DMU has created highly selective, guided tracks for students interested in becoming professors or exploring research topics in global health. These two pathways are designed to develop graduates equipped to teach in the academic medical centers of the future and to advance knowledge on issues that affect the health of people around the world.

  • The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Physician Work Task Force predicts a significant physician shortage by 2020 and calls for a 30% increase in medical school enrollment from 2002 levels. This will naturally also increase the need for medical school faculty.
  • A 2007 survey by the Association of Academic Health Centers revealed that 97% of chief executive officers of health professions schools declared faculty shortages to be a problem in at least one area.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), while many countries have registered significant health progress over recent decades, health gaps between countries and among social groups within countries have widened.
  • The WHO also notes that expenditure on health is growing and the rate of growth is accelerating, but enormous disparities exist in per person spending. The need for more health care providers is almost universal. Advances in medicine and technology contrast with challenges in knowledge-sharing, access to care and delivery.

These are just some of the driving forces that require innovation in fostering and preparing the next generation of academic medical faculty and globally oriented health care leaders. Des Moines University’s Pathways of Distinction Program identifies and trains highly qualified students for careers in these areas by offering two specific tracks.

Global Health Research Internships

This highly selective research opportunity enables students to explore global health research topics at various organizations. Students will have the opportunity to work with researchers on projects, for example, conducting systematic reviews for creating evidence-based educational materials for worldwide distribution. Learn more.

If interested in Global Health Research Internships please contact the Department of Global Health at


Students are chosen based on academic standing, faculty recommendations and performance in a previous scholarly activity.

Global health pathway students may receive some financial support for travel.

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