There has been a continuing rise in recent years of the number of medical schools in the developed world offering 'global health' teaching to its students. Yet, the term itself is used in a number of contexts and as yet no clear consensus on what constitutes an appropriate or successful global health education programme has been reached. Approaches to sustainable internationalisation of medical curricula include the expansion of not only opportunities for training in specific global health topics, but also the development of broader generic graduate attributes including global citizenship and ethical, cultural and social responsibility. Key components for successful implementation of such an educational framework includes a breadth of educational approach to effect truly integrated and effective curricular internationalisation. That such programmes can offer benefits is appreciated by both faculty and students alike, but there is also a burgeoning concern about potential negative effects of socially and culturally insensitive programmes. We explore three potential pedagogic approaches to the subject; Model A: an 'additive' or contributory model of global health content (the commonest current approach), Model B: an 'integrated' approach and Model C: the more challenging 'transformative' approach requiring institutional as well as programme flexibility.