Understanding Health Disparities at Home and Abroad
The UC Berkeley Minority Health/Global Health (MH/GH) Training Program aims to provide international research experience and training in the health sciences and public health for undergraduate and graduate students committed to reducing U.S. and international health disparities. The program is largely built on the philosophy that providing underrepresented students with the opportunity to bring knowledge and research training to under-served communities in the developing world will both inspire and empower those students to pursue research, medical, or other global health disparities-related careers. The program emphasizes the relationship between infectious diseases and health disparities, both in the U.S. and internationally, as this allows students to draw parallels between their international experiences and health disparities in the U.S.
The UC Berkeley MH/GH program was established in 2009 with support from the NIH Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) grant. Since its inception, the UC Berkeley MH/GH program has supported 36 students from minority groups and disadvantaged backgrounds. All 36 prior trainees successfully completed the program. The MH/GH training program is unique in offering a full year of programming to trainees—beginning with a spring semester research seminar and mentored research project (led by participating research groups at UC Berkeley or UCSF), followed by an international summer research experience, and commencing with participation in a campus-wide research symposium in the fall semester.
The impact of the MH/GH program on trainees and their career trajectories is substantial. Of the 22 program trainees who have graduated from UC Berkeley thus far, five are in medical school, one is pursuing a PhD, and eleven are in other science, technology, or global health-related jobs. Quantitative monitoring and evaluation metrics, surveys responses, and qualitative feedback suggest that the MH/GH program helps students develop practical research, leadership, and communications skills. Additionally, students report their experience in the MH/GH program to reinforce or inspire their interest in further pursuing research, medical, and/or global health careers.
CEND is currently recruiting MHIRT fellows for the 2014 program. Additional information on the program can be found here:
The student blog from the 2013 MHIRT fellows can be found here: