Global Health Academic Concentration


The mission of the Global Health Academic Concentration (GHAC) is to provide medical students with the knowledge, experiences and resources needed to prepare them for careers in Global Health by learning about complexities and challenges of global healthcare delivery, ethics of doing Global Health research, and socio-structural bases of health inequities.

 As in the realm of Global Health, everything is dynamic. Please keep that in mind if you decide to apply for the track.

For more information about the program, and to see where our students have been rotating, please visit our blog:


  • Prepare young physicians to engage with the global community to address health disparities.
  • Provide experiences and training in academic global health research.
  • Provide field experiences in global healthcare delivery. 
  • Gain knowledge about the structural and social factors that create and propagate health disparities.

Admissions Information

Who Should Apply to the GHAC Track?

  • Students with a passion for global healthcare delivery and/or global research.
  • Students interested in pursuing an academic medical career in GH.
  • Students ready to commit to the curriculum and fulfill (or exceed) expectations. 
  • Applicants can have any type of medical career interests, and do not need to have prior international experience.

GHAC Admissions Process

Applications to the GHAC Track will be available through the UCSD School of Medicine secondary application. Interested applicants will check a box in the secondary application to indicate their interest in the track and compose a one-page essay (detailed instructions will be provided on the secondary application). Selected applicants will be invited for interviews with GHAC Faculty via video chat starting in February, and admissions decisions will be occur on a rolling basis. Admission offers from the UCSD School of Medicine are made independently of the GHAC program.  A total of five students from the applicant pool will be selected for admission to the track each year.

There will be four events during interview season where applicants can meet current faculty and students.  Further information on these events will be provided to select applicants who are invited to interview with the medical school.  

MS1 Curriculum

  • MS1: Introduction to Global Health Research course (SOM1-248)
    • One quarter-long course that will meet weekly.
    • This counts as one of your MS electives.
  • Summer between MS1 and MS2: 8 to 10 weeks in the field conducting GH research at one of our approved sites.
    • The purpose of this experience is to conduct high quality GH research, and participate in producing a peer-reviewed publication (with your mentor).
    • Site placement will be based on student interests.

MS2 – MS4 Curriculum

  • MS2 & MS3: UCSD elective(s) of your choice from SoM electives or UCSD main campus electives
    Electives are subject to approval by the GHAC director, which will largely depend on how they fit into the MS schedule.
  • MS4: MED 485 - Advanced Clinical Elective in Global Health
    • 4-6 week long clinical rotation at one of our approved sites.
    • Site placement will be based on student interests.

Possible Elective Courses

  • ANSC 143 | Mental Health as Global Health Priority
  • ANSC 148 | Global Health and Cultural Diversity
  • ETHN 142 | Medicine, Race & Global Politics of Inequality
  • FMPH 252 | Problems in Global Health
  • FPM 244 | San Quentin Field Course (two quarters)
  • FPM 245 | Essentials in Global Health
  • FPM 246 | Occupational/Environmental Health
  • FPM 270A | Cultural Perceptions and Health and Disease
  • FPM 287 | Re-emerging Global Infectious Diseases
  • MED 239 | Tijuana Health Frontiers
  • SOMI 233 | Influences on Health: from Genes to Communities

Site Locations
NOTE: These site locations are subject to change.

  • Chile: childhood health, preventative medicine
  • Ecuador: environmental/ community health
  • Brazil: HIV/STIs, tropical infectious diseases
  • Jordan: refugee health
  • Lima, Peru: malaria, TB, Chagas disease
  • Maputo, Mozambique: HIV, Hepatitis C, TB
  • New Delhi, India: reproductive health
  • Tijuana, Mexico: underserved population health
  • Ukraine: maternal/fetal health, alcohol abuse

Contact Us


Sarah Averbach, MD, MAS
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences


Wossene Bayisa-Lewallen
Undergraduate Medical Education