IU School of Medicine



The ENLACE Global Health Elective: Latin America is a 4-week international global health experience designed to immerse students in a developing country to gain a more direct understanding of the language as well as the systematic, policy and experiential differences between health care in the US and other countries. Students think critically about global health challenges and practices while honing Spanish language skills and working side by side with host country health care providers. Clinical work occurs at community-based health care facilities, non-governmental public health organizations and health promoter organizations. Formal Spanish instruction occurs at a local language school. The rotation consists of three required components: pre-departure preparatory modules and orientation to principles of global health; a disease presentation given in-county and field experience in community-based primary care, global public health, the health system of the host country and language acquisition; and 3-page policy brief written and submitted upon completion of the elective.

The goals of the Global Health Elective: Latin America (GHE) are that students will:

  1. Strengthen clinical skills, decrease reliance on technology, enhance cost sensitivity, heighten awareness of public health/preventive medicine and develop greater appreciation for the role of family and culture in health.
  2. Improve Spanish language fluidity and comprehension; augment medical Spanish vocabulary.
  3. Increase cultural awareness/competence, understanding of cross-cultural dynamics and physician-patient communication though patient and peer interaction.

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops:

Jennifer Custer ( jcuster@iupui.edu)

Director: Javier F. Sevilla Martir, M.D.

Campus: Indianapolis

Location: El Salvador (San Salvador and Suchitoto)

Learning Objectives

    1. Describe epidemiologic profile of host country and related public health programs (MK6)
    2. Develop clinical decisions based on sound medical reasoning and implement patient care plan within the limited resources of developing host country (PC3)
    3. Explain process and structure of medical education, health care delivery in host country (PC1)
    4. Explain interrelatedness of a global health issue on host country public policy (SBP3)
    5. Describe elements of primary health care (maternal child health, immunizations, prevention/control of endemic disease, water & sanitation, basic medical care, health education and nutrition) in context of the developing host country (PC1)
    6. Demonstrate enhanced cultural competence, understanding of cross cultural dynamics, language skills, and physician/patient communication through patient and peer interaction (SBP2)


  • 1. Observation: Student observed and evaluated by IU Faculty and host country health care providers using the Standard 4th year Clinical Performance Evaluation Form (attached). Additionally standards of professionalism are incorporated into this observational evaluation.

    2. Clinical Presentation: Student researches and delivers a clinically focused presentation on a disease/illness that disproportionately plagues under-developed countries, specifically in Latin America. IU Faculty will evaluate content and delivery of the presentation using the Elective Presentation Evaluation Form (attached).

    3. Written Paper: Student writes a 3-page policy brief summarizing the burden of the disease /illness selected as the aforementioned presentation topic, discusses the people most affected by this disease or illness, key risk factors, the economic and social costs of this disease, and what might be done to address this disease in cost-effective ways. Paper will be evaluated by IU Faculty using the Paper Evaluation Rubric (attached); Policy Paper Evaluation Rubric Form

    4. Reflections: Students submit twice-weekly guided reflections over the course of the month. Reflection Rubric evaluates description/narration/connection/analyzation components.

    5. Conduct and Behavior: Student conduct and behavior is assessed by IU Faculty and host-country partners in an on-going manner utilizing a rubric that assesses professionalism, intercultural competency and personal conduction.

Enrollment Information


3rd or 4th year status; Must have completed Family Medicine Clerkship

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 40

Time Distribution: 45% Clinical; 45% Lecture/Seminar; 10% Library/Research

Elective Type Category: CP - Clinical Practice

Notes and Enrollment Information:

THIS ELECTIVE DOES NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE INITIAL SENIOR MATCH. Students MUST apply and be accepted into the Global Health Elective: Latin America.

Application found at () or by contacting Jennifer Custer - jcuster@iupui.edu or 317.274.6539.

The i-Abroad application will open April 12, 2018 and close July 9, 2018.

4-week experience: approximately $2500 plus airfare and optional weekend activities (includes room/board, in-country transportation, language instruction, tips, etc.)

Students live with local host families.

Students rotate through various unique and distinct hospital and community-based primary care organizations working side by side with local physicians and other health care providers.

Students participate in formal and informal language training tailored to meet individual needs.

Students work with community leaders and engage in a global health service-leaning project around an on-going community identified issue.

Third Year Elective? Yes

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: None

Service Learning Included: None