The global health curriculum of weill cornell medical college: How one school developed a global health program
Education, Medical, Undergraduate
Since 2009, a multidisciplinary team at Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) has collaborated to create a comprehensive, elective global health curriculum (GHC) for medical students. Increasing student interest sparked the development of this program, which has grown from ad hoc lectures and dispersed international electives into a comprehensive four-year elective pathway with over 100 hours of training, including three courses, two international experiences, a preceptorship with a clinician working with underserved populations in New York City, and regular lectures and seminars by visiting global health leaders. Student and administrative enthusiasm has been strong: In academic years 2009, 2010, and 2011, over half of the first-year students (173 of 311)participated in some aspect of the GHC, and 18% (55 of 311) completed all first-year program requirements.The authors cite the student-driven nature of GHC as a major factor in its success and rapid growth. Also important was the foundation previously established by WCMC global health faculty, the serendipitous timing of the GHC's development in the midst of curricular reform and review, as well as the presence of a full-time, nonclinical Global Health Fellow who served as a program coordinator. Given the enormous expansion of medical student interest in global health training throughout the United States and Canada over the past decade, the authors hope that medical schools developing similar programs will find the experience at Weill Cornell informative and helpful.