International Clinical Experiences
Part of our program's vision relates to educating our students to appreciate a greater role that they play in the health care arena of the nation and the world. This vision has led us to place emphasis on global health education. One unique offering at Wake Forest is an opportunity for interested students to earn a certificate in global health education.
This optional program involves seminars, clinical work, and a capstone project focused on global health. Conducted in concert with the student's nurse anesthesia curriculum, the global health certificate program adds an additional focus on unique issues in diverse health settings. Upon completion of the 2-year program, students are awarded a certificate in global health by the Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Our global health clinical experience program began in 2006, when we formed relationships with providers to facilitate student and faculty involvement on international medical missions.The opportunity to provide anesthesia in a third-world country using primitive monitoring techniques and medications is an experience that cannot be duplicated in the United States. These experiences provide students not only with the opportunity to learn unusual clinical techniques, but also to learn about alternate health systems and how to overcome system challenges in those environments. We have continued to build new relationships and find new opportunities yearly.
Currently, the majority of students gain some international experience (in the Class of 2016, over 80% of students received international clinical experience).
Besides the clinical experience, this opportunity also provides an uplifting sense of philanthropy for the providers and leads to formation of strong bonds with domestic and foreign teammates.
The mission trips are life-changing for many student participants. Read what this one said about her encounter:
"I can't thank you enough for making our program so open and encouraging to students taking mission trips. I wish students at all anesthesia schools had this opportunity, but I am aware that this is not the case. My hope is that I have built a bridge with this surgical team that future students will be able to cross and have amazing experiences like my own."
Another mission participant wrote this:
"The trip was great. I am so glad that I went and would encourage other students to go. We both had many people ask us if Wake students can come on more trips because we were the "best" they have had. Both of the surgeons wanted to take us back to their hospitals in Tennessee, and the anesthesiologist offered us both a job in Nashville. I am grateful for the great preparation and training we get here and was proud that we were able to represent the program well."