This special collection of articles in Annals of Global Health examines Short Term Experiences in Global Health (STEGHs) as invaluable for opening the eyes of students from high-income countries to the often harsh realities of health and health care in poor countries. When properly conducted, STEGHs can do great good. But the dark side is that STEGHs can provide a platform for activities that are unethical and in some cases criminal – such activities as practicing medicine without a license or performing surgical procedures without proper training or supervision. Improperly conducted STEGHs can weaken local institutions in host countries and undermine the credibility of local health professionals. They can reduce population health.