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This elective provides an opportunity for students to participate in a medical elective a country of their choice. The elective is primarily clinical with approximately 40 hours per week of clinical time with a physician preceptor; if desired, up to 20 hours a week may be used instead for health systems analysis and/or language learning. This elective provides students with an increased understanding of the issues involved in health care in developing countries. The elective may be for one month, but two months is strongly recommended especially if traveling to the Eastern Hemisphere.

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops: Jenny Baenziger, MD (jbaenz@iu.edu) and Victoria Eder (vneder@iu.edu) -- both must be emailed

Director: Jennifer Baenziger, M.D.

Campus: Indianapolis

Location: Various mission, NGO, or academic hospitals throughout the world in low- or low-middle income countries by World Bank classification. The student chooses the location, and it must be approved by the course director 6 months in advance. Locations in non-lo

Learning Objectives

  • 1. Enhance knowledge, clinical skills, and cross-cultural patient care by providing care in a resource-limited environment. 2. Understand the structure of medical care delivery and education in the host country. 3. Deepen proficiency in history and physical examination skills. 4. Understand the clinical presentation and management of common diseases in a low- or middle-income country by participating in patient care activities. 5. Develop skills in effective cross-cultural communication with patients and colleagues. Develop collegial relationships with healthcare professionals in the host country. 6. Learn skills that will facilitate the practice of compassionate, cost-effective medicine in the U.S. by enhanced sensitivity to culture and diversity and increased reliance on physical diagnostic skills.


  • All must be completed in order for the student to receive a grade for this elective. All are due within 3 weeks of returning from the rotation. 1. Clinical observation on the wards by on-site preceptor (clinical evaluation by on-site preceptor). The preceptor must complete a clinical performance evaluation form. 2. Completed case log 3. Clinical case presentation with discussion of differential diagnosis (reviewed by on-site preceptor and course director). 4. Eight-page written reflection on clinical experience and practicing medicine in a resource-limited setting (reviewed by on-site preceptor and course director). Guidelines will be emailed prior to the elective. 5. Two-page scholarly analysis of a journal article or a two-page book review (from a list of books provided). Guidelines will be emailed prior to the elective.

Enrollment Information

Prerequisites: 4th year status in good standing; IUSM Students Only.

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 40

Time Distribution: 75% Clinical; 25% Written submissions

Elective Type Category: AC- Advanced Clinical

Notes and Enrollment Information:

Add/Drop Contact Person: Jenny Baenziger, MD (jbaenz@iu.edu) and Victoria Eder (vneder@iu.edu) -- both must be emailed DETAILS OF THIS ELECTIVE MUST BE SPECIALLY ARRANGED AT LEAST SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO ROTATION. -All participants must have a meeting with the course director before approval for enrollment will be granted. -Enrollment in the IUPUI iAbroad system is required. -Students must also attend mandatory orientation sessions to be eligible for this 4th year elective. -The student is responsible for all travel and living costs. Further information regarding financial support is available through Jose Espada in Financial Services. -This elective is available to Indiana University School of Medicine students only.

Third Year Elective? No

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: Yes

Skills Description: Site-dependent

Service Learning Included: Yes

Detaials for Service Learning: