EPI 499: Virtual course on health care in the US and Rwanda

EPI 499: Community Health Research & Health Care Delivery: Lessons from Rwanda & the United States (6 credits) 

This online summer course will provide students with the opportunity to engage with faculty and students from the University of Rwanda (UR) School of Medicine and the University of Washington (UW) Schools of Medicine and Public Health to learn about health care delivery and community health needs in Rwanda. The course will focus on fundamental skills necessary to conduct community health research.

In this virtual study abroad program, students will build meaningful relationships with students and faculty from UR and UW and learn from one another by sharing American and Rwandan customs, food, art, music, and other traditions. Students will attend online seminars and small group discussions, and work collaboratively on weekly assignments outside of class. This course is intended to be an impactful, unique learning opportunity for students in order to prepare them for careers in health and to expose them to health problems and systems in a country very different from the US.

Students will learn and connect with one another through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online teaching methods. Understanding that students have different learning needs and other commitments, they will limit daily synchronous learning to morning sessions from 8-10 am Pacific Time. Dedicated medical students from Rwanda will join these synchronous sessions twice weekly by videoconference. Though the pandemic prevents them from being in Rwanda or holding in-person classes, online learning tools including video recordings and discussion boards will allow each learner the flexibility to participate asynchronously when it is convenient for them. Rwandan physicians will lead approximately 25-30% of the seminars with the remainder led by UW faculty.

Each student will be paired with a UR medical student, and assignments will be completed in teams of 2-4 students. Students will be assessed based on participation, weekly assignments and quizzes, and a final presentation and paper due at the end of the course.

Applications for this program are open from now until 4/1/21. Study abroad scholarships may be used toward this effort.

More information can be found on the Study Abroad website.


By Esther K. Chung
Esther K. Chung Professor of Pediatrics