Published online May 14, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i18.2283
Revised: December 27, 2010
Accepted: January 3, 2011
Published online: May 14, 2011
Latin America is characterized by ethnic, geographical, cultural, and economic diversity; therefore, training in gastroenterology in the region must be considered in this context. The continent’s medical education is characterized by a lack of standards and the volume of research continues to be relatively small. There is a multiplicity of events in general gastroenterology and in sub-disciplines, both at regional and local levels, which ensure that many colleagues have access to information. Medical education programs must be based on a clinical vision and be considered in close contact with the patients. The programs should be properly supervised, appropriately defined, and evaluated on a regular basis. The disparity between the patients’ needs, the scarce resources available, and the pressures exerted by the health systems on doctors are frequent cited by those complaining of poor professionalism. Teaching development can play a critical role in ensuring the quality of teaching and learning in universities. Continuing professional development programs activities must be planned on the basis of the doctors’ needs, with clearly defined objectives and using proper learning methodologies designed for adults. They must be evaluated and accredited by a competent body, so that they may become the basis of a professional regulatory system. The specialty has made progress in the last decades, offering doctors various possibilities for professional development. The world gastroenterology organization has contributed to the speciality through three distinctive, but closely inter-related, programs: Training Centers, Train-the-Trainers, and Global Guidelines, in which Latin America is deeply involved.