Electives - Global Health
Costa Rica: Exploring Global Health
Elective Number: 2427 (International)
Rotation Supervisor: Drs. Amy Brown & Abigail Kumral (UVA) & Dr.
Arturo Abdelnour in Cosa Rica
Duration: 4 weeks Maximum
Prerequisites: At least a month prior to
beginning the rotation complete the Elective requirements on
Report to: Dr. Arturo Abdelnour
Time to Report: 7:00 am
Place to Report: Lobby, Hospital Nacional de Ninos
Typical Day: 7:00 am - 12:00pm (hospital rotations); 2:00-5:00pm
Suggested Preparatory Reading: The Elective Pack: the medical
student's guide to essential international health and development http://ucl.ac.uk/cihd/undergraduate/elective_info/elective_pack;
Lonely planet Costa Rica Travel Information and Travel Guide
Attendance: Attendance at elective activities is mandatory.
- Anyone who is ill or has a personal or family emergency must contact
Student Affairs and the Attending on Service.
- Students are allowed to take off up to 1 day per week to interview
between November 1 and February 1.
- Specific days missed must be approved by the Attending on Service.
Number of students per rotation: 1-2
Course Description: Course Description
This is a unique program which offers students an opportunity to participate
in a long-standing exchange between UVA Children's Hospital and The
Hospital Nacional de Niños in San Jose, Costa Rica. For over
thirty years UVA faculty, fellows, residents, and students have participated
in this program and there is a valued and well-established relationship
between the two institutions. Although Costa Rica is officially a "developing
country", it is a politically stable country and fairly well-developed
in many areas. In particular, public policy has allowed the development
of a sophisticated public medical system.
The hospital is a tertiary care center that serves children up to age
thirteen. Students will be matched with an outpatient or inpatient service,
depending on availability and the student's area of interest. This is
an opportunity to participate in learning about delivery and practice
of medicine in the cultural context of Costa Rica. Up to 2 students at
one time may spend four weeks on this rotation.
Learn about the healthcare delivery system of a developing country
• Objective1: Understand who is served by the Costa Rican national healthcare
• Objective 2: Understand patterns of referral from local to regional and
• Objective 3: Describe differences between US and Costa Rican healthcare.
Insurance and payment; Service by physicians - private and public; Physician
standard of living; Limitations of resources
Learning about preventative public health measures in a developing country.
Objective 1: Understand and describe implementation of Costa Rica's newborn
Objective 2: Understand and describe implementation of the national vaccination
and local healthcare delivery.
Objective 3: Explore and be able to understand and describe at least
one other measured public health initiative (eg. Folate supplementation,
Learning about the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders
unique to a developing country.
Objective 1: Identify which infectious diseases are unique to Costa Rica
and tropical climates.
Objective 2: Identify disease risks for individuals of the indigenous
Learning about unique cultural influences on the etiology, diagnosis
and treatment of disease.
Objective 1: Understand influences of one's own culture.
Objective 2: Know main cultural backgrounds of Costa Rica's residents.
Objective 3: Describe several encounters with patients/parents of different
cultures. Understand how one's own culture affects patient care.
Objective 4: Deliver culturally sensitive and competent care.
Complete readings; Meet with Supervisor
Participate in all clinical and educational activities during the rotation
Students must choose a topic to focus on (approved by Supervisor)
Prepare case presentation
Written evidence of completion of all goals and objectives (in clinical
setting, in didactic sessions, in informal conversation, or through reading)
Final essay on a topic of student's choosing (approved by Supervisor)
Meet with Supervisor for debriefing
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