Programs – Costa Rica

The following programs are offered by IHCAI in Costa Rica. For all clinical rotations, a fluent command of Spanish is essential. If you need to improve your medical Spanish, we highly recommend you consider the P010A program that consists of an intensive Spanish medical course.

Make sure you have read the information on How To Apply.

P010A: Intensive Medical Spanish Course and Introduction to Tropical Medicine in Costa Rica

Click HERE to apply for this program.

There are several relevant motivations to learn Spanish as a second language. Enrich their educational heritage, become more globalized, use the language to strengthen your personal resume are some of them. But when we talk about medicine, the arguments become more relevant. The context of North America is a critical example. Let’s see the following data:

According to PEPASR6H the Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2017, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Hispanics constituted 18.1 percent of the nation’s total population.

This makes Spanish on the medical stage a powerful tool and can make a difference between a good service and an excellent one. In addition, most of this migrant population is in conditions of social disadvantage and has a low educational level, this makes them more vulnerable and have fewer survival tools to adapt successfully in the foreign social context. When they get sick, being able to communicate in their native language makes a significant difference.

This is a very intensive medical Spanish course that focuses on providing skills for interaction between the health professional and the patient. Non-Spanish, beginner, intermediate or advanced students are welcome.

We work in small groups so we can attend to personal interests. Our experience of more than 18 years teaching medical Spanish is an appreciable strength. Very well qualified instructors conduct the process with our original materials.

Program prospectus available at: P10A Prospectus

Online application available at: Apply to this program.

P01: International Health Medical Students Clinical Rotation For Senior Medical Students in Costa Rica

The goal of the International Health Elective is to offer students an opportunity to learn about health and healing with a more global perspective by living and working in another country. Students will have the opportunity to live in a new and different culture, usually with little of the technical and medical facilities he or she is accustomed to using. The student will have a chance to see a different way of organizing health care to achieve good results in the health situation of the population, as is the case in Costa Rica. The resources that are taken for granted in the developed countries like USA, Canada and Europe may be lacking at times. The students have an opportunity to be of service to the community and to broaden their thinking about future medical practice.

P03: International Health Community Based Clinical Rotation for Senior Physicians Assistant (PA) Students in Costa Rica

This rotation is designed to give the student the opportunity to participate in the activities of the health team in the primary care network of Costa Rica. The goal of the International Health Elective is to offer students an opportunity to learn about health and healing with a more global perspective by living and working in another country. Students will have the opportunity to live in a new and different culture, usually with little of the technical and medical facilities he or she is accustomed to using. The student will have a chance to see a different way of organizing health care to achieve good results in the health situation of the population, as is the case in Costa Rica. The resources that are taken for granted in the developed countries like USA, Canada and Europe may be lacking at times. The students have an opportunity to be of service to the community and to broaden their thinking about future medical practice.

P06: International Health Community Based Clinical Rotation for pharmacy students

This rotation is designed to give the student the opportunity to participate in the activities of the health team in the primary care network of Costa Rica. The goal of the International Health Elective is to offer students an opportunity to learn about health and healing with a more global perspective by living and working in another country. Students will have the opportunity to live in a new and different culture, usually with little of the technical and medical facilities he or she is accustomed to using. The student will have a chance to see a different way of organizing health care to achieve good results in the health situation of the population, as is the case in Costa Rica. The resources that are taken for granted in the developed countries like USA, Canada and Europe may be lacking at times. The students have an opportunity to be of service to the community and to broaden their thinking about future medical practice.

P07: Taking Advantage of International Health to Acquire New Professional Skills for Overseas Junior Medical Students in Costa Rica

This experience lasts 6 weeks and is available only in the period from July to November, each year. Groups of students of a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 are welcome. We do not accept students alone. The dates can be chosen by the students in the mentioned period.

The goal of this program is to offer junior medical students an opportunity to learn about health and healing with a more global perspective by living and working in another country. Students will have the opportunity to learn medical Spanish and directly observing clinical performance, living in a different culture, usually with little of the technical and medical facilities he or she is accustomed to using. The student will have a chance to see a different way of organizing health care to achieve good results in the health situation of the population, as is the case of Costa Rican health system.

This immersive and cultural experience has two very attractive pluses: an introduction to tropical medicine with emphasis on 6 major diseases such as dengue and malaria; and an introduction to evidence-based medicine with an emphasis on critical reading of scientific information.

This program integrates the following components:

  • Medical Spanish Course
  • Clinical shadowing rotation
  • Introduction to tropical medicine
  • Introduction to evidence-based medicine

This organization has developed for over twenty years these components through its programs P010A & P01. They are usually targeted to senior medical students and residents. We also combine this experience with our long history in the training of medical professionals and the production of systematic reviews by us as Regional Cochrane Center.

By working with students who begin their medical training, this program provides a brief and dynamic approach to semiology to focus on diagnosis. This is intended to facilitate the clinical interview and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship. This experience offers 60 hours of clinical observation and 70 hours of training in clinical settings and evidence-based medicine methods with qualified medical instructors. To this are added the 92 hours that the student will invest in learning Spanish to be applied to medical history and the clinical interview with Spanish-speaking patients.

Program prospectus available at: P07 Prospectus

Online application available at: Apply to this program

P017A: Nutrition and Rural Medicine in Latin America for Senior Harvard Medical Students in Costa Rica

For Senior Harvard Medical Students. Electives Catalog ME 518. This rotation is designed to give the student the opportunity to participate in the activities of the health team from the first to the third level of care of Costa Rican Health System (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social – CCSS). In the first level, preventative services are emphasized, including immunizations, maternal child services, prenatal care, growth and development of children, nutrition, community education, community sanitation and environment, as well as continuity of care in cases chronic diseases. In the third level the experiences vary according to the specialty.

Any HMS students request must be discussed and approved by the Director Course, Nicte Mejia, MD, MPH. Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School (nmejia@partners.org) and/or Kari Hannibal (kari_hannibal@hms.harvard.edu), program managers at Harvard Medical School.

The P017 program prospectus applies as a description for this program, it is available at: Prospectus

Online application available at: Apply for this program

P017B: Clinical Rotation-Clerkship for Costa Rican Senior Medical Students at Harvard Medical School

CLINICAL ROTATION-CLERKSHIP FOR COSTA RICAN SENIOR
MEDICAL STUDENTS AT HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL (HMS)
For Costa Rican Senior Medical Students (Interns in the internship year, duration: one to two
months). Students applying for this program must request an appointment for an interview at
the IHCAI main office in San José. Fluent English and good grades are required.
Online application available at: https://forms.gle/HqZ2a9AaZ5bAQsUc7

For Costa Rican Senior Medical Students (Interns in the internship year, duration: one to three months). Students applying for this program must request an appointment for an interview at the IHCAI main office in San José.