General Information about the GHDT
- Do I have to apply to join?
Medical students complete a survey to express their interest in the Global Health Distinction Track. This allows us to learn a little about them and their interests. They may join the GHDT during the first semester of year 1.
- What if I want to do more than one distinction track?
It is possible to complete more than one distinction track. Students should let the co-directors know their plans so options can be discussed.
- Do I need prior travel experience?
It is not necessary to have any prior travel experience. Students are prepared for travel by enrolling in our year 1 course, MED 891C Global Health Externship. Six sessions are held over the course of the academic year to discuss relevant topics. Students are prepared further for travel in year 4 when they take MED 896A/MED 896O Global Health Intensive Course. This covers a wide range of global health topics as well as sessions with hands-on experience.
- Can I take MED 891C Global Health Externship if I’m not enrolled in the Global Health Distinction Track?
Yes. It is possible to take this course as a year 1 medical student without enrolling in the distinction track. This course is a prerequisite for those students who would like to travel internationally in year 1.
- Will I learn a foreign language during my field work?
Acquiring foreign language skills is not a primary objective of the Global Health Externship. In evaluating a site/program that has a foreign language component, the goal is to spend the majority of time and focus on global health, not on language acquisition. If the intent is to do field experience in a location where the primary language is one in which the student is not fluent, it is best to make sure that their skill level is high enough to meet the requirement of the program in order to function well during the rotation.
- What does the 1st year externship typically cost? 4th year clinical preceptorship? How does the cost break down?
Information regarding program cost, room and board and local transportation can be found by contacting the program/site. Students can also get a general idea from reviewing the site evaluation database as the costs paid are included.
- Are there sources of grant funding for travel expenses?
The Graduate & Professional Student Council (GPSC) awards travel grants during 4 rounds per academic year, https://gpsc.arizona.edu/travel-grants. This site includes details regarding grant award amounts, eligibility, application & faculty statement of support deadlines, selection criteria, as well as additional information. Please read all details carefully as applications must be submitted in relation to dates of travel.
- Can a student outside the University of Arizona apply/participate?
No, this distinction track is available only to medical students at the University of Arizona. However, students from other medical schools are welcome to take MED 896A Global Health Intensive Course or MED 896O Global Health Online Intensive Course.
- Is there a travel checklist for MED 891C Global Health Externship? Or MED 891A Global Health Clinical Preceptorship?
Yes, these checklists describe all the necessary steps for international travel along with required forms and deadlines. Students should contact the global health coordinator for more information.
- What happens if I get sick on my rotation?
Students should consult their site supervisor/coordinator for medical assistance. Contact the Global Health office if an illness or medical issue becomes more emergent.
- Are there special vaccines needed for travel?
We recommend that students contact the Campus Health Travel Clinic at 520-621-9202 for an appointment two to three months prior to departure for immunizations. A pre-travel appointment is a good idea as well to discuss recommended immunizations, prophylactic medications and specific health advice for preventing and treating other illnesses that may be encountered (telehealth or in-person).
- While I am at my rotation site, what do I do if there is a natural disaster or other event and I need to leave?
There will be a session during MED 891C Global Health Externship (year 1) that covers travel safety to discuss these details. Information will be provided regarding emergency contacts and phone numbers as well as procedures. This information will be provided to year 4 students who do an international rotation as well.
- I have a valid passport. Are there any restrictions on the expiration date in order to travel?
Passports must be valid for at least six months after the day travel begins.
- Do I need a Visa to travel in addition to my passport?
To see if a Visa is needed for your destination, check at Travel Document Systems. An eVisa may be applied for on this site.
- Does the University of Arizona provide travel insurance? Evacuation insurance?
After students register their travel with the UArizona Global Travel Registry, the student is automatically covered by a blanket policy that includes any and all official University of Arizona international travelers. This is only urgent and emergency-based coverage so if routine care may be needed while at the site, students would need supplemental insurance from a private provider.
- Can my partner/spouse/friend join me on the rotation?
This travel is limited to students enrolled in a global health course at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
- How do I choose a country and find a program to do my field work?
Review the site evaluations in our Learning Sites database to discover more about your site of interest and details previous students provided. Students may also suggest a new site that meets the clinical and community health goals of the course. Sites are reviewed by the global health co-directors for approval before any arrangements proceed.
- Do I receive credit for the GHDT?
Medical students earn University of Arizona credit for GHDT courses, although credits for the year 1 course, MED 891C, do not count toward graduation.
- How many students have graduated with distinction in global health? What specialties do GHDT students enter for residency?
See the breakdown of our COM graduates who have participated in global health, those that have completed the distinction track, and the distribution of residency specialties.