International Health Electives

MadagascarInternational Site: SALFA, Madagascar

Contact Physician: Eric Edewaard, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

We work with Malagasy physicians employed by Sampan"Asa LOoterana Momba Ny Fahasalamana [SALFA]


This is a one-month rotation for residents, focused on tropical medicine. Medical students can join the rotation for one to four weeks. The rotation involves seeing hospitalized patients as well as working in an outpatient setting. Physician translators are available. Supervision is with WMed faculty, as well as Malagasy physicians working with SALFA, a health organization of the Malagasy Lutheran Church. Medical students will have the opportunity to see a variety of tropical diseases, including malaria (all four kinds are present on the island), Schistosomiasis (both hematobium and mansoni), as well as a myriad of intestinal parasites.

Accommodations and Logistics

Lodging is arranged by faculty and includes Malagasy hotels, French resorts, and language school dormitories. The cost is generally between $10-$20 USD per night. Noon meals are often paid for by our host physicians; breakfast is inexpensive, usually less than $3 USD; supper is variable but seldom is more than $8-$10 USD. Transportation is typically by van, although in-country flights are necessary for some remote locations.


One to four weeks.

Typical group

This rotation is open to Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Surgery and Emergency Department residents.  These residents, along with the WMed faculty, constitute the supervisory group for medical students.

Time of year

October.  Specific dates are dependent on the residency rotation and medical student schedule.

  • Temporary Malagasy Medical License. 
  • Malaria prophylaxis, mosquito repellant required (daytime repellant for Dengue is only necessary on the northwestern coast).&
  • Should have Hepatitis A vaccine and oral typhoid. 
  • Up-to-date tetanus.

PeruInternational Site: Amazon Promise: The Amazon Rainforest of Northern Peru

Contact Physician: Thomas A. Melgar, MD


The four-week rotation consists of lectures, seminars, readings, and simulations relevant to practice in the Amazon region of Peru. After completion of the preparatory material, participants will travel to Iquitos, Peru, to learn about health care and tropical diseases in a large urban area of the Amazon. The final two weeks will be spent up river from Iquitos working in remove villages. The team then visits 15 to 20 villages where members provide primary and urgent care to patients of all age as part of continuum of care provided by The Amazon Promise throughout the year.  Residents and students get to work in a mobile lab and work with portable ultrasonography. The team conducts multiple research projects and students can participate in the development and implementation of the projects.

Accommodations and Logistics

The Amazon Rainforest is a beautiful but harsh environment and accommodations in the lodge vary but may be rustic, and are usually not handicapped accessible. Think rustic camping, applicants should be comfortable with this. Participants will need to provide proof of proper immunizations and prophylaxis based on the CDC international travel recommendations and they must have a valid passport, and must be able to re-enter the United States.

Read More: Elective rotation in the Amazon Region of Northern Peru

The cost of the elective varies but will be approximately $3,100. The $3,100 will cover:

  • Airfare to Iquitos
  • Lodging in Iquitos and in the Jungle
  • Food and water for all meals in the jungle
  • Daily breakfast in Iquitos
  • Transportation to and from the jungle lodge and to the villages
  • Evacuation insurance

The following items are not covered by the $3,100:

  • Transportation in Iquitos (approximately $1-2/day)
  • Food and water in Iquitos other than breakfast ($10-$15/day)
  • Immunizations and prophylactic medications
  • Personal expenses
Peru 2
Time of year

WMed Schedule Block 9 (Four weeks from mid-February to mid-March)


Malaria prophylaxis (low incidence of resistant falciparum), mosquito repellant required even during the daytime (Dengue). Should have Hepatitis A vaccine and oral typhoid. Up-to-date tetanus. Rabies vaccine is recommended.

Spanish fluency is not required but is very helpful.

Space is limited: Students and residents must apply and be selected. The application can be found here.

The application is due by April 30 of the year prior to the trip and decisions will be announced by June 30.