Global Health and Disparities Path of Excellence Program


To address the dramatic health and healthcare inequities in the United States and across the globe, in 2011 the University of Michigan Medical School initiated the Global Health and Disparities Path of Excellence (GHD PoE). Goals of the program are to provide a flexible, mentored, self-regulated environment to shape student learning related to:

(1) Social Determinants of Health Disparities
(2) Tools and Strategies to Promote Sustainable Change
(3) Health Care Systems and Policy
(4) Professional and Leadership Development

GHD Path of Excellence

The GHD Path is a co-curriculum - complementary to, and alongside, the standard curriculum - that operates through structured, self-directed learning experiences. Key elements include mentored small group learning experiences, portfolio-based learning and documentation, competency-based assessment of mastery of core skills, and completion of a capstone project. Students who successfully complete the GHD path receive special recognition in the Dean's letter, with a description of the tasks and competencies of the GHD Path.

M1-M2 Years: During the fall of their first year, students are acquainted with the goals and expectations of the GHD Path. Interested students begin planning a disparities-related summer experience after the M1 year, either in Michigan or a developing country, and prepare a brief application to the GHD Path. Accepted students enter the GHD Path in the spring of their first year.

Through the remainder of the M1 and M2 years, GHD students: a) participate in a longitudinal, mentored small group with a trained faculty member to master core knowledge and skills related to caring for vulnerable populations, b) participate in a summer project in health disparities, and c) complete a learning plan to complete a capstone project and define and accomplish career objectives related to health disparities.

M3-M4 Years: During clinical clerkships GHD students apply knowledge and skills in caring for vulnerable patients, and meet occasionally with their small groups to reflect on their experiences and plan their fourth year. During the M4 year GHD students will plan and implement mentored month-long projects in underserved settings, and complete their capstone projects.

Administration / Contacts

Brent Williams, MD, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine serves as the Director of the GHD Path of Excellence. Marisa Madrigal is Program Assistant. The GHD Path is operated by a Faculty Steering and Mentorship Working Group, with regular input from students. Please contact the Director, Administrator, or GHD faculty with questions or for further information.