Primary Care Clinical Program

Study Abroad Program

This program will be changed to focus on Medical and Nursing clinical shadowing experiences. We will have new information posted soon !

    Co-Directed by: 
   Kim Pfotenhauer, DO
   Sharon Casapulla, EdD
   Jay Shubrook, DO

     Applications Open Soon

   Application Deadline TBD
  *Last updated on 03/18/2016         
  *Dates are approximate and
   subject to change and cancellation

Program Summary

The Primary Care Clinical Program in Ecuador Program will involve a variety of clinical and health education experiences.

Activities will include physical-clinical examinations, community education and clinical shadowing. Students will work alongside medical technicians and physicians from the Ministry of Health and Catholic University of Ecuador under the leadership of physicians from Touro University.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Provide quality primary care and health education to Ecuadorians.

  • Provide opportunities for hands on clinical experience and cultural exchange with Ecuadorian health care workers.

  • Give exposure to different healthcare settings and systems.

  • Develop professionalism and cultural competence.

  • Explore healthcare in low resources settings.

Clinical Experience in Rural Communities medicine

Spend two weeks providing primary care in the beautiful southern mountains of Ecuador. This Ecuador program will include hands-on clinical experience with Ecuadorians from farming communities.  Students will also learn about how living conditions, water sources, and access to health care impacts the health of rural communities.

Students will work alongside medical technicians and physicians form the US and the Ministry of Health and Catholic University of Ecuador.  As a team, students and preceptors will set up mobile health clinics in rural communities.

Experiential Learning: Students teams will work in association with the Ecuadorean Ministry of Health.  They will assist in setting up clinics in rural villages and provide assistance to the Ecuadorian personnel in its operation.

Multiple Components:  Preceptors and students will rotate in different stations within the clinic including:  patient intake and vitals, field lab, and clinical consults. 

Experience Ecuador: Participants will be immersed in true Ecuadorian Culture.  Students will be working with Ecuadorian healthcare personnel throughout the entire program.

Important Information

Dates: Arrive in Quito June 18th - Departure from Quito July 2

Eligibility: Open to OU-HCOM, Nursing and other College of Health Sciences and Professions students in good standing (HCOM) or at least a 3.0 overall GPA.  Non-Ohio University students also accepted. 

Excursions: Excursions will include visits to cultural sites in Ecuador.

Living Arrangements: Lodging will be in economy hostels or motels.  In Quito meals will take place at local restaurants.  In the field, breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner will be prepared by local personnel in the communities.

Program Costs:

Budget worksheets for the 2017 Program will be posted soon!

Those interested in extending their stay to participate in the  Tropical Disease Research Program  should contact Dr. Grijalva regarding costs of the this program.

Non-Resident Surcharge waived for this program.

Courses and Credit

OCOM 8911 Global Health Rotation(2)
NRSE 4900 Special Topics in Nursing (6) - Pre and post trip work will be required of nursing students to receive 6 credits for the program.
HSP 2900 Special Topics in Health Science (1-3)
HSP 5900 Special Topics in Health Science (1-3)
PT 7930 Independent Study in Physical Therapy (1-3)


How to Apply

Please refer to the  Global Health Program Checklist  for instructions on submitting additional information once you have been nominated for a program.  This checklist also includes information on course registration for programs. 

OHIO University Students: Complete the  GOIS On-line Program Application.

Year 3 & 4 Heritage College medical students applying for faculty directed programs must also obtain and send a letter from your Clinical Education office confirming that you have permission to include the program in your schedule and that you are in good academic standing.

Academic & Judicial Checks:  An academic and judicial check on all OHIO students is conducted before application and prior to departure.

Non-OHIO-University students: follow the  Non-Ohio Graduate or Undergraduate Instructions  to enroll as a non-degree student at Ohio University before you apply for this program.

Funding Opportunities

Contact Information


                 Sharon L. Casapulla, EdD                                                               Office of Global Health Programs
                 Director of Research and Education                                              E118 Grover Center
                 Office of Rural and Underserved Programs                                  Athens, Ohio 45701
                 Director, Rural and Urban Scholars Pathways (RUSP) Program   (740)593-2359
                 Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine                        
                 Ohio University
                 126 Irvine
                 Athens, Ohio  45701
Preceptor Information

Preceptor Application Packet (includes application checklist and Preceptor Agreement)
Faculty Profile Form

Useful Information

Podcast series about the TDI project
A series of 10 podcasts showcasing the different activities within the program.

What to bring
A list of suggested supplies, clothing and other items.

Travelers Health Information
Vaccinations required, anti-malaria prophylaxis, etc.

Logistics and Safety
TDI programs have an excellent safety record. See details about the logistical arrangements, email access, etc.

Guidelines for Ethical Practice
The OHIO-Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has adopted the AAMC’s “Guidelines for Premedical and Medical Students Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad”.

Other resources

Ecuador Links
Information about Ecuador: News and Media, Tourism, Cities, Culture, etc.

Infectious Disease Links
Information about protozoan, bacterial, Viral diseases and relevant organizations

Health and Safety 

Ohio University Office of Education Abroad suggests you  follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control  for healthy travel to your destination. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to a program. 

Refer to the  State Department website  for information related to safety and security at this destination.

Entry and Exit Requirements

U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year,  apply for your passport now.

It is each student’s individual responsibility to determine the entry and exit requirements specific to their personal situation. Some countries also require a visa to legally enter and reside in the country. The following information will hold true for most US passport holders. Entry and exit requirements for this country can be found through the State Department Website. US citizens do not need a visa or other special documents to enter the country for the length of this program. Please also note that visa requirements may vary if you plan to stay in the country longer than the program dates, if you have recently visited the country, or if you plan to travel to other countries during or after the program. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to a program in order to determine your appropriate course of action.

For more specific visa related information please visit OEA’s  Visa Information Page .  Information for NON-US citizens can be found  here.