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Press Release

Merck Manuals Survey: Medical Students Seek Global Health Experiences to Enhance their Education
Posted on: 05 Apr 18
Merck Manuals Survey: Medical Students Seek Global Health Experiences to Enhance their Education 92% of students surveyed plan to get involved in global health during their medical careers

PR Newswire

KENILWORTH, N.J., April 5, 2018

KENILWORTH, N.J., April 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- With an increasing number of global health programs available to medical students, a new survey found that many students are taking advantage of opportunities to enhance their education and provide needed resources to developing areas of the world.

To uncover students' motivations and aspirations in global health, the Merck Manuals surveyed 130 students at the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Annual Convention in March. Respondents included medical and pre-medical students representing domestic and international universities and programs.

When asked about their top motivation for getting involved in global health, a majority of students (59 percent) said they want to provide health care where it's needed most. Fourteen percent say they have an interest in studying infectious diseases and conditions, and 10 percent want to have cross-cultural experiences.

Many students intend to turn this inspiration into action by experiencing healthcare systems around the world firsthand. Students who plan to get involved in global health said they are planning to:

  • Take short-term service trips to underdeveloped areas (65 percent)
  • Engage in research to solve global healthcare issues (38 percent)
  • Pursue long-term clinical work in underdeveloped areas (33 percent)
  • Work with a non-governmental organization (NGO) (22 percent)

"In May, I'll be traveling with a group of students to Peru for six weeks to support doctors and medical staff in local clinics," said Lauren, a student from Brigham Young University who participated in the survey. "But my ultimate goal is to have a long-term impact on these communities; not just treating conditions but also helping people change their lifestyles so disease can be prevented in future generations. It's about teaching a community about healthy practices so they can support each other once we leave."

In preparation for a career in medicine, many students have already taken steps to enhance their global health education. Of the students who plan to get involved in global health:

  • 61 percent say they have volunteered in underserved communities at home
  • 42 percent say they have learned (or am learning) a new language
  • 40 percent say they have traveled abroad to help underserved communities
  • 33 percent say they have participated in relevant classes, research or student groups

"My experiences providing care at a children's hospital in Senegal, West Africa, changed my entire perspective about medicine and why I wanted to pursue a career as a doctor. They were working with such limited resources, yet this great team of doctors could do so much for the children there," said Naheed, who studied at St. Christopher's College of Medicine. "In the U.S., we take our vaccinations and medicines for granted, which is why it's very important to be exposed to global health issues."

When traveling to developing areas of the world, it's critical to have credible medical information within reach. Students and healthcare professionals traveling abroad can reference a free, comprehensive library of reference articles on diseases, symptoms and treatments on, which is available in 10 languages.

Additionally, the Merck Manuals Consumer and Professional mobile apps offer users the same trusted medical information. Once the apps are downloaded, this content is stored on the device and is accessible without an internet connection. Both mobile apps are available in the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play Store.

About The Merck Manuals and MSD Manuals

First published in 1899 as a small reference book for physicians and pharmacists, The Merck Manual grew in size and scope to become one of the world's most widely used comprehensive medical resources for professionals and consumers. As The Manual evolved, it continually expanded the reach and depth of its offerings to reflect the mission of providing the best medical information to a wide cross-section of users, including medical professionals and students, veterinarians and veterinary students, and consumers. In 2015, The Manuals kicked off Global Medical Knowledge 2020, a program to make the best current medical information accessible by up to three billion professionals and patients around the world by 2020. For access to thousands of medical topics with images, videos and a constantly expanding set of resources, visit or and connect with us on social media:

For Consumers in the U.S. and its territories: Twitter and Facebook
For Professionals in the U.S. and its territories: Twitter and Facebook

The survey of 130 medical and pre-medical students was conducted at the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Annual Convention in March 2018. The survey defined global health as study, research and practice focused on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. For details on survey methodology, please contact Jamie Haynes at Learn more at

About Merck

For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer's disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit and connect with us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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PR Newswire

Last updated on: 05/04/2018

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