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Recalibrating our efforts: from globalisation to glocalisation of medical education
  1. Halah Ibrahim1,2,
  2. Sawsan Abdel-Razig3,4
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  3. 3Department of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  4. 4Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Halah Ibrahim, Department of Medicine, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, 51900 Abu Dhabi, UAE; halahibrahimmd{at}

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Increased economic integration and technological advancements in communication and transportation over the past several decades have spurred growth in cross-national investment, migration and cultural exchange. Nations, economies and people are increasingly interconnected and interdependent; increasingly ‘globalised’. The concept of globalisation entered the mainstream vocabulary in the 1990s, but its history has been fraught with controversy.1 Primarily an economic process involving domestic deregulation, trade liberalisation and privatisation, globalisation can have profound social and cultural ramifications. Proponents highlight the economic benefits and improved standards of living for many communities, while opponents of globalisation focus on the disproportionate channelling of wealth to larger Western nations and the further disempowerment of populations who lack the skills to meaningfully participate in this flow of information and resources.1

Similarly, the globalisation of healthcare has also inspired competing interpretations and perspectives. Historically, the globalisation of health has referred to the cross-border flow of healthcare professionals for employment, patients for medical services and public health and research measures across nations. These broad categories reflect the challenges in defining this critical concept that informs social policy, drives change and impacts population health outcomes. More recently, the globalisation of medical education has been used to describe the transnational transfer of curricula, practices and accreditation standards, the global movements of faculty and medical trainees, and the establishment of international branches of medical schools and academic institutions.2 3 The importation of Western-based competencies and educational modalities has sparked discourse around the potential for ‘homogenisation and …

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  • Contributors HI and SA-R were involved in the conception and design of the study. HI wrote the first draft of the paper. SA-R critically revised the manuscript. Both authors are accountable for the manuscript and approved the final manuscript for publication.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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