Remote Supervision in Short-Term Global Health Experiences

Pryanka Relan, Kristy C.Y. Yiu, Henry C. Lin, Lawrence C. Loh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The global health development community is increasingly examining the phenomenon of short-term experiences in global health (STEGH), with an aim to mitigate the negative impacts of such activities on host communities. Appropriate supervision is one strategy, but various barriers (e.g., institutional requirements) limit the availability of qualified supervisors. Remote supervision represents one potential model to provide supervision that may mitigate the negative impacts of STEGH. This paper reports observed outcomes from a description of a pilot remote supervision program employed in a global health program for Canadian undergraduate students. Benefits for learners included greater confidence and independence, greater perceived effectiveness in conducting their project abroad, and reassurance of remote support from their supervisor, supplemented with day-to-day guidance from the local partner. Host communities reported greater trust in the bidirectional nature of partnership with the visiting institution, empowerment through directing students' work, and improved alignment of projects with community needs. Finally, faculty noted that remote supervision provided greater flexibility and freedom when compared to traditional in-person supervision, allowing them to maintain professional duties at home. Collectively, this pilot suggests that remote supervision demonstrates a potential solution to mitigating the harms of STEGHs undertaken by learners by providing adequate and appropriate remote supervision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5629109
JournalJournal of Tropical Medicine
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology


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