About IMER


The mission of the University of Minnesota International Medical Education and Research Program is to promote an exchange of international educational, research and other scholarly opportunities for medical and graduate students and faculty.


The primary focus of the Program is on education of medical and graduate students. In addition to promoting bi-directional exchange of students between the University of Minnesota and appropriate organizations within developing and developed countries, the Program supports faculty members engaged in medical education and research abroad.

The Office

The Office serves as a coordinating center for the purposes of:

  • assembling and disseminating information to students and faculty about international health programs
  • updating and having readily available for University of Minnesota students and faculty information about third and fourth year elective experiences in international medicine (including identifying faculty advisors for specific programs, foreign and local, and a general description of these programs)
  • collaborating with the Dean's Office and faculty to assess and evaluate the quality of sites and the educational value of student experiences at those sites
  • assisting in development of an international medicine curriculum within the Medical School
  • coordinating information about cross-cultural experiences, assistance with language skills and housing facilities at foreign sites and in Minnesota
  • organizing committee meetings, lectureships, and other activities related to international health
  • collaborating with foundations and other organizations involved in fundraising for the purposes of the International Medical Education and Research Program


Shannon Benson, Program Coordinator

Cynthia Howard, MD, MPHTM, Co-Course Director

Marshall Hertz, MD, Co-Course Director

Drs. Phil Peterson and Paul Quie were founding directors of the IMER program from 1998-2014.



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