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Academic Medicine and Science Diplomacy: Medical Education in Iraq. Acad Med 2019 Jul 30



Pubmed ID





Physicians are infrequently selected to serve in the yearlong role of Jefferson Science Fellow (JSF) as Senior Science Advisor for the U.S. Department of State or the United States Agency for International Development. The authors discuss the role of a JSF in promoting "Science Diplomacy" from the perspective of one alumnus who sites examples of ongoing, long-term collaborative projects including one focusing on medical education reform in Iraq that would not have been possible without the JSF program. More than three decades of political and social unrest, terrorism, internal displacement of millions of Iraqi citizens, the arrival of Syrian refugees, international sanctions, and the effect of fluctuating oil prices that fund education in Iraq have all led to a standstill in modernizing educational systems and the need for reform. In 2016 new opportunities for international collaboration and travel allowed faculty from the Al Kindy College of Medicine, University of Baghdad, Iraq, to visit the United States, explore U.S. medical school teaching methods, interact with U.S. faculty and students, and then, implement their vision of a revised medical curriculum. These faculty members shared their observations with the Iraqi Council of Deans, which represents all 30 Iraqi medical schools. Structural changes in curriculum content and teaching methods have been implemented with the goal of restoring quantifiable excellence in education and health care in Iraq. The authors close with lessons learned to encourage other physicians to participate in the JSF program, which offers a unique opportunity to influence foreign policy through science diplomacy.

Author List

Kron M, Roenius M, Alqortasi MAM, Alhaidari T, Hussein M, Hamid EK, Salih IK


Michael Kron MD Director, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

jenkins-FCD Prod-388 89e904233d719332173309c68ab82b0b2a78a3a7