GLBE 201/401 Global Health Elective

Foundations of Global Health Elective  (GLBE 201/401)

Course Faculty

Martha Carlough (Director – contact to register) and Sylvia Becker-Dreps (, Please contact Dr. Martha Carlough if you would like to know more about the course.

Course Objectives
  1. Students will gain a broader understanding of population based global health issues and social determinants of health
  2. Students will be able to critically examine various global health topics based on learning from on-line modules, additional readings, interaction with involved faculty and staff, and practical experience
  3. Students will be able to identify, describe, and discuss the need for integrated interdisciplinary approaches to global health problems
  4. Students will plan/participate in a clinical or community health oriented experience (minimum of 2 weeks) outside of the US which will provide a practical, experiential opportunity in global health
  5. Students will develop modules for integration of global health into career paths for medicine
Course Requirements and Assessment

1. Completion of 6 On-line Global Health Modules, which should each take 3-4 hours of educational time (including two mandatory modules – Travel Health and Safety, Professionalism, Ethics and Cross-cultural Issues for global health electives). Each module contains:

  • Recorded one hour audio and slides (through Camtasia software) of UNC faculty with expertise in this area presenting on the topic and appropriate for medical audience
  • 10-12 pt quiz
  • Learning activity - 1-2 pp case studies/short essay response to lecture and readings

2. Two Reflective Papers: (4-5 pages each) based on any combination of the following:

  • Global Health/Living Globally book and movie list (see provided list on sakai - many of which are in the OIA office for loan, or propose a different one to course faculty)
  • A chapter from “Essentials in Global Health” textbook (available from OIA office on loan) or a critical review of the peer reviewed articles in the resources section of each module
  • A faculty interview with a UNC faculty significantly involved in global health work (see guidelines for faculty interviews on sakai)

3. Geojournal:

Completion of a “geojournal” prior to travel to familiarize student with the country’s specific health and economic issues (template on sakai).

4. International Learning Experience Plans:

This must be a structured elective experience outside of the USA (minimum of 2 weeks) that is integrated with areas of learning. It may be clinical, research or community health based and interested students will be supported in identifying and arranging opportunities. A resource guide for identifying sites for electives is under development. Preceptor evaluation of experience is required (form on sakai website).


6 elective credits


Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail

Students will be evaluated through assessment of the completion of six on-line modules and related learning activities (50%), two short reflection papers (20%), and preceptor feedback from international elective experience (30%).

  1. Completion of the first year of medical school for pre-clinical students (course # GLBE 201)
  2. Completion of at least six months of clinical rotations for clinical students – 3rd and 4th year (course #GLBE 401)
  3. Students are also required to complete all requirements as for any UNC medical student traveling abroad through the Office of International Activities
  4. Permission of course director necessary for enrollment (contact:
Periods Offered

All except 10 for MS4 students. Rising MS2 students may register for this independent elective as Block 3 of their 2nd year to be included in the second year tuition package, though the actual dates of elective travel may be in the summer months before their 2nd year begins. Students should register for the course in the block that they will START the on-line learning materials even if the associated international travel will be later.

Online Modules


Mandatory (two for all UNC med students doing global health electives or receiving UNC funding for global health experiences)

  • Travel Health and Safety (Carlough/Becker-Dreps)
  • Cross-cultural issues, Ethics and Professionalism for global health electives (Carlough/Becker-Dreps)

 Completed as of Jan 2016:

  • Neonatal Health (Carlough)
  • Global Family Planning (Stuart)
  • Global Health Ethics (Henderson/Rennie)
  • Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood (Carlough)
  • Childhood diarrhea (Becker-Dreps)
  • Update on Global HIV epidemic (Gay/Hoffman) – Part I
  • Diagnosis and Management of HIV Globally (Gay/Hoffman) – Part II
  • Pediatric Malnutrition and Nutrition in Emergencies (Carlough)
  • Advance in the Prevention and Treatment of Malaria (Juliano)
  • Global Perspective on Mental Health (Blanco)
  • Malaria in the Returned Traveler (Martin)
  • Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment in Low Resource Settings (Carlough)
  • Migrant Farmworker Health (Thomas)
  • Care of the Sick Child in Low Resource Settings (Ruhl)
  • Refugee Health (Carlough) 
  • Medical Ideas and Practice Change (Nesochi)
  • Global Trauma and Surgery (Anthony)