THE GMED PROGRAM enhances the College of Medicine curriculum by building targeted global health competencies. This is achieved through co-curricular and extra-curricular sessions, global health colloquia, skills-building workshops, and through the development of individual longitudinal capstone projects addressing important global health issues.
Co-curricular seminars are offered to provide education in core global health topics. These include “lunch and learn” sessions throughout the M1-M4 years, with the majority during the M1-M2 years. Topics include: global burden of disease, globalization of health, social determinants of health, global primary care, health care in low-resource settings, disaster and humanitarian response, health implications of travel and migration, global environmental health, ethics and human rights, global women’s health, global mental health, communicable and non-communicable diseases, and cultural competency.
GMED students also attend a variety of selected activities related to global health that are also available to the general student population, such as campus and city-wide lectures on global health topics, global health conferences and expositions.
GMED students participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities such as global health book clubs, movie nights, and game nights among other activities centered on global health topics to supplement the curriculum.
Global Health Colloquia
M1 and M2 GMED students participate in medical colloquia as part of their regular COM curriculum; however, GMED students attend select colloquia followed by dedicated workshops focused on community engagement, research and scholarship, and global health policy and advocacy. These workshops are designed to help GMED students build skills that will enable them to not only have knowledge, but also the tools and expertise to become global health leaders.
GMED students are required to design and complete a scholarly capstone project. The capstone is a longitudinal project where students identify a global health issue, comprehensively research this issue and participate in a project designed to address the issue. Students learn to work collaboratively, give presentations, design scientific posters, submit abstracts to global health conferences, and write a final analysis. Strategies for completing the capstone requirement could involve field research, clinical research or a systematic review. Many students travel internationally for fieldwork related to their capstones; however, this is not required. A small stipend is available for students to assist with their capstone completion.
At the end of the program, GMED students have an opportunity to share their experiences through their final capstone project presentations and written papers. Additionally, M4s are invited to a GMED retreat and a special GMED Graduation Ceremony.
Several faculty from a variety of disciplines from the UIC Center for Global Health and College of Medicine serve as mentors for GMED students along with global health faculty from other health sciences (e.g. College of Nursing, School of Public Health). Students work with a mentorship team to successfully complete their scholarly capstone projects, work with global health clinical faculty during their COM Introduction to Patient Care Course, and are exposed to global health faculty through their co-curricular, extra-curricular and colloquia sessions. Finally, GMED upperclassmen and alumni often serve as resources and mentors for the students. This network of globally-minded students, residents, alumni and faculty is an invaluable resource for GMED students looking to build their global health careers.
GMED students, similar to other UIC COM students, have the opportunity to participate in a variety of international electives. Some students participate in an elective during the summer between the M1 and M2 years, although this is not required. The focus of this elective would vary depending on the interest of the student. Options include but are not limited to: a clinical observation (particularly if the GMED student could bring added value to the experience e.g. acting as an interpreter), a research experience, a public health intervention, or an educational experience (e.g. learn about global health care systems or policies). Many students also participate in international experiences during elective time in the M4 year. Possibilities for the focus of this experience would include the above as well as a hands-on supervised clinical experience. Students independently arrange any elective opportunities and are responsible to seek scholarship and funding opportunities.