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Maximo Nivel > Study Abroad Programs > University Courses > Global Health, Public Health, and Medical Spanish

Global Health, Public Health, and Medical Spanish

This is an intensive, academic, hands-on experience looking at public health and community health in Peru. The course helps university students to understand the stakeholders, opportunities, and barriers in terms of community access to healthcare.

Global Health, Public Health, and Medical Spanish

Program Description

Program participants take part in multidisciplinary coursework on topics including the Peruvian healthcare system, ethics in global health, pediatric health, and social business models in the healthcare field. Students conduct field visits to indigenous communities to better understand the landscape of the health care system and its challenges. Participants then work in small teams, along with Peruvian health science students and mentors, to develop a pilot research project and design an intervention to address a health issue in an indigenous community. Medical Spanish classes are provided to help students communicate during their field work and site visits.

This course is open to students worldwide. Participants should be enthusiastic about health care and specifically public health, as well as the rights of indigenous communities. Participants should be ready to work in multi-cultural, multi-lingual teams and to conduct research and develop a practical intervention for real life health care problems. This course is suitable for students who have completed at least their first year of university studies.

The 4 credit course in Global Health, Public Health and Medical Spanish includes:

– Lectures, group discussions, and case studies
– Workshops: Needs Analysis, Policy & Stakeholder Analysis, Problem-Based Learning, and Research Project Management
– Independent study—Required readings and homework to understand concepts discussed in class, as well as complete homework in their research groups outside of class.
– 6 visits to indigenous communities
– Field visits to NGOs and health care centers
– Final research project
– Spanish language classes


– Class Participation and group work (20%)
– Fieldwork (30%)
– Research project and presentation (40%)
– Final exam (10%)


Dr. Patricia Garcia, MD, MPH, PhD
Dr. Patricia Garcia is the Dean of the School of Public Health and Administration at UPCH. She is an Affiliate Professor at the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington, and is also the former Chief of the Peruvian National Institute of Health. She has broad experience collaborating both nationally and internationally, including the World Health Organization and the Latin American Association for the Control of STIs. She is the lead Investigator on numerous research projects and training programs which include financing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Isaac Alva, MD, MPH
Dr. Isaac Alva is a researcher and physician, with a Bachelor’s in Medicine from UPCH and a Masters of Public Health and a Certificate in Global Health from the University of Washington in the United States. He has 9 years of experience in the use of technologies in HIV prevention and 6 years of experience in public health research focused on Amazonian indigenous communities.