In October 2010, with its first formal teaching trip to Black Lion Hospital in Ethiopia, the Toronto-Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration in Emergency Medicine (TAAAC-EM) was launched. Its vision is to create an enduring academic and educational collaboration whereby Ethiopian emergency specialists are trained to lead their country’s healthcare system and teach future generations of physicians.
In Ethiopia at present, life expectancy is 56 years and the nation is ranked 174 (out of 187) on the United Nations Human Development Index. Ethiopia faces the enormous challenge of providing 96.5 million people with basic health care amongst a critical health care worker shortage. Only 1800 physicians exist, resulting in 1 doctor for each 45,000 people, none of whom are emergency physicians. Up to 80% of medical graduates in recent years leave the country, often beginning, with a foreign training experience. TAAAC-EM aims to contribute to changing this situation by providing opportunities for in-country training, leading to increased retention of health professionals and encouraging a stronger system of public emergency care for the Ethiopian people, most of whom can’t afford to participate in the more developed private system.
TAAAC-EM has been developed by a group of dedicated U of T volunteers (see below) from the Department of Medicine and the Department of Family and Community Medicine. It will engage the EM residents at AAU throughout their three-year program using a model similar to the TAAPP program, that of thrice yearly teaching visits by two volunteer faculty and a postgraduate resident. It will also provide academic support from afar that includes mentorship, research collaboration and curriculum development.
Involving different divisions and faculties, the TAAAC-EM endeavour exists as a true, cross-disciplinary academic exchange. It allows the U of T’s greatest resource, the accumulated knowledge of its committed teachers and scholars, to be shared in an environment where it can be translated to maximum effect and where, under the guidance of Ethiopian colleagues, it can continue to grow in new directions.
The experience is available to all U of T EM faculty and postgraduates. Please contact us for more information on how to participate in Canada or to volunteer for a teaching trip.
- James Maskalyk FRCP(EM) – Director
- Megan Landes CCFP(EM) – Director
- Cheryl Hunchak CCFP (EM) – Curriculum Director
- Lisa Puchalski-Ritchie FRCP(EM) – Research Coordinator
- David MacKinnon CCFP(EM) – Postgraduate Coordinator
- Sara Berman MPH –Program Manager