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Certificate in Global Medicine

What is the Certificate?

Medical students are able to pursue a variety of didactic, research, and clinical experiences in global health at Yale. The Certificate program organizes coursework and international experiences into a longitudinal curriculum that a student can complete over four (or five) years of medical school, while maintaining flexibility in terms of both the timing and content of these opportunities.

Each student compiles a Global Health Portfolio as they complete each portion of the curriculum. A faculty committee in charge of administering the Certificate will review each applicant's portfolio and, if approved, the Certificate will be granted upon graduation from the School of Medicine.

Yale School of Medicine's program provides its students with a comprehensive experience in which they study global health in the classroom and in the clinic, locally and internationally. We expect that graduates of the Certificate program will have a strong foundation in the principles of global health research and clinical practice, and will be positioned competitively for residency programs and careers with a focus on global health.

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How do I earn the Certificate?

In order to earn the Certificate, a student must complete all requirements before graduation from medical school. Students will be responsible for completing the curriculum at their own pace, although the program provides recommendations for when to complete each component of the Certificate. Students will be responsible for maintaining an electronic portfolio of materials (including reflection papers) to be submitted at the beginning of the final semester of medical school for review by the Certificate committee.


A student must declare their participation by completing the Certificate in Global Medicine Application for Enrollment no later than June 30th of their FIRST year of medical school. Graduating students who have submitted their declaration application must complete and submit ALL of requirements of the Certificate by February 1st of the graduating year.

Completion of MD Degree

Award of the Certificate is contingent upon completion of the degree program at the School of Medicine. The Certificate cannot be earned independently of the degree. Because the overall Certificate involves a number of requirements open only to MD or MD/PhD students, students from other graduate and professional schools will not be eligible for the Certificate.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment for students in the Certificate program occurs in several ways.


  • The Certificate program requires attendance in certain didactic courses. Attendance is kept at the Global Health Seminar, Topics in Global Medicine and Health Elective, and Global Mental Health Elective, and records will be checked each year to ensure that adequate attendance was attained by a student who wishes to receive course credit.
  • Students must take the qualifier at the end of the Medical Microbiology and Epidemiology and Public Health Courses. In addition, students must submit their presentation outline for the EPH course.

Reflection Papers

Upon completion of each activity required for the Certificate, a student must complete a "reflection paper" discussing their experiences. This is a well-validated method of assessment in line with the principles of the Yale System. The length of the paper varies with each activity (4-5 pages for clinical and research activities, 1-2 pages for courses, etc). These papers will assist students in organizing their thoughts and faculty reviewers in understanding the student's experience in each component of the program.

Global Health Portfolio

Students are required to compile each of the requirements (listed above) into an electronic portfolio. This includes specific coursework, publications, and presentations, as well as reflection papers. Maintenance of the portfolio is the student's, not the office's, responsibility. The portfolio will be submitted to the Faculty Review Committee by February of the year of graduation.

Faculty Review Committee

During the year of graduation, a student who wishes to earn the Certificate will have their portfolio reviewed by a faculty committee led by Dr. Rohrbaugh, which will determine whether the student has completed all of the requirements necessary to earn the Certificate. This committee will meet regularly and will be composed of faculty members active in global health education and/or research activities. Faculty may be from clinical or basic science departments. If there is a question as to the student's eligibility, they may be called to a meeting with a member of the committee to assess whether the student has completed all requirements to earn the Certificate.

Certificate Requirements and Frequently Asked Questions

REQUIREMENT 1: Global Health Coursework

Complete the following coursework requirements.

1. Global Health Seminar (recommended, 1st year). 75% attendance. Provide a 5 page paper on a topic of interest covered in the Seminar.

2. An elective course related to global health offered at Yale.

Submit all coursework for inclusion in your portfolio. (Possible courses include: Topics in Global Medicine and Health Elective, Global Mental Health Elective, U.S. Health Justice Elective, Medical Anthropology, etc.)

In addition, provide a 1-2 page summary of your educational experience related to global health.

For the following three content areas, which are either a section within a course in the Yale medical curriculum or a thread throughout the medical curriculum, please provide a 1-2 page summary of your educational experience related to global health.

3. Medical Microbiology

4. NCDs

5. Epidemiology and Public Health

REQUIREMENT 2: Scholarly Work

Conduct basic science or clinical research that focuses on an important topic in global health. If this work is not your thesis, provide either an 8-10 page multidisciplinary report or present a poster on your research, including the social, political, economic, and cultural context of the work and the relevance of the results to understanding a specific topic in global health. Posters must be excepted and presented at one of the three poster presentation opportunities (Global Health Day (Internal Medicine), Global Health Day (Surgery), or Student Research Day).

REQUIREMENT 3: Global Clinical Experience
Participate in at least one international or domestic clinical experience during the 4th or 5th year. It is preferred that the elective be at one of the sites offered by the Office of Global Health Education (OGHE), however, OGHE will consider a non-affiliated site. All electives must be approved for inclusion by Dr. Rohrbaugh beforehand. Upon completion of the elective, provide a 5 page reflection paper on your experience in global health for inclusion in your portfolio. This may be the same paper that you are required to complete for the rotation.
REQUIREMENT 4: Language/Culture Appreciation

Demonstrate appreciation for the language/culture of a non-American/non-English-speaking population by:

a. Conducting research or providing health care services in a language other than English. Provide a 4-5 paper reflecting on this experience.

b. Appropriately utilizing a translator in a health care interaction in an international setting as a part of your International Clinical Elective or Scholarly Work. Provide a 4-5 paper reflecting on this experience.

c. If your international work involves an English-speaking population, reflect on your experience with the population's customs and culture. Provide a 4-5 page paper reflecting on this experience.

REQUIREMENT 5: Global Health Leadership

Serve for 1 academic year as a leader in a global health organization, or global health activity, that directly addresses global health issues internationally or locally, for example, a Global Health Advocate for your class, helping to lead one of the global health electives, serving as the Global Health Coordinator for OGHE, or a leadership role at HAVEN, etc.

Provide a 4-5 page paper summarizing your involvement and reflecting on the challenges and opportunities it presented.

REQUIREMENT 6: Additional Global Health Experience

Reflecting on your course work and your clinical away experiences, provide a 5 page essay on how global health principles have been important in your work with patients in New Haven.

What are the goals and objectives for the Certificate?

Upon completion of the requirements for the Global Health Certificate Program, the student will be able to:

1. Describe the importance of social, political, economic, and cultural factors in the health and disease of populations living outside the United States.
2. Demonstrate an appreciation for the language and culture of a non-American and/or non-English speaking population.
3. Apply the basic principles of epidemiology and statistics to understanding the incidence, prevalence, and risk factors for disease in international populations.
4. Compare and contrast the health care system and services of the United States with those in other countries, both developed and developing.
5. Explain strategies for providing health care services, including health promotion, disease prevention, and medical treatment, to individuals and populations in resource-poor settings.
6. Recognize the extent of health care inequality in both the United States and other countries, and explain how inequality can impact the health outcomes of populations and their access to health care services.
7. Demonstrate how to conduct a focused, culturally appropriate medical history and physical exam with limited laboratory and supplemental tests in a resource-poor setting, and generate a focused differential diagnosis in this setting.
8. Develop and communicate a culturally sensitive plan of care that takes into account risks, benefits, alternatives, and financial consequences for a patient in a resource-poor setting.
9. Be aware of and discuss the challenges of serving as a health care provider for individuals from a cultural background other than your own.
10. Demonstrate qualities of leadership, organization, and collaboration that are crucial for engagement in global health activities.
11. Appreciate the medical profession’s responsibility to society, both in our own country and throughout the world. These responsibilities should include not only service to the underserved or disenfranchised members of our own society, but also advocacy for the care of the disadvantaged persons in other nations, who bear a heavy burden of disease, death and disability.


Download the Application. When filling out the Proposed Academic Plan section, you may find this Sample Academic Plan helpful. Fill out the application directly in the PDF, save the form as a new file, and name the file following this convention: LAST NAME_First Name CGM App.

Who should I contact with questions?

Please contact either our Global Health Staff or our Student Coordinators for Global Health:

Student Coordinators