Global Health

Global Health Training for MD Students

MD students at IU School of Medicine can benefit from a variety of global health experiences. Beginning with the first year of training, medical students take a course that advances their cultural competency and can join a student interest group dedicated to global health. Summer and spring break programs allow for deeper immersion, and a range of electives allow for specialty focus in various aspects of global health.

ENLACE: Alternative Spring Break – Nicaragua

The Alternative Spring Break experience in Nicaragua is open to first- and second-year medical students as well as any graduate-level professional student at Indiana University. Participants spend the week of Spring Break learning about Nicaraguan history and the Nicaraguan health care system as they complete a four-day service project constructing composting latrines while living with a Nicaraguan host family in a rural community. The goal of this program is to heighten participants’ awareness of global public health issues, hone their understanding of infrastructure development, and deepen cultural competencies as a means to encourage lifelong commitments to social advocacy and engagement. For more information, email Jennifer Custer.

ENLACE: Nicaragua Summer Language and Cultural Immersion

The Nicaragua Summer Language and Cultural Immersion program, available to rising second-year and fourth-year medical students, is designed to immerse students in a developing country to gain a direct understanding of the language in Nicaragua, and the systematic, policy and experiential differences between health care in the United States and in other countries. Participating students live in Nicaragua for four weeks during the summer months between their first and second year of medical school. In the first week, students receive a historical and cultural introduction to Nicaragua and participate in a four-day public health initiative constructing composing latrines in a mountain village. During weeks two-through-four, students live in the community of La Concepción with a host family, participate in daily Spanish classes, shadow Nicaraguan health care providers and volunteer in the community. For more information, email Jennifer Custer.

Global Health Summer Education Internship

Rising second-year medical students can participate in the Global Health Summer Education Internship Program during the summer months. Participants establish and conduct research in global health while working collaboratively with key stakeholders to develop curricular materials to present as part of the IU School of Medicine Medical Research Day. For more information, email Jenny Baenziger.

Slemenda Scholars Program

Two- to- three rising second-year medical students are invited to travel to Eldoret, Kenya for 8 – 10 weeks during the summer months. Students learn about the many facets of the AMPATH program, live alongside Kenyan students at Moi University School of Medicine, complete projects and present their activities as part of the IU School of Medicine Medical Student Research Day. For more information, email Jenny Baenziger or email Ron Pettigrew.

MD Electives

Fourth-year medical students compare and contrast health care systems in the United States and China during a one-month medical rotation in the third-largest city in China: Guangzhou. Students learn about differences in health care systems in urban and rural China and analyze community health problems in the context of political, sociolegal, cultural and economic factors. Email Marcus Schamberger, MD, or Zao C. Xu, MD, for more information.

Fourth-year medical students are invited to spend two months in Eldoret, Kenya. Students live alongside Kenyan medical students working in wards (one month general medicine, one month in either pediatrics or surgery) and outpatient clinics, and participate in AMPATH-related and local activities, including the Tumaini Center for Street Children and the Imani Workshop. Students attend lectures and discussions on ethical and global health issues facilitated by permanent IU School of Medicine faculty in Kenya. Upon return, students complete a debriefing session, a journal article or book review, and a reflection/analysis paper. Email Jenny Baenziger or email Ron Pettigrew for more information.

Fourth-year medical students can travel to various areas across the globe to learn about and participate in health care in a developing country. Participating students complete orientation and debrief sessions, write a journal article or book review, and submit a reflection/analysis paper. Email Jenny Baenziger or email Ron Pettigrew for more information.

Fourth-year medical students looking for international experience without leaving the United States may choose to participate in local avenues of health care for the Indianapolis global populations. Under the direction of Ruben Hernandez, MD, and the Department of Family Medicine, students spend time at clinics that serve a high volume of Hispanic and Burmese patients as well as the IU Travel Medicine Clinic, IU International Medicine Office, Immigration Welcome Center, the refugee intake clinic through the Marion County Health Department, and the Indiana Latino Health Organization.