Department of Global Health develops new partnership and exchange program with Juan N. Corpas University in Bogotá, Colombia

Last year the DMU Department of Global Health signed a memorandum of understanding with Juan N. Corpas University in Bogotá, Colombia, making it one of our newest international sites. Founded in 1971, Juan N. Corpas is a university and teaching hospital with an institutional goal to train the best doctors and nurses in Colombia.

Our first DMU students are rotating in Bogotá this spring, and we will host two Juan Corpas medical students in Des Moines also this spring.

Camilo Forero, director of the Department of Global Initiatives at Juan N. Corpas, and Sondra Schreiber, director of global health at DMU, on campus in Bogota in December 2019

While at Juan Corpas, DMU students in the doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) and doctor of podiatric medicine and surgery (D.P.M.) programs will have the opportunity to rotate in pediatrics, internal medicine, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology at Clínica Hospital Juan N. Corpas, the university’s on-site teaching hospital, or in community medicine at the nearby Lisboa Community Center, which works with a large number of migrants from Venezuela. Interested master’s degree students in public health (M.P.H.) and health care administration (M.H.A.) will have the opportunity to do internships at Juan Corpas University. Potential topics for M.P.H. students include community medicine, rural health and post-conflict, urban health, healthy environment and migrant health. M.H.A. students would have the opportunity to complete a project within the specialization of health care management.

Danielle Gilbert, D.O.’20, M.P.H.’22, was the first DMU student to do a rotation at Juan N. Corpas. She completed a community medicine rotation in Bogotá from Dec. 30, 2019, to Jan. 29, 2020.

Danielle reflected on her experience, “A common theme during my time at Corpas was going ‘back to basics.’ In the clinic, we were encouraged to incorporate basic pathophysiology into patient diagnosis and management, knowledge that often gets forgotten in clinical settings in the United States in favor of detailed diagnostic imaging or laboratories, which are cost-prohibitive or unavailable in the resource-limited Corpas community clinic. This theme was also shown during my tour of the medicinal garden at Corpas, where numerous plants are used as natural remedies or adjuncts to ‘modern medicine,’ as well as in weekly aerobics classes at the community center where basic exercise and sense of community are strong promotors of health.

Danielle Gilbert, second from left, with colleagues at Juan N. Corpas

“My experience at Corpas grounded me in my medical knowledge and clinical skills and reminded me of the importance of using my foundation of pathophysiology and use of substantiated natural alternatives to complicated medical management,” she continued. 

Seven other DMU D.O. students are scheduled to rotate at Juan N. Corpas this spring, and one M.P.H. student will complete her Applied Practice Experience (APE) there this summer. Two medical students from Corpas will complete observerships in Des Moines from May 18 to June 12, 2020.

Scroll to Top