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May 10, 2012

Thinking of working abroad? Think IHAw

Toronto is a great city – but if you work in health care and are dreaming of making an impact internationally, on May 15 you should be in the International Health Assignment Workshop (IHAw).

An interactive half-day session, IHAw introduces health-care professionals to global health competencies and concepts.

“Working abroad can be an exhilarating experience, and also a challenging one,” says workshop facilitator Lara Pietrolungo, Manager, International Program Development with SickKids International. “The IHAw workshop is designed to help Canadian health-care professionals understand the role of an international health consultant and the various factors that could influence their assignment.”

Among other topics, the workshop engages participants in learning the knowledge, skills and behaviours within the competencies for international heath consultants developed by the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA).

For Zerrin Cetin, a Business Analyst at SickKids Foundation who has worked internationally, this gave her a chance to reflect on her previous experience.  “The competency framework helped me contextualize what I had learned abroad in a formal way,” she says. “It gives you guidelines to know who you should be as a professional abroad – what you are and what you are not.”

Cetin says that for those who are thinking of working internationally for the first time, the IHAw workshop provides an interesting overview of the experiences a professional may encounter working abroad. “There’s a good mix of information,” she says. “And the examples from people who have recently worked abroad in different countries gave a nice mix of perspectives.”

The session is open to all SickKids staff with at least three months experience in the organization. The next IHAw session is May 15, 2012. Learn more and register online.