The impact of global health opportunities on residency selection

On behalf of the Medical Student Global Health Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: An increasing number of medical trainees across specialties desire and expect Global Health (GH) experiences during training. It is useful for residency programs to know the impact that offering GH opportunities has on resident recruitment. The study objectives were to explore the importance of GH opportunities in residency selection among fourth-year medical students, examine the relationship between interest in GH and career plans, and describe students’ perspectives on prior GH experiences. Methods: The authors administered an electronic survey to all fourth-year medical students attending 12 different US institutions in February 2020. Data from the ten schools who were able to comply with the survey distribution methodology and with response rates above 25% were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Pearson’s correlation. Results: A total of 707 fourth-year medical students from the included schools completed the survey out of 1554 possible students (46% response rate). One third of respondents ranked the presence of GH experiences in residency as moderately or very important and 26% felt that the presence of a formal GH curriculum was at least moderately important, with variation noted among specialties. After training, 65% of students envision practicing internationally in some capacity. A desire to care for underserved patients in their careers was significantly correlated with an interest in GH experiences during residency. Conclusions: The opportunity to be involved in GH experiences during training can be an important factor for many medical students when considering residency choice, and the availability of these opportunities may be a valuable recruitment tool. Students valuing GH opportunities during residency are more interested in working with underserved populations in their future careers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number384
JournalBMC medical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Global health
  • Residency curriculum
  • Residency selection
  • Underserved populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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