FMD 890-G Cross-Cultural Medicine Elective (Global)

(G = Global, in-person experience in another country or in a medically underserved area of the United States)

This elective allows senior medical students to work under supervision in various clinical sites in other countries. The sites and experiences are varied and may include inpatient, outpatient and/or community health experiences. The purpose is for students to serve in practice settings where they must rely on fund of knowledge, history and physical exam skills with minimal technological support. For students interested in research, this elective can be adjusted to include global health research experiences. Scholarship funding is available to assist students in participating in this international elective.

Doing an international health rotation will be an incredible experience! You’ll strengthen your history and physical exam skills and learn a lot about a different culture, country, medical system, economy and language as well as different diseases. It will provide for a unique opportunity to learn from people and make new friends in a low-income country or wherever you decide to go.

There are opportunities to learn about tropical medicine, public health, infectious diseases, neglected tropical diseases and so much more. You can go almost anywhere in the world (as long as there’s no travel restrictions posted by the US State Dept). You can also go to medically underserved places in America, such as rural Alaska, Indian Reservations and public health sites. Wherever you go, it will be an exciting way to learn and serve those in need.

For questions about this elective contact Dr. Holmes at

Some of the specific goals of this elective are to:

  • enhance skills in diagnosis of undifferentiated presenting complaints
  • improve judgment with respect to use of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  • develop an appreciation for social, cultural and economic factors in the presentation, etiology, course and management of illness
  • improve sensitivity to health consequences of public policy and economics
  • sharpen understanding of preventive intervention from a public health perspective
  • increase consciousness of cost implications of clinical decisions

Students must meet with Dr. David Holmes to discuss and plan out the elective prior to registering for it.

Prerequisite: MS3 or MS4

Modules: A-K. Minimum rotation, 4 weeks

No. of students: unlimited

Course Director: David M. Holmes, MD

Course Coordinator: Michelle Kasprzyk