Interns with Child and Family Health International (CFHI) in India complete rotations in a variety of clinical and non-profit care facilities focused on public health and community medicine. Two program options are available, exploring public health, community and integrative medicines, maternal and child health, and hospital medicine. Programs run in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and Dehradun, giving students both an urban and rural perspective. This is a great opportunity for students interested in pre-med, pre-nursing, pre-pharmacy, public health, and global health.
Founded in 1992 by Dr. Evaleen Jones, Child Family Health International (CFHI) offers educational and community health programs at 20+ sites in seven countries. To date, their programs have 7000+ alumni from 35 countries. Many participants in the programs are medical students who spend four weeks on rotations. The joint program with IE3 allows for 10 weeks of rotations for pre-med, pre-nursing, and public health students.
CFHI’s programs in India immerse participants in ancient cultural traditions and complex healthcare systems. With over 1 billion people, India is a true confluence of religions, languages, and cultures. More than 50% of the urban population lives below the poverty line, and public funds for health services in India have focused largely on medical services. This is reflected in a virtual absence of modern public health regulations and of systematic planning and delivery of public health services. In this program, interns will witness the challenges of health care delivery in developing economies. Students will be exposed to key public health challenges facing India such as immunizations, environmental sanitation, waste management, safe drinking water practices, and social reforms through education, training, and awareness campaigns. In addition, interns will be exposed to the role of voluntary organizations in the delivery of health care and the importance and impact of culture in public health.
Interns with CFHI will rotate through a variety of clinics, hospitals and emergency services as participants. Clinical rotations are designed to offer interns clinical and public health experience relevant to your level of medical education, much like what you would experience during a rotation or internship in the United States. IE3 interns may work with the local coordinators to identify the health care services/departments where they would like to spend more time. CFHI programs are not episodic volunteer experiences, and are not designed to provide service to those who would otherwise not have healthcare.
The learning objectives for interns with CFHI are:
India is the world’s largest democracy, has a population of 1.3 billion people, and is considered a newly industrialized country. Rich in culture, history, and tradition, India dazzles the senses and offers unending opportunities for growth and learning. Despite its immense workforce and rapid growth, India continues to face significant hurdles of poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, and inadequate public healthcare. Funds for health in India have long focused largely on medical services, reflected in a lack of modern public health regulations and delivery of services.
IE3 Global interns with CFHI have two program options. All interns will start in Delhi, India’s national capital and the second most populous city on the planet. In Delhi, interns are placed with NGOs working to implement social reforms and improve public health outcomes through educational campaigns and trainings with emphasis on the spread of HIV/AIDS in India, tuberculosis, and management of infectious diseases. Learn about key public health challenges within this culturally and linguistically diverse population, including the lingering impact of India’s caste system.
Focus: Primary care and health justice, rural medicine
Location: 5 weeks Delhi, 5 weeks Dehradun and rural areas
After five weeks in Delhi, interns will continue in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun, encountering various diseases in clinical settings that represent the rural and urban divide in a developing country. Interns engage in clinical rotations from emergency medicine to general outpatient clinics, with a focus on primary care services and public health issues. All interns will gain clinical exposure and insight into the use of traditional and integrative medicine including Ayurveda. Those wishing to spend more time focused on traditional medicine should indicate this interest in their application.
While in Uttarakhand, interns will spend time in three locations: Dehradun; Patti, small rural village in the Himalayan foothills; and Mussoorie, a hilltop town. Students choosing to focus on traditional medicine while in Uttarakhand may spend a week in an ashram in the town of Riskikesh, instead of Mussoorie. Traveling to different locations allows interns to experience Indian healthcare through multiple lenses, whether at a rural clinic conducting health in isolated Himalayan villages or participating in a village health and sanitation empowerment project.
Focus: Primary care and health justice, rural medicine
Location: 4 weeks Delhi, 3 weeks Mumbai, 3 weeks Pune
After four weeks in Delhi, interns will continue in India’s southern state of Maharashtra, spending three weeks each in Mumbai and Pune. Mumbai is home to wealthy industrialists, flashy film stars, and internationally acclaimed artists as well as workers, teachers, clerks and slum dwellers. Interns rotate at a number of hospitals, clinics, and NGOs and gain insight into the most pressing health challenges in India, with an emphasis on infectious diseases including respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS, certain diarrhea diseases, tuberculosis, malaria and leprosy, and vector- borne diseases like malaria and dengue.
In Pune, interns rotate within a variety of private and public clinical sites including larger hospitals and smaller rural clinics all focused on maternal and child health. Experience antenatal care, intranatal care and postnatal care facilities and learn about newborn care, immunization schedules and pediatric care up to age five. Participants can also rotate in family planning clinics, and will have the opportunity to work in clinics that manage sexually transmitted infections and disease.
The CFHI host site fee includes:
Interns generally stay in guest houses or with homestay families.
“Overall, my experience was an amazing one- given the chance, I would do it all over (but maybe with a little more planning in advance). India is like a mosaic, filled with rich history and intriguing innovations, the culture is so vast and is a true collection of different peoples and traditions. Professionally, the programs I picked (Option #1: Public Health, Community and Integrative Medicine in, Delhi, Dehradun and rural areas) felt like the perfect mix between community and direct care. I got to see so many different organizations and be a part of an amazing project with a local NGO focused on health and social development, while also being able to shadow so many physicians and surgeons in different population groups. Personally, being in India pushed me to become more independent while also giving me the chance to practice reliance on others and trust. Overall, this internship has helped me view myself as a global citizen and also opened my eyes to different career paths and opportunities in my field of study. The best of all these being that what I want to do, community/public health nursing is a totally viable option as a job opportunity and there’s plenty of need for it worldwide! The biggest challenges for me involved being alone, putting myself out there, and learning how to ask questions while also being assertive in projects. The rewards of facing these challenges have been tenfold, in growing in my confidence about self-efficacy and professionalism.”
-Ashley, Oregon State University (Delhi/Dehradun)
Check out the Ashley’s joint blog with Emily, another IE3 Global intern who worked in Costa Rica: https://hearsthething161297019.wordpress.com/
“Overall, my experience has been amazing and I am constantly learning things even at unexpected moments. Each day has something new to offer and I have learned so much by simple observations as well as engaging and asking questions to preceptors, doctors, coordinators, etc. In Delhi the program was focused on different public health initiatives where we primarily visited various NGOs and learned about health from a bottom-up perspective. Each day we would visit an organization, learn about their mission, talk to coordinators, directors, or doctors to learn more, and observe patient interaction at some sites. Delhi’s program is very well connected to local organizations.
In Pune, the academic focus was on Maternal and Child Health. Here, I was able to go to a couple Primary Health Centers in rural areas, visit pediatricians, OBGYN’s, a local slum community, and a few other places. This particular rotation in Pune is geared more towards medical students which made some rotations difficult for me to learn at. And, finally, spent two weeks in Mumbai and one week at Mt. Abu. Mumbai’s programmatic focus is Infectious Diseases and Hospital Medicine. A specific strength of this program is that for the first week, I met with Dr. Bhatki in the mornings for a lecture on subjects such as health infrastructure in Mumbai, Leprosy Control Program, and Epidemiology. This was an asset in the program as it added more academia and structure which I really appreciated.”
-Riley, University of Oregon (Delhi/Pune/Mumbai)
“During my time in India, I got to live in one of the most populated, bustling, and polluted cities in the world. I also lived in a village of 200 people. I was invited to participate in holidays and family dinners, and was warmly welcomed with tea at every opportunity. By visiting urban slums, rural villages, HIV testing centers, Ayurveda clinics, and countless other organizations, I experienced just some of the breadth that encompasses healthcare in India. I was surprised, challenged, and pushed to both understand and make my voice heard. My mornings sometimes started with sunrise yoga at 6:30, a train ride to a new city, or hand washing my laundry before breakfast so that it would have all day to dry. Every day I tried to approach the world as a sponge, ready to absorb everything that the day had to offer, and every night my eyes would shut before my head hit the pillow from exhaustion. I saw a lot of beauty and a lot of need. I saw organizations take innovative approaches to problems, like pour flush compost toilets for village sanitation, health and food services at daycares, entertaining HIV education campaigns directed at truckers stopped for the night, and mobile phone technology linking community health workers to medical professionals. During my experience, I gave my effort, patience, and positivity, and I received a whole lot more in return. I have grown as a professional, a traveler, a student, and as a friend, and I look forward to the day that I get to come back to India.”
-Kainalu, Oregon State University (Delhi/Dehradun)
“I was able to explore my global/public health interest. I talked with many public health NGOs, talked with some public and global health students a lot about prior projects and what global health entails. I made progress in my personal goals of independence, which is really easy since a lot of post-rotation experiences are independently organized. I was able to develop my adaptability at work, being able to work with lesser means and going with the flow.”
– Emmanuel, University of Washington (Delhi/Dehradun)
“CFHI is an incredible organization, and has given me the chance to learn about health issues in India from within the organizations that are working to overcome them. We have been visiting different NGOs that work with health and sanitation. I have seen organizations that are internationally recognized for their outstanding work, as well as organizations that have very little, if any, funding but are still struggling on for the causes that they believe in. It is inspiring to see the dedication some of these people have to their work even if they have not received their salary for almost a year. Some days are a bit sad, and the level of poverty is overwhelming, but it is also inspiring to be here amongst the crowds and see the work that is going on at the heart of this country.”
– Ema, University of Alaska Fairbanks (Delhi/Dehradun)
“My personal goal for this trip was to grow as a person. This includes expanding my own paradigm, become more independent, etc. By participating in this program, I have definitely accomplished this goal. India is so different than the United States. That might seem obvious, but you don’t truly understand how different it is until you experience it. Learning about the different ideologies like the Caste System, the importance of family, and the medical practices has expended my perspective. Overall, witnessing these differences has made me more appreciative of everything. It also has reaffirmed that I want to have a career in the medical field.”
– Daschel, University of Oregon (Delhi/Pune)
“I appreciate the exposure to a variety of different public health organizations. I’ve learned about implementing and integrating a greater social mindset to medicine. Every patient I will see has an impact on the community he/she is in, and it’s invaluable to have that mentality. Working in a different professional setting hasn’t been difficult, just has taken patience to calibrate the tones and intentions of people I’ve interacted with.”
– Natali, University of Washington (Delhi/Dehradun)
Summer: January 25
Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15
- Pre-med, pre-nursing, pre-pharmacy, public health, and other pre-health courses
- Prior experience in health care settings preferred