Empower Medical Education in Haiti
Join the Mount Sinai Chapter of
Medical Students for Haiti
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY OF THE PROJECT
In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, Haiti continues to reel from infrastructural damage, population displacement, and a fractured healthcare delivery system. At the root of this healthcare delivery system is a critical shortage of competent physicians and clinicians. Medical Students For Haiti is a medical student organization that was founded in 2012 by a medical student at Mount Sinai to address this need. It has since grown into a 501-c3 nonprofit with over 100 members at six chapters across the United States and Canada. In just two years as a non-profit organization we have mobilized dozens of students to Haiti to work with Haitian medical students and medical institutions. We have also connected a network of supporters and donors among young professional communities in New York City, Montreal, Port-Au-Prince, and San Francisco.
The shortage of Haitian medical professionals stems from numerous factors including an inadequate number of competent clinical training programs, unstructured medical education systems, and a limited of access to basic science and clinical curricular resources by well intentioned but underfunded Haitian medical education institutions. Though there are efforts by organizations such as Partners in Health, Project HOPE, and Physicians for Haiti to address this shortage at the graduate medical education level, there is a dearth of such efforts for undergraduate medical education. Université Quisqueya is a medical school in Port-au-Prince that was devastated by the 2010 earthquake. Its medical students, though motivated, lack the access to many of the resources necessary to appropriately complete their pre-clinical training. Retention rates are estimated at 20%, with many who do graduate choosing to leave Haiti for other countries. This “brain drain” furthers the fact that there is an insufficient number of physicians practicing in Haiti. Medical Students for Haiti (MS4H) is attempting to utilize near-peer training and the concept of “academic twinning” to fill this void in the area of emergency response and basic life support competency.
Mount Sinai sends a team of Medical students to UniQ every March to teach Basic Life Support (BLS) and Emergency Medicine Skills Workshops.
- Have Americans and Canadian medical students instruct Haitian medical students in Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) and basic emergency medicine (EM) curriculum using the near-peer teaching model. This aids the training of Haitian medical students as well as increases first responder capacity in the students’ communities. The eventual goal is to incorporate a self-sustaining program in which year-long instruction is provided by Haitian students, to Haitian students.
- Provide a learning opportunity for American and Canadian medical students in the realms of global health interventions and research, medical education, BCLS, Haitian culture, and EM.
- Bring together medical students and health professionals in a global community focused on learning from peers and building solidarity.
- Use quantitative and qualitative research methods to demonstrate the efficacy of the near-peer teaching model in the global health medical education setting.
- Equip Haitian medical students at Université Quisqueya with the supplies and resources necessary to teach each other BCLS and EM skills, such as dummy models for chest compressions and bag valve masks.
"Train the Trainers"
In 2015, Mount Sinai introduced a "train the trainers" model, designed to enhance long-term, sustainable capacity-building, where Haitian students certified in BLS in previous years were trained as BLS instructors. MS4H trained 6 of these students, who then trained 12 Haitian students new to BLS.
Cumulative Number of Haitian Students Trained in BLS
Join Our team
Are you interested in joining one of the current groups traveling to Haiti? Email us with a brief description of which team you would like to apply for and we will send you more information!
Start a chapter
Are you interested in starting an MS4H chapter at your home University or Medical School? We are very open to hearing about new project idea! Email us and we will get back to you!
MS4H Mount Sinai Leadership Team
Where do we work in Haiti?
University Quisqueya (UniQ) is located in Port-au-Prince