Global Health Initiative

International Medical Exchanges


The international medical exchange program consists of providing Brown WAMS students with the opportunity to partake in an international medical rotation at one of our international collaborator's sites. Each site is hosted by a foreign medical school and treated like a student of that school to have clinical experience outside the US. There is an application process and a Brown faculty liaison for the exchange, who completes the evaluations for the students. Once accepted into the program, students would be registered under the elective course number for that particular exchange site. 

The international medical rotation is for MS4 students and takes place from January to April for approximately 3 to 4 weeks.

The Warren Alpert Medical School supports international exchange programs in 11 countries: Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Germany, Ghana, Haiti (on hold), Israel (on hold), Italy, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, and Taiwan.


August - application opens

Later September - application closes

Mid-October - students notified about site selection

Jan - April - students travel to international rotation (approximately 3-4 weeks)

International sites

International Medical Exchange Sites


Exchange Institution: Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo

Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. Hugo Yamada

Apply here

Exchange Institution: Zhejiang University School of Medicine

Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. Jie Tang

In 2004, the Brown Department of Medicine entered into an educational exchange agreement with the Department of Internal Medicine at Cabral y Baez hospital in Santiago, Dominican Republic. In choosing Cabral y Baez as an educational exchange site, the Department considered the relevance of an experience in the Dominican Republic to our patient population in Providence, the relative ease of travel to Santiago, and the desire of many Brown internal medicine residents and medical students to gain international experience in a Spanish-speaking country. At Cabral, we found internal medicine colleagues eager to partner with us in a mutually-beneficial partnership and bilateral educational exchange program.

Hospitál Regional Universitario José María Cabral y Báez (HRUJMCB) is a public regional hospital in Santiago de los Caballeros serving as the main tertiary care center for the northern half of the Dominican Republic.  It is also the main teaching hospital for the three medical schools located in Santiago.

Annually, residents from Cabral y Baez also rotate through the Brown Hospitals in Rhode Island. One of the responsibilities of medical students and residents selected to participate in the exchange is to assist Cabral residents that visit Brown in April and May. 

Exchange Institution: Hospitál Regional Universitario José María Cabral y Báez

Faculty Liaison/DirectorDr. Martha Sanchez

Apply here

Goals for Medical Students and Residents

  1. Understand the clinical presentation and management of common serious illnesses in the Dominican Republic, including dengue, leptospirosis, malaria, organophosphate poisoning, tuberculosis, and HIV infection
  2. Understand the structure of the Dominican healthcare system, the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the Dominican Republic and the ways in which they differ from morbidity and mortality in the United States
  3. Understand the structure of medical education in the Dominican Republic
  4. Develop skill in the cost-effective evaluation of illness in a resource-scarce environment
  5. Develop skill in working within the medical education system at Cabral y Baez
  6. Increase understanding of Dominican culture
  7. Develop increased competence in Spanish language


All students will spend at least two weeks on the Internal Medicine Wards at Cabral y Baez. Additionally, students can customize their experience per their preferences by choosing to spend time on the following services: HIV clinic, Emergency Department, night float shift, ICU, and Subspecialty departments such as Hematology/Oncology, Neurology, and Cardiology, and resident outpatient clinics.

Traditionally, students are paired with PGY2s at Cabral who are proficient in English in order to help the Brown trainees through the week long rotations. Usually, these PGY2s are also interested in participating in the exchange at RIH in April and May.

  1. Sign-Out: Known as "la entrega de la guardia", the PGY1s that were on for night float ("en servicio") give sign out on all admitted patients to the day teams and overnight updates on any patients previously on the wards.

  2. Morning Report led by Residents/Grand Rounds given by Attendings: Sign out is followed by a lecture given by a senior resident on a particular topic or case. These lectures provide good exposure to medical Spanish in a controlled setting with PowerPoint slides. At the end of each lecture, there is a brief discussion/questions session led by the chief resident.

    Weekly Grand Rounds is given by a senior attending. Most often, the attending presents 1-2 interesting cases that are currently or were recently on the wards. The attending presents the initial H+P of the patient along with a differential, diagnosis, and management, followed by an academic conversation involving senior residents and other attending physicians.

  3. Rounds with Attending Physician or Resident Teams: Resident teams will round after lecture and formally present new patients and quickly follow up on older patients on their service.

  4. Afternoon Lecture: Conferences in the afternoon continue with focused lectures given by a resident or medical student.  

  5. Completing any remaining tasks: After AM rounds, the team splits off to write progress notes, work on the sign-out sheet, and complete the necessary tasks on each patient (labs and imaging studies). If there is an interesting case on the service, you can continue to follow the patient after rounds, by reading through their chart, chatting to the patient about their situation, or by assisting the medical students with their tasks. 

  6. Brown Rounds: On most days, Brown medical students, residents, and attendings return to the apartment by 2:30pm. Upon return, everyone gathers in the apartment living room to participate in “Brown Rounds.” “Brown Rounds” is a conference to discuss interesting cases observed during the week. Trainees follow-up on a chosen patient from the morning and present their patient as a patient would be presented on rounds at RIH. Attendings and senior residents will then facilitate the discussion of this patient. “Brown Rounds” allows for American attendings and trainees to provide their unique perspective on the case and reflect on differences and similarities in diagnosis, work-up, and treatment between RIH and at Cabral y Baez Hospital.  There are three scheduled group sessions each week:

    • PBL/Journal Club sessions: The discussion is led by the coordinator and attendings. PBLs and journal articles focus on clinical cases that are often seen at Cabral y Baez but rarely seen at RIH, such as dengue, malaria, leptospirosis, etc.

    • Topic presentation: A medical student or resident presents a short prepared health topic pertinent to the region.

    • Cultural/Emotional Debrief: Students, residents, and attendings reflect on their experiences at Cabral y Baez. This session provides an opportunity to discuss adapting to lifestyle and culture in the DR, cultural differences and similarities between care given at Cabral y Baez and RIH, and the emotional impact of the global health experience.  

  1. Clínica de Enfermedades de Inmunología (HIV clinic), Hospitál Cabral y Baéz: The HIV clinic in Hospitál Cabral y Baéz is run by Dra. Claudia Rodriguez, one of Brown’s main contacts here in the Dominican Republic.  Patients are seen by Pasantes, which are medical trainees doing a mandatory year of service before entering residency.

    • Trainees will have opportunity to practice physical exam as well as history taking in Spanish.
    • Observe and help with clinic visits during regular morning clinic hours.
    • Choose a patient to present later during the day for “Brown Rounds”
  2. Emergency Room: If you want to see what happens to people in a country where there are very few enforced traffic laws, stoplights are mere suggestions, and people tear around recklessly on motorbikes without helmets, you can spend an afternoon (or night) with the internal medicine residents in the emergency room.

  3. Night float shift

  4. ICU

  5. Subspecialty departments such as Hematology/Oncology, Neurology, and Cardiology

  6. Resident outpatient clinics

Coordinator Position

Serving as the Exchange Program Coordinator is an incredible opportunity in itself, for global health experience (both clinical and administrative) in the Caribbean longitudinally. Additionally, past coordinators have been able to create and execute a research project while at Cabral y Baez, and some have had their research published. Each year, one student from Brown Med has taken Academic Scholar Program (ASP) status for one year off to serve in this position. Most coordinators have gone following MS3, but timing is flexible. This is a paid position with beautiful housing in Santiago already established at no cost to you.

If you have been thinking about taking time off between medical school years and have an interest in healthcare in under-resourced settings (particularly Latin America), this would be the perfect opportunity.

Applications for the current coordinator position has closed. Please check back August for next year's application.

University of Rostock

Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. Timothy Empkie Dr. Karen Tashima

University Of Tuebingen

Exchange Institution: Faculty of Medicine of the Eberhard Karls University of Tuebingen
Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. Gerardo Carino

Critical Care Course:  Available to fourth year medical students. The course has a duration of two weeks (Feb/Mar).  After the end of the course interested students could add a clinical elective of variable (max. 6 week) length.  Tuition for participation in the program is waived and includes accommodation, lunch money (10 Euro per Day), a ticket for the local transportation, a number of free time activities, books and certificate.  Food for reasonable prices is available in the cafeteria at the university’s hospitals. Participants will be provided with single rooms in a guest house.  

  1. Interactive lectures: Course material will be the Fundamental Critical Care Support (FCCS) program of the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
  2. Rounds in the ICU: Students would participate in teaching rounds in the ICUs which would be focused on issues covered by the actual seminars and lectures.
  3. Problem-based learning (POL): During rounds students would formulate questions and problems. Each team consisting of one German and one international student chooses one problem and tries to solve it by internet search and discussions with the ICU staff.
  4. Seminars
  5. Hand-on training: Students learn and practice invasive techniques such as insertion of central lines, oral intubation or even ultrasound and endoscopy techniques (bronchoscopy, gastroscopy) in the skills lab or experimental OR
  6. Clinical elective

Interested students could add a clinical elective of variable length after the end of the course.

Please Read:

Exchange Institution: Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology

Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. Kwame Dapaah-Afriyie

Exchange Institution: University Notre Dame D’Haiti

Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. Michael Koster

Exchange Institution: Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. Rami Kantor

Exchange Institution: University of Bologna

Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. Gerardo Carino

Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine

Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. Taro Minami

Tokyo Women's Medical University

Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. Taro Minami

Kurume University School of Medicine

Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. Taro Minami

Exchange Institution: Moi University School of Medicine

Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. E. Jane Carter

Exchange Institution: Ewha Women's University
Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. Susan Cu-Uvin

Please Read: 

Exchange Institution: National Cheng Kung University School of Medicine

Brown Faculty LiaisonDr. James Sung


Are there any language requirements?

There are no language requirements to participate in the medical exchange program. The only site that requires a language requirement is the Dominican Republic.

Is there travel funding provided to participate in the international medical exchange?

Currently, the only sites that provide funding for travel are 

Do you cover housing and board?

Can I participate in the exchange program during my gap year?

No, you have to be a current MS4 during the time you apply and participate in the program.

How are students selected for each international site?

On the application, students will rank their top 3 sites and the selection committee will undergo the matching process. 

How do students prepare for the international exchange program?

Students will be provided pre-travel material and additional information based on their international site.