders not commonly seen in one or the other country. The UPCH and UAB fellows have evaluated it as very beneficial.
We believe this learning model provides an effective way of expanding training in areas not usually covered in local curriculums or practices, and helps grow collaboration among institutions in different countries. This collaboration has also allowed for occasional curbsides with the partner institutions informally discussing current cases.
E. Gonzalez, None
J. H. Willig, None
J. L. Alave, None
C. Seas, None
F. Mejia, None