For this experience in Shirati, Tanzania, the JMU PA Program partners with Shirati Hospital and Friends of Shirati, a non-profit organization. The objectives for this international clinical rotation are to provide PA students the opportunity to:

  • Experience another culture & healthcare system
  • Increase exposure to critically underserved populations
  • Gain familiarity with global health opportunities

The people of Tanzania are laid-back and friendly.  With that comes a lack of rigid schedule that we are accustomed to in the U.S.  PA students are free to participate in care throughout Shirati hospital at any time.  However, students generally adhere to the following schedule:

  • 7:15am – Breakfast
  • 7:45am – Morning rounds at outpatient clinic or hospital
  • 9:00am – Arrive at hospital or outpatient clinic.  Students may choose to be in the maternity ward, emergency department, outpatient clinic, intensive care unit, pediatric ward, HIV clinic, or others.
  • 1:30pm – Lunch
  • 2:00pm – Return to the hospital or clinic.  On Tuesdays & Thursdays students may also assist with surgeries, as needed.
  • 7:30pm – Dinner

Monday mornings include ‘grand rounds’ - students rotate through each hospital ward to review every admitted patient with the clinical officer or attending physician.  Wednesdays typically include student  case presentations while rounding.  There are also opportunities to participate in outreach programs throughout the local community.

To be eligible for this international clinical experience, one must apply through the JMU Center for Global Engagement (CGE). CGE provides support for the trip through the application process, handling of passports, and arranging for foreign travel insurance. Note that there are additional costs associated with this experience.

What Are Our Students Saying?

"This rotation is really what you make of it. It’s a great opportunity to experience a different culture and to see medical conditions you would otherwise never see in the U.S.  The people there are incredibly welcoming and genuinely some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. This experience definitely opened my eyes to global healthcare needs and also made me appreciate the U.S. healthcare system, no matter how broken it is."
– Caroline Dong, class of 2022

Fun Facts about Tanzania

  • The principle language of Tanzania is Swahili, but the medical records are written in English.
  • Nearly 30% of Tanzania is comprised of National Parks, including Serengeti National Park.
  • Tanzania is a country that is slightly larger than the state of Texas.
  • Located in northeast Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa.
  • Shirati is on the shore of Lake Victoria, near the border between Northern Tanzania and Kenya.

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