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International Electives

FCM 140.70/160.70: Community Medicine in International Perspective

Application Procedure

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This block elective introduces students to issues in the delivery of health services in other countries, with a focus on community-oriented primary care. Students with supervision by foreign preceptors engage in activities that may have a clinical and/or research focus. The balance between clinical activities, didactic instruction and investigative activities varies with individual student interest and preparation and the options available at a given site. The fundamental orientation of the course is toward experience in community medicine.

Most placements are in developing countries. The course is designed not only for students considering careers in international health, but to increase the understanding of any future physician practicing Family Medicine or Primary Care in the US who may care for patients from other countries. The experience is also designed to deepen the awareness of all future physicians regarding the determinants of health and illness and diverse methods of approaching health problems in settings with varied cultural, socio-economic and political characteristics.

First and second year students should enroll in FCM 160.70.
Third and fourth year students should register for FCM 140.70.

Credit: 1 1/2 units per week for full-time placement.

Application Procedures

All students should speak initially with the course coordinator, Roy Johnston (476-2503), to secure the needed forms and instructions.

To receive credit for this elective, students will need to submit the following prior to the elective:

  1. A course objectives list with FCM faculty approval. Students will need to have an FCM faculty member approve objectives and placement. In general, students will consult with Dr. William Shore. Other potential FCM faculty sponsors can be recommended by Roy Johnston.
  2. A letter from the supervising physician (or other appropriate individual) at the placement site that confirms placement and outlines the activities for the rotation.
  3. A completed UCSF Off-Campus Electives form.
  4. Students will need to submit the following prior to the elective: A signed copy of the Student Health Information Sheet.

Though not required by FCM, students should also be prepared to submit the following to any placement in which they are interested:

  1. A written letter of self-introduction to the foreign preceptor, including a brief statement of the reasons for taking FCM 140.70/160.70 at the desired placement site.
  2. A current resume, including educational and work experiences, current address, and phone number.
  3. A transcript or other complete list of all medical school courses to be completed by the beginning of the elective.
  4. Proof of current medical student status.


The following are required upon student's return:

  1. A written evaluation from the foreign preceptor of the student's performance. It is the student's responsibility to obtain the completed evaluation form in English from the preceptor. Students are encouraged to hand carry or fax ( 415-476-6051) the evaluation form to Roy Johnston.
  2. A completed FCM self-evaluation form for the experience.
  3. A brief meeting with the FCM faculty sponsor to discuss the experience.
  4. A written report due one month upon the student's return, including the goals and objectives for the preceptorship and whether they were accomplished, a description of what was done, recommendations for future students, and site contacts.

Submit completed forms to Roy Johnston.

Note: Grading is on a Pass/Fail basis only. Honors is NOT given for FCM 140.70/160.70.

Updated: November 19, 2012
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