Integration of Global Health into the Curriculum

Global Health coursework is incorporated within the standard four-year medical curriculum as follows:

The four-week orientation program includes an overview of Israeli cultures and geography with emphasis on the populations and medical services in the Negev region of Israel. Students are also introduced to global health, medical ethics and emergency medicine and language skills.

Years I and II
First-year students take the full-year Clinical and Global Medicine course, which includes a formal introduction to global health and medicine via the study of:

  • Introduction to International Health and Medicine
  • History of Global Health and Current Global Health Players
  • The Global Burden of Disease and Determinants of Health
  • Introduction to Healthcare Systems and MSIH Modules
  • The Israeli Healthcare System
  • Global Health Economics
  • Nutrition and Food Science
  • Health Policy and Communication Skills
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Disaster Management, Displaced Persons, Refugees and Terrorism
  • Aging Populations
  • Mental Health
  • Poverty and Health
  • Primary Care in Global Health
  • Environmental Health Issues

As part of this course, students also develop their cross-cultural communication skills through weekly visits to health care facilities serving Israel’s diverse communities, such as the Bedouin, Ethiopian and Russian immigrants, and kibbutzim.

Global Health modules are taught in a two-year cycle. Four 8 to 12 hour modules are taught each year. Each student is required to complete four modules of their choice by the end of Year II. Modules offered for the 2010-2011 academic year are:

  • Birth as a Human Rights Issue
  • Health and the Environment
  • Health Inequities - Local and International Perspectives
  • International Child Health
  • International Health Organizations
  • International Health Promotion
  • Medical Humanism through the Arts
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Nutrition in Global Development
  • Travel Medicine
  • Urban Health for the Poor and Underserved


The Global Health Enrichment Lecture Series is presented by distinguished visiting professionals. Recent topics have included:

  • The Palestinian Health Care System
  • Medical Plants in Tribal Societies
  • Cross-Cultural Bioethics.

During Years I and II, Global Health is integrated in the standard medical school curriculum of basic science courses and courses in body systems with the insertion of material pertinent to Global Health in lesser developed countries and populations.

Year III
Clerkships in clinical medicine during Year III include exposure to diverse populations and various medical facilities, such as major medical centers, community clinics, and mobile units serving remote desert communities.

A two-day intensive workshop (developed by students) in cross-cultural medicine emphasizes communications skills and awareness of cultural diversity.

Students also complete an introduction and preparation for the two-month Global Health clinical clerkship that takes place in Year IV.

Year IV
The Global Health clincal clerkship is a supervised two-month elective in a lesser-developed region of the world consisting of aone-month clinical rotation (with local students) at a university teaching hospital, one month at a rural primary healthcare center, and completion of a supervised research project that addresses a relevant community health issue. The Global Health clinical clerkship takes place between mid-January and mid-March of Year IV.

Participants in the teaching and ongoing development of the Global Health curriculum include:

- Faculty from Ben-Gurion University and Columbia University

  • - Visiting faculty from institutions affiliated with Ben-Gurion University and Columbia University
  • - Practitioners in the field of IHM from organizations in global health and relief services
  • - Leaders in health care policy-making and planning from around the world
  • Global Health Curriculum
  • Chart your course
  • Global Health Clinical Clerkships
  • About MSIH