Student Opportunities for Academic Research (SOAR)

Global Health

Matt Anderson, M.D., MS
Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Social Medicine



The global health concentration will provide Einstein students with the opportunity to learn and practice research skills overseas, as well as to explore the social and political aspects of living and working a foreign country.  The concentration will be based initially on two long-standing Einstein collaborations: with Dr. Roberto Belmar in Chile and the Clinica Familiar Luis Angel Garcia in Guatemala City. Dr. Belmar is conducting research on the epidemiology of Hanta virus and research in Guatemala is focusing on how to get AIDS patients into care earlier.


Practice and conceptualize research as an ongoing process of academic work, not a single event.

Understand both the power and limits of research in terms of improving actual health outcomes.

Use the experience of working in another country as an opportunity to critically examine both your own society as well as that of the country in which you are working.

Understand the social implications of working in a foreign country, specifically how the involvement of North Americans can both help and hurt health systems in other countries.

Structure and Expectations

First Year:  During the summer after their first year students will work in either Chile or in Guatemala as part of a research team. Prior to leaving the student will complete the CITI ethics course and meet with Dr. Anderson at least three times to discuss the project. Students have often been successful obtaining additional funding for this trip from the NYAM social medicine scholarships. At the completion of the summer it is expected that the student will participate in the preparation of a paper for publication and an abstract for submission to a conference. The student will also identify an individual project on which they will work in their fourth year.

Second Year: Students will submit their first year’s work to the GHEC global health conference and attend the conference to present their work. During second and third years we anticipate an ongoing series of mentoring sessions designed to prepare students for their fourth year project.

Third Year: Preparation for research project in the fourth year.

Fourth Year: The student will spend 2 to 3 months overseas completing a research project that has been developed with input from their host country. Students should plan on taking the Health Research Activism course. It is anticipated this project will result in an academic paper (fulfilling the requirement of the scholarly paper) and presentation at a conference.

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