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Learn about the Global Health Pathway offered through Graduate Medical Education at IU School of Medicine.

Global Health Pathway

IU School of Medicine’s interdisciplinary Global Health Pathway engages highly motivated residents from diverse specialties to better understand the social, economic, cultural and environmental factors that contribute to health and disease throughout the world. The program seeks to equip residents to address health disparities and encourages long-term commitment to global health issues, both domestic and international. The curriculum is co-curricular alongside each participant’s residency educational mission and requirements.

Since its inception in 2011, the interdisciplinary pathway has included residents from multiple medical specialties, including pediatrics, internal medicine, med-peds, OBGYN, surgery, psychiatry, EM/Peds, peds/psych/child psych, neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, family medicine, urology, and emergency medicine. Residents from other specialties are welcome to apply.

Global Health Scholars Day is convened each spring and provides an opportunity to showcase the scholarly projects completed by residents in the track. Participants who complete the pathway requirements receive a certification in global health from the IU Center for Global Health.

Program contacts


Residents are invited to apply for the Global Health Pathway in their first postgraduate year but may apply in subsequent years if they have at least two years of residency remaining. Applications are invited along with the other GME Pathways in March.

Components of the Global Health Pathway

Each resident is required to complete an international field elective or local-global health rotation. The site for the experience is chosen by the resident. Many chose to go to Kenya through the AMPATH program, but more than one-third have been to diverse sites across the globe.

A half-day joint learning session is held each quarter. This session includes didactics, hands-on learning, case reports, journal club and discussion of ethical and medical issues encountered in global health.

The IU School of Medicine’s global health curriculum addresses emerging topics in global health. These include the socioeconomic determinants of health, global health research and ethics, infectious disease and topic medicine.

Residents meet with a mentor twice a year to discuss their progress in the global health pathway, investigate how global health might fit into their career after residency, and inspire long-term commitment to global health issues and addressing health disparities. Mentorship is encouraged to deepen and grow into other arenas, such as working on a research project together, writing up a case study or developing a conference workshop.

Residents complete a scholarly project or presentation on a global health topic related to their specialty. This may be a presentation on an IU School of Medicine campus or at a national global health conference. Examples of global health scholarly projects include:

  • Sophie Gerber, MD: Psych/Child Psych/Peds PGY5: “A Resident Physician Driven Global Health Quality Improvement Project Improves Poor Weight Gain in Children with Special Healthcare Needs in Chinese Orphanage.” Poster was presented at a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia global health conference fall 2016. (Mentor: Deb Hamby, MD)

  • Aldo Martinez, MD: Family Medicine PGY2: “Globalization and the Wave of Mosquito-Transmitted Diseases in America.” Presented at the American Academy of Family Physician National Conference AAFP FMX September 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. (Mentor: Ruben Hernandez, MD)

  • Arjun Singh, MD: Family Medicine PGY2: “Recognizing the Rise of Informatics in Global Health.” Presented at the American Academy of Family Physicians Global Health Workshop, October 2017 in Houston Texas with Ruben Hernandez, MD. (Mentor: Ruben Hernandez, MD)

“It was truly an eye-opening experience to see the way medicine is practiced in Africa and the discrepancy of resources. I’ll never forget seeing four people in one hospital bed due to overcrowding. I highly recommend going on this experience of a lifetime.”

– Patrick Wirtz, Urology Resident in Kenya

Featured Story
Doctors sitting around a table.
Global Health

Residents Join Global Health Pathway to Eliminate Health Inequities

The life and medical experiences of residents in the Global Health Pathway are varied, but they share a desire to improve care for people in underserved communities in Indiana and around the globe.


The Community Health rotation, directed by Deanna Reinoso, MD and Jill Helphinstine, MD, helps pediatric residents build skills in advocacy and brings awareness to how health inequities impact lives in Indianapolis and around the world. Watch to learn more about the importance of social determinants of health and local resources available to support Indianapolis patients and families.

Dr. Chandy John

Opportunities for research in global health draw many residents and faculty to IU School of Medicine, including Chandy C. John, MD, Director of the Ryan White Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Global Health. Hear Dr. John describe the importance of partnerships and capacity building within global health research. Trainees are often able to be involved with Dr. John's own research, which focuses on malaria pathogenesis, immunology, and epidemiology in Uganda and Kenya. 

Dr. Terry Vik

IU's Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) provides opportunities for residents and fellows to engage with global health related projects. Terry Vik, MD, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, has helped to improve leukemia and cancer care for pediatric patients in Kenya through his work with the AMPATH partnership for more than a decade.