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Medicine and Global Health in Shanghai [PROGRAM SUSPENDED]

Event: Sunday, June 21, 2020 – Saturday, July 18, 2020

Update 2/14/2020

In light of the escalation of public health warnings concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), further limitations of travel services as well as diminishing resources in China, the International Education Office has suspended all UCLA Summer Travel Study Programs in China for summer 2020.

While this program will not occur as planned this summer, we do plan to organize the course for summer 2021 so please stay tuned.

In the meantime, please enjoy this video created by student Nicole Ugorji, to highlight her experience in the 2019 program:

Summer Travel Study


Across the globe, healthcare policymakers face mounting pressure to lower costs while improving the quality and safety of care for individuals and the population. The US can benefit from examining other countries’ healthcare systems, especially in terms of innovation in delivery and implementation. China’s regional-based healthcare delivery system consists of village health stations, township health centers and county hospitals in rural areas, and tiered hospitals and community health care centers in urban areas. Traditional Chinese medicine is a core component of this delivery system and its services are provided in those facilities on its own or integrated with biomedicine.

Patient care in Chinese medicine has historically focused as much on health maintenance and prevention, through encouraging patients to adhere to simple lifestyle practices, as it has on the treatment of illness. Thus, self-care practices are inherent to traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese integrative medicine, which integrates Chinese medicine with western biomedicine. The Chinese medicine concept of Body Constitution, which assigns body types according to different physiological characteristics, has been further developed and investigated in the last 40 years. Public health experts have found it helpful as a guide to recommend individualized self-care through Chinese medicine modalities, such as herbal medicine, herbal food, herbal tea, Tai Chi, acupuncture or acupressure and massage therapy. Research has also shown that adopting Body Constitution identification and regulation measures in community health settings has been effective in managing and relieving the symptoms of the patients with obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Promotion of self-care is central to achieving successful patient outcomes not only in Chinese integrative medicine but also in western integrative medicine. In the United States, individuals can access a plethora of complementary and integrative medicine modalities, which may include traditional Chinese medicine modalities, to use as self-care tools. These modalities are often inexpensive, and easily learned and practiced and can help individuals to maintain health and therefore, reduce the incidence of acute health conditions and the associated clinic visits.

In partnership with the UCLA Global Health Minor Program, UCLA Center for East-West Medicine is offering this 8-unit program in Shanghai, one of China’s largest and most modernized city. Through this program, students will learn the basic concepts and become exposed to the various techniques of traditional Chinese medicine, witness China’s rapidly changing landscape, and analyze integrative medicine strategies being implemented to address personal and community health issues. Moreover, this program will provide a unique platform for future healthcare professionals to gain a global perspective of integrative medicine and experience the unique integration of traditional medicine in a modern healthcare system.

The program will be hosted in Shanghai through partnership with top universities, including Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SHUTCM) and Fudan University School of Public Health.


See what our students from the 2018 program thought about the course:


Program Courses

All students will enroll in two required courses while attending the program. Students may choose to receive course credit for Medicine or Global Health:

  • MED 180A or GLB HLT 110A (4 units)
  • MED 180B or GLB HLT 110B (4 units)

Goals and Educational Objectives

MED 180A or GLB HLT 110A:  Chinese Medicine – Its Origins, Roles in Culture & Impact on Modernization (4 units)

Prerequisites:  None

  • Describe etiology and manifestation of different types of body constitution in Chinese medicine
  • Discuss modern research in basic theories and modalities of Chinese medicine
  • Under supervision of faculty, formulate evidence-based individual self-care plan for themselves
  • Comfortably and confidently practice one mind-body approach, such as Tai Chi, for their own health

MED 180B or GLB HLT 110B:  Integrative Medicine in the Chinese Healthcare Delivery System (4 units)

Prerequisites:  None

  • Discuss reasonable use of modalities in Chinese integrative medicine for their self-care in real-world setting
  • Provide a brief overview of the Chinese healthcare delivery system
  • Analyze the accessibility of self-care modalities in China and the United States
  • Compare and contrast the definitions of ‘integrative medicine’ and ‘healthcare system’ in China and in the US


Travel Study courses must be taken for a letter grade.  Grades will be based on class attendance and participation, assignments, and final presentation/paper.  Grading criteria is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.


Students who have already confirmed enrollment for the course through deposit payment are eligible to apply for the Shirley Hui East-West Medicine scholarship. Download the application form with instructions here.

Click here to see a summary and pictures from previous year's program

For more information, please visit the
UCLA Study Abroad Website