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Course Number: GLBE 405

Course Title: Comparative Health Systems

Who can Participate?: Application phase (MS3) and Individualization phase (MS4)

Course description: Course curricular requirements will be online-based.

Learning Objective: This elective is intended for a global clinical elective (hospital or clinic based) outside of the USA. After completing the elective, the student will have gained a better understanding of the medical system in the country of elective vs. the USA, including issues of public and private financing, insurance and training for health care providers.

Compare a typical patient: physician interaction in country of elective vs. the USA, preparing a written case study from this global health elective and a similar patient case in the USA; reflecting on best practices of ethical principles of care (autonomy, justice, beneficence, non-maleficence) as well as communication.

Learning Activities: Students are expected to take an active role in selecting and designing their elective by meeting with one of the course faculty prior to the elective to define plans for supervision and fulfillment of course requirements. Students must complete all requirements through the OGHE for students on a global elective.  Students may apply for funding through the OGHE and other sources. Interested students should contact Dr. Sylvia Becker-Dreps, or Heidi White. Students are expected to complete an evaluation of their elective and have the on-site preceptor complete an evaluation of their performance. In addition to completing the two papers below, students will need to complete a GEOJOURNAL for the country in which they will be working.  A form for the geojournal is available on the OGHE course sakai site.

Evaluation: Presentation/Patient Presentation, Patient Write-Ups, Paper

Paper Guidelines: (for evaluation on H/HP/P/F basis)

Length:  Maximum 6 pages, 12 pt font, double-spaced, APA format (each paper)

Due Date:  One month after completion of rotation. And must be completed no later than March 30th of the graduation year

Contact: Sylvia Becker-Dreps, MD, MPH (, and Heidi White, MIS (,

Supervising Faculty: Sylvia Becker-Dreps, (

Requirements: Completion of at least six months of clinical rotations. Students are also required to obtain travel health insurance and complete all other requirements for medical students traveling abroad through the OIA (

Course Credit: Yes, 6 credit hours

Time of Year & duration: 4- week Global elective component. Available on a rotating basis after 6 months of clinical electives have been completed.


Special instructions:

Maximum enrollment: 1 (independent course)

Deadline for enrollment: On a rotating basis.


Suggested outline of paper:

  1. Description of at least three various different models of health care systems with country-specific examples (e.g. marketplace driven fee for service system, public financed/social system employment based system), including the internal and external political and economic forces in which they might exist, stakeholder influences, pros and cons, and how health status of an individual and the population would be evaluated in relation to this health care system.
  2. In the same three models, consider and describe how health care reform could happen within the system
  3. List of references (pertinent articles and related WHO reports are available on the sakai course site)


This paper is intended to take a deeper look through personal observations during the elective, discussions with health care providers, and readings provided at the functioning of the health care system and its impact on individuals and the population.


Suggested outline of paper:

  1. Describe the cost and pathway to care for an individual patient in the country of elective for one primary care/preventive issue (e.g. child vaccinations) and one complex medical issue (e.g. a kidney transplant). This should be based on any pertinent readings, observation of the system and discussions with providers or patients as possible.
  2. Using one outcome of global significance (e.g. maternal mortality, morbidity rates due to complications of diabetes, lung cancer death rates) compare and contrast rates and outcomes in the country of elective vs. USA as well as quality of care initiatives and how this may be positively/negatively impacted by the health care system in place.
  3. List of references (pertinent articles and related WHO reports are available on the sakai course site)