Maximo Nivel > Study Abroad Programs > University Courses > Community Medicine & Service Learning

Community Medicine & Service Learning

International students become acquainted with primary health care in low-income communities in and around Lima while at the same time advancing their Spanish language skills. The program is intended to educate and sensitize students to the importance of prevention and efficient management of under-funded and limited public health resources.

Community Medicine & Service Learning

Program Description

Community Medicine emphasizes early diagnosis of disease, recognition of environmental and occupational hazards, and prevention of disease in a community. These programs promote overall good health and provide comprehensive health services ranging from prevention, cure, and rehabilitation.

Participants engage in hands-on field work in community medicine and are immersed in both the Spanish language and local culture. Students attend medical Spanish classes while working in small groups alongside physicians in clinics and health centers in low-income areas—field work is normally performed Monday to Thursday from 8:00AM to 1:00PM.

This course is open to students worldwide. Note that participants must have intermediate level (B1) Spanish to be accepted on to the program. Throughout the course, participants have virtual campus access to receive the course syllabus, learning materials, links for extra practice, and homework.

The Community Service & Medical Spanish program is divided into 2 courses:

1) Community Medicine (3 credits)
– 3 hours/week in class—Theories in Community Medicine (12 hours)
– 20 hours/week of work at a healthcare center (80 hours)
– 8 hours of independent study

2) Medical Spanish lessons (3 credits)
– 15 hours/ week Medical Spanish classes (60 hours)


Community Medicine
– Field work and participation (40%)
– Final project (30%)
– Final exam (30%)

Medical Spanish
– Classwork: exercises, role-play, presentations (60%)
– Project presentation (20%)
– 2 quizzes and final exam (20%)


Luis Pró, M.D.
Born in Callao, Peru, in 1945, Luis Pró studied medicine at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and specialized in Nephrology and Internal Medicine. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the United States. Since then he has been a Faculty member at UPCH and has held various positions at the National Ministry of Health in Peru. Dr. Pró is currently Head of the Community Health and Primary Care Unit of the Alberto Hurtado School of Medicine at UPCH, leading a group of 30 professors who work in 18 different health centers around Lima, Peru.

Denisse Assayag, DDS.
Denisse holds a degree in Dentistry from the National University of San Marcos. She also holds a Master‘s degree in English Language Teaching and Higher Education. She has broad experience in Spanish and English teaching at the university level and is currently an adjunct language professor at various Peruvian universities.

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