Internal Medicine Residency Program

Global Health Training in the Vanderbilt Internal Medicine Residency Program



Global health has become an inextricable component of clinical practice, health equity, and scholarly endeavors. Demand is increasing for health professionals who can function competently in a global marketplace, who have research or service interests in health problems of developing countries, or who wish to address global manpower inequities through training or service. The Vanderbilt Internal Medicine Global Health Pathway gives Internal Medicine residents formalized access to global health expertise and resources of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, coordinated through the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH).

Global Health Pathway Structure

Residents identify interest in global health either before arriving at Vanderbilt or during their internship year, by communicating with the Residency Program Director and Global Health Pathway Directors, Drs. C. William ("Bill") Wester and Merranda Holmes. VIGH Internal Medicine faculty mentors then assist the Global Health Pathway residents to organize their elective blocks to acquire foundational knowledge in global health and to obtain experience providing clinical care or conducting research in resource-constrained settings. Pathway residents complete their training within the usual 3-year residency duration.

Pathway Highlights

  • Multimodal Global Health Educational Training
    • Interdisciplinary Global Health Program engaging residents of every subspecialty in workshops
      • Intro to Global Health and Global Burden of Disease
      • Global Ethics
      • Globalization of Health and Healthcare
      • Capacity Strengthening
      • Sociocultural and Political Awareness
      • Program Management
    • Modules in Core Internal Medicine Topics in Global Health
      • Communicable Diseases
      • Noncommunicable Diseases
      • Ethics
    • Center for Experiential Learning Simulation (CELA) Cases
      • Clinical Reasoning in Practice
    • Interactive Case Discussions with Global Medical Professionals
    • Journal Club
  • International Clinical Rotations in resource-constrained settings
    • Up to 4 weeks per year
  • ± Research Project

Emergency Department at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation in Guyana (photo by former internal medicine resident Adeline Dozois)

Clinical Sites

*Clinical rotations are integral to the Global Health Pathway, but they are also available to residents who want to gain global clinical experience without pursuing the entire Pathway. 

(English language is sufficient at the sites below, except as noted)


  • University of Zambia Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia
  • Friends of Global Health, Maputo and Quelimane, Mozambique (Portuguese language proficiency required)
  • University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Kijabe Hospital, Kijabe, Kenya
  • Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya


    • Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, China (Mandarin language skill is helpful, but not required)
    • University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan (Arabic language skill is helpful, but not required)

    Latin America 

    • Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, Georgetown, Guyana
    • University of Peru Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru (requires Spanish language proficiency) 

    Domestic sites

    Faculty Mentors