Two University of Florida faculty members have joined Haitian partners in an effort to bring much-needed continuing medical education opportunities to Haiti’s physicians. Continuing medical education, or CME, which is designed to help physicians stay up-to-date with new medical knowledge, has never before been offered to Haiti’s medical doctors.
“Haiti has a variety of important health problems and substantial morbidity and mortality. A key to tackling these problems is to have competent physicians who are up-to-date and are practicing evidence-based medicine,” said Arch Mainous, Ph.D., a professor in the department of health services research, management and policy in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions.
Mainous and Madsen Beau de Rochars, M.D., M.P.H., a UF research assistant professor of health services research, management and policy, serve as international partners of the Haiti Ministry of Public Health and Population’s Joint Committee on Continuing Medical Education. Chaired by Haiti’s Minister of Health, Alex Larsen, M.D., the committee also includes government officials, medical school deans and presidents of specialty societies in Haiti.
The committee has been charged with implementing a national CME program consistent with the needs and culture of Haiti. Beau de Rochars and Mainous, who have both participated in a variety of initiatives in Haiti, will provide expertise on the design, creation and implementation of CME and how lessons learned from other countries could be successfully applied to Haiti in order to improve medical care for the entire population.
“CME improves patient outcomes because all doctors improve their medical knowledge,” said Mainous, also vice chair for research in the department of community health and family medicine at the UF College of Medicine. “It improves health care for all patients, rural or urban, rich or poor, as well as those seen in primary care or by specialists. This effort could revolutionize how medical care is conducted in Haiti.”