HEALTH FRONTIERS IN TIJUANA: A STUDENT´S INITIATIVE TO CREATE A BI-NATIONAL CLINIC ALONG THE UNITED STATES -MEXICO BORDER LINKED TO A BI-NATIONAL COURSE TO TRAIN MEDICAL STUDENTS ABOUT GLOBAL HEALTH
1 Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (MEXICO)
2 University of California, San Diego (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The Tijuana-San Diego metropolitan area is located at the northwest border region between Tijuana, Baja California, México and San Diego, California, United States (U.S.). The 2010 census revealed the population of this area was almost 5.2 millions, making it the largest bi-national conurbation shared between the United States and Mexico.
Tijuana´s population has increase in the past three decades. There are many migrants from the southern states of Mexico and also many deported individuals coming from U.S. jails, who arrive to Tijuana and remain in poor socioeconomic conditions with few opportunities for improvement. Impoverished Mexican residents with little access to quality health care and public health services that arise in the Mexican side of the border, also impact significantly the border health of residents on the U.S. side. These are some of the reasons why there is an urgency to create strong partnerships among Higher Education Institutions, Non Governmental Organizations (NGO´s), and Government Health Agencies from both sides of the border, to train the next generation of border physicians able to prevent the growing burden of chronic and infectious diseases.
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and Department of Global Public Health, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) School of Medicine and Psychology campus Tijuana, Prevencasa (a grass root NGO in Tijuana for the underserved) and ISESALUD (Mexican Public Health Services) built a bi-national partnership initiated and driven mainly by UCSD and UABC medical students, to create the first Bi-national Student-Run Free-Clinic involving faculty and students from both UCSD and UABC Schools of Medicine to teach students about global health, healthcare for the underserved, and cultural competency, using a low cost electronic medical records in resource constrained settings. Two faculty, one from UCSD and one from UABC, created a Binational curriculum in English and Spanish and it has been formally registered as part of the medical school curriculum at both Schools.
The Health Frontiers in Tijuana (HFiT) course was started on July of 2011 providing the opportunity to medical students from both sides of the border to participate in clinical trainings alongside faculty from both medical schools at the HFiT Bi-national Student-Run Free-Clinic in Tijuana (HFiT Clinic). The course has been a success shown by the student’s course evaluations, describing HFiT as highly valuable and satisfactory for their medical training.
Keywords: Binational curriculum, Students´initiative, free clinic, USA and Mexico-border.