Global Health Equity Pathway


Receive mentorship and support for longitudinal global health projects

UCLA medical students with a strong interest in global health are encouraged to join the Global Health Pathway. This Pathway is a longitudinal commitment to pursuing global health activities throughout medical school, during which time students receive mentorship and support for research or other types of global health activities, career planning, networking, and the development of leadership skills.

Pathway students may be interested in a variety of careers, including global health research, clinical work, education and/or training at academic medical centers, and working in U.S. government agencies, multilateral organizations, or nongovernmental organizations. 

We recognize that COVID-19 has prevented many students from participating in typical global experiences (such as in-country GSTTP placements) and that many individuals who have interests in global health also have interests in the care of underserved populations right here in Los Angeles (“local-global” health) – including in areas such as health disparities, advocacy, and public health. We encourage you to contact us to see if your interests align with participation in the Global Health Pathway. 

Students are encouraged to join the Pathway as soon as possible, but by no later than mid-August of their second year of medical school (check the application each year for a more specific date), to maximize benefit from the program.   


Pathway requirements

1) Scholarly global health project 

All Pathway students are required to complete a scholarly global health project prior to graduation.

Students will have a primary mentor to guide them in their project(s), which can include, but is not limited to, a research or policy/advocacy project, or participation in a longitudinal program or quality improvement effort. The project can be based on work initiated during the Global Short-Term Training Program, or arise from other projects designed with mentor(s).

We are adapting our typical scholarly global health project requirement to allow for local projects that address issues with broad importance for all communities, not just those outside of the U.S. We encourage you to contact us to see if your project(s) align with participation in the Global Health Pathway.

Each student will complete a scholarly deliverable that can range from an abstract presented at a conference, to a brief report of their activities, to one or more formal publications. The scholarly project must be approved by the Pathway Director to ensure it meets requirements.

Funding opportunities for 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 (software costs), publication fees, or conference attendance (domestic or international, as travel allows). Students can apply for funding one time each year that they are part of the Pathway and meeting Pathway requirements. Funding is up to $1,000 per year enrolled in the Pathway.

  • More information and the application for funding can be found here.

2) Participation in Work-in-Progress Meetings (WIPs)

We are committed to providing students in the Pathway with opportunities to build or fine-tune their global health skills, and to network with other students and global health faculty and staff. Through our Work-in-Progress Meetings (WIPs), global health colleagues come together to discuss students’ research/scholarly projects and to develop skills in specific areas, such as data analysis, data management, data visualization, creating presentations, etc. WIPs provide second-year Pathway students an opportunity to present their ongoing global health research/scholarly projects and discuss challenges or bottlenecks. Mentors and peers are encouraged to actively participate, contribute to a supportive learning environment, and can provide advice and targeted teaching. WIPs may also feature educational talks from faculty and staff on relevant topics, including conducting a literature review, writing a research manuscript, and submitting for Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. WIPs are typically held during lunch throughout the fall/winter. In order to meet Pathway requirements, second-year students are required to participate in at least two WIPs. WIPs are open to any student in the Pathway, as well as some first-year students who are exploring a global health topic covered in a particular WIP. 

3) Participation in at least two of four additional global health activities (please note that travel is contingent on DGSOM's policies regarding travel for trainees, as well as the safety conditions at the global site):

  • MS1/MS2: Global Health Selective, which includes attendance at a variety of lunchtime lectures and evening events. Requirements vary by year.
  • MS1/MS2: Global Health Leadership Role, which may include serving as a leader of the Global Health Selective, the Global Health Interest Group, and/or the planning committee for the Los Angeles Global Health Conference. Selective leadership is available to MS2 students who enrolled in the Selective as first-year students.
  • MS1-MS2 SUMMER: Global Short-Term Training Program, which provides the opportunity for students to engage in mentored summer research or public health experiences at a UCLA-affiliated partner site abroad (note that if travel is not possible, LA-based GSTTP projects qualify). Applications for our funded global health summer research experiences are open to all medical students and are not guaranteed for Pathway students. Participants are required to attend a pre-departure orientation program, present a poster at the annual Josiah Brown Poster Fair, and participate in a debrief upon return.
  • MS4: Senior Clinical Elective in global health, which exposes students to the practice of medicine in low- and middle-income countries. Applications for our funded global health clinical electives are open to all medical students and are not guaranteed for Pathway students. All students participate in a mandatory orientation program prior to departure, as well as two debrief sessions upon return home (one site-specific debrief and one larger debrief with all students).

Additional opportunities

Some Pathway students may elect to pursue additional study (e.g., Master in Public Health) or research training (e.g., University of California GloCal Health Fellowship, UCLA SAPHIR, Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowship) that can help them to further prepare for a career in global health. Our faculty and staff can assist interested Pathway students in identifying and applying to the most appropriate and relevant opportunities. For information on available opportunities, please visit our Resources & Opportunities page. 


Application and information

The Global Health Pathway application can be downloaded as a word document here.

Students who successfully complete the Pathway program will receive a “Certificate of Completion of the Global Health 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. Daniel DeUgarte, Director of Global Health Student Research, at