International Medicine Track

The Marshall University School of Medicine's Department of Family and Community Health offers a Family Practice Residency Program with an emphasis on international health and medical care in the third world. The International Program is an outgrowth of our School of Medicine's main goal: developing primary care physicians. This program, which we believe is unique, recognizes that primary care is not bound by hospital walls or national borders. Instead, it is a universal process of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. International experiences also take us one step further by allowing us to see that process outside the context of our own culture: often problems and solutions stand out much more clearly when viewed against an unfamiliar backdrop.

"The International Health track at Marshall Family Medicine allowed me to travel abroad during both my PGY-1 and PGY-3 years and offered access to a month-long course in tropical medicine during the PGY-2 year. In my opinion, similar opportunities during residency are not easily found, which made this program really stand out."

-- M. Curry, M.D.

This program will allow participants to:

  • Complete a fully accredited residency in Family Medicine
  • Receive special training in community-oriented family medicine with an emphasis in international health
  • Complete electives in supervised third-world settings
  • Achieve a diploma in International Health and Rural Medicine
  • Work toward optional board certification in Tropical Medicine

In addition to providing course work at Marshall relevant to international medicine, wel will:

  • Provide a one month learning experience away from the School of Medicine in the first year in addition to the usual CME benefits;
  • Allow you to participate in a multi-week course in tropical medicine during your second year; and
  • Arrange for a two-month clinical experience in a third-world country for which we will cover airfare and lodging expenses. This rotation would be tailored to your educational goals as well as your travel and language background.

The diverse backgrounds and interests of our faculty offer solid support for the International Medicine Track. Members of our department have interest and expertise in many areas related to international medicine including anthropology, parasitology, public health, preventive medicine, tropical medicine, envenomations, occupational medicine, obstetrics, rural practice, and care of the under-served. The director of the International Health Track has lived and worked with jungle-dwelling tribal societies on a yearly basis for the past thirty years.


Dr. Walden

Dr. McElroy

Dr. Curry

Dr. Curtis

Dr. Steele


Sarah Dennemeyer, MD

The Choice is Yours

Recent Rotations

Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Institution: Child Family Health International 
Duration: 4 weeks
Dates: April 30th - May 29th, 2016
Clinical Work: Patient Care - Primary Care, Public Health
Diagnosis Seen: Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya, Pulmonary and renal Tuberculosis, HIV, Gastroenteritis, Malnutrition, URI, Hypertension, Diabetes (Including complications such as CKD, Cataract, Neuropathy, and Foot infections) Hyperlipidemia, UTI, Prenatal Care, Well-Child, and Dehydration.

Description: During my third year I was able to work in Puerto Escondido, Mexico with Children Family Health International. During this rotation patients of all ages were seen in community based primary care clinics throughout Puerto Escondido as well as the surrounding communities (up to 2 hours from Puerto.) Additionally, participation in a public health out reach regarding vector control (e.g. guppy fish were given to families in particular communities for use is wash basins as a means to limit the amount of mosquito larvae) was performed as well as education projects regarding symptoms of vector born diseases such as Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya.

Hangzhou, China

Institution: Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine 
Duration: 4 weeks
Dates: January 3rd - January 30th, 2019
Clinical Work: Patient Care - Primary Care, Hospital Medicine

Diagnosis Seen:  facial paralysis, tinnitus/hearing loss, migraine HA, Guillain-Barre syndrome, insomnia, depression/anxiety, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, gastroenteritis, malnutrition, herpes zoster, sinusitis, torticollis, cervical spondylosis, bronchitis, asthma, lung cancer, liver cirrhosis, neuropathy/radiculopathy, low back pain, UTI, menstrual abnormalities, prenatal care.

Description: PGY3 rotation through various departments in a hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) serving the Zhejiang province. Prior introductory TCM self-study was reinforced with comprehensive and in-depth clinical instruction regarding TCM theory. I worked with different physicians in the department of Acupuncture, both inpatient and outpatient, which also includes the related therapies of moxibustion and cupping. In addition, time was spent in adult and pediatric Tuina massage, which have some interesting and significant differences in their respective approaches. Finally, TCM Internal Medicine was studied in the outpatient setting, with emphasis on diagnosis through interrogation, evaluation of the pulse and tongue, and treatment with traditional Chinese herbal remedies, including formulas, decoctions, and TCM patent medications.

Uttarakhand, India

Institution: Child Family Health International 
Duration: 4 weeks
Dates: March 31st - April 28th, 2018
Clinical Work: Patient Care - Primary Care, Public Health

Diagnosis Seen:  anxiety, depression, insomnia, acne, warts, measles, mumps, URI, debilitating chronic pain due to scoliosis or arthritides, cervical spondylosis, intervertebral disc herniation, hypothyroidism, cardiovascular disease, heart failure, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, obesity, malnutrition, dehydration, gastroenteritis, IBS, well-child visits.

Description: PGY2 rotation with teaching in Homeopathy, Yoga and Ayurveda, Pediatrics, Cardiology, General Practice, Physical Therapy, Integrative Medicine. Half of the rotation was spent working with physicians trained in either traditional (Homeopathy, Yoga, Ayurveda) or modern medicine in Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand state. In addition, 1 week was dedicated to rural medicine in the small Himalayan village of Patti, with health promotion visits to nearby villages. The last week took place in Rishikesh, which is a holy pilgrimage site located on the Ganges River. During this time, I stayed and participated in yoga courses at an ashram and worked with a family of physicians providing rehabilitative and integrative medicine services for the local population and international visitors to the area.


Sponsor your membership in the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; Send you to the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, or the annual National Council for International Health meeting for one of your three years here;

Jim Creighton Receives the Emil M. Mrak International Award

Jim Creighton has been living and working in Africa since the early 1980s. After graduating from medical school at UC Davis, he was the first resident at Marshall University’s International Health Program in family medicine. As an Area Peace Corps Medical Officer, he oversaw medical services, health training and safety of Peace Corps volunteers in both the West Africa and southern Africa region. Creighton later took a position with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the Director of the Southern Africa Regional Aids Program and as Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Country Director in Lesotho. He currently resides in Rwanda, where he founded a film company, Akagera Productions, which has the goal of educating local populations on health and social issues through entertaining local programming, such as the recently produced TV series, Mutoni.​