The undergraduate field-research experience in Global Health: Study abroad, service learning, professional training or 'none of the above'?

Journal Article

Interest in short-term international placements in global health training for U.S.-based medical students is growing; the trend is mirrored for global health undergraduate students. Best practices in field-based global health training can increase success for medical students, but we lack a critical framework for the undergraduate global health field experience. In what ways does an undergraduate field experience in global health resemble a medical student's first international health elective? Is it more similar to a study-abroad programme or a service-learning experience with a focus on personal development, civic responsibility and community engagement? This article suggests that an undergraduate global health field experience contains features of both the international medical elective and a traditional service-learning programme. I analyse a case study of a short-term U.S.-based undergraduate global health project and explore the intersections of research, professional training and service learning.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stewart, KA

Published Date

  • June 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 53 - 71

Published By

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1755-2281

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1755-2273

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3167/latiss.2013.060204