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Participation in short-term global health training/service programs has the potential to generate unique ethicaldilemmas for which medical students/residents and host communities are often ill-prepared. As the number of USmedical students traveling to resource-limited countries steadily increases, so too does the demand for betterpreparing these individuals for the ethical issues and challenges of short-term global health volunteerism. In this course, students will study the ethics of global health volunteerism through numerous topics from a variety ofperspectives and will complete 40 hours of Spanish classes with personalized lessons taught by a native-Spanishspeaker through online video conferencing. This course is an online alternative opportunity to the ENLACE Global Health Elective, allowingstudents the opportunity to seriously engage in an important global health issue and dedicate time tolearning/improving Spanish skills when international travel is not a viable option. Open to any level of Spanish speakers– from beginners to advanced. Spanish classes cost $440 ($11/hr) and must be paid by the student prior to the firstday of the elective rotation

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops: Jennifer Custer (jcuster@iupui.edu)

Director: Ruben Hernandez, M.D.

Campus: Indianapolis

Location: Online

This elective is offered online

Learning Objectives

  • 1) Increase awareness of common ethical issues medical students/residents might face in short-term global health training and service programs. (P3)
  • 2) Describe strategies available to medical students/residents for dealing with ethical issues in short-term global health training and service programs. (P3)
  • 3) Improve verbal, comprehension and writings skills by completing 40 hours of Spanish instruction with an international Spanish school. (ICS3)
  • 4) Discuss how a volunteer’s presence in a community could lead to unintended negative impacts, including resourceshifting, unsustainable activities, creation of dependency and/or waste of resources. (SBP5)
  • 5) Apply best practice guidelines to training experiences in global health volunteerism. (P2)


Professional Development Evaluation Form; (Students will be given different assignments on the different modules including submission of presentations, reflections essays and the submission of Nationally Recognized online modules on cultural competency by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Students will receive PASS grade after completion of 80% of all assignments.)(Students are expected to complete 40 hours of online Spanish instruction as well as the thematically-developed weekly Canvas modules which include readings, Zoom lectures, videos, web-based training/activities, presentations, essays,and reflections.) A final evaluation will be given Pass/Fail based on the completion of a minimum of 80% of assignments.


Students use e-learning modules via Canvas as well as online modules created by leaders in the field of global healthethics and volunteerism. Course themes include ethical guidelines for global health volunteerism, global healthvolunteers and patient safety, global health volunteerism and fair trade, global health equity, and potential approachesto a more responsible way of helping. Themes include readings, modules, online videos/lectures, essays,projects/presentations, and reflections. Online virtual Spanish instruction, 2 hrs/day, are taught individually or in smallgroups by the El Salvadoran-based Pajero Flor Spanish School.

Enrollment Information

Prerequisites: 3rd or 4th year status; Completion of the Family Medicine Clerkship

Availability with Max Students per Rotation:


Duty Hours: 35-40

Time Distribution: 100% Online (5% Lecture/Seminar)

Elective Type Category: PD - Professional Development

Notes and Enrollment Information:

Add/Drop Contact Person: Jennifer Custer (jcuster@iupui.edu) THIS ELECTIVE DOES NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE INITIAL SENIOR MATCH. For permission to enroll in this elective please contact Jennifer Custer (jcuster@iupui.edu). The elective is 100% online. Housing is not needed. Spanish instruction with the Pajaro Flor Spanish School in El Salvador is a required component of thecourse. The classes occur via online video conferencing at a time during the week mutually agreed upon by studentand teacher. The student is responsible for paying for all Spanish instruction prior to the first day of the course. Spanishclasses cost $440 ($11/hr) and must be paid by students prior to the first day of the elective rotation.

Third Year Elective? Yes

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: None

Service Learning Included: None