Volume 94, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Given the lack of a standardized approach to medical student global health predeparture preparation, we evaluated an in-person, interactive predeparture orientation (PDO) at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) to understand program strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. We administered anonymous surveys to assess the structure and content of the PDO and also surveyed a subset of students after travel on the utility of the PDO. We used Fisher's exact test to evaluate the association between prior global health experience and satisfaction with the PDO. One hundred and five students attended the PDO between 2010 and 2014 and completed the survey. One hundred and four students (99.0%) reported learning new information. Major strengths included faculty mentorship ( = 38, 19.7%), opportunities to interact with the UCLA global health community ( = 34, 17.6%), and sharing global health experiences ( = 32, 16.6%). Of students surveyed after their elective, 94.4% ( = 51) agreed or strongly agreed that the PDO provided effective preparation. Students with prior global health experience found the PDO to be as useful as students without experience (92.7% versus 94.4%, = 1.0). On the basis of these findings, we believe that a well-composed PDO is beneficial for students participating in global health experiences and recommend further comparative studies of PDO content and delivery.


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Supplementary Data

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  • Received : 29 Jul 2015
  • Accepted : 14 Oct 2015

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