Students examining medical equipment while shadowing.
Atlantis students examining medical equipment while shadowing (Athens, Greece, 2019).

Public Health

Atlantis is the leader in healthcare education abroad, focusing on experiential (non-classroom) programs, with very relevant public health aspects

The Need for Public Health Experiential Education and Internship-Like Experience

Historically, high-level internships (or similar experiences) in the public health space abroad have been difficult to secure, and in the rare cases where a student is placed in a high-level foreign healthcare organization, they are often left to do somewhat inconsequential tasks on their own. Even within the U.S., it is difficult to place students, who are still learning, inside healthcare organizations that are doing meaningful and important work without distracting those organizations.

Atlantis Has Built an Approach that Solves This Challenge for Both the Students and The Public Health Organizations

In almost 15 years of running programs with healthcare organizations abroad, and more recently with domestic organizations, Atlantis has partnered with many hospitals, and often their respective governmental health departments, as well as other healthcare institutions. These organizations are continually facing new challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic being just one example, and public health students who obtain practical experience through learning via Atlantis will actually impact these organizations (while learning), and in just a few short weeks, deliver valuable research that is both meaningful and impactful. Students aren’t working at the host organizations, but they are being taught by a project leader in the context of a real project that gives them the same skills that a work experience would, and benefits the host organization.

Children's National Hospital Logo.
Roche logo.
UNICEF logo.
San Matteo Pavia logo.

How It Works

Atlantis Service-Research Projects take place abroad and in the U.S., and this page details them, but keep in mind that this page explains our Projects to a pre-med student audience. However, the same exact concept is valuable to public health students. Below is a recent example from a Service-Research Project program in the U.S.


Case Study: Children’s National Hospital, Washington, D.C.

Atlantis has done several full-time projects with Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., one of the top pediatric hospitals nationwide. Students spent a few, intense weeks analyzing differences in children’s health outcomes in the D.C. metro area and identifying barriers to racial equity in healthcare. Here’s an example of what one group of Atlantis participants was able to deliver in just two, brief weeks (Dec 2020–Jan 2021):

  • A 30+ page, data-rich report on methods of measuring disparities in health outcomes;
  • A lengthy interview guide for connecting with community stakeholders;
  • A comprehensive spreadsheet of all the recommended contacts for Children’s National Hospital to reach out to;
  • And a powerful Tableau visualization of the Childhood Opportunity scores in D.C., down to the census tract level.

The above are representative of the value that Atlantis Service-Research Projects can provide to both student participants and our public health partners. The above items are simply the byproduct of the learning that our students do, it just happens that that byproduct is useful to the host organizations, and part of the reason we are able to work with elite partners. 

Students sitting around a table having a discussion.
Students coordinating their research with the Project Leader in a similarly-structured project (Europe).

Innovating in Public Health Education

Children’s National Hospital and Atlantis were co-presenters at the ASPPH 2021 Annual Meeting, in a session on how public health organizations and departments can take advantage of our unique learning model – both for the betterment of student learning and for maximum social impact for the host organizations.

We extend our thanks to the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) for their hard work in preparing a successful and informative conference.

Title slide of the ASPPH Atlantis Presentation.
Title slide of the ASPPH Atlantis Presentation.

Service-Research Projects: The View of An Alumna Who Is a Recent Public Health Grad (who Happens to Be Applying to Med School)

Alumna Later Admitted Into Johns Hopkins Public Heath Describes Atlantis’ Impact

Promoting Core Competencies

Atlantis Service-Research Projects support seven out of eight domains in the Public Health Core Competencies, which are:

  1. Analytical/Assessment Skills
  2. Policy Development/Program Planning Skills
  3. Communication Skills
  4. Cultural Competency Skills
  5. Community Dimensions of Practice Skills
  6. Public Health Sciences Skills
  7. Financial Planning and Management Skills
  8. Leadership and Systems Thinking Skills

Our methodology works on all 8 domains except Public Health Sciences Skills (#6); however, generally, those are covered in academic coursework.

Our Alumni Attend Great
Public Health Programs

Michelle Kaminski headshot.

Michelle Kaminski

  • Atlantis '17
  • Gettysburg College '20
  • Columbia MPH '22
Lyndsey McLain headshot.

Lyndsey McLain

  • Atlantis '18
  • UNC Chapel Hill '19
  • UPenn MPH '21
Kathleen Bynon headshot.

Kathleen Bynon

  • Atlantis '17
  • Colgate '19
  • Columbia MPH '22
Scarlett Bergam headshot.

Scarlett Bergam

  • Atlantis '18
  • Brown '20
  • Brown MPH '21
Madeleine Burkholder headshot.

Madeleine Burkholder

  • Atlantis '17
  • Taylor University '19
  • SLU MPH '22
DeYante Prince headshot.

DeYante Prince

  • Atlantis '18
  • Morehouse '20
  • Boston University MPH '22
Jordyn Britton headshot.

Jordyn Britton

  • Atlantis '19
  • Howard U. '21
  • Johns Hopkins MPH '23
Tiffany Hu headshot.

Tiffany Hu

  • Atlantis '16
  • U. of Maryland '17
  • U. of Michigan MD '22
Azan Virji headshot.

Azan Virji

  • Atlantis '17
  • Yale '17, Yale MPH '19
  • Harvard Medical School MD '23

Atlantis Public Health Programs Compared With
Typical Alternatives

Our programs are a large step above typical out-of-classroom experiences available to students, taking experience to a new level, above which is nearly impossible.

A chart displaying the differences between ideal and average internship experiences.


Learn More About Service-Research Projects

This page is geared towards pre-med and pre-PA students, since those students also do these programs, but, as described above, these programs are equally relevant to public health students.

Keep in Mind We’ve Had Many Public Health Alumni Who Do Our Hospital Shadowing Programs

Even though our Service-Research Projects are of interest to public health students, the same is true of our main program type: hospital shadowing. Several of the alumni profiled above are hospital shadowing alumni; their experience allowed them to understand the healthcare system from the vantage point of the hospital. Not only can public health students participate in hospital shadowing or Service-Research Projects, they may also do a program that combines both.