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A Global Health Elective can be taken as the one-week Introduction to Global Child Health Course and/or a one-month global health elective at an approved international site. Those interested in completing a global health elective abroad are highly encouraged to participate in the didactic course prior to travel. 

Alternative Elective Options

Residents are also able to complete the Introduction to Global Child Health Course as an independent study on the Children’s National educational website – contact Kathy Ferrer, M.D., if interested.

In addition, residents may complete the Immigrant Health Elective as their Global Health Elective. The immigrant health elective also fulfills criteria for a global child health certificate. During the immigrant health elective, residents rotate at primary care sites serving a large, diverse immigrant population in Washington, D.C. In addition to completing an online immigrant health curriculum, residents engage with local medico-legal partnerships and community advocacy organizations.

Preparing for An International Experience

As you consider participating in international work, several considerations should be made regarding the site you choose. Whether selecting from among sites already established by Children’s National or The George Washington University, or if you decide to seek a site independently, it should meet the following criteria: 

  • Political stability exists in the area
  • Personal security in the location can be reasonably assured
  • Safe housing can be arranged prior to departure
  • Access to clean food and safe drinking water is available
  • Transportation to the facility (by any means, walking or other) is available
  • Telephone and/or Internet access is available
  • A local mentor for you exists and you communicate with him/her prior to arrival
  • Local healthcare workers or physicians work alongside you and provide some supervision during the experience
  • Local healthcare workers continue to care for patients (and are assisted, but not replaced, by you)
  • Communication between you and local healthcare workers is in their language or you make arrangements for an interpreter