Global Health at USFQ

Located in South America, Ecuador, USFQ offers a Global Health opportunity for foreign students, faculty, physicians, researchers, and other allied health professionals.

The cultural and ecological diversity of Ecuador offers a variety of scenarios in the fields of Medicine and Public Health in both rural and urban settings.

Additionally, students and faculty from USFQ may find opportunities abroad in partner institution’s Global Health Programs.The Schools of Medicine and Public Health at USFQ promote the Global Health Program through academic and field activities in Andean, Amazonian, and Coastal communities in Ecuador.

Goals of Global Health at USFQ

  1. To introduce and familiarize Global Health participants with the Ecuadorian healthcare system
  2. To improve Spanish language skills through classroom instruction and cultural immersion

The Global Health Program encompasses various components such as:

  • Urban and/or rural clerkships/clinical rotations
  • Community health improvement projects
  • Medical Spanish

These opportunities will be available to medical and public health students and any student interested in the Health Sciences, at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Please review the information on each component for more information on the application requirements and deadlines.


  1. Ser estudiante a tiempo completo de la Escuela de Medicina y cumplir con los requisitos para estar en la misma.
    • GPA mínimo global 3.2
    • GPA mínimo especialidad 3.2
    • Haber completado las materias requeridas para el programa al que estas aplicando.
  2. Llenar y entregar la aplicación de Global Health que incluye:
    • Formulario de aplicación
    • Dos cartas de recomendación (académica y clínica) en Inglés.
    • Prueba de idiomas (mostrar en tu Kardex tus clases de Inglés)
    • Ensayo de motivación en Inglés
    • Copia de la página principal del pasaporte
    • Copia de la página de la visa
    • Historial de vacunas
    • Dos PPD (el ultimo realizado dentro del año en curso)
  3. Reunión del Comité de Selección
  4. Notificación de ubicación por e-mail con instrucciones para aplicación a la universidad extranjera

Fechas para aplicación rotaciones internacionales en verano del año académico:

  • Fecha máxima para entregar aplicación: noviembre (primer semestre del año académico)
  • Reunión del Comité de Selección: enero (segundo semestre del año académico)
  • Ubicación notificada por e-mail con instrucciones para aplicar a la universidad extranjera

Todos serán avisados antes de: marzo (segundo semestre del año académico)

Para completar el proceso, por favor llena la aplicación que encontrarás en el siguiente link:


Regístrate, crea tu cuenta y completa los datos:

Elige la opción Global Health y la universidad Global Health de tu preferencia

Professors and Staff

Michelle Grunauer
Dean of the School of Medicine

She is currently the Dean of the School of Medicine. She has developed material in the area of medical education of the highest quality in collaboration with her students. A proud teacher of USFQ students, she has a broad and integral vision of health. Her academic training is extensive and she has been recognized nationally and internationally in the area of research. Her clinical practice has placed her among the most respected professionals in the area, being the first in the country to include Mental Health and Palliative Medicine in the Intensive Care Unit.

Iván Palacios, MD
Global Health Director
Head of Medical Education, Hospital de Los Valles
Iván recieved his MD from the the Universidad Central here in Quito, and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of New Mexico. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the design, implementation and supervision of Public Health and Social Development projects. He's currently a Professor in the School of Medicine here and the Director of Educational Activities in our affiliate hospital, Hospital de los Valles.

Marisol Bahamonde, MD
Coordinator for the Global Health Program.

Marisol is an alumni of our School of Medicine and is currently a Professor there as well. Marisol will co-ordinate with our outgoing students as well as assist Iván with the placements for any incoming students.

María Augusta Vélez L.
Assistant for the Global Health Program

Magu has more than 25 years experience in the administrative areas, especially in coordination, logistics, public relations and relocation fields. Magu will assist Global Health Director and Coordinator with our outgoing students as well as with the placements for any incoming students, also will provide all the assessment and support that the incoming and outgoing students may need in fulfilling their applications and along the whole process until completed and delivered for approval.


Host Families

All incoming students will be placed with local Ecuadorian host families. Depending on the location of your program, you will be placed in Quito or Cumbayá to be within a reasonable distance of your daily destination. Host family stay includes: breakfast and dinner, private bedroom, bathroom (may be shared), laundry, WiFi, and transportation to and from the airport.

The host family is part of the cultural and language immersion experience for international students. Our host families are all briefed, and have to apply and pass an application process. They also sign a contract with the university to guarantee the well-being of our students and a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable stay.

In the case the applicant has his/her own hosting arrangements, we strongly recommend a location in the surroundings of Cumbayá Valley or as close as possible to USFQ’s School of Medicine and our teaching hospital Hospital de los Valles. This will facilitate the students easy access to different academic activies.


All incoming students will go through a thorough orientation process to prepare them for the cultural differences they will encounter during their stay.

Orientation is divided into two parts: pre-departure and arrival. The predeparture orientation will consist of online discussion sessions; one about the Ecuadorian healthcare system so students will be aware of the environment they are about to experience and the other to discuss health and safety, packing, local transportation, host families, etc.


Thanks for your interest in the USFQ Global Health program. Please download the application form, complete it and send it together with the following documents electronically to

  • Copy of your international medical insurance
  • Vaccination history including Hepatitis A (2 doses)
  • Copy of your official transcript
  • 2 academic letters of recommendation
  • Color copy of the photo page of your passport
  • Essay (1 page) detailing your reasons for choosing your selected program

Download Forms:

Application form – Undergraduates

Application form residents – Postgraduates

Contact us

If you have questions about the USFQ Global Health program, please contact us:

Postal address:
Universidad San Francisco de Quito
School of Medicine
Global Health Program (COCSA)
Interoceanic Road and Florencia Avenue - Cumbayá
Medical Specialties Building PB (Next to Hospital de los Valles) Office HDLV-151
Quito, Ecuador

Global Health
Phone: (593-2)297-7900 / (593-2) 297-1700 ext 4023

Fall and Spring Semester Program


Medical and public health students will have the opportunity to take classes alongside Ecuadorian Health Science students during the Fall and Spring academic semesters and receive credit at their home institution. Please review the attached Medical School and Public Health School curriculums to see the classes available to international students. These classes are offered in Spanish and will be taken at the School of Medicine and USFQ main campus.

This program offers international students the chance to enhance their Spanish language skills, broaden their clinical knowledge, and experience the healthcare system in Ecuador. The Global Health semester program is open to partner and non-partner university students in the field of Medicine or Public Health.

Application requirements:

  • Medical students: equivalent of USFQ 4th or 5th year medical student
  • Public Health students: can be undergraduate or graduate level
  • Online Spanish placement exam (70% or above)
  • USFQ application forms (insert link)


  • USFQ tuition
  • Administrative fee
  • Housing rate (if applicable) and fee

Application submission deadlines:

  • Fall semester: June 1st
  • Spring semester: November 1st

* Prices will vary depending if you are student affiliated with a partner institution or non-partner institution.

Health Clerkship - Medical Students Program


The USFQ Global Health Program offers electives for First and Second Year students during the summer session, and for Third and Fourth Year students throughout the year. Those who have completed an international rotation become better clinicians by broadening their clinical exposure and experience, especially with regard to diseases that are endemic in developing countries and rarely encountered in the student’s home country (diarrhea, malaria, leishmaniasis, for example). International clinical rotations not only benefit the medical student, but also help to serve the needs of the local population. Furthermore, medical students and residents with an international clinical experience will broaden their professional horizons by discovering public health and community service fields. They will learn to embrace new attitudes towards medicine among low-resource and multicultural populations. The clerkship experience includes a Medical Spanish module to enhance the student’s field experience. Read the material for Medical Spanish for more information.


  1. Student application, submitted at least 3 months in advance of requested start date.
  2. Letter of recommendation from the student’s school
  3. 70% or above on the USFQ Spanish placement exam
  4. Proof of Immunizations
  5. Proof of health insurance or student health insurance coverage may be purchased from the university for the duration of the student’s stay in Ecuador.
  6. Pre-Trip education/orientation, which includes:
    • On site-specific issues
    • Socio-cultural, health beliefs, language
    • Discussion of health (medical) problems that will be encountered


Primary Health Care Clerkship: Summer Program

Available for: Pre-med, First, Second, Third and Fourth Year Medical Students:

The program offers rotations on primary health care services where a series of community outreach activities are implemented. These include home visits, health prevention and promotion improvement activities, schools and nurseries visits and Ministry of Health’s facilities for health services.

These activities have tutorship with a local physician and USFQ professors follow-up.

Time recommended for the rotation: 10 weeks

Upon completion of the rotation(s), students must write a report about their Global Health experience in Ecuador.

Clinical Clerkships

Available for: Last and second-to-last years of medical school

Schedule (subject to change)

Clinical rotations take place at USFQ´s teaching hospital: Hospital de los Valles. The clinical rotation is in Spanish. The student attends formal clinical rounds with the attending physician on a daily basis. The student works closely with the Service Faculty, has permanent tutorship to prepare medical records, follow patient progress and patient care. Also, students are required to attend all academic activities (6 hours weekly in average) that include morning report, lectures on different subjects according to the USFQ Core Clerkship Syllabus, weekly conferences which include guest lecturers, research conferences, Grand Round sessions, as well as Journal Club, simulation, workshops and a night shift every 4 days. Rotations available: Internal medicine, Pediatrics, Gyn/Ob and Surgery.

Students may choose a standard clerkship of four up to 16 weeks beginning the first Monday February, March, April, May, June, July, September, October and November).

* Research opportunities may be available during their rotation time.
*Students may choose up to three different Global Health sites and specialties, please review the list (link here to list). We cannot guarantee students their first choice; they will be placed based on availability.

Participating Health Care Institutions (to date):

Hospital de los Valles
Located next to the School of Medicine USFQ, Hospital de los Valles is a 100 bed, private hospital in the Quito suburb of Cumbayá.
+ Website

Rural settings

Hospital de Yaruquí
This second level hospital in the town of Yaruquí is located near the Mariscal Sucre International Airport. It is currently expanding to 50 beds. It is about 45 minutes from Quito.

Subcentro de Salud Tumbaco, Lumbisí y Cumbayá
This is an ambulatory clinic that offers family and community medicine. This health center also makes weekly visits to local public schools to provide free primary care.

Medical Spanish Program


Medical Spanish is a special module that can complement one of USFQ's Global Health programs or serve as a program in itself. This unique program prepares students to execute a formal medical interview, with a complete history and physical exam, in Spanish. Students will also be exposed to real clinical situations under supervision of USFQ faculty.

Medical Spanish is not mandatory, and students may elect not to take it by demonstrating Spanish proficiency on the Spanish Placement Exam. The classes will be taught collaboratively by different instructors, each with a distinct background in the Spanish and/or English language and experience in either Ecuadorian or international healthcare systems.

A student's Spanish level will be evaluated with our online Spanish placement exam before their arrival so they can be placed into a novice, intermediate or advanced level of class.

Being a special module, the Medical Spanish course, has a cost per student, which is not included in the clinical clerkships or semester tuition. It requires a minimum of 3 students to be offered according to the USFQ Registrar's Office. Groups of 4 or more students will have a discounted price.