Global Is Local: Interprofessional Experiential Learning for Migrant Farmworker Health Equity

Benjamin C. Katz, Emily P. Syverud, Oscar W Garza, Rachel Silva, Jonathan D. Kirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Medical educators recognize the importance of addressing social determinants of health and providing opportunities for learners to work with diverse populations. Still, social, geographic, resource, and language barriers prevent institutions from connecting with globally diverse populations within their own communities. In this article, we describe the migrant farmworker health course at the University of Minnesota, the importance of longitudinal partnership with community-based organizations, and ways to increase access to care and educate health professional learners in health equity. Methods: The migrant farmworker health course is a clinical rotation that combines didactic learning on social determinants of health with hands-on clinical experience. Learners work with community organizations to provide mobile health care while learning about a diverse and underserved rural population. Twenty-eight learners who participated in the course between 2015 and 2019 were surveyed about their experience, knowledge, and skills gained, and recommendations for improvement. Results: Over 90% of participants rated their overall experience in the course as "good"or "outstanding."Most learners increased confidence in the subjects that were covered during didactic sessions. Qualitative feedback provided insight on how the migrant farmworker health course shaped learners' understanding of social determinants of health and influenced their career trajectories. Conclusion: The migrant farmworker health course has educated interprofessional learners and is expanding to include more opportunities for mobile health care. The feedback from this survey helped improve didactic teaching and will help deepen relationships with community partners. Learning through service with global populations locally in a "global is local"rotation is a rewarding way to engage in and learn about health equity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Equity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank TVOC staff, especially Shelly Goddard and Centro Campesino, for their support and collaboration, Calla Brown, MD (internal medicine and pediatrics), Karin Quick, DDS (dentistry), and Sophia Gladding, PhD (general internal medicine). We are grateful to the members of the farmworker community and those who work with them, including Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services and the Consulate of Mexico in St. Paul, MN.

Publisher Copyright:
© Benjamin C. Katz et al., 2022; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2022.


  • farmworker
  • health equity
  • interprofessional education
  • medical education
  • migrant health


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