Medical Inter-Cultural Opportunities for Students

One of the missions of the Global Health Program (GHP) is to cultivate learning, collaboration and research within the global health community. The GHP provides opportunities to UC Davis faculty and students to expand their knowledge of health care delivery systems, public health programs, and medical education systems in developing countries. The GHP strives to expand collaborative multidisciplinary cross cultural education, health promotion and research at home and abroad.

Here at UC Davis, there are many opportunities for faculty and students to get involved in global health research, policy and practice. The GHP oversees several medical intercultural exchange opportunities for medical students that foster cultural awareness and a spirit of cooperation with other countries and enhance clinical practice skills.

The first opportunity is the well-known MEDICOS (MEDical Inter-Cultural Opportunities for Students) Program, which was founded in 2003 by a group of UC Davis medical students together with Michael Wilkes, MD, PhD, Global Health Program Director.

The MEDICOS Program provides medical students a dynamic and open forum to share their knowledge on an international scale and to learn from other societies and cultures. The two formally developed programs are MEDICOS Nicaragua and MEDICOS Kenya; though, other smaller MEDICOS-affiliated opportunities exist with countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Hungary, and China.

These international programs strive to improve global health by facilitating intercultural experiences that both educate and enrich future global healthcare leaders. The program is currently open to meidcal, nusring, physican assistant, nurse practionaer students but will soon expand to include veterinary, engineering and agriculture students.

The second component of MEDICOS is the International Exchange Clerkship Program where UC Davis School of Medicine hosts visiting medical students and faculty from partnering university medical schools. UC Davis hosts students from University of Nairobi (Nairobi, Kenya), Semmelwies University (Budapest, Hungary), Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua (Leon, Nicaragua), and Peking University Medical School (Beijing, China); the list continues to expand.