SNMA Global Health Primer: Becoming Global Health Citizens

To ensure that the next generation of physicians will remain active in bridging international gaps in care, it is essential that SNMA members adopt a global perspective during their education

Short of adding an MPH onto your medical education, finding solid opportunities and credible news in global health can be a difficult task.

Though with the privileges we have been granted as the next generation of physicians, we are charged with the task of becoming global citizens: to learn how to take care of the sick across racial, ethnic and economic lines.

Below you will find a global health primer, by no means an all-inclusive list, but a solid starting point! It includes:

  • Links to research and mission opportunity databases
  • Websites with credible information
  • Books/texts
  • Ways to get your whole chapter involved



  • Medical Spanish Course ($60 DVD or website access)


Key Websites

  • Global Health Education Consortium: (GHEC) provides information about GH courses, curricula, website links, foreign language study courses, and other materials for faculty and students.
  • GHEC Teaching Modules helpful slideshows on topics from malnutrition to how to fund your international electives.
  • The Global Health Council is largest U.S.-based membership organization concerned with GH and provides information on GH career opportunities, jobs, advocacy, their annual conference, and links to other GH-related programs.
  • CARE, Inc. is one of largest NGOs involved in international development and relief.


  • Awakening Hippocrates: A Primer on Health, Poverty and Global Service by Edward O’Neil, Jr., MD
  • Caring for the World: A Guidebook to Global Health Opportunities by Paul K. Drain, Stephen A. Huffman, Sara E. Pirtle
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder
  • Medical Spanish: A Survival Tool, Volume 1: History, Physical/Evaluation, Diagnosis by Craig Alan Sinkinson
  • Haiti After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer
  • Oxford Handbook of Tropical Medicine by Michael Eddleston, Robert Davidson, Andrew Brent and Robert Wilkinson

Ways to Get your Whole Chapter Involved

  • Throw a Hunger Banquet

Since 1974, hundreds of thousands of people have taken action against hunger by hosting an  Oxfam America Hunger Banquets in homes, campuses, schools, and places of worship around the country.

At an Oxfam America Hunger Banquet, guests randomly draw tickets that assign them to different income levels, based on the latest statistics about the number of people living in poverty. Depending on where they sit, some receive a filling dinner, while others eat a simple meal or share sparse portions of rice and water.

While not all guests leave with full stomachs, many gain a new perspective on the root causes of hunger and poverty—and will feel motivated to do something to help.

Details on how to set up a Banquet can be found on the Oxfam website.

  • Fundraise in collaboration with your hospital cafeteria.

Contact your cafeteria manager to see if it is possible to serve a region inspired dish for a day or week with optional donations or a portion of the proceeds going to a reputable medical clinic in that region/country.

  • Book  & Supply Drives

Support a medical school abroad by sending up to date texts, or raising funds for an institutional UptoDate subscription. Medical supplies are always needed by rural clinics. Contact an clinic via  or Operation Giving Back  and see what and how your chapter can donate supplies.


  • Host a film screening and a discussion about the issues.

A  list of possible videos/movie clips to show can be found on the Global Health Council’s website.


Student National Medical Association

International Affairs Committee



Filed Under: Global Health

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