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Global Health

The Niagara Regional Campus collaborates with community partners and departments in the Faculty of Health Sciences to support global activities at McMaster. We also work with other institutions locally, nationally and internationally.  In Niagara students have opportunities to learn about and to serve in several different settings. 


This is a two-week elective for medical students, family medicine residents and Brock nursing students. It takes place in July or August each year. The setting is a shantytown on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. Primary care is provided in a school or other available space to this population which has difficulty accessing healthcare. Some home visit opportunities exist.

The main objective: for learners with no experience in global health to understand whether this might fit into their future career.

Additional learning outcomes:

  • Understand the social determinants of health
  • Learn about the importance of public health
  • Learn how to provide patient care through interpreters
  • Learn to provide care in a resource-poor setting; by relying on clinical skills and minimal diagnostics
  • Learn the process by which Canadians can help develop healthcare infrastructure in low-resource countries

Supervision is provided by Canadian family doctors; all of whom are teaching faculty.


Niagara Regional Campus medical students and family medicine residents have opportunities for a hospital based elective in rural Nepal, supervised by Nepali medical faculty and working alongside Nepali medical students.

Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS) is a new medical school in Nepal, focused on training doctors to work in the underserved rural areas of the country. Its main campus and teaching hospital is located in Kathmandu, and all students and all family medicine residents spend a minimum of 6 months clinical training in rural hospitals. There are 4 such rural sites which are affiliated training sites for PAHS.  The scope of practice for family doctors in rural Nepal includes inpatient care, outpatient care, and several surgical procedures including c-sections, hysterectomies, appendectomies, cholecystectomies and minor orthopedic procedures including K-wires. Regional anesthesia is used because of a lack of trained anesthesiologists. Electives are available for clinical clerks and family medicine residents in these rural sites. The minimum duration is 4 weeks.  This is a newly developed opportunity; the first Nepali students started in these sites in July 2014.

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