skip to content »

Medical School - International Track

Houston, Texas

BCM pediatricians care for children in various clinical and hospital environments.
Medical School International Health Track
not shown on screen

Frequently Asked Questions

First Year (MS1)

What is required of first year students?

  • Enroll in the Overview of Global Health elective (offered block 5-see requirements), listed in Student Affairs office.

Second Year (MS2)

What is required of second year students?

  • Enroll in the Readings in Global Health elective.
  • Faculty Mentors are to be assigned in February of your second year.
  • Begin to plan clinical electives abroad (see Clinical Elective Research and Volunteer Opportunities at BCM) and to submit rank list for core rotations so that you allow time for clinical electives abroad and for all four of the Diploma in Tropical Medicine modules (see below.)

Third and Fourth Years (MS3/MS4)

What should I have completed by now?

  1. The first-year Overview of Global Health elective.
  2. The second-year Readings in Global Health elective, including the required Humanitarian Assistance Workshop.
  3. You should have been assigned a faculty mentor.
    • What is the purpose of meeting with my mentor?
      Mentors are intended to help students define their global interests, provide students with travel contacts and suggestions for sources of travel or research funding, and discuss various ideas. They should also be kept abreast of your Track schedule. The official requirement is that you meet with your mentor on a quarterly basis (i.e. 4 times a year). This is probably slightly flexible; however, if you have not yet contacted your mentor, now is a perfect time to get in touch and discuss your goals with her/him. Please use this wonderful resource, and please update your mentor on all of your activities within the track. If you drop out of the track, it is your responsibility to inform your mentor by e-mail. Please copy Ms. Rosa I. Contreras (rolvera@bcm.edu) on this e-mail.
    • Who should I contact if I have questions about mentorship?
      You may contact the GHT Co-Directors, Dr. G. Robert Parkerson at grp@bcm.edu or Dr. Jose Serpa-Alvarez at jaserpaa@bcm.edu or the GHT coordinator, Rosa I. Contreras, at rolvera@bcm.edu

What is left to complete?

(Note that many of these requirements can be completed either during year 3 or year 4.)

  1. One month elective abroad in a developing country. Obviously there are many possibilities, so please discuss your plans carefully with your mentor and with Dr. Parkerson. Some popular overseas electives fill up very quickly, so you should have this scheduled as soon as possible (usually early in the 3rd year).
  2. Spend 4 half-days (4 hours each) at a Travel Medicine Clinic. Contact the GHT coordinator, Rosa I. Contreras at rolvera@bcm.edu to schedule your travel medicine clinics
  3. Continue to communicate with your mentor. After completion of your other track requirements, you will also submit a paper to your mentor regarding your activities in the global health track.
  4. Attend four City-Wide Infectious Disease Conferences (4 times = 4 hours). The conferences are held every Wednesday at noon in DeBakey building room M112. Typically students attend while doing the Diploma in Tropical Medicine course.
  5. One additional month of clinical experience abroad. This may be obtained after graduation from medical school if need be. Students must obtain documentation with the name of the institution, location, dates, and nature of the clinical work. This requirement is necessary to qualify to sit for the ASTMH exam.
  6. Diploma in Tropical Medicine course. This two-month course includes an in-depth curriculum in Tropical Medicine and Public Health. The DTM course is administered by the National School of Tropical Medicine of Baylor College of Medicine and is offered in two-week modules (total of 4 modules) that can be taken by the third or fourth year medical student. Students may take modules 1 and 2 in January and modules 3 and 4 in February or July, according to the best fit to their academic schedule.

The Global Health Track offers students two options:

Option 1:

For those with keen interest in Tropical Medicine, who wish to qualify and sit for the Certificate of Knowledge Exam of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, all four modules of the DTM program must be completed.

Option 2:

For those with interest in Global Health, who are not interested in sitting for the Certificate of Knowledge Exam, you may complete the Global Health Track by completing any two of the four DTM modules, in addition to completion of a one month clinical elective in Infectious Diseases (usually at Ben Taub or TCH), Border Health, or Immigrant Medicine.

TheGlobal Health Track students need to register with the NSTM to take the Diploma Tropical Medicine course. Because the DTM is offered in a module format, you do not need to register for all four modules at once but instead you can customize them to better fit your schedule. To apply online go to www.bcm.edu/tropical medicine

What if I want to obtain ASTMH certification?

  • ASTMH is the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, which has developed a Certificate of Knowledge in Tropical Medicine and Travelers' Health as a credential of expertise.
  • To obtain this certificate, students must pass the ASTMH exam within five years of completing the track. (This is not quite a board exam-just a test of knowledge.)
  • Prerequisites for the examination include:
    1. Completion of an approved course in travel and tropical medicine. The Baylor Global Health Track has been approved in this capacity.
    2. Two months (cumulatively) of experience in a tropical setting.

In summary, the extra requirements for ASTMH certification are:

  1. One additional month of clinical experience abroad. You must obtain the documentation with name of the institution, location, dates, and nature of the clinical work.
  2. Pass the ASTMH exam, which is taken after graduation from medical school (and, of course, after completion of the Track).

For further information regarding ASTMH certification, please visit www.astmh.org.

For questions, please contact:

Rosa I. Contreras
Academic Coordinator for International Affairs
Department of Family and Community Medicine.
713-798-3640
rolvera@bcm.edu

George Robert Parkerson, M.D., MPH
Associate Professor/Co-Director of the Global Health Track
Department of Family and Community Medicine
713-798-7859
grp@bcm.edu

Jose Serpa-Alvarez, M.D., MS
Assistant Professor/Co-Director of the Global Health Track
Department of Medicine
713-798-8918
jaserpaa@bcm.edu

E-mail this page to a friend