International Outreach provides a comprehensive program to serve the health care needs of communities in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Honduras. Students develop cultural sensitivity and skills to address major health challenges that span borders and continents working with VCOM faculty in these regions. There are three year-round international clinics where students complete one-month international student rotations. In addition, medical students have the opportunity to provide public health, community health, and primary care services to communities surrounding these clinics. The international outreach programs with follow up care in the year-round international clinics provide a comprehensive program to improve global health. As a leader in global health outreach, VCOM has reached thousands of patients in need annually, provided immunizations for children where access was nonexistent or poor, and developed prenatal care where it was not previously available.
Additionally, students have an opportunity to participate in an elective that includes an interactive video conference seminar with medical students in other countries. Learning to address health care needs in the face of poverty, adverse environmental conditions, and political complexity prepare future physicians to address the community health needs of rural and underserved areas where they will eventually practice. Because of our comprehensive program, VCOM is quickly becoming a leader in Global Health.
Clinical Goals for International Outreach
- Provide sustainable health care improvements in internationally developing communities and in Appalachia through the provision of high quality medical relief efforts
- Provide quality medical care to victims of disaster
Educational Goals for International Outreach
- Instill in future physicians the core values of compassion and altruism
- Prepare future physicians to implement measurable and sustainable community health improvements
- Train future physicians to be stewards of the environment
- Prepare future physicians to practice in a multicultural society
- Prepare future physicians to partner with patients to improve health in the mind, body, and spirit
- Prepare future physicians to respond to disasters