Wednesday, November 18, 2009

International medical consulting opportunities

There are many international health consulting opportunities out there. Do you know where to find them? How well do you understand the health care issues that other countries face? Are you familiar with the needs of Honduras? Kenya? Italy? What about China? Thailand? Vietnam? In many countries around the world, we see models of universal health care coverage. Other countries have huge health care disparities due to a lack of access in rural areas. Here in the U.S., we often see gaps in care related to different cultural and ethnic factors that may influence patient behavior. As we try to tackle some of these public health issues that are culturally rooted, it often feels like an international health consulting project.

I've recently had the opportunity to work with a small group of physicians on an international health IT consulting project. Many countries are looking for ways to effectively leverage information technology to improve health care delivery. As computers become more affordable throughout the world, there are a growing number of consulting opportunities where we can help countries improve their health care delivery and educate consumers about disease prevention and self management.

So, back to the original question: do you know where to find these types of consulting projects? It has to start with your connections. One of my recent projects came about through a friend from my MIT college days in Boston. He was working on something with several business school classmates and had pulled together a group of physicians and IT consultants. This is a classic example where a team was formed through a series of professional and alumni social networks. If you're not expanding your social network and reconnecting with old friends, then you may be missing some great opportunities.

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