The Global Health Equity Pathway prepares medical students with the knowledge, skills, and critical perspectives needed to advance health equity locally and globally. Pathway students are selected each year through a competitive application process. As part of the Pathway, students build longitudinal relationships with UCLA faculty and partner organizations to:
- develop and implement global health projects in research, public health programming, and/or policy/advocacy;
- network and receive mentorship towards future career goals;
- contribute to equitable and sustainable global health partnerships; and
- develop leadership skills. Those who complete all requirements of the Pathway will have details of their achievement noted in their MSPE (Dean’s Letter).
- The epidemiology and global burden of disease
- The architecture of global health
- Structural and social determinants of health
Develop skills to:
- Address health inequity and improve health outcomes
- Employ critical self-reflection in the practice of medicine
- A global health community and network both within and outside DGSOM
- Global Health Selective is the first activity associated with the Pathway and is typically completed by first year medical students. The Selective is comprised of lectures, panels, and small group discussion sessions and takes place each fall between September and November.
- Foundations for Discovery with a partner organization (requires a minimum of three weeks based at a partner organization in order to better understand the local context, global health needs, and explore opportunities for longitudinal projects during Discovery Experience).
- Discovery Experience with a partner organization (requires 4 months based at a partner organization working on a project related to global health or health equity).
Additional Activities (opt.)
Participation in the following:
- Los Angeles Global Health Conference
- UCLA Global Health Case Competition
Active engagement in global health leadership:
- Planning committee for the Los Angeles Global Health Conference
- Planning committee for the UCLA Global Health Case Competition
- Advising the curriculum committee or leading small group discussion for the Global Health Selective course
Pathway students spend their first year of medical school meeting with potential mentors who are committed to health equity research, advocacy, and/or public health.
After their first year of medical school, Pathway students can choose to spend a minimum of three weeks at either a community or global partner site in order to 1) meet mentors and key stakeholders; 2) learn about the political, historical, and structural determinants of health at the site; and 3) begin to develop a longitudinal project for the Discovery Experience. Students going abroad also meet with GHP faculty and UCLA peers while in-country in order to promote peer learning and engagement with core global health competencies. After engaging with the partner site, students produce a brief concept note outlining a potential project for their Discovery Experience. Students then continue developing the project during their second year of medical school.
Funding is available for student travel related to Foundations for Discovery. Mentor awards are also available for faculty who serve as mentors during the Foundations for Discovery. For information on funding opportunities, please visit our Resources page.
Experiential learning: based at partner site for a minimum of 3 weeks (optional)
- Understand context (and social determinants)
- Build partnerships
- Identify a global health question that should be answered
- Self-reflection and humility
Weekly Zoom calls with other students and GHP faculty
- Peer learning/teaching
- Build a global health community
- 1–2 page concept note on a potential Discovery Experience project with partner site
Pathway students typically spend a minimum of four months during their third year of medical school at a community or global partner site in order to conduct the bulk of their longitudinal project. Students work with their partner site to develop unique projects that best suit the partner's needs and the student’s background and skills. All projects must have a global health and/or health equity focus. Projects may include clinical or social science research, policy/advocacy, public health programming, and/or monitoring and evaluation.
Students meet with GHP faculty and UCLA peers throughout the Discovery Experience to promote peer learning and engagement with core global health competencies. Upon completion of the Discovery Experience, students produce a written report describing their project, outcomes, and lessons learned. If the Discovery Experience results in a publication or a formal report, this may be submitted in lieu of a written report.
Funding is available for student travel related to Discovery. Mentor awards are also available for faculty who serve as mentors during the Discovery Experience. The application and funding mechanisms for the Discovery Experience are in development for the first student cohort participating in Fall 2023.
Experiential learning: based at partner site for 4 months
- Build equitable and sustainable partnerships
- Address a global health problem
- Use graphics and scholarly writing to disseminate research/project findings
- Engage in self-reflection and humility
Monthly reflection Zoom calls (faculty and GHP Discovery students)
- Faculty mentoring
- Peer learning/teaching
- Build a global health community
Monthly WIP Zoom calls (faculty and GHP Discovery students)
- WIP: Work-in-progress
- Use graphics and presentation skills to highlight work
- Learn other methodologies and contexts/health concerns in global health
- Manuscript or professional reports/thesis
We value the experience students gain from pursuing longitudinal scholarly work and offer funding to help Pathway students cover expenses associated with research (e.g., software costs), publication fees, or conference attendance (domestic or international, as travel allows). Students can apply for funding once a year for each year they are part of the Pathway and actively meeting Pathway requirements, for a maximum of $1,000 (per student per year).
Review the application for funding and requirements carefully, and reach out to both Dr. Traci Wells and Vijeta Vaswani with questions regarding your application.
Interested in joining the Pathway? Read how some of our recent Pathway graduates engaged in global health while at DGSOM.
Applications for the Global Health Equity Pathway are included in the general DGSOM application and submitted concurrently. Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions, please contact the Director of Global Health Research, Dr. Kate Dovel (KDovel@mednet.ucla.edu).