ucla global health pathway

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

This Pathway is a longitudinal commitment to engaging in activities related to health equity, both locally and globally, throughout medical school. As part of the Pathway, students receive UCLA faculty mentorship and support for research, career planning, networking, and the development of leadership skills.

We encourage interested students to join the Pathway regardless of their career interests, which might include research, clinical practice, teaching/training at academic medical centers, and/or opportunities with government agencies, multilateral organizations, or nongovernmental organizations, with a focus on health equity.

Pathway requirements

1) Scholarly global health equity project 

All Pathway students are required to complete a scholarly project prior to graduation. We have adapted our typical internationally-focused project requirement to include domestic projects that address health issues affecting diverse communities locally, and not just those outside of the U.S.

Students will have a primary UCLA faculty mentor to guide them in their project(s), which can include, but is not limited to, a longitudinal research or policy/advocacy project, or participation in a quality improvement effort. The project can be based on work initiated during the Global Short-Term Training Program (GSTTP), or arise from other projects designed with the student’s mentor(s).

Each student will complete a scholarly deliverable for their project, e.g., an abstract presented at a conference or a formal publication. The scholarly project must be approved by the Pathway Director (Dr. Dan DeUgarte, [email protected]) to ensure it meets the Pathway’s requirements. We recognize that COVID-19 has prevented many students from participating in typical global health experiences (such as host-country GSTTP placements) and many of those who have an interest in global health are also interested in pursuing domestic health equity work. Please contact Dr. DeUgarte if you are unsure as to whether your proposed scholarly project meets the objectives of the Pathway.

2) Participation in three Work-in-Progress Meetings (WIPs)

We are committed to providing students in the Pathway with opportunities to build or fine-tune their global health skills, and to network with other students and GHP faculty and staff. Through our Work-in-Progress Meetings (WIPs), colleagues in the fields of global health/health equity come together to discuss students’ research/scholarly projects and to develop skills in specific areas, such as data analysis, data management, data visualization, creating presentations, etc.

WIPs provide second-year Pathway students an opportunity to present their ongoing research/scholarly projects and discuss challenges or bottlenecks. Mentors and peers are encouraged to actively participate, contribute to a supportive learning environment, and provide advice and targeted teaching. WIPs may also feature educational talks from faculty and staff on relevant topics, including conducting a literature review, writing a research manuscript, research methods, and submitting proposed research for Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.

WIPs are typically held from 12-1pm throughout the fall. In order to meet Pathway requirements, second-year students are required to present at one and participate in at least two additional WIPs. WIPs are open to any student in the Pathway, as well as those first-year students who are exploring or interested in a topic covered in a particular WIP. For questions about the WIPs, please contact Rachel Abbott, GHP Program Coordinator ([email protected]) and review this one-pager on WIP responsibilities for students.

3) Participation in at least two of four additional global health equity activities (please note that travel is contingent on DGSOM’s policies regarding travel for trainees, as well as the safety conditions at the global site):

  • MS1/MS2: Global Health Selective, which includes attendance at a variety of lunchtime lectures and evening events throughout the fall. Requirements vary each year.
  • MS1/MS2: Global (or “Local-Global”) Health Leadership Role, which may include serving as a leader of the Global Health Selective (available to MS2 students who enrolled in the Selective as first-year students), the planning committee for the Los Angeles Global Health Conference, the Global Health Case Competition, and/or other local or UCLA-affiliated leadership opportunities (e.g., asylum clinic, mobile clinic). If you are interested in leadership opportunities and/or unsure as to whether an opportunity meets Pathway requirements, please contact GHP Director of Education, Dr. Traci Wells ([email protected]).
  • MS1-MS2 SUMMER: Global Short-Term Training Program (GSTTP), which provides the opportunity for students to engage in mentored summer research or public health experiences at a UCLA-affiliated partner site (travel contingent on safety). Students may also participate in “local-global” health disparities research projects. Applications for our summer research experiences are open to all medical students. Please review the GSTTP webpage for additional information/requirements.
  • MS4: Senior Global Health Clinical Elective, which exposes students to the practice of medicine in low- and middle-income countries, or at underserved sites in the greater LA area. Applications for our global health clinical electives are open to all medical students and spots are not guaranteed for Pathway students. Please review the Senior Global Health Clinical Elective webpage for additional information/requirements.

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