Please note this program is an unpaid global health education program. There is a program fee required to participate. This program fee pays for on-site services such a lodging, language classes (if relevant), 24/7 emergency support, coordination of rotations and/or placements, and on-site staff. CFHI is a nonprofit organization committed to fair-trade partnerships around the world. Please use the following code “HandshakeCFHI” in order to have the application fee waived when applying for a program on the CFHI website.
India is home to 1.2 billion people-the world’s largest democracy-and a bustling, vibrant, and culturally and historically rich country in the world’s Global South. One of India’s strongest resources are its people – an expanding workforce that is infinitely diverse across all 36 states and territories-but an increasing population is also one of the country’s biggest challenges. As a lower middle-income country, India continues to face enormous hurdles in poverty, malnutrition, access to education and basic healthcare, and gender inequalities. As of 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that healthy life expectancy at birth for Indians is 57 years for both males and females. Yet, despite deeply embedded public health challenges, total expenditure on health in 2012 was a mere 4.1%, as reported by the WHO.
Traditional medicine is used by approximately 80% of people living in developing countries who cannot pay for modern medicine. This unique program affords the opportunity to learn about traditional and indigenous systems of medicine in India. Participants will learn about the philosophies behind Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and Reiki and gain first-hand experience in methods of diagnosis and treatment as they learn alongside clinical practitioners. This program highlights the importance of cross-cultural competency in diagnosing and treating patients who may be receiving a combination of modern and traditional treatments, and understanding how the two interact and can work in harmony. Clinical immersion will be supplemented with daily yoga classes, lectures, and workshops on traditional medicine.
Students will travel through 3 locations in India’s northern state of Uttarkhand throughout the program. 2 weeks will be in the capital city of Dehradun, followed by 1 week in the hill town of Rishikesh, and the final week in Patti, a rural Himalayan village. Traveling to different locations allows participants to experience Indian healthcare through multiple lens, whether at a rural clinic delivering health services in isolated Himalayan villages or by visiting a government run tertiary care hospital.
Become immersed in Indian culture by living with a host family in Dehradun and shared accommodations in Rishikesh and Patti. CFHI participants may organize weekend trips to nearby Himalayan hilltop town or visit the numerous Hindhu, Sikh and Buddhist temples in the area.