Volume 83, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Recent interest in global health among medical students has grown drastically, and many students now spend time abroad conducting short-term research projects in low-resource settings. These short-term stints in developing countries present important ethical challenges to US-based students and their medical schools as well as the institutions that host such students abroad. This paper outlines some of these ethical issues and puts forth recommendations for ethically mindful short-term student research.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Drain PK, Primack A, Hunt DD, Fawzi WW, Holmes KK, Gardner P, , 2007. Global health in medical education: a call for more training and opportunities. Acad Med 82: 226230.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  2. Panosian C, Coates TJ, , 2006. The new medical “missionaries”–grooming the next generation of global health workers. N Engl J Med 354: 17711773.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  3. Gupta AR, Wells CK, Horwitz RI, Bia FJ, Barry M, , 1999. The International Health Program: the fifteen-year experience with Yale University's Internal Medicine Residency Program. Am J Trop Med Hyg 61: 10191023. [Google Scholar]
  4. Smith JK, Weaver DB, , 2006. Capturing medical students' idealism. Ann Fam Med 4 (Suppl 1): S32S37.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  5. Babich LP, Bicknell WJ, Culpepper L, Jack BW, , 2008. Social responsibility, international development, and institutional commitment: lessons from the Boston University experience. Acad Med 83: 143147.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  6. Margolis CZ, Deckelbaum RJ, Henkin Y, Baram S, Cooper P, Alkan M, , 2004. A medical school for international health run by international partners. Acad Med 79: 744751.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  7. Kickbusch I, Novotny TE, Drager N, Silberschmidt G, Alcazar S, , 2007. Global health diplomacy: training across disciplines. Bull World Health Organ 85: 971973.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  8. Crump JA, Sugarman J, , 2008. Ethical considerations for short-term experiences by trainees in global health. J Am Med Assoc 300: 14561458.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  9. Benatar SR, Singer PA, , 2000. A new look at international research ethics. BMJ 321: 824826.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  10. Pinto AD, Upshur RE, , 2009. Global health ethics for students. Dev World Bioeth 9: 110.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  11. Langer A, Díaz-Olavarrieta C, Berdichevsky K, Villar J, , 2004. Why is research from developing countries underrepresented in international health literature, and what can be done about it? Bull World Health Organ 82: 802803. [Google Scholar]
  12. Edejer TT, , 1999. North-South research partnerships: the ethics of carrying out research in developing countries. BMJ 319: 438441.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  13. Bhutta ZA, , 2002. Ethics in international health research: a perspective from the developing world. Bull World Health Organ 80: 114120. [Google Scholar]
  14. Glanz BK, Lerman C, Coughlin SS, Beauchamp TL, , 1996. Ethical issues in the design and conduct of community-based intervention studies. , eds. Ethics and Epidemiology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 156157. [Google Scholar]
  15. CIOMS International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects, 2009. Available at: http://www.cioms.ch/frame_guidelines_nov_2002.htm. Accessed October 14, 2009.
  16. Barry M, , 1988. Ethical considerations of human investigation in developing countries. N Engl J Med 319: 10831086.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  17. Jegede AS, , 2009. Understanding informed consent for participation in international health research. Dev World Bioeth 9: 8187.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  18. Benatar SR, , 2004. Towards progress in resolving dilemmas in international research ethics. J Law Med Ethics 32: 574582.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  19. Rennie D, Flanagin A, Yank V, , 2000. The contributions of authors. J Am Med Assoc 284: 8991.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 19 Nov 2009
  • Accepted : 24 Mar 2010
  • Published online : 05 Aug 2010

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error