Denmark - Study Abroad - Master of Science in Global Medicine

Denmark & Healthcare In The European Union

Contributed by Jennifer Yoohanna

In August of 2014, the Global Medicine Program established its first study abroad course in the European Union, made pos­sible through a partnership with the University of Southern Den­mark Faculty of Health Sciences. The “MEDS 557: Clinical Medicine and Healthcare Dynamics in Denmark” course launched an experiential study of a Scandinavian system, which is of­ten praised as a model for universal healthcare.

Over the course of the 12-day trip, 11 students traveled to both Copenhagen and Odense, Denmark, in addition to a weekend excursion to Berlin, Germany, to have a better understanding of European culture and an in-depth look at a publically funded health­ care system. In the Danish capital of Copenhagen, students were able to engross themselves in the Danish culture, walking through the city and drifting along the canals in what has been proudly evaluated ‘The World’s Happiest Country’.

The picturesque and tranquil Danish countryside in the Fuenen Village Living Museum outside of Odense, Denmark.

Once in Odense, our partner in­stitution welcomed the team with­out reservation, completely open to questions and discussion of their healthcare system and Danish culture . Students heard from esteemed lecturers on topics rang­ing from epidemiology of disease, research via registries, health economy, healthcare system and financ­ing, managed care of cancer, and elderly, maternal and primary care. Beyond the lectures, students were given the opportunity to visit hospital and community health sites, including: the Southern Denmark Regional Emergency Department, Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Therapy Unit, a nursing home, an innovative sports facility, a mater­nity ward, a psychiatric ward, and a General Practice “GP” Clinic.

The Global Medicine team outside of the Gurli-Vibeke retirement community.

The course in Denmark has allowed the Global Medicine Pro­gram to venture into another part of the world, creating a cohort of students more understanding of the positive outcomes as well as the struggles surrounding an exclu­sively publicly funded system. In the Summer 2014 Global Citizen­ship Roundtable, it was fascinating to hear student ambassadors pres­ent their observations and lessons from both Denmark and Taiwan, two countries utilizing univer­sal healthcare systems, each with unique cultural considerations af­fecting the system. Denmark was a necessary addition to the Global Medicine study abroad curriculum and the USC Global Medicine Program looks forward to return­ing to Odense in mid-August 2015 and welcoming health profession­al students from the University of Southern Denmark to Los Angeles in late-August 2015.

The Master of Science in Global Medicine program at the Keck School of Medicine of USC offers study abroad courses in over a dozen countries around the world. Find out more about these opportunities, and the MS in Global Medicine program, by visiting