The Division of Global Health combines the expertise of all the other divisions that are related to global health into one division. Our multidisciplinary division has faculty with training backgrounds in epidemiology, environmental health, health psychology, biostatistics, and family medicine. We are fortunate to have such a unique mix of talented faculty who are well-respected in their respective fields. A few of our faculty are also multicultural and grew up in countries as diverse as Ecuador, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Congo that provides a rich environment for a division in global health.
Already chronic diseases are responsible for more deaths worldwide than infectious diseases. The impact on the global population is gradual and maybe less noticed than HIV, malaria or other infectious diseases. Reversing the trend of chronic diseases takes time and is less rewarding in the short term. Our faculty focus on lifestyle issues (tobacco, diet, physical activity, alcohol use, occupational exposures, and others) as predictors of chronic diseases, as well as outcomes of cancer, respiratory, cardiovascular, diabetes and mental health research and primary care prevention. Climate, environmental toxicants, and ethics are directions that our faculty focused in a global setting. Our primary care physicians are dedicated to clinical training and primary and secondary prevention as the first line of defense to attempt to change the trend of chronic diseases. Our researchers are focused on the etiology of chronic diseases and interventions to prevent them at the population level.
In partnership with the UCSD Institute for Public Health (Link) we offer global experience and outreach for faculty, clinicians and students. Climate change and health is one of the important emerging areas for our division, the Institute and UCSD. Our division is the hub of environmental epidemiology within UCSD.
The interaction between research and clinical practice is the platform to develop the two areas as well as offer training and education to students and clinical residents. Our division initiated the idea of Area of Concentration in Global Health for medical students in 2009 for the first time at UCSD's School of Medicine which is now a reality as a separate track to prepare future physicians to deal with a broad range of global health issues. Our department, in tandem with San Diego State University, hosts the Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health with a track in global health to prepare Ph.D. scholars in that area. Our division also initiated in 2009 the first Global Seminar courses in public health and epidemiology in the University of California system for undergraduates. Our research will continue to evolve and as visitors to our division’s web site will notice the current research projects and foreign sites our faculty are involved with around the globe in Ecuador, Jordan, Mozambique, India, and Mexico. Locally, border health and health of refugees is a global health focus for our division given our geographical location near the US-Mexico border and the faculty’s involvement with refugee communities in San Diego and abroad. San Diego is a destination for many refugees from Africa and the Middle East. Mental health is a major concern for such refugees. I invite you to further explore our Web site.