Opportunities in Global Health


luz-greta1Family Medicine prepares physicians with the focus and breadth of experience directly applicable to global health. Global health is not an easy topic to define; recent papers have in fact devoted themselves to its definition, and how it is different from International Health or Tropical Medicine.

For our purposes, a basic foundation in Global Health should include principles of social determinants of health and care of the underserved. Note that these principles do not apply simply to those practicing in developing countries, but equally to settings in the US as well. From this foundational discussion, we can then proceed to discuss the particulars of diseases affecting those of the developing world, and of the ways in which our medical students, residents, and faculty may educate themselves and others in global health.

Further Study

Students with a strong interest in this discipline are encouraged to apply for a Master’s degree in public health with an emphasis on global health. We have an outstanding track record of advising and mentoring students in this regard, and previous UVM medical students have successfully received their MPH degrees (while completing their UVM MD degree) from Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University.

We welcome your interest in this important topic! For more information, please contact:
 Omar Khan, MD, MHS, FAAFP, OKhan@christianacare.org.

Further Reading

  • Koplan JP, Bond TC, Merson MH, Reddy KS, Rodriguez MH, Sewankambo NK, Wasserheit J, for the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Executive Board. Towards a common definition of global health. Lancet 2009; 373: 1993–95.
  • Khan OA, Pietroni MP, Cravioto A. Global Health Education: International Collaboration at ICDDR,B. J Health Pop Nutr 2010 Dec; 28(6): 533-536.
  • Houpt, E. Pearson, R. Hall, T. Three Domains of Competency in Global Health Education: Recommendations for All Medical Students. Acad Med. 2007; 82:222–225.
  • Battat et al.: Global health competencies and approaches in medical education: a literature review. BMC Medical Education 2010 10:94.
  • Khan OA, Ed. Marmot M, Nathanson N, Plotkin S, Seffrin J, Chowdhury M, Castillo C et al, Assoc Ed. Readings in Global Health. APHA Press, 2008.

Family Medicine
Global Health Electives

Introduction to Global Health (FM1128)

A discussion-based curriculum utilizing papers and presentations on global health topics-foundational and thematic-providing the basics of this discipline.

Elective in Global Health (FM1130)

Rotations conducted in partnership with our collaborating institutions in Bangladesh. The predominantly-clinical rotation is based at the internationally-renowned ICDDRB. Fieldwork and public health rotation is at the Independent University of Bangladesh. Both are located in Dhaka, Bangladesh; excellent local support is provided through our partnerships with their student coordinators and faculty.

Family Medicine Clinical Elective (FM 1090)

This self designed clinical rotation in family medicine can be done anywhere in the US or internationally. Guidance is given to identify possible placements, but students are responsible for contacting and confirming sites for this rotation. This course allows significant flexibility in location and timing of rotation.

FOCUS Underserved Elective (FM 1129)

The FOCUS rotation (Fostering Opportunities in Underserved Settings) was developed with the assistance of a national grant through HRSA. This rotation provides students with the framework to work in a clinical practice working predominantly with disadvantaged individuals within the US.

Family Medicine Reading Month in Global Health (FM 1180)

More advanced family medicine students may wish to undertake a Reading Month in Global Health to explore particular topics in detail.

Current students can log on to COMET for more information.