Field Experience

Student Reports from 2012 Summer Internships

The U-M SPH Global Public Health Initiative awarded over $70,000 of internship funding for summer 2012, to a diverse group of 21 students from nearly every department at SPH. They averaged 12 weeks of in-country placement in 13 countries:

  • Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Guatemala
  • China, Mongolia
  • Gambia, Ghana, Malawi
  • Spain, Scotland
  • Israel
Map of South AmericaMap of North and Central AmericaMap of Africa
Map of AsiaMap of EuropeMap of the Middle East
  • MongoliaSabri Bromage, Epidemiology (International Health), in Mongolia

    “I assisted the Nationwide Study on the Status of Vitamin D and Other Micronutrients in the Mongolian Adult Population. This is an ongoing epidemiological study initiated by Dr. Ganmaa Davaasambuu of the Harvard School of Public Health, with collaborators in Mongolia and New Zealand. We will return to the same regions this winter to repeat our assessment, in order to study differences in micronutrition between summer and winter. I will be able to return to Mongolia this winter to supervise winter data collection for three weeks. In the future, we intend to expand the study to cover an additional thirty-six regions in order to span the entire breadth of the country.”
    Photo: Sabri Bromage at center and students he trained in dietary assessment.

  • Emek MediicalJerusalemDanielle Taubman, Health Behavior and Health Education, in Israel:

    Danielle was the first HBHE student and only the second U-M SPH student to complete a summer internship in Israel. “When I thought about where I would do my internship for my Master of Public Health program, I could only imagine being in Israel. I hope that my positive experience inspires future students in the program to do projects in the Middle East as well. For my internship, I was assigned to help develop and conduct a study through the Department of Infectious Disease at Emek Medical Center in northeastern Israel. I worked closely with an internal medicine specialist with an M.P.H. in epidemiology. The aim of the study was to find new strategies to address tuberculin skin test compliance among healthcare workers (HCWs). We were able to complete the study and write a scientific manuscript which we are working to publish.”
    Photo at left: Israel Internal Medicine unit where Danielle Taubman was stationed at Emek Medical Center; At right: A visit to Jerusalem.

  • China Shirley Xiao Qing Wang, Epidemiology, in Tianjin, China:

    “This summer, I spent ten weeks interning in Tianjin Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During that time, I was able to observe tuberculosis (TB) surveillance through Direct Observed Therapy and created a TB surveillance dataset.” Shirley says that the internship gave her the opportunity to take the skills she has learned in class and put them into real-life practice.
    Photo: Shirley with epidemiologists in the Tianjin CDC.

  • Shanghai pharmacyShanghai hospitalBradley Hoath, Health Management and Policy, in Shanghai, China:

    During the summer of 2012, Bradley worked as an administrative intern for Shanghai Landseed International Hospital in Shanghai, China. “My first project was to redesign the hospital’s patient satisfaction surveys. My second project dealt with Landseed’s desire for future accreditation by the Joint Commission International (JCI), the Joint Commission’s international arm for accrediting health care providers outside the U.S. My third major project consisted of drafting a strategic marketing report for senior management.” Bradley reports that his internship has motivated him "to continue developing professional skills and focus on Chinese health care.”
    Photo at left: Grand opening Ceremony; June 26, 2012; At right: Bradley Hoath and pharmacy manager Lei Yan Ping.

    Jenny Castano, Health Behavior and Health Education, in Spain:

    Jenny interned at Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona. She reports that the primary goal of her internship was to research the effects of new regulations to health care access in Spain. She plans to return to Spain to conduct a second study to compare with the first study. This is necessary in order to see the full impact of the changes in immigrant populations and public health in Barcelona as a result of the new immigrant law that is in place as of April 2012.

  • Gambia Haddi Cham, Health Behavior and Health Education, in Gambia:

    “I interned for Imaginations Inc., a non-profit organization that conducts health and education initiatives in the United States and abroad. I served as a Program Coordinator for a HIV prevention program for youths in the West African nation of Gambia. I was stationed at the Brikama Health Center, a small health facility that provides basic outpatient services and a limited set of inpatient services.” Haddi explains that her role as the Program Coordinator involved culturally adapting U.S. evidence-based HIV intervention for African American youth known as Becoming a Responsible Teen (BART).
    Photo: Haddi Cham facilitating a BART HIV prevention session.

  • MalawiMalawiCarly Adams, Epidemiology (International Health), in Malawi:

    Carly spent 3 months working in Blantyre, Malawi with the ICEMR Project 3 Team: Urban Malaria, at the Malaria Alert Centre (MAC). “I traveled daily with the team to the different health clinics in the study, from where Chawa, the woman who gave the questionnaires, and I traveled to the individual households in the study. I also spent a week with an entomologist working at the MAC, traveling around Blantyre and actively searching for Anopheles larvae.” The preliminary evidence from their work suggests that “urban agriculture, as defined by the presence of at least one food crop within 20 meters of the house, is a risk factor for malaria.”
    Photo at left: Collecting Anopheles larvae in Blantyre, Malawi; At right: Cape McClear, Lake Malawi.

Background on GPHI Internships

Students in most UM SPH master's degree programs are required to complete an internship or some type of field experience between their first and second year. Many students focus their internship on health issues within international or internationally related contexts.

SPH students interested in finding a global health field placement should begin by working with their department advisor. Additionally, an annual funding competition is held each winter term for SPH students conducting global health internships.