Your international experience: Making it count

August 02, 2016

Your international experience: Making it count

You’ve completed an international elective or global health experience; so, what’s next? Explore how you can maximize the value of that experience and what next steps you should be taking upon your return with Dr. Joseph C. Kolars of the University of Michigan Medical School.

Dr. Joseph C. Kolars is the Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global REACH at the University of Michigan Medical School. His main role is looking over the education mission at the medical school and also directing the global initiative at the med school, called the Global REACH Program, or Research Education and Collaboration for Health. He is also clinically active as a Gastroenterologist.

The Global REACH Program aims to help learners get exposed to issues in global health–revolving around challenges with regards to equity, and access–and brings learners into collaborative partnerships with individuals and institutions in low resource areas. Part of their mission is to try and promote better education and research in a collaborative manner and learn together how they can make things better for the populations they serve. Learners participate in the Global Health & Disparities Path which launched in 2011.

International opportunities and global health initiatives are growing in popularity among medical students. Plus, these opportunities are becoming more relevant to medical education as globalization expands. The University of Michigan Medical School has seen a steady growth of participants in the Global Health & Disparities Path since it launched in 2011, which has graduated more than 50 students to date with another 80-plus currently enrolled.

As these numbers continue to grow–not only at University of Michigan Medical School but also more broadly–you need to be ready to take the next step upon your return. How do you find value in your experience? How will it change your pathway as a future physician? Dr. Joseph C. Kolars will share both personal experiences and guidance towards preparing you for those next steps.


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