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Pilot study of global health classroom collaboration between Otago Medical School and School of Medicine Tecnológico de Monterrey, México

A 2019/2020 Summer Studentship research project

The evaluation of the proposed The Global Health Classroom GHCR Pilot Study will provide key data for determining the feasibility of a new GHCR partnership between Otago Medical School (OMS) and Tecnológico de Monterrey, México. Global health learning is recognized as increasingly important in undergraduate medical curricula. There is potential for expansion of the GHCR within the OMS curriculum, however, this would require new partnerships for GHCR collaboration.

Student: Aniruddh Kirtikar
Supervisors: Dr Andrew Miller, Associate Professor Tony Walls, Paediatric Department UOC. Mr Roshit Bothara, 5th-year medical student UOC
Sponsor: TBC

Project brief


The Global Health Classroom (GHCR) was developed collaboratively between Otago Medical School (OMS) and partner medical schools, particularly the Faculty of Medicine at the National University of Samoa (NUS). Since 2017, the GHCR has been successfully integrated into the Paediatric module of the 5th year Medical course at UOC. This GHCR involves videoconferencing between medical student groups at UOC and Samoa, presenting and discussing clinical cases and related global health topics.

The results of a 2017 research study into GHCR were presented at the AMEE 2018 Conference, a large medical education conference. After the presentation, a further GHCR collaboration was proposed by César Lucio, a Professor of Global Health (and Paediatrician) at Tecnológico de Monterrey, México. He has confirmed that it would be feasible for a GHCR Pilot Study between our institutions in late November 2019. We propose to do this Pilot Study and its evaluation as a Summer Studentship.


Implement and Evaluate a Global Health Classroom Pilot Study between students at OMS and at Tecnológico de Monterrey, México.


The GHCR Pilot session between OMS and Tecnológico de Monterrey, México will be based on the established, successful GHCR template already routinely used at OMS. However, we expect that there will need to be some customization of the GHCR for this Pilot Study - this customization will be part of the student researcher’s role, in collaboration with the Supervisors and Prof César Lucio.

Prof César Lucio has confirmed that he will have a student group who can participate from his institution. For this Pilot we plan to recruit medical students doing Summer Studentships and Trainee Interns at UOC to participate in the GHCR videoconference in late November. There is potential to include medical students at DSM. We plan to use mixed methods research to evaluate the Pilot, utilizing electronic questionnaires for all participating students (at both Institutions) and a small number of semi-structured one-on-one interviews and/or focus groups with randomly selected participants.

The questionnaires and interview questions from previous mixed methods research of the GHCR will be available to guide the development of the evaluation questionnaires and interviews for this pilot study.

Specific consent will be required from all student participants in the Pilot Study. This will include agreement to maintain confidentiality regarding any clinical information in the GHCR session, as well as informed consent for use of the questionnaire data. Specific informed consent will be needed from the participants in the one-on-one interviews and focus groups, and for use of the data. The Study Protocols and Consent documents will be sent to the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee as part of the Ethics Application prior to the data collection. Prof Lucio will arrange for an Ethics Application at Tecnológico de Monterrey, México prior to data collection.

Student researcher’s component of the study

The student researcher, in consultation with the Supervisors and Prof César Lucio will be involved in:

  • Customization of the GHCR for this new GHCR collaboration
  • Developing electronic evaluation questionnaires (using Qualtrics or similar)
  • Sending the questionnaires to all consenting participants after the GHCR session
  • Collating and reviewing the questionnaire data
  • Developing a template for structured one-on-one interviews and/or focus group sessions with randomly invited participants
  • Setting up one-on-one interviews and/or focus group with a small number of randomly-selected, consenting participants
  • Completing an analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data from the questionnaires

Student prerequisites

Medical student or social sciences student preferred.

How to apply