DMU student explores geriatrics at the Pan American Health Organization

Joshua “Josh” Tomashek, D.O.’20, completed an eight-week internship at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington, DC, during July and August 2018. He was selected to participate in this internship as part of the Department of Global Health’s Distinguished Global Health Internships program. These internships are selective research opportunities that enable students to collaborate with researchers to explore global health research topics at various national organizations.

Josh Tomashek

When Josh arrived at PAHO, he spent his first week and a half meeting everyone in the office, learning about the foundational documents of geriatric medicine in the Americas and the state of geriatric health in these countries. The role of PAHO is primarily to serve as a voluntary consultancy for member states’ national and local departments of health.

He spent the rest of his internship attending internal and external meetings, assisting in the planning of technical assistance meetings in Puerto Rico, Guyana and the Dominican Republic, and working on projects in his work plan. Among other things, the plan included compiling, researching and aggregating data; conducting a literature review; and using his bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish to assist in the translation of an online provider-focused geriatric education program from Spanish to English (ACAPEM-B). This internship requires advanced proficiency in Spanish, as speaking and reading well in Spanish are vital to the day-to-day tasks.

“My experience at PAHO was my favorite internship/job I have ever had,” Josh says. “The environment at PAHO was incredibly conducive to producing great work and allowed me to excel in the workplace. Not only did I learn a lot, but I also felt like I was able to give back in a meaningful way to the organization as I learned.”

Are you a DMU student interested in the internship at the PAHO or one of the other Distinguished Global Health internships? The application for the Distinguished Global Health internships for 2019 will open on Nov. 5, 2018. For more information and how to apply, please visit the Department of Global Health’s website. If you have any questions, please contact the department at

Disclaimer: This content is created for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Sondra Schreiber

Director of Global Health

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