Child Family Health International (CFHI) is the leading international non-governmental organization (INGO) placing health science students on global health immersion programs in ways that are socially responsible and financially just. The organization models best global health education practices which demonstrate a priority commitment to community engagement and local integrity. CFHI is an INGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations.
Length of Rotation: Four to eight weeks
Locations: Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, South Africa
Student level: M1s, M4s, and other health science students. MPH students may apply for fulfill their Field Experience requirement by participating in a CFHI program.
Areas of Program Focus: Global public health, women’s reproductive health, infectious disease and tropical medicine, traditional medicine, health access and inequalities, pediatrics, and many others.
Child Family Health International and FSM’s Center for Global Health have partnered together to engage FSM students and other health science students in a wide variety of community health projects in resource-limited, international settings. CFHI has 20+ programs in six countries that connect local health care professionals with international students offering transformative perspectives about global health and healing. CFHI programs match international students with local attending physicians who precept medical students in clinical settings and offer a unique perspective on the local culture and language as students learn about a community’s public health system. The programs place a strong emphasis on public health, cross-cultural competency, language learning, and community engagement by involving students in sustainable healthcare services to underserved communities.
Select programs are highlighted below. Visit CFHI's website to see their complete portfolio of programs to which FSM students may apply:
- Pediatric and Adolescent Health in La Paz, Bolivia: The Pediatric Care and Child Health in La Paz, Bolivia program offers a holistic and unique learning experience. Participants will rotate at various pediatric clinics and hospitals experiencing first-hand the challenges of providing children services in resource-poor settings while gaining an understanding of the socioeconomic and cultural barriers mothers face in accessing those services for their children. Additionally, students take medical and conversational Spanish classes and reside in a homestay with a local family in La Paz.
- Primary Care and Social Medicine - Cordoba, Argentina: Program participants will rotate in a variety of primary care clinics and hospitals and witness government efforts to provide care to a large percentage of the population without insurance. Participants will partake in daily care of patients with family care practitioners. There may be opportunities to take part in rotations in other departments such as pediatrics, opthalmology, dentistry, psychology, and social services. This is a new program offered by CFHI and the pilot will run in 2012-2013.
- Reproductive Health - Quito, Ecuador: The reproductive Health program gives students the opportunity to participate in clinical rotations that are focused strictly on reproductive and women's health. Students will be able to observe how reproductive health care functions in a socially conservative country where htere is limited discussion and openness regarding sexual health issues. Students will also see first-hand how cultural attitudes toward gender equality often affect women's willingness and ability to seek treatment or obtain information about reproductive and sexual health.
- Introduction to Traditional Medicine - India: The program gives students the opportunity to learn about the traditional and indigenous systems of medicine in India. Participants will study the philosophies behind Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and Reiki. In addition to learning about traditional medicine, students will observe how these practices may interact with Allopathic or Western methods and gain an understanding of the importance of cross-cultural competency in diagnosing patients who may be receiving a combination of modern and traditional treatments. Students will travel through three locations during the duration of the program. Two weeks will be spent in the capital city of Dehra Dun and one week in the hill town of Rishikesh. The last week will be spent in Patti, a rural village.
- Intensive Beginner Medical Spanish - Oaxaca, Mexico: CFHI's Intensive Beginner Spanish & Healthcare program in Mexico is designed for those with little to no knowledge of the Spanish language, but who wish to increase their cultural and linguistic competency as well as their understanding of health care delivery in a low-resource setting. Participants will be exposed to the local public health care system while gaining an understanding of the social and economic factors that impact the health of the local population.
- HIV/AIDS & Healthcare - Durbin, South Africa: CFHI is proud to have operated this excellent program in collaboration with local healthcare providers and public health officials in the Durban area, in Kwa-zulu Natal province of South Africa since 2006. The program highlights the challenges faced by the post-apartheid public healthcare system, taking into consideration the threats of HIV/AIDS, environmental health issues, and other underlying causes of poor health in the region. The program will focus on health issues addressed through clinical interventions and community development projects in health.
Partnership with NU AID: CFHI and Northwestern University’s Alliance for International Development (NU AID) have partnered to provide a global health immersion program for first and fourth-year FSM students in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. NU AID participants will visit Puerto Escondido each July to learn about Mexico’s public health system and gain clinical training from local physicians on rural and tropical medicine. This year's program will focus on maternal-child health as FSM students partner with local midwives to learn about healthcare challenges that Mexican women face in the local community. Each year five M4s team up with five M1s in pairs to improve their medical Spanish, receive clinical training in public primary care clinics, and learn about the public health system in Mexico.
Students reside in a home-stay with local families - one of the highlights of the programs. In Latin America, the host families provide students with a unique opportunity to be immersed in the local culture and improve Spanish language skills. There are generally one to two students per home-stay and two meals per day are included. The exception is in India where students stay in guest houses.
Please refer to CFHI’s website for the most up-to-date information about program fees. FSM students may apply to the Global Health Initiative to request funding to cover these program fees. Fees not only pay for your program and language classes (where applicable) but also support the community health projects and other efforts to benefit the local underserved communities. The Global Health Initiative at FSM has generously covered the majority of these fees in addition to airfair for many past FSM students.
Evaluations (only accessible to users with a valid NetID):
For More Information:
Child Family Health International
995 Market Street, Suite 1104
San Francisco, CA 94103
tel: +1 415 957 9000
toll free: +1 866 345 4674
fax: +1 415 840 0486