International Health Electives 

2006 Heiskell Awards Special Recognition: Study Abroad

Nomination submitted by: Judith E. Reagan, Director, Office of International Programs

Program Overview 
Judith Reagan, Director of the Office of International Programs at the University of Kansas Medical Center developed the International Health Electives program for senior medical students to travel abroad for hands-on clinical electives. Participating students learn to function in another culture under a different health care system. The program currently has sites on six continents in both developed and developing countries. “A global perspective is required for the healthcare providers of the future who will encounter emerging and re-emerging diseases that with global travel touch every part of the world,” says Judith Reagan. In February 2006, over thirty percent of the class participated in the program, up markedly from one student at the program’s inception in 1993. New sites are now continuously under development to meet the increasing demand for opportunities for students to learn from cultures and healthcare systems abroad. We are encouraged to see this new institutional model for study abroad. We also hope it will help fuel a growing interest in majors and fields such as the new “Geographic Medicine.”