International Education Program

SwazilandThis photo of Swaziland taken by then-student Elizabeth Hall won an award at the 2010 Global Health Initiative Symposium.

The International Education Program at the Boonshoft School of Medicine was initiated in 2004 by students interested in completing clinical rotations in developing countries. Since the beginning, the program has operated as a student-run, faculty-supported component of the Boonshoft School of Medicine. Students quickly established the student service club, the Global Health Initiative, which hosts an annual symposium, raises money for travel scholarships and takes a leadership role in organizing and coordinating student travel in the first two years of medical school. Mary T. White, M.Div., Ed.M., Ph.D., serves as the faculty advisor for this student club. On a parallel track, students organized and gained support from the faculty for the International Health Program Track, a curricularly embedded focus on global health that involves both classroom and field based education. Annually, close to 30 percent of Boonshoft School of Medicine students complete the International Health Program Track, and more than 40 percent participate in international clinical experiences. Katherine Cauley, Ph.D., serves as the director of international education for the Boonshoft School of Medicine.

The International Education Advisory Board, which meets quarterly, works in concert with the Global Health Initiative student leadership to frame the components of International Education. In addition to student activity in international education, faculty are engaged in numerous projects across the globe. The International Education Advisory Board completes an annual report of student and faculty activities in global health. (Links to the annual reports are included below.)

International Education at the Boonshoft School of Medicine is an important part of the overall mission of the medical education as specifically articulated in the 2013-18 Strategic Plan.  Boonshoft School of Medicine works closely with the University Center for International Education, and this focus on international education is closely aligned with the mission and current strategic plan of the Wright State University.

International Education Advisory Board Members

International Education Curriculum

Ghana Team 2014Ghana Team 2014

International Health Program Track

The International Health Program Track includes the four components described below:

  • Health Care in Developing Countries, a classroom based course offered in the spring of the first year of medical school, is taught by Mary T. White, M.Div., Ed.M., Ph.D.
  • During the summer between the first and second year of medical school, students complete international electives in developing countries or select an Indian Health Service site domestically for a minimum of two weeks. (Examples of first year international sites are below).
  • Health Care in the Global Community, a classroom based course offered in the fall of the second year of medical school, is taught by Katherine Cauley, Ph.D., and Thomas E. Herchline, M.D.
  • During the fourth year of medical school, students complete a clinical or research rotation in developing countries or select an Indian Health Service site domestically for a minimum of four weeks. (A list of fourth year international sites is below).

Information for Students

Ghana 2014Ghana 2014

All students who wish to receive academic credit for international experiences must sign the Agreement with Wright State University, which articulates specific responsibilities of the student prior to participation in an international education experience

Students planning to complete the International Health Program Track must also complete the IHP Contract.

Additional required forms related to completing international education courses can be found on the MedU Electives web page.

Students planning to complete an international elective for academic credit must complete SMD 612 Health Care in Developing Countries or demonstrate equivalency experience by submitting a written request to Dr. Cauley that responds to the questions listed below. Generally, the following experiences do not meet equivalency standards for SMD612: a study abroad program or language immersion program in undergraduate school or high school, or traveling with friends or family for recreation. If you are a student from a developing country and you had experience living in that country when you were 14 years of age or older, and have visited that country within the last two years, then you may qualify for an equivalent experience. This class or its approved equivalent is a prerequisite to receiving academic credit for international electives during the first biennium of medical school.


Students interested in demonstrating equivalent experience to the Health Care in Developing Countries Course should respond to the following questions and submit your responses to Dr. Cauley for review.

  1. Where did you travel, for how long and under what organizational umbrella?
  2. What work did you do and who supervised this work?
  3. What were your living conditions (i.e. lodging, food preparation, transportation)
  4. What was the primary language spoken by the people with whom you worked?
  5. How would you compare and contrast the culture of the country you visited with the US in terms of social, economic, and political conditions, predominant religion, health status and health care system, public health conditions?
  6. Based on your experience, what would you suggest should be three important parts of an ethical code of conduct for medical students traveling to developing countries to assist people/communities as they may need?
  7. What would you say were the most significant things you learned about yourself that would be applicable to your work as a physician?

Students planning to complete an international elective for academic credit in the summer between the first and second years of medical school must either enroll in a faculty-directed elective or submit a Student Initiated Elective proposal for review to the B1 Elective Subcommittee at least 90 days prior to planned departure date.*

Students planning to enroll in SMD614 Health Care in the Global Community must complete the Fall Elective Options Form.

Students planning to complete an international clinical or research rotation for academic credit during their fourth year of medical school must either enroll in a faculty-directed course or submit online a Student Initiated Elective proposal for review by the B2 Elective Subcommittee at least 90 days prior to planned departure date.*

*Wright Way Policy 5601.10 — International Travel prohibits receiving academic credit for international electives that take place in countries that are currently listed on the U.S. Department of State Travel Warning List. Students may request a waiver to this policy by completing the Travel Risk Assessment and submitting it to the university provostt for consideration.

Examples of First Year International Sites

Faculty Directed Electives in Bolivia, Jamaica and Swaziland, descriptions of which can be found in the Biennium I Elective Catalog.

Sahid KathmanduSahid Kathmandu

Student Initiated Electives
First year students have participated in international electives through the following organizations:


Fourth Year International Sites Visited in the Last Three Years

Faculty Directed Electives in Bolivia, Jamaica and Swaziland, descriptions of which can be found in the Biennium II Course Descriptions

Student Initiated Electives

Fourth year students provide an evaluation of their experiences of fourth year international electives. Based on these evaluations the following sites are opportunities for which there have been positive evaluations with recommendations for future student participation.

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina, through Mente Argentina at the Hospital de Clinicas working with Nena van Beuningen, 2014
  • Dominican Republic, through Makrios International Education Development, 2013
  • Labamba, Gabon, Bongolo Hospital through Christian and Medical Alliance working with Dr. Keir Thelander, 2013
  • Accra, Ghana, through University of Ghana Medical School, working with Dr. Frank Boni, 2013
  • Pediatrics in Greece, through the University of Crete Heraklion working with Dr. I. Germanakis, 2013
  • Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, through Clinica Pop Wuj working with Dr. Christina Mendez  (Spanish important), 2013
  • Cortijo, Guatemala, through Clinica Salvatore and Buen Samaritano hospital working with Dr. Erick Estrada (Spanish required), 2013
  • Vellore, India, through Christian Medical College in Vellore working with Dr. Anna Pulimood, 2012
  • Nagoya, Japan, through Nagoya University Hospital working with Dr. Hideki Kasuya, 2013
  • Pokhara, Nepal, through Work the World at Manipal Teaching Hospital working with Dr. VM Alukar and Dr. Rao and Western Regional Hospital working with Dr. Arjun, 2014
  • Whakatane, New Zealand, through Whakatane Hospital, working with Dr. Anne Rowe, 2012
  • Muscat, Oman, through Sultan Qaboos University College of Medicine and Health Sciences, at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, working with Dr. Hani Al-Qadhi, MD hani_qadhi@hotmail.com 2014
  • Papua, New Guinea, through Kavieng Hospital working with Dr. Joseph Kuk josephmomk@gmail.com 2012
  • Arequipa, Peru, through Universidad Catolica de Santa Maria working with Dr. German Lopez gerlopez304@hotmail.com 2012
  • Kigali, Rwanda, through Kibagabaga Hospital working with Dr. Jean Baptiste Habyalimana, 2014
  • Cape Town, South Africa, Victoria Hospital, through CFHI International Health Service Learning Programs http://www.cfhi.org/web/index.php/program/ghep 2013
  • Arusha, Tanzania, Mount Meru Regional Hospital and Engaruka Dispensary, through Work the World http://www.worktheworld.com/medical-internships, 2013
  • Arusha, Tanzania, through Work the World, at Mount Meru Regional Hospital and Engaruka Dispensary, working with Dr. Godfrey, 2013
  • Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, through Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College, working with Dr. K Mteta, 2012
  • Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, through Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, working with Helmut Diefenthal, M.D.
  • Moshi, Tanzania, through Global Crossroads at St. Joseph’s Hospital working with Sr. Lyimo, 2014  
  • Rural Medicine in the Zambia, through Mwami Adventist Hospital working with Dr. Ronilo Ang ron_ang403@yahoo.com, 2013

Annual Reports


Swaziland Team 2014Swaziland Team 2014