EducationGlobal Health and Disparities Path of Excellence
The Global Health and Disparities (GHD) Path of Excellence provides all interested UMMS students an opportunity to integrate foundational, investigative, and experimental learning to be agents of sustainable change to reduce domestic and global health disparities. The program aims to provide a flexible, mentored, self-regulated environment to shape student learning within the domains of (1) Social determinants of health disparities, (2) Tools and strategies to promote sustainable change, (3) Health care systems and policy, and (4) Professional and leadership development.
A series of noontime lectures and seminars review key aspects of global and domestic disparities in health and health care. Students have the opportunity to do advanced reading and synthesize the content of the lecture or seminar through a brief written assignment highlighting essential concepts related to health disparities.
Students interested in a focus on disparities throughout medical school can submit a brief application and participate in the GHD Path of Excellence beginning in the spring of the M1 year. Application information is available on CTools ("Global Health and Disparities").
The GHD Path is a co-curriculum - complementary to,
and alongside, the standard curriculum - that operates through structured,
learning experiences. Key elements include mentored small group learning
experiences, portfolio-based learning and documentation, competency-based
assessment of mastery of core skills, and a required capstone project
that integrates learning through practical experience in an underserved
setting in the Unites States or a developing country. Students who successfully
complete the GHD path receive special recognition in the Dean's letter,
which includes a description of the tasks and competencies of the GHD
Curriculum - 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)
complete a summer project related to health disparities, b) participate
in a longitudinal, mentored small group with trained faculty to master
core knowledge and skills related to caring for vulnerable populations,
and c) develop a plan to complete a capstone project during fourth year
(some summer projects may qualify).
Small group experiences incorporate a variety of learning formats
that focus on: a) understanding the social determinants of
health, collaborative program development for sustained change, and
quantitative skills in research and program evaluation; b) networking
and organizational competency; c) career planning; d) information and
social media skills; and e) leadership development.
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. During the M4 year GHD students will plan and implement mentored month-long projects in underserved settings, complete their capstone projects, and finalize a career development plan.
Brent Williams, MD, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, serves as the Director of the GHD Path of Excellence. The GHD Path is operated by a Faculty Steering and Mentorship Working Group, with regular input from students.