Zanmi Lastante Medical Internship in Mirebalais, Haiti

Following the success of the Haiti Institute in Sewanee and research started by pre-medical student Duncan Pearce, C'17 we are establishing a new medical research internship. Sewanee Medical Interns will survey health outcomes and monitor and gain valuable information about the health needs in Haitian communities.


Zanmi Lasante Intern
Duncan Pearce, C'17 has conducted health surveys with Zanmi Kafe farmers in various locations in Haiti’s Central Plateau, where we have developed this pilot medical research internship.  Duncan gained valuable information about basic health issues and living conditions of rural Haitian farmers from different zones that will be used ultimately to help quantify long-term effects on farmers’ health. The Haiti Institute at Sewanee Medical Intern will continue this work with other interns that work with Professors McGrath (Biology) and Malde (Art and Art History).  

The Haiti Medical Intern, working under Zanmi Lasante (Haitian Creole for Partners in Health), will be part of a team comprised of Zanmi Kafe and Zanmi Foto interns examining how economic and environmental factors faced by households affect health and how the adoption of more sustainable agricultural systems, as well as cultural and social knowledge generated by Haitians, can help address these issues.  All interns will work together to learn and improve our understanding of the lives and needs of Haitians in rural communities. 

Learn more about this internship from Duncan Pearce, C'17

The project will involve the following tasks:

  • Working with Zanmi Kafe staff and interns to interview farmers and their families about household health concerns;
  • Re-evaluating current questionnaire and interview technique;
  • Compiling and analyzing data health outcomes;
  • Effectively communicating with others about outcomes in the form of papers and presentations; and
  • Being accessible to continue analysis and sharing of information the next semester in Sewanee.

Students interested in entering the fields of medicine, public and global health are encouraged to apply.

Application Procedure

The application deadline is February 15th. Applicants should apply through TigerNet. There is ONE position available.


  • A Sewanee rising sophomore through senior student 
  • Have a good understanding of the french language.... FREN 200 or above would be very benefical. 
  • Willingness to learn Creole
  • Be comfortable hiking several miles in rough terrain and occasionally sleeping in the field at local schools 

Additional qualifications and skills of a successful intern:

  • Knowledge of biology with a strong GPA;
  • Basic knowledge about public health concerns;
  • Awareness about how health interacts with social, cultural, economic and environmental factors;
  • Overall computer literacy;
  • Strong writing, communication and public speaking skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Strong organizational and time management skills;
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently;
  • Cultural sensitivity and enthusiasm for engaging with people from a variety of contexts
  • Tolerance for living in close quarters with others for extended periods of time;
  • Patience and humility

Note: Prior personal, travel, work or volunteer experience in a low-income country is desirable.  For rising sophomores and juniors, it is strongly suggested that you participate in the spring break Haiti trip (application process in October). Interns will be required to sign a code of professional conduct prior to departure to Haiti and purchase travel insurance. Interns are required to receive all U.S. government recommended travel vaccinations and take a malaria prophylaxis, as directed. Students may be required to cover the cost of their vaccinations that may be as much as $500.   

Interns will be based in the town of Mirebalais, Haiti for 6-8 weeks. Students are encouraged to apply for a stipend from one of the University internship funds by April 1st.  Students will be expected to cover roundtrip airfare to Port-au-Prince.  In-country transportation will be covered by the project.

Basic information about living and working in Haiti:  Creole and French are the primary languages spoken in Haiti.  Creole is spoken by farmers and thus only students with 300-level French and a willingness to learn Creole are eligible to apply to this internship. The Intern will reside in a secure home with several other interns from Sewanee in the town of Mirebalais. The home has access to WiFi, is in a safe and secure part of town, and has staff that prepares meals and does light house cleaning. Food and lodging cost approximately $125/week that is expected to be paid out of your internship stipend.  Note that there is some risk associated with living and working in a low-income country, and the student and student's parents should take note of these risks. 

Application requirements:

  • A Resume or CV that lists any research, employment, internship, or other experience relevant to the program to which you are applying. Please review CLD guidelines on composing an effective resume and what a CV is and how to write one.
  • Cover Letter. This letter should be addressed to Professors McGrath and A. Summers, as the faculty coordinators for this internship. The letter should clearly explain your reasons for pursuing the internship and how you expect your experience to impact your career plans.  Include what you have done in your Sewanee career that supports your overall goals in medicine and interest in pursuing this internship. Please review the CLD guidelines for writing a cover letter as this is a significant portion of the evaluation for getting this internship. 
  • An Unofficial Transcript (Obtained from the Registrar’s Office – do not wait until the last day to request!)
  • Names of 3 References we can contact.  You should have at least 2 of these 3 references be Sewanee professors.  Please list their names, titles, and contact information on your resume or CV.