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Global Health Curriculum


Weill Cornell Medicine has a long tradition of global health. The Office of Global Health Education oversees the global health programs at Weill Cornell Medical College. The Global Health Curriculum (GHC) was first piloted in the 2009-2010 academic year. The GHC is a faculty-student-run elective that spans the four years of medical school. The curriculum includes course modules, a preceptorship program, mentorship, and opportunities for an applied experience (4 week; 6-8 week; and year-off). Students may participate in as many parts of the curriculum as they like. Those who complete the entire curriculum will be recognized at graduation (Certificate in Global Health) and have the opportunity to be considered for Honors in Research or Honors in Service.

Area of Concentration

As part of the WCMC curriculum reform, all students beginning with the Class of 2018 are required to identify an Area of Concentration (AOC). The Global Health Curriculum is offered as an AOC.

Focus: The Global Health AOC is designed to prepare WCMC students to be future leaders in global health through a longitudinal elective program featuring didactic course work, experiential learning, and a mentored pathway for engaging with resource-poor communities. Students participate in interactive didactic session, mentored research, and field experiences tailored to the student's personal interest.

Goals and Learning Objectives:

  • To acquire a perspective of the transnational, global nature of health and disease
  • To identify global health priorities
  • To examine how ethnic, social, behavioral, economic, sociocultural, and political factors influence morbidity and mortality

Significance: It is imperative for medical students to acquire knowledge of the global burden of disease including understanding factors (social, behavioral, political, and economic) that contribute to disease in developed and developing countries as well as understanding sociocultural differences, beliefs, and norms of their patients and how these factors influence morbidity and mortality.


Intro to Global Health - Spring of MS1

Mix of lecture and case studies. Topics include global burden of disease, HIV, behavior change, non-communicable diseases, child health, and advocacy.

Foundations in Global Service (FIGS) - Spring of MS1

Interactive course exploring practical and ethical considerations for working/studying abroad.

Experiential Learning & Lectures

Global Health Preceptorship

Within the MS1 course, a global health preceptorship program pairs the student with a physician who provides care to the uninsured, underserved, homeless, immigrant population. The focus is on health inequity in the US.

Applied Experience Options

Applied experiences may be taken during the summer after 1st year and in the 4th year.

Some students take a year off between MS3 and MS4 to study and live abroad. This gap year could be funded by the Fulbright/Fogarty program, Doris Duke program, and The Office of Global Health Education.

Some students elect to stay within the United States and work in an underserved area; e.g., on an American Indian reservation, in an inner city.

Global Health Grand Rounds

A lecture series in which renowned leaders speak on cutting edge global health issues.

A reception or dinner with the speaker and students in the Global Health Curriculum is held.

Career Seminars

Informal sessions over dinner with a physician who has incorporated global health in his/her career.

Journal Club

The Global Health Journal Club is a student initiative designed to offer students an opportunity to discuss global health topics, including Global Mental Health, Climate Change, Gun Violence, Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Low Cost Technology Development, and Maternal and Child Health.

For any questions regarding the Global Health Curriculum, please contact

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