The International Education Program at the Boonshoft School of Medicine was initiated in 2004 by students interested in completing clinical rotations in developing countries. Since the beginning, the program has operated as a student-run, faculty-supported component of the Boonshoft School of Medicine. Students quickly established the student service club, the Global Health Initiative, which hosts an annual symposium, raises money for travel scholarships and takes a leadership role in organizing and coordinating student travel in the first two years of medical school. Mary T. White, M.Div., Ed.M., Ph.D., serves as the faculty advisor for this student club. On a parallel track, students organized and gained support from the faculty for the International Health Program Track, a curricularly embedded focus on global health that involves both classroom and field based education. Annually, close to 30 percent of Boonshoft School of Medicine students complete the International Health Program Track, and more than 40 percent participate in international clinical experiences. Kate Conway, M.D., M.P.H., serves as the director of international education for the Boonshoft School of Medicine.
The International Education Advisory Board, which meets quarterly, works in concert with the Global Health Initiative student leadership to frame the components of International Education. In addition to student activity in international education, faculty are engaged in numerous projects across the globe. The International Education Advisory Board completes an annual report of student and faculty activities in global health.
International Education at the Boonshoft School of Medicine is an important part of the overall mission of the medical education as specifically articulated in the 2013-18 Strategic Plan. Boonshoft School of Medicine works closely with the University Center for International Education, and this focus on international education is closely aligned with the mission and current strategic plan of the Wright State University.
International Education Advisory Board Members
International Education Curriculum
International Health Program Track
The International Health Program Track includes the four components described below:
Information for Students
All students who wish to receive academic credit for international experiences must sign the Agreement with Wright State University (PDF), which articulates specific responsibilities of the student prior to participation in an international education experience.
Additional required forms related to completing international education courses can be found on the Electives web page.
Students planning to complete an international elective for academic credit must complete SMD 612 Health Care in Developing Countries or demonstrate equivalency experience by submitting a written request to Dr. Cauley that responds to the questions listed below. Generally, the following experiences do not meet equivalency standards for SMD612: a study abroad program or language immersion program in undergraduate school or high school, or traveling with friends or family for recreation. If you are a student from a developing country and you had experience living in that country when you were 14 years of age or older, and have visited that country within the last two years, then you may qualify for an equivalent experience. This class or its approved equivalent is a prerequisite to receiving academic credit for international electives during the first biennium of medical school.
Students interested in demonstrating equivalent experience to the Health Care in Developing Countries Course should respond to the following questions and submit your responses to Dr. Cauley for review.
- Where did you travel, for how long and under what organizational umbrella?
- What work did you do and who supervised this work?
- What were your living conditions (i.e. lodging, food preparation, transportation)
- What was the primary language spoken by the people with whom you worked?
- How would you compare and contrast the culture of the country you visited with the US in terms of social, economic, and political conditions, predominant religion, health status and health care system, public health conditions?
- Based on your experience, what would you suggest should be three important parts of an ethical code of conduct for medical students traveling to developing countries to assist people/communities as they may need?
- In the community where you worked, what do you think was the impact of your presence?
- What would you say were the most significant things you learned about yourself that would be applicable to your work as a physician?
Students planning to complete an international elective for academic credit in the summer between the first and second years of medical school must either enroll in a faculty-directed elective or submit a Student Initiated Elective proposal for review to the B1 Elective Subcommittee at least 90 days prior to planned departure date.*
Students planning to enroll in SMD614 Health Care in the Global Community must complete the Fall Elective Options Form.
Students planning to complete an international clinical or research rotation for academic credit during their fourth year of medical school must either enroll in a faculty-directed course or submit online a Student Initiated Elective proposal for review by the B2 Elective Subcommittee at least 90 days prior to planned departure date.*
*University Policy 9510.10 — International Travel prohibits receiving academic credit for international electives that take place in countries that are currently listed on the U.S. Department of State Travel Warning List. Students may request a waiver to this policy by completing the Travel Risk Assessment (PDF) and submitting it to the university provostt for consideration.
Examples of First Year International Sites
Faculty Directed Electives in Jamaica and Swaziland, descriptions of which can be found in the Biennium I Elective Catalog (PDF).
First year students have participated in international electives through the following organizations:
Fourth Year International Sites Visited in the Last Three Years
Faculty Directed Electives in Bolivia, Jamaica and Swaziland, descriptions of which can be found in the Biennium II Course Descriptions.
Student Initiated Electives
Fourth-year students provide an evaluation of their experiences of fourth year international electives. The following sites are opportunities for which there have been positive evaluations with recommendations for future student participation.