Global Health Immersion

The SCOI clinical immersion program in global health allows preclinical Québec medical students to have a first learning experience about the cultural et logistical challenges inherent when working in low resource setting.

The main objective of the program is to provide medical students with a better understanding of global health and health in foreign countries and to offer an opportunity to live in such environments.

The SCOI program has 3 components: a theoretical part, an immersion abroad and a time dedicated to the reintegration of the concepts learned upon coming back to Canada.

The theoretical portion is a training of 28h on different topics judged relevant by the training team in order to lay the foundation and prepare the candidates for the 6-week-long immersion. The training also aims to provide students with an overview of the experience so as to reflect their competences and attitudes in order to pinpoint which one to improve. The end goal is to have future physicians well equipped to face any situations, at home or abroad.

The immersion portion is six weeks long and takes place in one of our four partner hosting communities in Peru, Benin, Rwanda or China. During this portion, the student will be confronted with cultural, logistical and personal challenges and will have to use the different tools and techniques taught in the theoretical portion in order to deepen his understanding of the issues.

Finally, once the student is back in Canada, he will be asked to integrate his newly acquired skills and knowledge by putting together a project. The theme of the project should reflect an element of the immersion that was revealing or eye-opening and can take the form of an article or a video making it possible to share the outcomes of the experience to other pre-clinical students. This is also used as a reflective retrospective critical exercise and shows the direct plus-value of the experience in the pre-clinical journey.

Accredited university course

The SCOI partners with Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke and Université Laval in order to offer the SCOI program as a university course. This course does not require any additional work from the SCOI program workload and is rather used to officially acknowledge the work and time dedicated during your participation to the program.

Cost of the program

Registration fees are 300$ and do not include the tuition fees paid to the students respective faculty. The registration fees include:

  • Transport, food, logistics and speaker fees for the three trainings
  • Calling fees to contact the hosting community throughout the year and to follow up during the internship
  • Contribution to an emergency relief fund: A designated amount of money available and ready to be sent quickly to a participant/group living a health related emergency or a safety issue
  • Contribution to the Canadian immersion program: a part of the registration fees will ensure the hosting of one healthcare professional from one of the hosting communities chosen according to his leadership skills and interest to learn other competencies in a hospital and/or university setting

The registration to the accredited university course includes:

  • The possibility to acknowledge the SCOI program and internship as an optional class
  • An additional official training on global health written on your transcript
  • A liability insurance covering your medical act in the hosting community as well as the material that could be used

The fees do not include:

  • Plane tickets and transportation overseas
  • Compensation for teaching for the staff and internship facility
  • Medical equipment (stethoscope, N95 mask, scrubs, etc.)
  • Compensation for hosting families or housing (depending of the intership)

Mandatory training

Attendance to the three days pre-departure training and debrief session is mandatory in order to be able to go abroad. If you do not participate to all of them, you will not be able to do the SCOI internship and will not pass the university class.

Evaluation method and return

A final report about the internship and a short text describing an aspect of global health that you were confronted to during your internship will be used as the main tools to evaluate you. Your gain in intercultural competency is crucial to evaluate what was effectively passed on during the program and to asses the quality of the program. The two documents and the attendance will determine the grade of the course (pass or fail).

For more information

Véronique Maltais and Camille Marcoux
Coordinators of the SCOI clinical immersion program in global health