Background: Global health education (GHE) at undergraduate medical institutions has expanded significantly over the last 30 years, but many questions remain regarding the best practices for the development and implementation of global health programs.
Aim: To identify key themes essential to the development of GHE programs.
Method: We discuss five themes relevant to GHE in the context of existing literature and practice.
Results: The following themes are essential to the development of GHE programs: the definition and scope of GHE, student competencies in global health, the challenges and opportunities associated with inter-institutional relationships, principles for GHE student placements, and the evaluation of GHE programs. We place these themes in the context of current literature and practice, and provide practical guidance on how these themes might be successfully implemented by institutions seeking to develop or refine GHE programs.
Conclusions: Institutions developing or evaluating GHE programs should focus on these themes as they build their global health curricula.