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Acad Med. 2013 Jan;88(1):124-30. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182765768.

Structured global health programs in U.S. medical schools: a web-based review of certificates, tracks, and concentrations.

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Global Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.



To determine the prevalence and requirements of structured, longitudinal, nondegree global health (GH) programs (e.g., certificates, tracks, concentrations) in U.S. MD-granting medical schools.


In March 2011, two reviewers independently searched the Web sites of all 133 U.S. MD-granting medical schools and reviewed Google search results seeking evidence of, information about, and the requirements of structured GH programs. The authors excluded programs that were not open to medical students, granted a degree, and/or required medical students to extend training time.


Of 133 institutions analyzed, 32 (24%) had evidence of a structured GH program. Of the 30 (94%) programs for which the authors could find further information online, 16/30 (53%) were administered by the medical school, whereas 13/30 (43%) were administered by a different entity within the university; 1/30 (3%) was jointly administered. All 30 of the programs required additional didactic course work. The median number of courses was 4 (range: 1-12). Of the 30 schools with GH programs, 22 (73%) required an international experiential component, but only 12/30 (40%) specifically required an international clinical experience. Only 1 school (3%) directly addressed language or cultural proficiency.


Although structured GH programs were offered at one-quarter of U.S. medical schools, little standardization across programs existed in terms of requirements for didactic, clinical, scholarly, and cultural components. Online GH program information is not easily accessible, but it may be valuable in the development of new structured programs, the refinement of programs that already exist, and students' selection of medical schools.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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