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  • I will hold myself to the highest standards of professionalism, respect, and courtesy.
  • I understand that the same standards of professionalism apply when I am abroad as when I am at home, including full disclosure about my status as a trainee, discussing patient care with a supervising preceptor, and obtaining consent in an ethically and culturally appropriate manner.
  • I recognize that personal behaviors, clinical skills, and competencies are culturally based and resource-dependent. I will be sensitive to cultural differences in standards of care, and I will respect divergent but contextually appropriate diagnostic and treatment paradigms.
  • If performing clinical care, I will care for patients under the direct supervision of a local preceptor, within the limitations established by my level of training. Where feasible, I will give all patients a choice of whether or not to have trainees involved in their care.
  • If performing research, I will ensure that the same ethical and institutional safeguards that are in place at UNC-Chapel Hill are upheld, including but not restricted to obtaining appropriate institutional review board approval and informed consent.
  • I will keep the well being of the patient foremost in my mind, recognizing the importance of honoring patient autonomy in communities with limited resources.
  • I will respect every patient’s decision-making capacity and right to privacy. This includes the context of photography and social media. I will seek permission from the patient, the program I am working with and UNC-Chapel Hill before taking, sharing, or posting any photograph or video material.
  • I will prepare as completely as possible for my global health elective, including learning about endemic diseases, local health care issues, laws, standards of care, and customs.
  • I will be responsible for my personal health and wellbeing, including but not limited to pre-departure preparation, travel health precautions, developing a management plan for existing health issues, maintenance of personal safety during the elective, and evacuation planning.
  • I will demonstrate cultural sensitivity throughout my global health experience, through all facets of my personal and professional behavior.
  • I will work with my mentors and local hosts to minimize the burden on the host institution.
  • I will strive to overcome cultural and language barriers to delivery of care, by the use of trained interpreters, community liaisons, and local health care staff where possible.
  • If I observe a breach of the above guidelines I will notify my faculty elective mentor and/or advisor as well as the leadership of UNC Office of Global Health Education.


[1] Adapted with permission from original publication: Hansoti, B, Weiner, S , Martin, I, Stephen Dunlop, S, Hayward, A, Tupesis, J, MD, Torben K. Becker, T and K Douglass.  Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s Global Emergency Medicine Academy: Global Health Elective Code of Conduct. Acad Emerg Med. Dec 2013: 20(12); 1319-20.

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