By Autumn Brogan, M.D.
International emergency medicine is a specialty that involves both the global practice of emergency medicine and the promotion of emergency medicine knowledge throughout the world. International emergency medicine (IEM) is still young in its development globally despite emergency medicine’s presence in the US since 1968. In the 1980s, the International Conference on Emergency Medicine (ICEM) was formed and has since advocated along with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) toward the formation of emergency medicine as a global specialty. The first fellowship in international emergency medicine started at Loma Linda University in 1994.
IEM fellowships provide the opportunity to gain expertise in international disaster relief, knowledge in international medicine practices, and provide an outlet by which providers can educate and practice in international settings. Fellowships offer both 1-2 year programs. Information about IEM fellowships can be found on http://www.iemfellowships.com/programs.php. Many programs offer formal education as a part of the fellowship such as a Master’s Degree in Public Health or certificate programs in Tropical Medicine or Public Health. The benefits of completing a fellowship range from gaining a broader understanding of global health to international leadership roles.