Global health experience for premed students

February 5, 2021

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

Click here for 2021 shadowing opportunities

Global health experience for premed students is incredibly valuable, but often difficult to find. As a pre-med or prehealth student, gaining knowledge about public health and global health can help you provide better patient care and navigate the healthcare systems in different countries. 

So how do you get global health experience as a premed student

The best way is to find a program abroad that is safe, ethical, and allows you to experience the various levels of healthcare within the countryIf you are on the path to become a nurse, physician assistant, doctor, or midwife, we can help you find doctor shadowing and global health experiences abroad. 

At Global Pre-Meds, we place high standards on our hospitality, service, and our ethics. All of our programs have been designed to provide safe and amazing learning experiences. 

For your information, we have explored the various aspects of global health, including why global health is important, and how you can get global health experience

What is global health?

Global health is understanding healthcare in an international context. This includes the study, research, and practice in a variety of disciplines that focus on improving healthcare of populations worldwide.

Areas of global health include sociology, economics, public policy, epidemiology, environmentalism, geography, culture, and medicine.

In terms of medicine, global health combines population-based prevention with clinical care on an individual level. By understanding the trends in populations, you can provide better individual care. Conversely, the information obtained by healthcare professionals on the individual level contributes to the knowledge of populations on a larger scale.

At Global Pre-Meds, we understand the importance of global health experience for premed and prehealth students. That’s why we have continued to provide comprehensive doctor shadowing and global health experience programs around the world, so that you can get the first hand experience you need. 

Why is global health experience important for premed students?

The coronavirus era has instigated a shift into global health careers as we all now understand how our international healthcare systems are connected. Whatever path to healthcare you choose, understanding global health is valuable to you because it can help you provide better care for your patients

By getting global health experience, you can observe different models of healthcare delivery systems. You can observe cases that you may not otherwise get the chance to see in your home country. You will also observe different treatment options, which can vary depending on the environment and resources that are available. 

Global health experience can give pre health students like you the skills to analyze healthcare systems all over the world. You will be able to know what diseases to look out for because you understand the statistics. You will have more knowledge about preventative measures, rather than focusing solely on treatment options. 

Experiencing the challenges of rural communities and primary healthcare centers can help you understand how culture and environment impacts patient care. That’s why we’ve created our global health experience program in Tanzania, which has been designed for you to experience the broad scope of healthcare delivery systems within the country. 

How to get global health experience 

Along with our global health experience program in Tanzania, there are several ways for premed and prehealth students to get global health experience abroad. 

Some students look for mission trips or volunteer programs abroad. Many of these are shorter term trips, like ours, which allow you to travel on your school breaks. 

However, it’s important to make sure that whatever mission trip, volunteer, or medical program you choose, you know it is safe and ethical. Many hospital shadowing or medical programs abroad have earned bad reputations for putting students and patients in unsafe situations. 

You are a student and not a medically trained professional. Therefore, you should not be performing any medical procedures. At Global Pre-Meds, we follow all ethical guidelines from the American and British Medical Associations when it comes to student shadowing. We actually take it a step further and prohibit physical contact between students and patients. 

Because of our strict ethical and safety procedures, we are able to safely put students right in the thick of the action on hospital frontlines. We give you a well rounded, first-hand experience in international healthcare. 

Our program takes you into the Hehe and Maasai tribal villages to spend a day with each of these distinct cultural groups. You will meet the traditional healer of the village to learn about healthcare in these rural communities. Through a translator, you will be able to ask any questions about what kinds of cases they see and their treatment methods.

You’ll be able to go into the communities to observe their way of life and see how these environmental and lifestyle factors may impact their healthcare. 

You will also spend several days at a local health center to shadow medical doctors in a more formal setting. These primary healthcare facilities handle routine checkups and vaccinations, as well as HIV cases, traumas, heart conditions, and even births. 

Getting a true global health experience means gaining an understanding of the various avenues for healthcare delivery within the country. This means the formal healthcare system, as well as the other ways patients may treat themselves. In the case of the tribal communities of Tanzania this sometimes means visiting traditional healers. You want to make sure that your program helps you get the most out of your experience in a foreign country. 

To find a comprehensive learning experience, you can reach out to your school health clubs, such as HOSA – Future Health Professionals, or ask your school advisor for recommendations. 

If you search the internet for curated programs, like ours, or volunteer/mission trips, just make sure that they are safe and reliable. Check for vetted reviews and talk with your parents and advisor before you make a commitment. 

If you are looking to further your knowledge of global health, consider our program in Tanzania. You can learn more and apply here