Our mission and educational philosophy

BGU-MSIH-CU  Medical School for International Health

The mission of the Medical School for International Health (MSIH) is to address the need for medical education that focuses on the interface between global health and community and preventive medicine. Admission is open to exceptional individuals of all nationalities who wish to prepare themselves for careers in global health and population-based medicine. The MSIH seeks outstanding students with the academic preparation, maturity, and commitment to master a rigorous medical school curriculum and to benefit from the demands and opportunities associated with graduate study within the diverse cultural environment of Israel.

Selection is based on the applicant’s overall potential for successful completion of the degree as indicated by undergraduate GPA, MCAT scores, extracurricular experience, recommendations, and interview assessments.


The MSIH recruits and admits individuals who can envision themselves working as physicians in diverse cultural contexts under demanding conditions.  We urge our students to embark upon and consider their experience in our medical school as a first-step in a life-long journey in global health.


In 1996, in affiliation with Columbia University's Health Sciences Division the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev instituted a four-year medical degree program to graduate doctors with special skills in primary care and community, preventive, and population-based medicine.

The Medical School for International Health concentrates on these areas of medicine as they impact on problems of global health and is designed to address emerging issues in healthcare worldwide. Graduates of the Medical School for International Health will have the skills to treat individuals, promote health and prevent diseases in populations.

In accordance with the humanistic mission and founding spirit of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School, the Medical School for International Health (MSIH) seeks to attain a balance between medical education, medical science, and medical care by emphasizing the human perspective of community medicine and global health.


It aims to promote excellence in students who wish to be at the forefront of a new kind of medical education that addresses the need for physicians who are sensitive to personal and population needs, community issues and global concerns. It emphasizes critical knowledge, skills, and attitudes that enable practitioners to deliver and manage health care for diverse populations in a culturally sensitive, cost-effective manner.


In keeping with these values, the MSIH provides students with several channels of communication with the faculty and administration and invites their participation as class representatives, course representatives, and as partners in ongoing efforts to evaluate and strengthen the curriculum and overall educational experience.


As an extension of BGU's focus on patients as human beings first and foremost, and to underscore the high value placed on clinical skills at BGU, the MSIH curriculum includes early high-quality clinical teaching.  Our students take the Physician's Oath at the beginning of their first year of medical school and are required to complete global health clinical days that emphasize early clinical training and the many ways in which cross-cultural communication influences the physician-patient relationship.


Global health diagramIn addition to cultivating the personal qualities and academic credentials that characterize outstanding physicians, graduates are expected to help shape policies and lead research in global health, primary care, cross-cultural and community medicine. They will be equipped to improve health care systems for diverse populations in their own countries and internationally. To this end, we have identified the following core areas and specific competencies that are integral to the practice of Global Health in which graduates can expect to gain proficiency.

We consider the following three core areas to be integral to the field of Global Health: cross cultural issues; program development; and management.  Their relation to medicine and to one another is illustrated by the diagram above.

In addition to the standard medical curriculum, students studying for their M.D. degree will be taught about the impact of economic, socio-political, cultural, environmental and policy factors on the health of individuals and populations.  They will also learn how to use this knowledge to advance policies to promote health and prevent disease.  Graduates of the MSIH will possess competencies in the following areas:

•  Communicating and working effectively with people from different cultural backgrounds


•  Making medical and health decisions on behalf of patients and communities with sensitivity to ethical issues of diverse communities.


•  Diagnosing, treating and monitoring individual and community health problems and needs.


•  Delivering culturally sensitive, high quality health care within the framework of the political/economic/cultural conditions of a given community.


•  Providing medical care to developing communities and underserved areas according to the principles of primary and community care.


•  Practicing preventive medicine and determining the risks for individuals and populations associated with different environmental, epidemiological, and nutritional conditions.


•  Using medical technology to solve practical medical problems, access medical information resources, and chart the progress of individual patients and/or monitor epidemiological studies.


•  Playing a leading role in cooperating with, and obtaining help from, appropriate agencies and global healthcare organizations in response to disasters, epidemics, and other global health crises.


  • Global Health Curriculum
  • Chart your course
  • Global Health Clinical Clerkships
  • About MSIH