Professionals' Training in Global Health

Don't RE-TIRE, RE-TREAD in global health! ©

Registration for the fall 2015 class is now closed. To register for 2016, please see application form and contact information below.

Professionals' Training in Global Health (PTGH) offers a comprehensive training in global medicine for those who want to work overseas. This program is for physicians, nurses, NPs and PAs with an active Oregon or Washington medical license who are interested in training for volunteer medical work in low income countries, including disaster relief.

PTGH will
  • update physicians' clinical skills in primary care (family medicine and emergency medicine), and
  • provide courses in public health, infectious disease, tropical medicine and related fields pertinent to overseas work.

PTGH is offered once a year in the fall. The didactic program will be presented at OHSU with clinical rotations at free medical clinics in the Portland metropolitan area. 

A Certificate of Global Health will be awarded by the OHSU Global Health Center upon completion of the training. 


Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

CME Credit
OHSU School of Medicine, Division of CME, designates this educational activity for a maximum of   87.25 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

CE Credit for Nursing

This program is approved by the OHSU School of Nursing for a maximum of 97.5 Continuing Education contact hours.  The specific contact hours are based on the specific classroom sessions attended.


Click here to view PTGH brochure

Apply Now

Click here for the PTGH Trainee Application Form


Click on name to email  Andrew Harris, MD for more information.

Overseas Volunteer Experience of PTGH Graduates 

79 trainees have completed Professionals' Training in Global Health over the past six years. (59 MDs/DOs, 8 RNs, 4 PAs, 3 NP, 1 Dentist, 1 Podiatrist, 1 Cert. Nurse Midwife, 1 Paramedic & 1 PhD)  Since graduation 35 trainees have taken a total of 93 trips to 35 countries overseas. [The Gambia x2, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Malawi, Cameroon x4, Burundi, S. Sudan, Ethiopia x5, Dem. Rep. of Congo x2, Uganda x11, Kenya x7, Rwanda x9, Tanzania x2, Guyana, Honduras, Guatemala x5, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru x2, Mexico, Haiti x12, Papua New Guinea x2, Fiji, The Philippines x3, Bhutan, Vietnam x3, Ukraine, Nepal x2, India x2, Cambodia, UAE, Lebanon, and USA after Hurricane Sandy]

Click PTGH Alumni to read about graduates' global health work.

What PTGH graduates say about the course

“For health care workers who have yet to leave the United States for the first time, Professionals’ Training in Global Health (PTGH) is an excellent introduction and preparation for the challenges that will await them in the developing world.  It is an educational experience that is impressive in both the depth and breadth of its coverage of medicine in underserved areas. 

And for an individual with prior international experience, it is a perfect refresher of the multiple cultural, medical, administrative and personal challenges that once again lie ahead.  PTGH provides trainees with the necessary knowledge to work at a highly competent level in third world settings, and by so doing, addresses the need to educate medical personnel to  help solve the perplexing health problems of our increasingly globalized world.”  

Bob Amon, MD, Class of Fall 2011
Retired Dermatologist and Peace Corps Physician (PCP).

"Receiving an invitation to apply for participation in the Professional's Training in Global Health was an abrupt, positive, change in my recently retired life. I immediately applied not only for the course but to the Peace Corps and MSF. All in all, this has been an exhilarating experience for me. I commend you and your colleagues for an outstanding curriculum and display of authentic humanism.

Jon E. Petterson M.D., Class of Fall 2011
Retired Family Practitioner

"After retiring from my practice of anesthesiology, I wondered how to use my medical background as a volunteer.  I had previously been overseas on several occasions on surgical missions.  Although the care we provided was valuable, many patients were suffering from a lack of much more basic help, such as clean water, sanitation, immunizations, prenatal care, etc.  I also was frustrated by the lack of continuity of care inherent in a short term medical mission.

For me, the PTGH course opened the door to a broader array of global health needs.  Topics I had long forgotten from medical school took on new significance as I saw pictures of patients from Africa, Asia and the Carribean.  My keen interest in obstetrics was reignited in the context of obstructed labor, unavailable C sections and maternal malaria.  Public health issues such as sanitation and epidemiology suddenly became relevant.  Many of the simple surgical procedures I spent my career watching are now interventions I could imagine doing if no surgeon was available, such as I & D, relocation of joints, chest tubes, etc.  The drugs for treating fungal infections and parasite infestations now seem worth remembering.

An unexpected outcome of the PTGH class was the clinic work with indigent patients in the Portland metro area.  With a mentor, I saw patients with hypertension, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and other conditions and learned (or relearned) how to treat them, monitor their progress and follow up.  Those ten sessions encouraged me to continue volunteering and to pursue some primary care continuing education.  I have seen patients nearly every week for the past two years.  Finding out that the State of Oregon offers coverage for malpractice insurance to volunteers removed a significant obstacle for me.

Improving education for doctors in developing countries has also become a way for me to address global health needs.  I went to Rwanda in 2010 and 2011 as a volunteer professor of anesthesiology.  The training from PTGH helped me with patient's co-morbidities of HIV, malaria, and also less exotic diseases such as diabetes.  Trauma care was especially needed and the refresher in the PTGH course was very helpful.  My experiences there have led to other opportunities for education of nurse anesthetist students and conferences on improving surgical access in Rwanda. 

A connection I made in the PTGH course led to Haiti in the days after the earthquake in January 2010.  I was in Honduras in January 2011 and found myself actually gravitating toward the mobile primary care clinic because there were few anesthetics needed at that time.  This is evidence to me that my focus has shifted and I am eager to see what comes next."

Susan Minson, MD, Class of 2009
Retired Anesthesiologist


OHSU School of Medicine news:  No power? No problem. Training equips physicians to deliver care on medical missions Global Health Center e-letter: PTGH  Report The Portland Tribune Apr 23, 2009 news article:

Re-learning medicine for another world article

Photos courtesy of Dr. Mary Burry, Dr. Meg Hayes and  Dr. Thomas Hoggard.

Copyright © 2008 Oregon Health & Science University.

Purpose Prize Fellow Winner!

Andy Harris, MD

Andy Harris, MD of the OHSU Global Health Center faculty has been selected as a 2011 Purpose Prize Fellow in recognition of  "extraordinary achievement and continued compelling work" in founding and directing Professionals' Training in Global Health. 

This innovative course is open to doctors, nurses, physician assistants and paramedics who seek medical training to volunteer in low income countries, for disaster relief, and in local free medical clinics.  Read more ⇒

PTGH student and lecturer Meg Hayes_Nepal Andy Harris_Sierra Leone