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International Elective Rotations? -- Any Source Guide for Programs w. International Offerings?

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Hey all -- 

New to the forum. I'm a post-BA student with a degree in Geography/Economics, where I focused on community development and the more sociological side of things... Years after my graduation, I decided to take the plunge into the medical field instead. I currently am an EMS worker with the goal to be involved with the Global Health field in the future (main interest in water/sanitation/infectious diseases, etc.).. Given the short background, my thought process is directed at doing a P.A. program with the hopes of being able to utilize that both domestically and abroad... 

SO -- I suppose my main questions are: 
1.) Does this seem like a good approach, given my main interest being in global health? I'm currently 29 -- so to try and backtrack at this point and attempt to go to Med School seems like an idea I'm being nudged away from... especially from physicians I've met en route at hospitals and others that I know. 

Additionally -- I'm wondering if there are any sorts of databases that show P.A. programs with International Clinical Elective rotations? Going from site to site to try and find my best case scenario is becoming somewhat wasteful in terms of time utilization it seems. OR -- better yet, have you heard of any programs that seem to offer this opportunity and/or are the best types of programs for this interest?

May seem like a pretty broad and rounded question, but thought maybe you all could offer some insight. Thanks a ton!



Edited by mliggett
title clarification

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Gaining some international exposure was important to me as a PA student candidate as well. I had previously spent a few years abroad and wanted to train internationally. I chose to go to Yale because of their focus on sending students abroad. I was the first PA student to ever train in Rwanda, and it was a really great experience. I'd certainly recommend looking into their international rotation opportunities.*


*Looking at the actual brick & mortar Yale PA program. I cannot speak to the international opportunities afforded to the online program. I wholeheartedly disagree with the outsourcing of clinical rotations to a private company under the false representation of obtaining a Yale degree without having trained with actual Yale medical providers and school of medicine faculty.

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There's no such database.  

It honestly sounds like you'd get more use out of an MPH.  Aside from volunteer work, PAs don't really have a wide scope (or any scope) internationally outside of a few areas.

If you're set on PA, keep in mind that while there aren't a lot of programs that allow international rotations (logistics are difficult and at the end of the day you still need to meet standards) many programs offer alternative ways to get involved internationally (trips, etc).

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Arcadia, for sure, prides themselves on opportunities abroad for all their students. However, I would echo the sentiment that an MPH may be better suited to your career goals. Coincidentally, Arcadia also has a dual MPH/PA program.

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sounds like you want to get an MPH , DrPH, or DHSc with global health focus at some point.

regarding international rotations- I know Pacific U in OR offers them.

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Pace University (NYC campus, presumably the Pleasantville campus also) has provided the opportunity for PA students to do a rotation through Child Family Health International for many years now. This organization is pretty well-established and appears to be open for PA and medical student rotations, so even if your future PA/med school is not directly associated with this group, potentially there are some out there that would allow this option as an elective. 

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