International clinical rotation opportunities allow PA students to work with diverse patient populations, develop cross-cultural understanding, reflect on ethical aspects of global health learning, and explore health systems and approaches to medical care in other nations. Yale University and the Yale School of Medicine has a long tradition of supporting students in global health learning. As President Peter Salovey has stated, “Yale is at the forefront of educating the next generation with leadership skills in global health to improve the health and well-being of people around the world. I hope we will continue to build our global health work across the University.” This shows the University’s commitment to improving the global world and supporting all students engaged in global health learning. This requires students to be prepared for a safe experience prior to and during travel abroad: https://your.yale.edu/work-yale/campus-services/travel/international-travel.
The Yale Physician Associate Program is also committed to this cause and has enabled students the opportunity to complete a 4-week elective clinical rotation abroad since 2007. Clinical rotations outside the United States not only prepare PA students to learn medicine with diverse patient populations but also expose students to different cultures, communities and languages. PA students often learn alongside local trainees under the mentorship of clinical preceptors with long standing partnerships with our PA program. These experiences can be transformative.
An international rotation elective experience is merit-based, and placements are made via an application process and multidisciplinary committee review. PA students must be in good academic standing in order to be eligible for this international elective.
To support the traveling PA student, Yale provides a generous stipend to cover travel and travel clinic costs. Personal protective equipment, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) medications for those traveling to HIV endemic areas, and evacuation insurance are provided at no cost to the student. Over the past few years students have completed international clinical rotations at sites in Argentina, China, Peru, Uganda, and Rwanda.