Due to travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, there will be no international travel for the 2020/2021 academic year.
Global Health Equity Pathway
Guiding future leaders to advance health equity locally and globally.
Receive mentorship and support for longitudinal engagement with global health partners
DGSOM students with a strong interest in health equity are encouraged to join the Global Health Equity Pathway. This Pathway is a longitudinal commitment to engaging in activities related to health equity, both locally and globally. As part of the Pathway, students receive UCLA faculty mentorship and support for: 1) global health projects in research, public health programming, and/or policy and advocacy; 2) career planning; 3) networking; 4) contributing to equitable, sustainable global health partnerships; and 5) development of leadership skills. We encourage students with a passion for health equity to join the Pathway regardless of their career interests.
Students are invited to join the Pathway in the fall of their first year of medical school in order to maximize the benefit from this longitudinal program. Please review the Application and Information section at the bottom of this page for more information.
DGSOM Classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024Pathway requirements
There are three criteria for completing the Pathway for DGSOM Classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024:
1) Scholarly global health equity project
All Pathway students are required to complete a scholarly project prior to graduation. The focus can be either international or domestic as long as it addresses health equity.
Students will have a primary UCLA faculty mentor to guide them in their longitudinal project(s), which can include a focus on research, policy/advocacy, or public health programming. Projects may stem from work initiated during the Global Short-Term Training Program (GSTTP), or work done later in the medical school experience.
Each student will complete a scholarly deliverable for their project (e.g., an abstract presented at a conference, a formal publication, or a thesis that outlines the work completed while at DGSOM). The scholarly project must be approved by the Pathway Director, Dr. Kate Dovel (KDovel@mednet.ucla.edu), to ensure it meets the Pathway requirements.
We recognize that COVID-19 has prevented many students from participating in typical global health experiences (such as host-country GSTTP placements). Please contact Dr. Dovel if you are unsure if your proposed scholarly project meets the criteria of the Pathway.
2) Participation in three Work-in-Progress Meetings (WIPs)
We are committed to providing students in the Pathway with opportunities to network with other students, faculty, and staff, and to develop skills in scholarly global health work. Through our Work-in-Progress Meetings (WIPs), mentors and peers in the fields of global health/health equity come together to discuss student projects, challenges and lessons learned during the experience, and specific skills relevant to student projects, such as fostering equitable collaborations, data analysis, data visualization, and creating effective presentations.
WIPs provide second-year Pathway students an opportunity to share their ongoing research/scholarly projects and to discuss challenges or bottlenecks. Mentors and peers are encouraged to actively participate, contribute to a supportive learning environment, and provide advice and targeted teaching.
GHP will organize approximately 7-8 WIPs in the fall semester during the noon lunch period with the goal of inviting all second year Pathway students to present at one WIP meeting. In order to meet Pathway requirements, students are required to present at one WIP (typically in their second year of medical school) and attend most WIPs during their second year of medical school. WIPs are open to any student in the Pathway, including first-year students who are interested in a topic covered in a particular WIP. For questions about the WIPs, please contact GHP Director of Education, Dr. Traci Wells (TWells@mednet.ucla.edu) and review this description of WIP responsibilities for students. View recording here.
3) Participation in at least two of four additional global health equity activities:
- Global Health Selective, which includes attendance at a variety of lunchtime lectures and evening events throughout the fall and is typically completed during the first year of medical school. Requirements vary each year.
- Health Equity Leadership Role, which may include serving as a leader of the Global Health Selective, the planning committee for the Los Angeles Global Health Conference, planning the Global Health Case Competition, and/or other local or UCLA-affiliated leadership opportunities (e.g., asylum clinic, mobile clinic). If you are interested in leadership opportunities and/or are unsure as to whether an opportunity meets Pathway requirements, please contact GHP Director of Education, Dr. Traci Wells (TWells@mednet.ucla.edu).
- Global Short-Term Training Program (GSTTP), which provides the opportunity for students to engage in mentored summer research or public health experiences at a UCLA-affiliated partner site (travel contingent on safety). Students may also participate in “local-global” health disparities research projects.
- Senior Global Health Clinical Elective, which exposes students to the practice of medicine in low- and middle-income countries, or at underserved sites in the greater LA area. Applications for our global health clinical electives are open to all medical students and spots are not guaranteed for Pathway students. Please review the Senior Global Health Clinical Elective webpage for additional information/requirements.
Class of 2025 and beyondPathway requirements
1) Enrollment in the Global Health Selective
The Global Health Selective is the first activity associated with the Pathway and is typically completed by first year medical students. The Selective is comprised of lectures, panels, and small group discussion sessions and takes place each fall between September and November.
2) Longitudinal engagement with a global health equity partner, fulfilled by participation in Foundations for Discovery and the Discovery Year at a partner site approved by GHP.
All Pathway students are required to complete a scholarly project linked to a longitudinal partnership, often culminating in a 9-month on site experience during the Discovery Year. Students will have a primary UCLA faculty mentor and a mentor at the partner site to guide them in their project(s), which can include research, policy/advocacy project(s), or participation in public health programming or quality improvement projects.
Foundations for Discovery is a 4-week placement with a partner site and is intended to prepare students for the Discovery Year. Students participate in Foundations prior to beginning clinical training in the second year of medical school. At the end of Foundations, students are required to prepare a brief concept note outlining a potential project for the Discovery Year.
The majority of students will be based at their partner site for the duration of the Discovery Year. The main deliverable from the Discovery Year will vary based on each student’s focus, but will involve some form of a scholarly output. This may include a publication in a peer-reviewed journal (authorship order is not a requirement, only that the student was heavily engaged in the project, analysis, and writing of the manuscript), a final report outlining policy or programmatic findings and recommendations (usually intended for use within the partner country or setting), or a thesis primarily intended for the GHP Pathway Director outlining the project and lessons learned. The scholarly output must be approved by the Pathway Director (Dr. Kate Dovel, KDovel@mednet.ucla.edu) to ensure it meets the Pathway requirements. Please contact Dr. Dovel if you are unsure as to whether your proposed scholarly project meets the objectives of the Pathway.
Optional activities in the Pathway for the class of 2025 and beyond
- Longitudinal community engagement with a local GHP partner, either as part of the Early Authentic Clinical Experience (EACE) or by engaging in other activities with local community partners
- Health Equity Leadership Role, which may include serving as a leader of the Global Health Selective, the planning committee for the Los Angeles Global Health Conference (LAGHC), planning the Global Health Case Competition, and/or other local or UCLA-affiliated leadership opportunities (e.g., asylum clinic, mobile clinic). If you are interested in leadership opportunities, please contact GHP Director of Education, Dr. Traci Wells (TWells@mednet.ucla.edu).
- Senior Global Health Clinical Elective, which exposes students to the practice of medicine in low and middle-income countries, or potentially at underserved sites in the greater LA area. Applications for our funded global health clinical electives are open to all senior medical students in late summer and placements are not guaranteed for Pathway students. Please review the Senior Global Health Clinical Elective webpage for additional information and requirements.
Additional resources for all Pathway students
We value the experience students gain from pursuing longitudinal scholarly work, and offer funding to help Pathway students cover expenses associated with research (e.g., software costs), publication fees, or conference attendance (domestic or international). Students can apply for funding once a year for each year that they are part of the Pathway and meeting Pathway requirements. Each eligible Pathway student can apply for a maximum of $1,000 in Pathway funding (per student per year enrolled in the Pathway).
Funded research fellowships
DGSOM is committed to funding Global Health Discovery such that no global health student incurs additional medical student debt beyond that of a student who participates in Discovery in Los Angeles. However, some Pathway students may choose to pursue other funding opportunities in order to integrate into a training program as part of Discovery or to take a fifth year of training during medical school (example funding opportunities include University of California GloCal Health Fellowship, UCLA SAPHIR, Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowship). GHP faculty can guide interested students to help them to identify and apply to the most appropriate and relevant opportunities. For information on available opportunities, please visit our Resources & Funding page.
Application and Certificates for the Global Health Equity Pathway
The Global Health Equity Pathway application for can be downloaded as a word document for class of 2025 students and beyond here and for students graduating prior to 2025 here. Once the August/September deadline has passed, GHP will consider late applications on a case-by-case basis.
Students who successfully complete the Pathway program will receive a “Certificate of Completion of the Global Health Equity Pathway.” Participation in the Pathway may also be highlighted in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE, or “Dean’s Letter”). For more information, please contact Dr. Kate Dovel (KDovel@mednet.ucla.edu), Pathway Director or Dr. Traci Wells (TWells@mednet.ucla.edu), Director of Education.