A faculty-led field course in Ecuador, “Interdependence of human and animal health, culture, and the environment among the peoples of Ecuador,” is offered in late May to early June (tentative dates for 2018 are May 19 – June 7) for graduate-level health professional students from human medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and nursing.  With instructor permission, upper level undergraduates may be included as space permits.

Course description

Understanding and promoting health takes more than medicine. A myriad of determinants contribute to well-being and, conversely, disease, including the fact that the health of humans, animals, and their shared ecosystems are interdependent on one another (This is the One Health concept.).  Additionally, people of different cultures define health and view disease in many different ways; understanding cultural influences is critical to optimizing health and health care.

This course is about three weeks long and examines health among different ethnic groups in Ecuador. What is learned applies broadly to the meaning of health and models of health care globally.  Students will investigate the complex ecological, socioeconomic, political and biomedical factors influencing health in this beautiful Andean country. The learning occurs through a variety of experiential opportunities and site visits that integrate culture, environmental issues and the connections between human and animal health, food security and nutrition.  Faculty include a cultural anthropologist, physician, veterinarian, and pharmacist.

For additional information, please contact Christopher Olsen at: or 608-262-3862. Watch for more information and application information in September 2017 on the International Academic Programs website,

View Northern Ecuador Summer 2013 Frank Hutchins

Interviewing Midwife Ecuador 2014 Frank Hutchins