International exchange programs and U.S. medical schools

Acad Med. 2008 Oct;83(10 Suppl):S53-7. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318183e351.


Background: International health experiences have been shown to increase students' and residents' interest in public health, their likelihood of choosing a career in primary care, and their commitment to serving the underserved. The purpose of the current study is to describe the international experiences available to students and residents at U.S. allopathic medical schools.

Method: An online survey was conducted to collect information about the types of international opportunities in medical education provided to faculty, students, and residents at U.S. allopathic medical schools.

Results: Reponses from 103 representatives of 96 U.S. allopathic medical schools were included in the analysis. A variety of opportunities for students and residents was reported, with 59% of the respondents reporting elective rotations for residents, 11% reporting a global health track for students, and 45% reporting opportunities to perform preclinical research abroad.

Conclusions: Despite associated costs and risks, U.S. medical schools are developing and refining international health experiences for medical students and residents.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Curriculum / statistics & numerical data
  • Education, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Education, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Foreign Medical Graduates / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • International Educational Exchange / statistics & numerical data*
  • Private Sector / statistics & numerical data
  • Public Sector / statistics & numerical data
  • Training Support / organization & administration
  • Training Support / statistics & numerical data
  • United States