While there is a significant body of literature regarding the interest in global health experiences (GHEs) for medical students and resident physicians, there is very little published in the scholarly literature regarding whether college/university students who are not in medical school, but are interested in pursuing a medical, health science, or allied health career in their future are also interested in global health.
An anonymous electronic survey was sent to students enrolled in the College of Health Sciences and Technology at Rochester Institute of Technology to assess how important these students felt it was for them to learn about global health issues and then determine what types of GHEs they would like to have available to them. The participants were matriculated in the following majors: Biomedical Sciences (BS), Nutrition Management (BS), Diagnostic Medical Sonography (BS), and Physician Assistant (BS/MS).
Participants were asked five questions to assess how important they felt it was that GHEs were available to them. For each of the five importance questions, between 89.3% and 93.6% felt these GHEs are either somewhat or very important versus 0.5-1.1% of those who felt that they were either not important at all or minimally important.
The survey participants were asked thirteen questions regarding their opinions about what types of GHEs might be of interest to them. The three options that garnered the strongest interest were the ability to participate in a short-term international service project (91.4%), the ability to do international clinical rotations (89.3%), and the ability to participate in international research opportunities (82.5%).
Independent t-tests showed that participants that had international travel experience in developing countries, those who were women, or those that were multilingual showed heightened interest in GHEs of various types.
One-way ANOVAs showed that Biomedical Science & Physician Assistant students were significantly more interested in GHEs than Diagnostic Medical Sonography / Cardiac Echo students. Younger students were found to be more interested in international research opportunities than older students.
Department, Program, or Center
Physician Assistant (CHST)
Oliphant, John B., "Health Sciences Students' Interest in and Opinions About Global Health Experiences" (2018). Educational Planning, 25 (2), 33-54.
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