Global Health Pathway

asianstudentThe Global Health Pathway is one of the seven MCW Scholarly Pathways that are a required for all MCW M1 and M2 students and optional in the M-3 year. Pathways allow students to individualize their medical training while exploring a career path of interest.

Under the direction of Academic Affairs and lead by Dr. Stephen Hargarten, the Global Health Pathway is designed for students interested in understanding the unique healthcare needs of patients, families, and communities both locally and globally, in/from neighborhoods to nations, and the challenges/assets of working in these areas of the world with diverse health care resources.

Core curriculum topics are consistent with those proposed by the Consortium of Universities for Global Health and other medical schools that have long been on the forefront of global health education and research. Pathway activities are coordinated with the office of the Associate Dean for Global Health.

For more information contact:
Stephen Hargarten, MD, MPH
Global Health Pathway Director

Hilary Chavez,MS
Global Health Pathway Coordinator

 Global Health Electives

Global Health Electivesblackteacher
A global health elective broadens a medical student's horizon and education and allows students to recognize the vast discrepancies in care provided in other countries and to hopefully be empowered to address health care disparities in their future careers. Students interested in opportunities to do a global health elective are encouraged to contact the Office of Global Health Manager, Tifany Frazer for more information. A list of current M4 Student Global Health Electives (PDF) to get started can be reviewed in planning preparation.

Graduate Medical Education
There are several MCW departments that have long-term, sustainable global health partnerships in education. For example, The Department of Pediatrics is developing a culturally-competent curriculum that equips pediatric residents to provide compassionate and excellent medical care in areas with limited resources, and to optimize global health education opportunities both here and abroad.

 Medical Spanish Selective

Medical Spanish Academic Enrichment Selectivemomwithchild
Course dates vary each year

A beginning and advanced medical Spanish course is offered each year to MCW M-1 and M-2 students.  It consists of 4 didactic sessions and 4 conversational sessions, taught by a physician educator and involves Spanish-speaking volunteers from the Milwaukee community. In addition to language skills, the course provides more in depth exploration of Spanish culture and the impact of this culture on the interaction between the Spanish speaking patient, their family and the health care system.  

NOTE: At the end of this course, the student will not be prepared to replace the need for a translator or interpreter in medical or emergency situations.

Course size will be 25. M2 students will be given first priority in registration. Remaining spaces will be offered to M1 students.

Grading: Successful completion of the Medical Spanish Academic Enrichment Selective will be noted on the student’s transcript.

For more information contact:
Brett Bordini, MD
Medical Spanish Course Director

Ashley Hines
Medical Spanish Course Coordinator

 Global Health Benefits

studentslearningThe medical literature has illustrated the positive outcomes for student, resident, fellow and faculty involvement in global health opportunities. This type of experience is a means for physicians-in-training to learn important lessons about health disparities and cultural diversity and encourages a lifelong commitment to the service of vulnerable communities (Acad Medicine, 2010).

  • Participation in global health electives is associated with increased likelihood of community service, interest in primary care fields and improved skills in problem solving and clinical examination (Acad Medicine 2003).
  • Global health collaboration can be beneficial to the health of all as individuals who have access to better medical care usually are healthier.
  • Moreover, physicians and other caregivers who have access to the latest knowledge in biomedical science are better equipped to deal with individual health problems as well as public health threats. (Acad Medicine 2010). Since disease respects neither national boundaries nor government mandates, a better-educated, well-trained cadre of physicians and scientists in a particular country can be more effective in preventing the spread of disease to other parts of the world. (Acad Medicine 2010).

Contact Us

Stephen Hargarten, MD, MPH
Associate Dean for Global Health
Professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine
Director of the Injury Research Center
at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Tifany Frazer, MPH
Program Manager

Ashley Hines, BS
Program Coordinator

Office Email


Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
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Page Updated 08/12/2015