Original Publication
Open Access

Clinical Topics in Global Health: A Practical Introduction for Pre-Clinical Medical Students

Published: July 9, 2013 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9471

Included in this publication:

  • CTGH Session 1 - GH Benefits Education and Training_Presentation Notes.pdf
  • CTGH Session 1 - Intro to Global Health_Presentation Notes.pdf
  • CTGH Session 1 - Primary Health Care_Presentation Notes.pdf
  • CTGH Session 2 - Newborn Resuscitation_Presentation Notes.pdf
  • CTGH Session 3 - Mental Health Care in Rural Liberia_Presentation Notes.pdf
  • CTGH Session 4 - Child Health in Resource-Limited Settings_Presentation Notes.pdf
  • CTGH Session 5 - Liberia Health Reform_Presentation Notes.pdf
  • CTGH Session 6 - HIV TB Review_Presentation Notes.pdf
  • CTGH Session 7 - Malaria_Presentation Notes.pdf
  • CTGH Session 7 - Fever in Returning Traveler_Presentation Notes.pdf
  • CTGH Session 8 - Diarrheal Illness and Rehydration_Presentation Notes.pdf
  • Clinical Topics in Global Health_2012 Course Manual.pdf
  • Clinical Topics in Global Health_2012 Knowledge Assessment.pdf
  • Clinical Topics in Global Health_2012 Knowledge Assessment_Answer Key.pdf
  • Clinical Topics in Global Health_Instructor Guide.pdf
  • Lee - Session 1 - Primary Health Care.pdf
  • Lee - Session 3 - TH - Depression Care.pdf
  • Lee - Session 7 - Malaria.pdf
  • Lee and Chan - Session 5 - Liberia Health Reform.pdf
  • Lee and Mallampati - Session 6 - HIV TB Review.pdf
  • Nelson - Session 1 - GH Benefits & Training.pdf
  • Nelson - Session 1 - Intro to GH.pdf
  • Nelson - Session 2 - Neonatal Resuscitation.pdf
  • Nelson - Session 4 - Child Health in Resource-Limited Settings.pdf
  • Nelson - Session 7 - Fever in Returning Traveler.pdf
  • Nelson - Session 8 - Diarrheal Illness & Rehydration.pdf

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: The Clinical Topics in Global Health course introduces students to the most important global health problems with a focus on clinical practice. This multi-disciplinary, skills-based global health elective has been offered yearly to Harvard medical students since 2009. It has been particularly useful for first-year medical students who lack sufficient preparation before their international electives in the summer between first- and second-year. Methods: Ten 3-hour evening sessions introduce students to the evidence-based knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to perform at an appropriate level as a rotating student in a resource-limited international setting. Topics covered include neonatal, child, and maternal mortality, major and neglected infectious diseases, chronic non-communicable diseases, and working in global health. Results: Clinical Topics in Global Health has been offered annually to Harvard Medical Students as an optional, pass/fail elective since 2009. The course has received praise from students in two local publications. Anonymous course feedback has been positive. For example, 100% of medical student respondents strongly agreed that “I would recommend this course to my classmates and colleagues” and that “this course has prepared me to work more effectively in developing countries.” In addition, 100% agreed and 71.4% strongly agreed that “the practical skill sessions helped clarify the instruction.” Discussion: The curriculum has several limitations. First, the knowledge assessment could be more tightly aligned to session-specific learning objectives. Second, the current course website could be expanded to include social media capabilities to complement the in-class activities and provide a forum for continued engagement and mutual learning between students and faculty during students’ international electives. Third, a more formal mixed-methods evaluation could be conducted to test the efficacy of the curriculum in improving student preparedness to perform at an appropriate level as a rotating student in resource-limited international settings.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this module, the learner will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the evidence-based knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to perform at an appropriate level as a rotating student in resource-limited international settings.
  2. Understand the most important global health problems with a particular focus on clinical practice.

Author Information

  • Patrick Lee, MD: Harvard Medical School
  • Amanda Johnson: Harvard Medical School
  • Shruthi Rajashekara: Harvard Medical School
  • Alejandra Ellison-Barnes: Harvard Medical School
  • Benjamin Jastrzembski: Harvard Medical School
  • Divya Mallampati: Harvard Medical School
  • Ariel Wagner: Harvard Medical School
  • Brett Nelson, MD: Harvard Medical School

None to report.

None to report. 


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Lee P, Johnson A, Rajashekara S, et al. Clinical topics in global health: a practical introduction for pre-clinical medical students. MedEdPORTAL. 2013;9:9471. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9471