Global Health Electives for Internal Medicine Residents

Internal Medicine residents at NYU School of Medicine have the opportunity to apply for a four-week clinical, teaching, or research Global Health Elective at an overseas site in their second and third years. The program accepts 12 residents per year, who are eligible to receive full salary, benefits, and travel stipends.

Global Health Elective Objectives 

  1. Develop and practice cross-cultural communication and exam skills 
  2. Appreciate cultural and social determinants of health-related needs and behavior 
  3. Deepen knowledge of global health disparities and tropical diseases 
  4. Become oriented for clinical services and/or research in resource-limited settings 
  5. Understand ethical issues in working with underserved populations 
  6. Use leadership principles and skills to improve health care delivery at the population level both abroad and at home1 

Faculty contact: 
Nathan Bertelsen, MD

Global Health Elective Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine and Department of Population Health
NYU School of Medicine

Associated Faculty 
NYU College of Global Public Health

Associate Professor of Global Health and Medical Education
Koç University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey

Global Health Teaching Elective in Istanbul

Since 2012, Koç University School of Medicine has hosted Internal Medicine residents from NYU School of Medicine for a special Global Health Teaching Elective opportunity in Istanbul, Turkey.      

As one of the largest scientific and medical establishments in the region, Koç University School of Medicine is training the next generation of physician leaders. In a commitment to broadening students' international skills and scope, the official language of instruction is English. 

Residents will have access to the state-of-the-art Koç University Hospital opened in October 2014, with a capacity of 497 beds and 4,000 square meters of research facilities. As the only city that spans Europe and Asia, Istanbul offers a unique global health site at a truly historic international crossroad where East, West, North, and South all meet. Like New York City, Istanbul is a buzzing and cosmopolitan metropolis with exceptional cross-cultural learning opportunities for NYU School of Medicine residents. 

Modeled after the role of a Chief Resident, the activities for the Global Health Teaching Elective in Istanbul include leading daily oral presentations, clinical skills simulations, morning report case discussions, and evidence-based medicine reviewboth individually and in groups. Like on the wards in New York, NYU School of Medicine residents take a leading role in modeling, preparing, and assessing clinical training for Koç University School of Medicine students, and present cases both at the bedside and during academic conferences. Skills in history taking, physical examination, assessment and plan are reinforced, with emphasis on excellence in cross-cultural communication. Koç University School of Medicine students also serve as guides and interpreters for NYU School of Medicine residents to navigate the Turkish health care system and the city. 

A U.S. internal medicine board-certified NYU Langone hospitalist attending, who is based year-round in Istanbul, but who returns periodically for hospital service and teaching at Bellevue Hospital, provides direct on-site supervision of participating residents. The collaboration is mutually beneficial; NYU School of Medicine residents share U.S. bedside teaching methods in Turkey, while in return they learn from Koç University School of Medicine students about the unique health care expertise and cultural diversity in Turkey. This is an ideal learning opportunity for residents interested in a chief residency or a career in medical education. 

  1. Evert J, Drain P, Hall T. (2014) Developing Global Health Programming: A Guidebook for Medical and Professional Schools, Second Edition. San Francisco, California: Global Health Collaborations Press.