Global Health Opportunities

Tiffany Leung, MD '12.

During a recent trip to Haiti, our students set up a clinic in an orphanage where they gave physicals, treated acute conditions and created medical charts for all 56 children.

Throughout their education, our medical students gain invaluable global health experience caring for underserved patients in developing countries.

As a UB medical student, you can participate in global health activities here and abroad, increasing your cultural competence as you respond to the needs of underserved populations.

A quarter of our medical students go on at least one of our overseas medical trips. These include weeklong stays in Haiti, Peru and Panama, and a fourth-year elective that allows you to spend one to two months caring for patients in the country of your choosing, provided it's safe to travel there.

In addition to these trips, our robust global health program includes interest groups, grand rounds and a global health track for family medicine residents.


  • FMD 890-G Cross-Cultural Medicine Elective
    This elective allows senior medical students to work under supervision in various clinical sites in other countries.
  • Global Health Scholar Residency Track
    Whether you’re caring for underserved patients in developing countires or helping patients here in Buffalo, as a global health scholar, you’ll refine your core primary care skills and enhance your cultural competency.

Global Health Trips

Students across the first three years of medical school may participate in our supervised, weeklong global health trips.

About each trip:


We live in — and work out of — a high school in Fontaine, a rural village in northeastern Haiti. We partner with Friends of Fontaine, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting community-based development in this region.

During our stay, we convert classrooms into clinic space and provide basic primary care. This includes health education, prenatal care, mental health counseling, minor surgery and other procedures. Haitian translators help us communicate with our patients.

Before traveling to Haiti, our students organize fundraisers to defray the cost of the medicine and medical supplies we bring.

This trip takes place during both winter and spring breaks.

In the winter, it’s designated for second- and third-year students; in the spring, for first- and second-year students.


We travel by boat to several rural coastal communities, providing primary care to patients in makeshift clinics we establish at each site. We partner with Floating Doctors, a volunteer organization that offers health care services and medical supplies to isolated regions.

This trip takes place during spring break. It’s designated for first- and second-year students.

As we don’t travel with translators, you’re expected to speak Spanish with your patients.


During this trip, we provide medical care to residents of Yantalo, a small community in the Peruvian Amazon jungle.

We work in a new clinic built by our partner, the Yantalo Foundation, a U.S. organization that helps meet Yantalo’s health and education needs. 

Before traveling to Peru, our students organize fundraisers to defray the cost of the medicine and medical supplies we bring.

This trip takes place during spring break. It’s designated for first- and second-year students.

We prefer that students speak at least basic Spanish, but it’s not required.

Connect With Others

  • Family Medicine Interest Group
    Network with family medicine physicians and residents, develop professionally and refine your clinical aptitude while gaining a deeper understanding of our field.
  • Global Health Interest Group
    Provides information about current international health issues and research and supports international work by students.
  • Global Health Grand Rounds
    This monthly discussion group enhances your understanding of global health delivery and needs.


Director of Global Health Education

Holmes, David

David Holmes, MD

Clinical Associate Professor; Director of Global Health Education, Department of Family Medicine; Associate Program Director, Interim Medical Director and Associate Clinical Chief, ECMC Family Medicine

ECMC Family Health Center 462 Grider Street Buffalo, NY 14215

Phone: (716) 898-4278; Fax: (716) 898-5719