The greatest need in global health systems worldwide is the broad application of effective primary health care. The following are basic steps you can take to find out whether global health is a good fit for you.
1. Reflect on your personal motivations for global health work.
This can be a significant determinant in your effectiveness and satisfaction. Before making a commitment, you may find it helpful to talk with an experienced global health worker. Questions to consider include:
2. Get involved in local activities that allow you to form relationships with people of other cultures who speak languages other than English.
For example, you could work in a clinic that serves primarily minority or refugee populations,or teach English to international students or new immigrants.
3. Identify and learn more about a specific culture, language area, or country that matches your interests, skills, and availability.
If possible, experience that culture, language area, or country in person.
4. Familiarize yourself with the epidemiology and unique health problems of your region of interest.
Find global organization websites and other resources at:
Understand key differences and similarities between global health, international health, and public health.
|Global Health||International Health||Public Health|
|GEOGRAPHY||Focuses on health issues that transcend national boundaries||Focuses on issues outside of one’s own country||Focuses on specific communities or countries|
|POPULATIONS||Prevention and clinical care||Prevention and clinical care||Prevention|
|ACCESS||Health equity among nations||Help other nations||Health equity within a nation or community|
|DISCIPLINES||Highly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary||Embraces a few disciplines||Multidisciplinary, particularly with health and social sciences|
Global health is so broad and complex that it is impossible for one person to keep up with every medical, cultural, linguistic, and legal issue. But these tips can help you track issues relevant to your interests.
There are ways you can get involved in global health work without leaving the U.S. Explore Domestic Opportunities in Global Health.