Global Health Studies: The Future of Medical Undergraduates

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It’s no surprise that in a continually evolving and globalized society, there have spurred numerous international organizations dedicated to the pursuit of a prosperous environment.

Among these, global health takes its place not only as the fastest evolving mission statement among these enterprises but also in the classroom of universities among the nation.

Global Health studies are turning into an increasingly prevalent course of study in universities across the nation, and its dynamic course of study and diverse application post-graduation have accelerated it into the future of work in international health research.

A report by the CSIS Global Health Policy Center finds that of their surveyed universities, global health curriculums have been, on average, tripling every 5 years.

Behind these staggering growth statistics, however, it's important to find out the history of emerging public health studies, why more students are entering the field, and what this means for the future of public health as we know it.

Rapid Beginnings

Global Health by no means is an educational innovation of the 21st century. Since the early 1900s, Global Health programs have been unraveling in universities available to students in graduate studies.

What had changed in the early 21st century was a spillover of those programs to undergraduates. Apart from rising student interest, a 2003 report by the Institute of Medicine called for a system of undergraduate public health studies and universities promptly followed.

As of today, there are dozens of schools that provide fully-fledged global health studies as a major among undergraduate students, and even more schools offering individual classes in the area.

Along with funding from private donors, foundations, and the government, it doesn't seem like the growth of this sector will dissipate any time soon.

What are the drivers?

With this proliferation, it may be important to know why there is increased demand for such a dynamic field of study.

For one, the employment opportunities mirror the major in that they offer a wide range of companies and specialized disciplines.

From public policy administration to biostatistics and informatics to epidemiology and research, global health provides graduates with a truly liberalized health curriculum that has a spectrum of career offerings.

Moreover, contemporary geopolitics have been escalating the visibility of global health as a foreign policy initiative, seen by international treaties such as the Paris Climate accords.

Despite its environmental base, this negotiation among countries is also important for the public health of its citizens. Even in areas where health is not the main driver of certain actions, it certainly has influence during the process.

Bottom Line

What effect might this have on the future development of public health initiatives? For one, these national and international institutions will only have greater legitimacy and thus influence on government and business practices, altering the landscape on public policy.

Moreover, the students of today’s era will soon be the leading researchers of global health initiatives and can discover more insightful and effective solutions to problems that may be occurring now or in the future.

Alejandro is a second year economics major with an interest in finance, real estate, and marketing. He is the editor in chief for the Insights division and enjoys impact investing and development.
More posts by Alejandro Banuelos.
Global Health Studies: The Future of Medical Undergraduates
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