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Global Health

LOCATION: International Location
PRECEPTOR: Melanie Fisher, M.D., M.Sc. Director, Global Health Program
DURATION: 4 weeks maximum
OFFERED: Selected months:  usually February and April – other months only with permission (WVU Medical Students ONLY)
MAXIMUM ENROLLMENT: 20-25 students
STATUS: Elective


  1. To provide fourth year medical students with experience in the practice of medicine in an international setting.
  2. To introduce medical students to important global health issues.
  3. To prepare students for international travel.

Students taking this elective will spend 4 weeks in a WVU-affiliated overseas hospital or clinic. Students in the Global Health Track will have the option of spending two 4 week rotations on a global health site.  Sites currently include Barbuda, Brazil, China, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Italy, Oman and Paraguay.  Medical faculty serve as preceptors at the site during the 4 week rotation.  Any student taking the elective must receive approval from Student Services. WVU School of Medicine also participates in the GHLO (Global Health Learning Opportunities) program which offers global electives approved by the AAMC. Through this program, students can apply for approved rotations in many countries. For more information, please visit their website (https://www.aamc.org/services/ghlo/).

Methods to Achieve Objectives

The student will attend clinics/and/or hospital rounds at the site, as well as small group teaching sessions. To prepare for their elective abroad, students are required to do the following:

  1. Attend a MANDATORY "mini-course" (usually 2-3 hours long) at WVU, Morgantown, early in their fourth year to cover important aspects of global health and travel medicine.
  2. Write a 2-3 page paper on a medical or public health problem in the country to which they will travel.
  3. Attend a MANDATORY meeting with the GHP Director and Program Coordinator the month prior to their departure.
  4. Visit a Global Health Program approved Travel Clinic at least once prior to travel.

Examination Procedures and Evaluation Criteria

Daily observation at the site by the faculty mentor and a short paper on an international topic (e.g., disease prevention, nutrition and infectious diseases, immunization practices and strategies). Upon completion of the rotation, students must complete an evaluation of the rotation as well as a brief paper reflecting on their experience at the clinic or hospital abroad (1-2 pages).

Pre-Rotation Instructions

On the first day report to: Site to be pre-arranged.

Additional Information for Interested Students