Global Health Experiential Education in Bolivia

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About Program

Become immersed in Bolivian culture by living with local families in either Tarija, a tranquil city in southern Bolivia or La Paz, the nation’s capital. You can select from two CHFI’s immersion programs:

Doing More With Less, Healthcare in Remote Southern Bolivia (Tarija): Focus on primary care, public health outreach, and rural health in the prevention efforts in surrounding communities. Interns will also learn about Chagas disease, an endemic vector-borne illness that is a major public threat in Latin America.
Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (La Paz): Partake in rotations at pediatric clinics and hospitals in and around La Paz, including the largest children’s hospital in the country, recognized as a major research hospital conducting work to influence national health policy.

While not on program, CFHI participants may also organize weekend trips to destinations such as Lake Titicaca, the Inca Ruins at Tiwanaku, and the Uyuni Salt Flats.

Program Highlights
  • Students will participate in prevention and epidemiological programs as well as clinical rotations where they will observe the various manifestations and stages of Chagas infection.
  • CFHI's rotations are designed to offer you clinical and observational experiences relevant to your level of medical education.
  • Information sessions that highlight the health care system in that country, common cases you will encounter and other site-specific information.
  • Clinical rotations Monday-Friday, working with a local physician who has opted to participate in CFHI as a teaching preceptor.
  • Develop your Spanish language skills through clinical rotations and the home stay experience.

Program Reviews

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Yes, I recommend this program

Global Health Practicum in La Paz

I completed a global health practicum in La Paz, Bolivia in March 2018. Rather than working in a clinical setting, I worked with an NGO that had developed a micro health insurance (MHI) product for very low income persons living in La Paz. The NGO was experiencing challenges in meeting their sales goals, and the focus of my practicum was identifying barriers in selling/purchasing MHI and providing recommendations to overcome these barriers.

This practicum was a particularly important experience for me because I did not have any previous experience in public health. In addition to learning about what it is like to work in the field, I also learned several invaluable lessons about developing, implementing, and promoting public health programs.

I found both the NGO and CFHI staff friendly, supportive, willing to teach me, and willing to learn from me. The local CFHI staff was particularly helpful - they were always available to answer questions or help resolve any issues. My homestay accommodations were very high quality, and in a location convenient to the office.

The also program offered flexibility to travel on weekends, so that you can explore and learn more about Bolivian culture.

All in all, this was a wonderful experience and I am glad I participated in the program!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The Uyuni Salt Flats - you would not think that a salt flat would be interesting or fun, but it's a really beautiful location with a very interesting history.
2 people found this review helpful.

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