What Is Global Health?
“Global health is an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide.” 1
- Emphasizes health issues, determinants, and solutions that go beyond national borders
- Focuses on vulnerable populations worldwide
- Uses the resources, knowledge, and experience of diverse societies to address health challenges
- Is highly interdisciplinary within and beyond the health sciences
- Requires global cooperation to solve problems
- Combines population-based health promotion and disease prevention with individual-level care
- Requires understanding of basic and applied research on disease and disability
Did you know?
- 70,000: Average number of refugee arrivals in the United States per year2
- 232 million: Number of international migrants worldwide in 20133
- 40 million: Approximate number of foreign-born people currently living in the United States4
Get Involved with Global Health
The AAFP offers a wide variety of information, tools, and resources on global health.
Getting Started in Global Health
Interested in global health, but not sure of how or where to begin? Start here.
Preparing for Global Health Work as a Family Physician
As a practicing physician, there are many things to consider as you prepare to serve in global health. We've prepared an overview for you.
Global Health Education for Medical Students and Residents
Discover ways to get involved learning about and serving in global health during medical school and residency.
Fellowships and Courses in Global Health
Pursue additional training in global health through a variety of fellowship and learning programs.
Domestic Opportunities in Global Health
You don't have to leave the United States to serve in global health. Find out how to get involved where you live.
Global Health Resources
Review an array of in-print and online resources and references on global health issues and topics.
Guiding Principles for Service Learning Programs
Understand recommended, family-medicine oriented training and guidelines for global health service learning programs.
Search the Global Health Database
Find contact information for physicians and other care providers by area of expertise in international and global health.
1. Koplan JP, Bond TC, Merson MH, et al. Towards a common definition of global health. Lancet. 2009;373(9679):1993-1995.
2. Population Facts No. 2013/2. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Available at: http://esa.un.org/unmigration/documents/The_number_of_international_migrants.pdf. Published September, 2013. Accessed October 20, 2014.
3. Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. Available at: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states-0. Published March 21, 2012. Accessed October 20, 2014.
4. Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2014 Report to the Congress. United States Department of State, United States Department of Homeland Security. United States Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/219137.pdf. Accessed October 20, 2014.