ASU professor receives Fulbright award to improve medical training

Thursday, October 1, 2020

David Sklar, a physician and professor at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award in medical education research and lecturing to work with faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to improve population health training for their medical students.

Sklar, who is also a senior adviser to the ASU provost, will spend next summer in Ireland as part of a yearlong effort to develop a new curriculum for Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland students that advances knowledge and skills to improve overall individual and community health beyond basic diagnosis and treatment of disease. This includes teaching ways to lower health care costs, improve health care providers’ mental and physical well-being, and raise awareness about other factors that affect a patient’s health, such as socioeconomic status, education level, and the surrounding environment.

Because the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is a medical school that includes campuses in Ireland, Bahrain and Malaysia, with a student body from all over the world, this socio-ecological curriculum model promotes a global perspective in medical education that aims to motivate students to serve populations most in need of health care.

“This model emphasizes the dynamic interplay of the individual and the various influences of family, community, health policy, the environment and other global effects,” Sklar said. “We will be integrating innovations that are being developed and tested all over the world and strive to match them with the unique interests and needs of (the college).” 

ASU Provost Mark Searle commended Sklar for his work to promote population health from a medical training perspective.

“ASU is proud to contribute to global health through the Fulbright program and is confident that Dr. Sklar will improve international collaboration through his work on innovations in health professions education at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland,” he said.

Sklar is one of more than 800 U.S. citizens who will conduct research and teach abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in the coming year. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 students, scholars, artists, teachers and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and find solutions to shared international concerns. The program is sponsored by the U.S. government and is funded annually by the U.S. Department of State.