I am currently at the crossroads between deciding on applying to an MD/DO program or a PA/MPH program. I am interested in a career that fundamentally includes clinical care, global health and biomedical research. I am wondering what possible avenues might exist in the PA field for deep interests in global health BEYOND the scope of casual medical volunteering or clinical rotations? I would be most interested in applying my area of health specialty to improving health assessment, delivery and screening in a low-income primary health care model.
My goal is to utilize my knowledge network, research background and skills to contribute meaningfully to low-income global communities through implementation of a sustainable development program targeting the social determinants of health. I am a recent college graduate and have not had the privilege of meeting any PA’s who are currently immersed in the field of global health. Therefore, I am looking for perspective, advice on the scope of this career pathway and insights on how to proceed in my academic training!
I think there are plenty of opportunities for you out there. Many clinicians are dependent on the type of information that you can obtain. This can be challenging in low resource settings and clinicians need to focus on medicine and “what is in front of them”. They can’t always see forest and depend on social workers and public health servants to obtain needed data.
I’m impressed that you are looking for something beyond casual volunteering.
I’ve been involved in various levels in rural Guatemala for about 5 years. Please feel free to hit me up. I’m returning to Guatemala in a few weeks where there is limited access to communication, and I don’t visit this site often, but I’m happy to converse about this whenever it’s possible.
have you looked into non profits such as Partners in Health or Last Mile Health or even leadership development organizations like Global Health Corps where they might be able to work with you on this? Your interests definitely are aligned with their mission/purpose. PAs for Global Health now focuses mostly on short-term volunteering opportunities but I would like to bring up the idea of the organization to perhaps collaborate with other entities to develop some sort of training program for us PAs who are interested in long-term, sustainable development of health care models and delivery systems to low-income populations globally. Just a thought for the future…
Josie Kozloff, PA-C