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Contra Costa Family Medicine Global Health Track

Former resident, Dr. Danielle Draper, with Malawian medical students on their family medicine rotation.


To nurture an interest in global health by supporting family medicine residents with a robust curriculum on disease processes, health disparities, ethics, population health, and the mentorship necessary to participate in ethically responsible and educational international electives.


Since its inception, Contra Costa Family Medicine has held a rich history in training residents who, upon graduation, bring their skills to serve underserved communities across the world. However, prior to 2009, many residents found it difficult to explore their interests in global medicine during residency itself, due to the intense inpatient and surgical components of the residency program and resultant limited elective time. Residents craved a way to incorporate global health work into their training years, in order to develop the unique clinical skills valued in low-resource global settings, provide clinical service to underserved international communities, and reignite their motivations for seeking full-spectrum training critical to areas in greatest need.

To this end, in 2009, two first-year residents proposed the initiation of a global health track that would provide structure and support to pursue global health work during residency itself. Since that time, the track has grown and developed significantly, now accepting six residents per class each year, with track members using elective time during their second and third years to work overseas in varied settings. The global health track formalizes a curriculum in global medicine and public health, offers residents elective time to do global health projects abroad, and provides faculty support and mentorship.

Features of Global Health Track:

  • Bi-monthly meetings featuring series of GH topics presented by residents, fellows, and guest speakers
  • Lectures are adapted from Global Health Education Consortium (GHEC) modules supported by UCSF global health sciences
  • International elective time: 4 weeks 2nd year, 5 weeks 3rd year
  • Each Global Health track member can choose from a list of 15 Global health advisors who are Contra Costa faculty with extensive experience in global health.
  • Each Global Health track member is required to participate in one elective at continuity site including Chiapas, Malawi and Peru
  • Global health trackers and fellows receive point of care ultrasound training (POCUS).
  • Cross cultural exchange: sponsored three visiting family medicine residents from the Aga Khan Family Medicine residency program in Nairobi Kenya in June 2015. The Kenyan residents shadowed Contra Costa residents on inpatient services and participated in a neonatal resuscitation and point of care ultrasound course. The Kenyan residents also attended didactics on faculty development, problem based learning, motivational interviewing, and primary care medical home lab.