Starting summer 2022, students will have the opportunity to study global healthcare in Leipzig, Germany as part of the study abroad program.
The trip will feature courses such as Hearing Rehabilitation and Global Healthcare, all of which are intended to enrich the learning of pre-med students. According to Dr. Lynette Austin, director of communication science disorders department, the trip is open to all but specifically those who are planning a career in a health related field.
“Pre-healthcare professions students benefit by participation in this program because they leave it with a larger vision for what healthcare can and should be,” Austin said.
The curriculum features required courses for medical majors taught by a plethora of professionals but specifically Austin and Dr. Cynthia Powell, executive director for the Center of Pre-Health Professions. The pair will introduce students to the variety of healthcare systems around the world thus providing them with an international perspective.
In addition to classes, students will be able to shadow healthcare professionals in German medical institutions, allowing them to gain hands-on experience in the field. These outreach programs will occur once a week during the seven week program. Among the options include visits to a medical school simulation lab and a speech-language pathology class at the University of Leipzig, as well as establishing a relationship with the German director of the World Health Organization. These opportunities will emphasize cultural differences within the medical field.
“Students will gain an understanding of what parts of healthcare the U.S. does well and the areas that the US struggles to address,” Austin said.
The institution of this trip after COVID-19 follows the announcement of the Center for Pre-Health Professions, which Powell is directing. The center will feature new seminars relevant for those interested in medical careers, as well as a new minor titled Health Humanities. These institutions are designed to better prepare students for a rigorous pre-med curriculum. The global healthcare trip has close ties to the program, as they both seek to equip participants with all of the necessary skills for their respective fields.
“These opportunities will demonstrate how culture impacts different healthcare systems and how healthcare systems are organized,” Powell said.