Global Health Checklists

Thai Gates


Checklists and Recommendations to Help You






UCSF Fresno GME Subcommittee for Global Health
Checklists for International Travel


UCSF Fresno Medical Education and Research Program is proud to announce the availability of Dean’s Office support for residents, fellows and faculty who wish to travel for an international academic elective or a global health conference.

Residents who are in good standing with their residency program and have an academic mentor identified are encouraged to apply early by contacting our committee chair, Rais Vohra ( with a brief description of the goals, details of travel and estimated budget for the experience to help begin the planning process.

PLEASE READ the following checklists and recommendations to help you with the process, and contact us if you have any questions.

Pre-Travel Checklist

  • Schedule a meeting with potential mentors to discuss project opportunities. This can be a faculty member in your Department who is familiar with global health activities, or someone on the global health subcommittee. If you need guidance, contact Dr. Vohra who can refer you to the appropriate UCSF Fresno faculty member (
  • Useful links for finding out more information about global health topics and international UCSF projects include CUGH and the UCSF Global Research Hub 
  • If you plan to do research on your elective, check with the UCSF Fresno IRB staff to make sure your work can be fully approved prior to your travel dates. Also consider the countries where you’ll be researching, and check in with their review processes.
  • Human subjects review at international universities is often a longer process than that at UCSF-Fresno. Whenever possible, consult with someone who has obtained review onsite to familiarize yourself with procedures and timeline.
  • Assess your funding needs and start preparing an itemized budget.
  • Obtain or update your passport.
  • Start the process and paperwork to apply for visas as needed to your country of travel.
  • Confirm participation and dates. Stay in contact with your project mentor or PI. More information about UCSF Global Research Projects can be found here
  • Reaffirm contact information of your onsite advisor—someone with academic medical credentials who can mentor you daily while you are on your international elective.
  • Make sure to fill out the Program Letter of Agreement between yourself and the host institution. If you have any questions, contact the UCSF Fresno Dean’s Office to help you and your program director with getting these documents completed.
  • Purchase air tickets. Find out if this is done through GHS program staff.
  • Register your travel. Enter your profile and trip itinerary in the iJet Worldcue Travel Intelligence Trip Brief site.
  • Obtain a visa if required by the destination country.
  • Research on-site housing and transportation arrangements, and make sure this will fit your needs and provide adequate resources for transport and accessibility while abroad. Be specific in your inquiry– for example, how will you get from the airport to your place of lodging?
  • Schedule a travel health consultation to assess medical needs, vaccinations, and obtain just-in-case medications. UCSF Main Campus offers resources for trainees  and Fresno County Department of Public Health has a clinic and there are several other options locally available to meet your needs and answer questions.
  • Establish health and evacuation insurance. See the Insurance section for Investigators and for Students for more details.
  • Continue with immunization medication and visa preparations.
  • Think about communication, and be specific about your needs and goals. Will you use your US cell phone as the primary means of contact? Buy a local one? Buy a phone card? Bring your computer or tablet? What types of electrical outlets are used in your destination site? What will you need, and what can you carry?
  • Contact your bank and cell phone carrier and notify them about your travel plans. Arrange to have secure access to your data and services, and discuss limitations and fees of international use BEFOREHAND to prevent roaming charge surprises or a freeze on your account when making purchases abroad.
  • Contact and send your travel itinerary to your on-site advisor. Stay in touch with your mentor in Fresno and let them know about the details of your elective as you finalize them.
  • Confirm housing arrangements. Communicate this information to family, friends, advisors and UCSF Fresno Deans’ Office and residency staff.
  • Research and inquire about the basic living conditions. Where will you eat? How is water being supplied? What is the best mode of transportation?
  • Obtain all necessary travel documents, including passport, visas, travel insurance card, and immunization proof. Be sure to double-check!
  • Organize two folders of photocopies of all documents, including proof of immunization and letter of agreement from host site, one to bring with you and one for your UCSF advisor/program.
  • Scan important documents and email copies to yourself, advisors, family, friends and UCSF Fresno Deans’ Office and program staff.
  • Do additional research regarding customs of country. What are the dress codes, religious practices, and codes of conduct between sexes?
  • Obtain an ATM/credit card, traveler’s checks, and cash. Research ATM access in your area, as well as currency exchange information.
  • Begin to pack clothing, supplies, and medications. Review the checklist below.
  • Put together a personal first-aid kit. See the Travelers’ Health Kit section below.
  • Confirm travel arrangements and itinerary.
  • If you are ill, immediately contact your advisor.
  • Pack your bag. Make sure it does not weigh more than the maximum allowed on each leg of your trip. Local flights are likely to have lower weight limits than international carriers.
  • Be alert to airport security restrictions and carry-on limits. Don’t forget your airplane ticket(s), passport, visa, ATM/credit card (and pin), travel insurance card, state and student ID, emergency contact information, folder of photocopies of documents, and SOP Pocket Card (see Documents and Forms section). We also recommend you carry local country currency at all times in case of an emergency.

Post-Travel Checklist

  • Travelers returning from high incident Tuberculosis areas require a TB skin test or symptom review at 12 weeks following their return. Schedule appointment with your travel clinic if you…
  • Experience severe symptoms such as fever, prolonged cough, weight loss, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bleeding, unusual rashes, etc.
  • Have known exposures to TB, bloodborne pathogens, GI pathogens, exotic parasites, etc.
  • Need to get a PPD test for TB (make sure you get one 8‐12 weeks after you return)
  • Submit an itemized list of documented expenditures within 14 days of returning from your travel. Ask the UCSF Fresno Dean’s Office staff or your program administrator for more information.
  • Send a thank you letter to your host site, your advisor, and anyone who helped fund your trip.
  • Prepare a photo album from your pictures and create a written reflection of your experience while it is fresh in your mind. What were your biggest accomplishments or surprises, and what advice do you wish you could have given to yourself prior to travel?
  • Complete your immunizations and medications. If you started a series of Hepatitis shots, oral antibiotics, or malaria prophylaxis, finish them.
  • These are for carry‐on. Losing luggage on international flights with multiple transfers is not uncommon. Put your name and local address inside and outside of your bags.
  • Airline tickets/confirmation numbers
  • Passport and visa (with hardcopies in your carry-on)
  • Traveler’s checks, ATM, Credit card
  • UC Travel insurance, State and Student ID
  • Emergency contact information (on a laminated card kept in your passport)
  • Hard copies of important documents
  • Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) information for emergencies
  • Cash (small cash to exchange at airport for local currency)
  • Clothing: Before packing, get a sense of the standard dress where you are going. The dress code is more formal for clinicians abroad. Check with someone who has been there to avoid inadvertently offending your hosts and co‐workers.
  • Special sensitivities exist around gender apparel in some countries. Clinicians should also pack their white coat. And lastly, comfortable footwear is highly recommended.
  • Certified copy of your birth certificate
  • Adapters / converters for your electronic devices
  • Medications, first aid kit & toiletries
  • Anti‐bacterial hand sanitizers and gels
  • Alarm clock (battery operated), and watch
  • Duct tape, Ziplock bags
  • Calculator (for currency exchange)
  • Camera/film and battery charger/adapter (for digital)
  • Clothesline and clothespins for drying clothes (or buy on‐site)
  • Money belt, Sunglasses, alarm whistle
  • Relevant pages from guidebook
  • Luggage and laptop locks
  • Pocket dictionary/phrase book
  • Toilet paper/tissue paper
  • Pocket‐sized notebook/journal
  • Gifts: It is advisable to bring gifts for your host site and host family. This is expected in most cultures, so bring extra, including children’s gifts (small toys/pencils/pens work great). Research what would be considered useful.

Packing a Personal health kit: Some items are not available while traveling. Think about which of these items you might want to have on hand. Brands are listed for clarification, not endorsement.

    • Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP). This is an emergency medical kit used to protect a person exposed to HIV. Contact your travel clinic or occupational health office for more information about obtaining a PEP kit for travel for high-risk experiences.
    • Personal prescription medications in original containers
    • Antimalarial medications, if applicable
    • Pepto-Bismol, Antacids, and Anti-Diarrheals
    • Decongestants and antihistamine
    • Acetaminophen, ibuprofen or other medication for pain or fever
    • Laxatives/ Fiber supplements
    • Cough suppressant/expectorant
    • Throat lozenges
    • Antibiotic Ointment
    • Antifungal (1% hydrocortisone), Calamine and antihistamine creams
    • Sunscreen, Lip Balm, hat and sunglasses
    • Iodine Tablets or water purifier if you cannot easily boil water
    • Insect Repellents (DEET) 30-50% are important in malaria and tropical areas. Flying Insect Spray is useful in sleeping quarters
    • Medical alert bracelet. Store a backup in your wallet
    • Anti-nausea and/or high-altitude medication
    • Digital thermometer
    • Oral rehydration solution packets are often available locally
    • Bandages, gauze, ace wrap, antiseptic, tweezers, scissors, Q-tips
    • Antibacterial wipes or sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
    • Sanitary supplies for women
    • Moleskin for blisters
    • Latex-free gloves
    • Condoms, birth control, Plan B
    • N95 disposable particulate respirator masks for tuberculosis (if applicable)
    • Address and phone of hospitals or clinics. The insurance call will refer you to the best, but it means an international call
    • Insecticide impregnated bednets (check local availability)
    • Download a print-ready checklist for your use while packing

Last Edit: April 2017
Collated and Prepared by UCSF Fresno GME Subcommittee for Global Health
For questions or more information, Contact:
Dr. Rais Vohra ( in Dept. of Emergency Medicine or Carrie Brown ( in UCSF Fresno Deans Office