Mobilizing and training academic faculty for medical mission: current status and future directions


  • James D Smith Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon
  • Roger P Holland MyungSung Medical College, Addis Ababa
  • J Dwight Phillips Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  • Sharon A Falkenheimer Academy of Fellows, Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, Trinity International University, Deerfield, Illinois



Mobilizing, Recruiting, Medical Education Missions


As more mission groups become involved with health care education, by starting medical and nursing schools, postgraduate training programs and paramedical professional training, there is a need to recruit expatriate faculty from high income countries to help start programs as there are few national health care education professionals available in the mission setting in most low- and middle-income countries.    This paper outlines the current status and needs for academic faculty in health care education mission settings.  A working group of medical educators met in conjunction with the Global Missions Health Conference in November 2015 and discussed the motivational factors which lead Christian academics to volunteer, both short- and long-term in mission settings.  The group then looked at barriers to volunteering and made suggestions for future directions and best practices when mobilizing academics from high income countries.

Author Biographies

James D Smith, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon

Professor Emeritus

Roger P Holland, MyungSung Medical College, Addis Ababa

Dean, MyungSung Medical College

J Dwight Phillips, Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Professor of Pediatrics


Magadza, M, SWAZILAND: First school of medicine to be built, University World News, 03 July 2011 Issue No:80, 5

Scott Firsing, How severe is Africa’s brain drain?, Quartz Africa, January 21, 2016

Cooke, Molly, David M Irby, Bridget C. O’Brien, and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 2010. Educating Physicians: A Call for Reform of Medical School and Residency. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Frenk, Julio, Lincoln Chen, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Jordan Cohen, Nigel Crisp, Timothy Evans, Harvey Fineberg, Patricia Garcia, Yang Ke, Patrick Kelley, Barry Kistnasamy, Afaf Meleis, David Naylor, Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Srinath Reddy, Susan Scrimshaw, Jaime Sepulveda, David Serwadda, Huda Zurayk. 2010. “Health Professionals for a New Century: Transforming Education to Strengthen Health Systems in an Interdependent World.” Lancet (North American Edition) 376, no. 9756: 1923–58.

Custers, EJFM and Boshuizen, HA, The Psychology of Learning, International Handbook of Research in Medical Education, Norman, GR, Van der Vleuten, CPM, Newble, DI (Eds.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002, Chapt. 5, p. 163-205

Scaling Up, Saving Lives, Task Force for Scaling Up Education and Training for Health Workers, Global Health Workforce Alliance, World Health Organization 2008

Masters of Education in Health Professions, Johns Hopkins University,

Master of Science in Medical Education Leadership, New England University,

Strand, MA, Chen, AI and Pinkston, LM, Developing cross-cultural healthcare workers: content, process and mentoring, Christian Journal for Global Health, May 2016 3 (1): 57-72

CMDA Center for Medical Missions,, accessed 8/30/2016)

Global Missions Health Conference, www.medical, accessed 8-31-2016.

PRIME: Partnerships in International Medical Education,; accessed 8/30/2016

MedSend,; accessed 8/30/2016

Oman K, Khwa-Otsyula B, Majoor G, Einterz R, Wasteson A, Working collaboratively to support medical education in developing countries: The case of the friends of Moi University Faculty of Health Sciences. Educ Health 2007; 20:1-9 (available at




How to Cite

Smith, J. D., Holland, R. P., Phillips, J. D., & Falkenheimer, S. A. (2016). Mobilizing and training academic faculty for medical mission: current status and future directions. Christian Journal for Global Health, 3(2), 168–175.

Most read articles by the same author(s)