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Examining the Role of International Service-Learning in American Medical Education: A National Exploratory Study

Thursday, September 26, 2019

There is a recent rise in demand for international rotations in medical school,
during which U.S. schools send medical students to another country for an immersive
educational experience, but there is little research surrounding the characteristics, ethics,
and institutional support for these types of rotations. This study examines the types of
international rotations that exist in medical education in the United States and its
territories as key avenues for international service-learning (ISL) by investigating the key
characteristics of international rotations and the structural and programmatic features
necessary to support such rotations; the barriers and facilitators to the advancement of
ISL from the perspectives of stakeholders within medical education who design and
implement international rotations (i.e., faculty, staff, administrators); broader contextual
factors that might influence a medical school’s decision to include ISL in its medical
program; and whether relationships exist between components within a medical school or
institutional environment and the inclusion of international service-learning components
performed during international rotations.